naturalForms Server 1.4.2 Installation Guide


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naturalForms Server Installation Guide

I. Hardware/Software Requirements

naturalForms Server consists of two components:

Application Server – naturalForms Server is a web application that requires an application server.  It can be installed of the following supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012

The minimum hardware requirements to run naturalForms Server are the same as the minimum requirements for the Operating System you choose to install on.  Please see the documentation for each Operating System for the minimum requirements.

NOTE:  Installation is blocked if you try to install on a version of Windows earlier than Windows Server 2008.

Database – naturalForms Server requires a relational database to store its data.  Currently, naturalForms Server supports the following Microsoft SQL Server databases (both 32-bit and 64-bit):

  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2012

NOTE:  SQL Express Editions are supported but are not recommended in a production environment.


II. Pre-Requisites

The following prerequisites are required before installing naturalForms Server:

  • Web Server (IIS) Role has been installed.  Please see the Microsoft documentation to learn how to install this role.
  • The ASP.NET Role Service is also required when adding the Web Server (IIS) Role.
  • .NET Framework 4.5 FULL has been installed.

NOTE:  Installation is blocked if the Web Server (IIS) Role has not been installed.  If .NET Framework 4.5 FULL is not installed, the installation will download and install it automatically as long as an internet connection is available.


III. Installing naturalForms Server

Perform the following steps to install naturalForms Server:

1. Launch nfs-setup.exe.

2. Accept the license terms, and click on the Install button. (Figure 1)

Figure 1


3. User Account Control: Click the Yes button.

4. naturalForms Server Configuration: Fill in the following information: 

    • SQL  (Figure 2)– when you have filled in all the information, click the Test button.
    • Server – the SQL Server or SQL instance you want to use to store the database.
    • Database Name – the name of the naturalForms Server database you want to create.
    • User – the username of a SQL account that has at least the DBCREATOR SQL Server Role.  This is required so the installation can create the database.
    • Password – the password for the User specified above.

NOTE:  The SQL User specified in this section will also be used by the naturalForms Server application.  Once naturalForms Server has been installed this account only requires the db_datareader and db_datawriter Database Roles for the database name you selected.

Figure 2

Site (Figure 3)

    • Source – select whether you want to have the installation create a new site or use an existing site.
    • Site name – the name of the web site in IIS to create (if you selected Create a new site) or the name of the site in IIS to use (if you selected Select existing site).
    • Port – the port to use for the site you want to create.  This only available when you select Create a new site.

NOTE:  If you choose to create a new site, please make sure not to select a port that is already in use on your computer, or you will not be able to access the naturalForms Server application after installation.


Figure 3

Server Admin User (Figure 4)– this account is the default administrator account for the naturalForms Server application and will be used to log into \Portal\Admin for the first time.

    • First name – the first name of the default administrator
    • Last name – the last name of the default administrator
    • Email – the email address of the default administrator
    • Password – the password for the default administrator

Figure 4

App Settings (Figure 5)

    • Output path – the path where naturalForms Server will save output files.  By default, this will include .csv and .pdf files for all submitted forms
    • Temp path – the path where naturalForms Server will save its trigger files, log files and other miscellaneous files

Figure 5

Once all the information has been entered, click on the Install button.

5. Initial configuration completed: Read the next steps and click the Finish button.

6. naturalForms Server Setup: Click on the Close button.


            Figure 6

 IV. Licensing naturalForms Server

Once naturalForms Server has been successfully installed, you will need log into <your_nfs_url>\portal\admin using the default administrator email address and password you provided in the Server Admin User section above to license the application.

Select your license file or cut and paste your license file into the provided field. (Figure 7)


Figure 7

 V. Managing Trigger Files

naturalForms Server creates “Trigger Files”.  These trigger files contain information about events the application completes.  Events include user activation, password reset requests and generation of output files. A separate process must monitor the folder containing the triggers files and act accordingly when they are created.

We recommend using a tool such as Mirth Connect to monitor and process the trigger files.  We have provided a starter kit to easily and quickly get the solution up and running.  For more information, click here.


VI. Custom Configurations


This sets the time that a new user activation is good.  By default an activation token is good for 3 days.

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