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  • Overview
  • How do I diagnostic the problem more precisely?
  • How to fix the problem?
  • If the directory contains a local configuration file of the Web server
  • Recommended configuration
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Stored procedures
Rights on the virtual directory
Overview
The configuration diagnostic displays the following error: "Application: read-only rights in the virtual directory"
Error: 'Application: read-only rights in the virtual directory'
This error indicates that the Web server cannot read the files found in the virtual directory of the site (_WEB directory) or that it cannot access the directory itself.
In most cases, this error is caused by:
  • a problem regarding the rights granted to the file system.
    Reminder: In most cases, the Web server is run by using a specific account of the operating system. For example, the IIS server (up to its version 7 in Windows) is run by using the "Internet guest" account (whose name is IUSR_ComputerName). In most cases, this identity has reduced rights to prevent a wrongly-designed Web page from damaging the configuration of the server. The following versions of IIS from Windows 7 and 2008 r2 use the identity defined in the pool of applications of IIS.
  • the presence of a local configuration file of the Web server ("web.config" for IIS, ".htaccess" for Apache) containing an incompatible and/or invalid configuration.
How do I diagnostic the problem more precisely?
To solve the problem, you must identify the directory or the file to which the Web server failed to access:
  • Depending on the configuration of Web server, the error returned may contain the physical path. To see the error details:
    • Copy into the clipboard the URL of the error displayed by the diagnostic window (for example: http://localhost/MYPROJECT_WEB/res/WWConstant5.js').
    • Paste this URL in a Web browser (Internet Explorer is recommended in this case).
    • The browser displays the error page of Web server. This page may contain the physical path in error.
  • If the error page displayed in the browser is not sufficient, you have the ability to see the logs of the web server.
  • You also have the ability to see the configuration of the web server to define the physical directory that is pointed by the virtual directory of the site.
Reminder: to start the management panel of IIS, select "Run" from the "Start" menu of Windows and enter "inetmgr". This tool will allow you to find the physical path of the virtual directory as well as the account used by the Web server.
One of the common reasons for this problem is when installing the project (in development) or the site (in deployment) in the tree structure of a user data:
  • In the "Documents"/"My documents" directory (Windows)
  • In a sub-directory of "C:\Documents and settings\<User>" (Windows 2000, XP and 2003 Server)
  • In a sub-directory of "C:\Users\<User>" (from Windows Vista)
  • In the home directory of the "~<User>" user (Linux)
In most cases, only the user (and the administrators) have the rights to read in these directories.
How to fix the problem?
The possible solutions are:
  • Move the directory of the project/site into a directory where the account used by the Web server will have read rights (by creating a dedicated tree structure on your disk).
  • Grant the read rights to the account used by the Web server on the virtual directory of the site.
    Caution: this modification must be performed for each WEBDEV site.
  • Grant the read rights to the account used by the Web server on the directory of the project/site.
    Caution: this modification must be performed for each WEBDEV site.
  • Grant the read rights to the account used by the web server on the directory of the projects/sites.
    Caution: all the projects/sites must be grouped in the same parent directory.

If the directory contains a local configuration file of the Web server

WEBDEV never creates or modifies these files. Therefore, these files are created by an external tool:
  • Manual configuration of the Web server (possibly via a user interface for configuration).
  • Addition by the system administrator.
  • Copy (along with the project) from another directory.
  • Etc.
To find out whether the file is responsible for the problem, temporarily move the file and check whether the problem is solved.
  • In development: This file can also be deleted.
  • In deployment: We recommend that you carefully identify the problem before handling the file. This file may have been implemented (by the system administrator for example) for a specific reason.
Recommended configuration
On a development computer
On a development computer, we advise you to:
  • group all the WEBDEV projects in a single directory (by default: C:\My Sites).
  • grant the read rights to the account used by the web server on this directory.
On an Application Server
On an Application Server, we advise you to use the Hosting Control Center of WEBDEV to automatically create the accounts and directories and to automatically apply the necessary permissions to the directories.
Minimum required version
  • Version 15
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