Checkbox 8 - On-Premises New Installation Guide

This guide will walk you through installing Checkbox 8 On-Premise on your server for the first time. If upgrading or patching, please follow the Checkbox 8 Upgrade Instructions instead. 

Important Note: This document applies to version 8.4.0 or later. Please download a newer version from your customer portal if you use an older version.

Checkbox 8 Technical Requirements

Requirement #1 - Server/Environment Requirements

Before you begin the installation, please make sure that your server environment meets the minimum system requirements for Checkbox 8. Updated requirements can always be found at https://www.checkbox.com/support/technical-requirements/.

COMPONENT

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Operating System

64 bit versions of Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019, 2022

Web Server

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 8.5 or higher with AT LEAST 4 GB RAM*; Important: check the IIS module requirements to make sure that you have the proper IIS components enabled on your server.

Database

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or higher. SQL Server Express Editions also supported**

Cloud Hosting

Amazon EC2, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, Azure Virtual Machines, and Rackspace Cloud Servers. Checkbox supports virtual machine environments on Microsoft Azure and Rackspace. Checkbox does NOT support Rackspace Application hosting tools.

Browser

Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or higher; most recent versions of Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari***

Privileges

Administrator access to Web Server and Database Server required for installation.

Disk Space

1GB for application installation and base database; Overall database size depends on the number of surveys, users, and responses.

Software

IIS Module Installation (URL Rewrite, ISAPI extensions & filters, ASP.NET 4.X and .Net Extensibility - see https://www.checkbox.com/support/technical-requirements/ fordetails)
Dotnet Framework 4.8 (https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet-framework/net48)
ASP.NET Core 6 Runtime and Hosting Bundle (https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet/6.0)

Email

Checkbox supports using SMTP or Amazon Web Services SES for sending system emails, including survey invitations.

 

Requirement #2 - URLs + SSL

The Checkbox 8 On-Premises installer provides two options for installation:

  • Option 1: A single URL and IIS website (default / recommended)
    This approach requires a single URL, e.g., https://www.yoursite.com, and then installs each of the three applications in virtual directories/folders so that the result is that you have https://www.yoursite.com/api for the API, https://www.yoursite.com/admin for the Checkbox admin app, and https://www.yoursite.com/surveys for the site used to take surveys. 
     
  • Option 2: Four URLs and four IIS websites
    This approach requires three unique/valid URLs. Each Checkbox site is configured with the application in the root of the URL. This approach is generally helpful for scenarios where you'd like to install each Checkbox app on a different server or have more granular control over the settings or amount of system resources used by each application.

URL Shortener

Currently, the URL shortener is a feature only utilized by the SMS feature of Checkbox. The URL shortener will not be used if you are not using this feature. We want to expand what elements of Checkbox use the URL shortener over time, so you should still ensure that the URL you assign to the shortener is valid. 

 

SSL
We highly recommend that you use SSL on your Checkbox sites.  SSL cannot be used on only some websites - it is all or nothing.

 

Requirement #3 - Checkbox License File

Obtain a valid Checkbox 8 license file (.lic file). For trial customers, there is a 30-day license included in the trial download. Please download a Checkbox 8 license from your customer portal for licensed Checkbox customers.

 

Requirement #4 - Install and configure IIS.

Checkbox installers don't install IIS and add/remove additional characteristics. Please ensure IIS and the required features are set before running the installer. 

 

Installing Checkbox for the first time:

Step 1. Create THREE new databases for Checkbox.

One database will be used for application data, one will be used for queuing and messaging, and the last will be used for URL shortening. These databases must not contain any tables or existing data.

Important Note While it is possible to use a single database, this is not recommended and may result in performance issues over time.

 

Step 2: Unzip the Checkbox download files

Unzip the files into a temporary location. Example: C:\Installer-Temp\

 You should see three elements: Checkbox folder, Checkbox-Installer application, and readme-setup-instructions. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The installer will copy the files to a location of your choice. 

 

Step 3: Install the license files

You will need to place your Checkbox 8 license file (.lic) in both the Checkbox\api-core\bin folder and Checkbox\checkbox-service-core folders in the temporary location specified in step 2. Please do this before running the installer.

 

Step 4:  Run the .exe file named “Checkbox-Installer.exe” in 

This installer will request important setting information about your installation that will be used to configure the web applications and service for you. The installer will set up and configure the websites in IIS.

This tool will also generate all the database tables, stored procedures, and starting data needed for Checkbox.

This installer will configure and install the required Checkbox Service, allowing you to schedule invitations using Checkbox. 
At this time, we recommend that you select "disabled" for Active Directory even if you intend to use it.  It must be configured manually until we can complete overhaul (see step 7).

Please note: Windows Management Framework 4.0 is required to run the installer. If it is not installed, you can install it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40855.

 

Step 5: (Optional) Enable Write Permission for the Logging Folder

By default, Checkbox writes error log files to the local disk in API-Core\App_Data\Logs (if these folders don't exist, please create them).

You'll need to give the Application Pool user write permission to this folder so that this functionality works correctly. Follow the "Default Logging Configuration / Installation Step" in the Configuring Error Logging instructions.

You can go ahead and complete this step later if you'd like.

 

Step 6: (Optional) Add reCAPTCHA keys.

If you'd like to use the reCAPTCHA survey item (used to stop spam survey responses), you'll need to follow the reCAPTCHA configuration instructions.  Note that this step can be completed later if you'd like.

 

Step 7: (Optional) Set up Active Directory (LDAP)

Moving from Checkbox 7 to  Checkbox 8, we have made significant changes to our Active Directory support to allow it to function in more environments.  Due to this, the configuration requirements have changed and the installer currently has not been expanded to handle the additional requirements.
After installation, modify the ldap.json file, located in api-core\Configs and checkbox-service-core\Configs by following the instructions on Checkbox 8 LDAP configuration.

After modifications are complete, restart the checkbox service and the IIS site.

 

Step 8. Test the Installation

Once the sites have been configured, the application should be available to access. You can navigate to the URL of your Checkbox Admin application. You should see a login page asking for a username and password.

Your initial username and password will be “admin” for both. This will be your System Administrator (super-user) for the account and should not be deleted.  

Security Warning We strongly recommend changing the password as soon as possible. To do this, navigate to the main Contacts area and edit the admin user to change the username and password. Note that you should NOT change the User roles for this user.

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