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Friday, February 1, 2013

Help Server Troubleshooting (Ax 2012)

Though installation of Dynamics Ax 2012 Help server was quite easy, the Help server configuration ate up more time for us.

Problem: When trying to initiate a help request from client by pressing F1 we could only see an error web page “503: Service unavailable”

Errors we faced while troubleshooting:
  1. Opens up browser and shows "Error 503: Service unavailable"
  2. Unable to contact server http://<ServerName:Port>/DynamicsAXHelpServer/HelpService.svc
  3. Opens up browser and shows “No Results” (requested topics cannot be found
Troubleshooting to understand the problem and fix it:
  1.  Open the below link http://ServerName:Port/DynamicsAX6HelpServer/Content/Microsoft/EN-US/UserHelp/6a9bdc61-b19e-4cea-8890-805a4ccba8b2.htm?DocumentSet=UserDocumentation&ContentLanguage=en-us&ResourceLanguage=en-us in Internet Explorer and see if you can retrieve help files.
    This is basically to check if Help server is working for one particular form. If this opens the Help site then that means all the Indexs are not calculate yet and Help server is working on for some links.
  2. As Windows Search Service is needed for Help server to run, check if it is up and running (from services.msc)
  3. Verify that Indexing options shows complete for content directory. (Control Panel > Indexing options) And wait till the indexing is finished if it is InProgress. (shows Indexing is slow because of User interference - If Indexing is in progress)  
  4. Verify that the indexing options for File Type htm and html are set to “Index Properties and File Contents (click Advanced button) 
  5. Verify basic verification, but most effective.
    Make sure that you have used the account used for NET Business Connector proxy account for the AOS.
    If you have not used the same account, then go ahead and uninstall the present Help server componenet and re-install again with the account used for Business Proxy.
If you have everything mentioned above checked and running, then you should be able to see Help server working just fine again.


Other Troubleshooting tips I found while searching for fix of our issue:
  • If you get the below error when trying to open Help server link in IE Could not load type 'System.ServiceModel.Activation.HttpModule'then you might need to apply following KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2015129
  • If you find that the help server content is installed in directory of SharePoint ie: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\8082\DynamicsAX6HelpServer\Content the Search Service does not return correct files and the Help Server does not work correctly.
    Then the workaround could be to uninstall Help Server and install it on Web Application which physical path points to ie: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\8082\DynamicsAX6HelpServer\Content
  • Also if you might want to check the Advanced properties of Directory Content for the property “Archive and Index attributes” to be set up to “Allow files is this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties”

Other Related Links:
About Ax2012 Help server and how to install: http://ajstudi0.blogspot.com/2013/02/about-ax2012-help-server-and-how-to.html
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