I just came back from three weeks vacation yesterday.  During my vacation I had made a decision to implement Tcp Port Sharing for the Instance Administration tool used in Advania Azure.

Early last year I published a function that uses the sc.exe to modify a NAV Service startup type.  When a NAV Service is installed and configured in setup, the startup type is Automatic (Delayed Start).  However, create a new service with Powershell New-NavServerIntance and the statup type is Automatic without the (Delayed Start).

To enable Tcp Port Sharing that same sc.exe function is needed.  Interestingly, after I had finished the task and was reading NAV blogs I saw that Waldo just published a powershell function on his blog to do just this.

The script lines I used and added to my Instance Administration powershell scripts are based on my fist sc.exe function but not using the function it self.  Now when a new NAV service is created by the tool the startup type is modified and if so selected by the deployment settings, the Tcp Port Sharing is also activated.

By default, the Tcp Port Sharing service is disabled.
servicedisabled

The startup type should be changed to Manual.  This can be done manually or by an administrative powershell script.

[code lang=”powershell”]#Set Startup Mode for NetTcpPortSharing to Manual
$command = ‘sc.exe \\$Computer config "NetTcpPortSharing" start= demand’
$Output = Invoke-Expression -Command $Command -ErrorAction Stop
if($LASTEXITCODE -ne 0){
Write-Error "$Computer : Failed to set NetTcpPortSharing to manual start. More details: $Output"
}
[/code]

Similar script is used to update the existing NAV Services to both delayed start and Tcp Port Sharing dependency.

[code lang=”powershell”]

#Stop NAV Server Instances
Get-NAVServerInstance | Set-NAVServerInstance -Stop
#Update Startup Type and Dependency on NAV Server Instances
Get-NAVServerInstance | foreach {
$Service = $_.ServerInstance
Write-Host "Working on service $Service"
$Computer = ‘LOCALHOST’
$command = ‘sc.exe \\$Computer config "$Service" start= delayed-auto’
$Output = Invoke-Expression -Command $Command -ErrorAction Stop
if($LASTEXITCODE -ne 0){
Write-Error "$Computer : Failed to set $Service to delayed start. More details: $Output"
}
$command = ‘sc.exe \\$Computer config "$Service" depend= NetTcpPortSharing/HTTP’
$Output = Invoke-Expression -Command $Command -ErrorAction Stop
if($LASTEXITCODE -ne 0){
Write-Error "$Computer : Failed to set $Service TcpPortSharing. More details: $Output" -foregroundcolor red
}

}
#Start NAV Server Instances
Get-NAVServerInstance | Set-NAVServerInstance -Start
[/code]

It should be obvious that the above script can also use the Set-ServiceStartupMode from my blog and the Enable-NAVServerInstancePortSharing function on Waldo’s blog. That would be a cleaner code and more in line with what we would like to see.

Again quoting Waldo from his previous blog, “When you’re using a dedicated service account, things might become a slight more difficult”.  That is exactly my case, I am using a dedicated service account.

After enabling Tcp Port Sharing and updating the services they would not start.  Event Viewer revealed the reason.

Server instance: CRONUS
The service MicrosoftDynamicsNavServer$CRONUS failed to start. This could be caused by a configuration error. Detailed error information:System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException: The service endpoint failed to listen on the URI ‘net.tcp://mynavserver.dynamics.is:7046/CRONUS/Service’ because access was denied. Verify that the current user is granted access in the appropriate allowAccounts section of SMSvcHost.exe.config. —> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: Access is denied

So I started to ask Bing what I could do.  Microsoft MSDN states:

When a net.tcp binding enables port sharing (by setting portSharingEnabled =true on the transport binding element), it implicitly allows an external process (namely the SMSvcHost.exe, which hosts the Net.TCP Port Sharing Service) to manage the TCP socket on its behalf.

Hence, I need to add the Sid of my NAV Service Account to the SMSvcHost.exe.config file.  I could do this manually, but I am a programmer!

Another powershell script was born.  This one could also be converted to a function.  Before executing the script make sure to update the user and domain in the top of the script.  Be smart and execute this function before updating the NAV Services with the script above.

[code lang=”powershell”]
#Modify User and Domain to fit your environment
$UserToAdd = ‘srvNAV’
$UserDomainToAdd = ‘DYNAMICS’

#Initial Values
$UserSidFound = ‘false’
$ConfigurationSet = ‘false’

#Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service Name
$ServiceName = ‘NetTcpPortSharing’

#Get SID for the Service User
$UserSid = ([wmi] "win32_userAccount.Domain=’$UserDomainToAdd’,Name=’$UserToAdd’").SID

#Get Path for SMSvcHost.exe.config file
$SMSvcHostPath = (Get-WmiObject win32_service | ?{$_.Name -like $ServiceName} ).PathName
$SMSvcHostPathConfig = $SMSvcHostPath + ‘.config’

Write-Host "Reading XML from $SMSvcHostPathConfig"
#Read Config file
$xmlDoc = [xml] (Get-Content $SMSvcHostPathConfig)

Write-Host "Looking for access permission for $UserSid"
#Loop through allowed accounts and search for the service user Sid
$allowAccounts = Select-Xml "configuration/system.serviceModel.activation/net.tcp/allowAccounts/add" $xmlDoc
$allowAccounts | ForEach-Object {
$ConfiguredSid = $_.Node.Attributes.Item(0).Value
if ($ConfiguredSid -eq $UserSid) {$UserSidFound = ‘true’}
$ConfigurationSet = ‘true’
Write-Host "Found SID $ConfiguredSid"
}

#Act if Access Configuration is not enabled
if ($ConfigurationSet -eq ‘false’) {Write-Host "Access permission not configured"
$config = [xml] ‘<system.serviceModel.activation>
<net.tcp listenBacklog="10" maxPendingConnections="100" maxPendingAccepts="2" receiveTimeout="00:00:10" teredoEnabled="false">
<allowAccounts>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-18"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-19"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-20"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-32-544" />
</allowAccounts>
</net.tcp>
<net.pipe maxPendingConnections="100" maxPendingAccepts="2" receiveTimeout="00:00:10">
<allowAccounts>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-18"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-19"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-20"/>
<add securityIdentifier="S-1-5-32-544" />
</allowAccounts>
</net.pipe>
<diagnostics performanceCountersEnabled="true" />
</system.serviceModel.activation>’

$configurationNode = $xmlDoc.DocumentElement
$newConfig = $xmlDoc.ImportNode($config.DocumentElement, $true)
$configurationNode.AppendChild($newConfig)

$allowAccounts = Select-Xml "configuration/system.serviceModel.activation/net.tcp/allowAccounts/add" $xmlDoc
$allowAccounts | ForEach-Object {
$ConfiguredSid = $_.Node.Attributes.Item(0).Value
Write-Host "Found SID $ConfiguredSid"
if ($ConfiguredSid -eq $UserSid) {$UserSidFound = ‘true’}
$ConfigurationSet = ‘true’
}

}

#Add Service User Sid if needed
if ($UserSidFound -ne ‘true’) {
$nettcp = $xmlDoc.SelectSingleNode("configuration/system.serviceModel.activation/net.tcp/allowAccounts")
$addNode = $xmlDoc.CreateElement(‘add’)
$secIden = $xmlDoc.CreateAttribute(‘securityIdentifier’)
$secIden.Value = $UserSid
$addNode.Attributes.Append($secIden)

$nettcp.AppendChild($addNode)
$xmlDoc.Save($SMSvcHostPathConfig)
Write-Host "Configuration Updated"
#Restart Service if running
if ((Get-Service NetTcpPortSharing).Status -eq "Running") {Restart-Service NetTcpPortSharing -Force}
}

[/code]

This script will search for the SMSvcHost.exe.config file, load it and check to see if the NAV Service User is already allowed access.  If not then the config file is updated and saved.  This script must be executed with administrative privileges.

Perhaps this should be what I started with, but the question; why do we need this, should be answered.

First, modifying the startup mode to delayed start is done to make sure that all the required networking and database processes have been started before the NAV Service starts.  This is very important if the SQL Server is running on the same server.  On a dedicated NAV Service server this is not as important but still recommended.

Secondly, accessing a NAV Service in most cases requires changes to a firewall.  Either to open a specific port or setting up a NAT from a public interface.  To minimize the number of ports used also minimizes the networking setup and maintenance.  If different network permissions or network access is required I recommend using separate ports for the NAV Services.

12 thoughts on “Using NetTcpPortSharing for NAV Servers

  1. Mik says:

    Is it possible that there is a typo in the script?

    1. Always. Do you have a suggestion?

  2. Jeremy Vyska says:

    Line 21: $xmlDoc = 1 (Get-Content $SMSvcHostPathConfig) causes errors

    1. Jeremy Vyska says:

      Same on Line 35: $config = 1 ‘

      1. Interesting. Added somewhere in paste function…

      2. I Need to find another way to show the code. These extra “1” are not in my text. Just added when the article is displayed.

  3. Jeremy Vyska says:

    As an aside, I gave up sorting this out (in a dev environment). Making the Service Account a Local Administrator (via Computer Management, local group membership) cleared things up without any further fuss or bother.

  4. Christophe Watrelot says:

    I’ve delete the ‘1’ on line 21 and 36, an customize $UserToAdd and $UserDomainToAdd
    Then, I’ve run the script (as an administrator) on NavServer machine, but got another error about Select-Xml:

    Reading XML from C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\SMSvcHost.exe.config
    Looking for access permission for S-1-5-21-308334349-1127222681-1641474329-1200
    Select-Xml : Impossible de trouver le chemin d’accès « C:\Windows\system32\ », car il n’existe pas.
    Au caractère Ligne:25 : 18
    + $allowAccounts = Select-Xml “configuration/system.serviceModel.activation/net.tc …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (C:\Windows\system32\:String) [Select-Xml], ItemNotFoundExceptio
    n
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.SelectXmlCommand

    I’m a dummy PowerShell user… why is ‘C:\Windows\system32\’ inserted before ‘
    Do I’ve to stop the NetTcpPortSharing service before run the script?
    As a workaround to this script, what is the method to setup manually?

  5. jan jansen says:

    Nice script. but found two little errors:
    line 21: [XML]$xmlDoc = (Get-Content $SMSvcHostPathConfig)
    line 35:[XML]$config = ‘

  6. Peik Bech-Andersen says:

    HI Gunnar,
    You can get around all that by using the Servicetier Administrator program from Tegos. Here you simply click the service and click Enable Portsharing.

    It is free and can be downloaded from Mibuso 🙂

    /Peik

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