October 27, 2011

Installing Mapguide 6.5 SP1 on Windows 2008 Server

Filed under: Mapguide — Tags: , , , , — Darrin Maidlow @ 5:22 pm

In reply to a previous comment I assumed that Windows 2008 was “close enough” to Vista and that Mapguide 6.5 would install no problem.  I was wrong.  When attempting the install I was prompted with Mapguide 6.5 MDAC 2.8 Missingan “MDAC Not Detected” warning.  MDAC you may remember is the old tyme “Microsoft Data Access Component” and was one of the last releases.  MDAC has since been superseded and is apparently not included with Windows 2008.  Nor can it be installed.   I didn’t even bother contact Autodesk – I knew their response was likely going to start off with a good laugh, followed by something to the effect of “yeah that’s really old, you should probably just find an equally old Windows server.”  This of course is not an option =)   The good news though is that we can hack the Mapguide Server 6.5 installer and once installed Mapguide Server seems to run just fine.  Big thanks to Microsoft for all the effort they put into maintaining backwards compatibility.  Note this process may well work for Windows Vista and will probably work for Windows 7 – but I have not tested that.  Also – I should add this is going to be completely unsupported by Autodesk and will definitely be completely unsupported by me.  Please do the appropriate amount of testing before you put this into production.  That said, I’ve not noticed any problems with Mapguide 6.5 running on Windows 2008.

Getting Started

Mapguide 6.5 Task ManagerSo to get started.  You’ll need a piece of free software from Microsoft called .  You’ll also need your which can be downloaded from Autodesk.    Once Orca is installed start the Mapguide 6.5 server setup.  The required MSI file that we need to edit is stored inside a single self extracting exe.  You can extract these files by launching the installer on your Windows 2008 server and starting task manager once the “MDAC Not Detected” error is displayed.   Make sure the “Show processes from all users” is checked and find “ServerInstall.exe”  Right click on this process and choose “Open File Location”.  Take a copy of these files and place them somewhere, preferably on your Windows 2008 server’s local drive.

**Update– thanks to Krzysztof Skwarek for pointing out that Orca is a bit of a pain in the ass to get ahold of.  I have the Windows SDK installed already so I didn’t notice this pain point.   Given that the platform SDK is freely available, I’ve uploaded the here for your convenience. (If this is a problem Microsoft, please don’t get litigious…just send me an e-mail to let me know. I’ll gladly take it down and make the good people download the 250MB platform SDK =])


Hacking the Installer and Installing

Next, fire up Orca.   Choose File / Open and browse to your copy of the installation files.  Select ServerInstall.msi.  In the left hand window scroll down and find Orca MDAC Not Detected“InstallUISequence”  Select that.  In the right hand pane find and select “MDACNotDetected” .   Right click on this row and pick “Drop Row”.  You will be prompted that this will permanently remove 1 rows.  Click Ok and save the msi.

Your installation is now hacked and will get past that error message when you run ServerInstall.exe.  Make sure your run this from a local drive.  When I tried to run the install from a network share, Windows “protected” me and it wouldn’t work.

At this point you can run through the installation process.

So where were we, yes installing.  When you get to the “Select Components” screen make sure that “ISAPI MapAgent” is selected.  By default is not installed.  Don’t be alarmed on the next screen when the installer tells you it will not create the virtual directory.  Like with Vista, the installer is not capable of dealing with IIS7.  That’s no problem as configuring Mapguide 6.5 on IIS7+ is pretty simple and we’ll go over that in a minute.  You may need to reboot once the installation is complete but after that the “Autodesk Mapguide® Server 6.5” service should be up and running.   Start / Run / services.msc will bring up the services.

IIS 7 Configuration

You’ll need IIS 7 installed with support for ISAPIs.  If you do not have this installed, can probably help you out.  Next start the IIS manager (start / run / inetmgr) .  First let’s create a new application pool.  Expand the server and choose “Application Pools”.   Right click and choose “Add Application Pool”.   Name the app pool (Mapguide6.5 might be a good name).  Set the pipeline mode to classic.   If you’re on a 64 bit version of Windows you must set the app pool to 32bit mode as Mapguide 6.5 is a 32bit app.  Right click on the newly created application pool and choose “Advanced Settings”.  Set “Enable 32-Bit Applications” to true.  This setting will only be available on 64 bit systems.  If you don’t see it – you probably don’t need to worry about it.

Now expand Sites and choose the web site you want to create the application (formerly called virtual directory) in.  Right click the site and choose “Add Application”.  Name the application Mapguide6.5.  For the physical path browse to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5\MapAgents (or Program Files (x86) on x64 systems).  Select our newly created application pool.isapi accessisapi config

Finally we need to enable the ISAPI agent.  One last round of dirty trickery and we’ll have Mapguide 6 running.  In windows explorer browse to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5\MapAgents\ and make a copy of MapAgent_isapi.isa.  Name it MapAgent_isapi.dll.   In the inetmgr tree select the virtual directory and double click Handler Mappings.   Next we’re going to “Add Module Mapping”.  Set the request path to be MapAgent_Isapi.isa.  For module choose “IsapiModule”.   For executable browse to the newly copied MapAgent_Isapi.dll.  Set the name to Mapguide 6.5.  Click on the Request Restrictions button and choose the Access tab.  Click the Execute radio button.

**Update – thanks to Krzysztof Skwarek for pointing out that you can choose “Script” here instead of “Execute”.

You will be prompted to “allow this ISAPI” extension.  Click Yes.

The Test

At this point you should be done!  You can fire up a browser and test the isapi using the following url (assuming you used my default virtual directory name):


If you get the following results you should be good to go!


I considered posting the modified installer but I’m not sure if that would have been poking “the sleeping dragon”.  As much as I would like to help – I don’t need any nasty letters from the Autodesk legal team =).  If this is something you need done but you’re not comfortable editing installers or delving into the guts of IIS7,  feel free to contact me via .   We’d love to help you out!


  1. Hello,

    Big solution for me,

    I tried unsuccessfully to install the program over a year and half ago.

    I needed only 20 minutes to apply this solution and Mapguide 6.5 SP1
    & Mapguide Author 6.5 SP1 works (Windows 7 Proffesional 32-bit).

    In addition, I propose:
    1. no need to download the installer Orca included in the SDK (installing and downloading of SDK is time consuming). Simply download single Orca.msi (only 2MB)
    2. on Access tab in Request Restrictions window try select Script (not Execute)

    Thanks 4 solution

    best regards

    Krzysztof Skwarek

    Comment by Krzysztof Skwarek — October 28, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  2. Thanks for the tips Krzysztof! I’ve updated the post to include a copy of the orca.msi file as well as your point on the script vs. execute permission.

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — October 28, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  3. Hello,

    The dragon will still sleep a lot and well, but “MapGuide 6.5 will reborn from ash like Phonix bird” .

    I follow all steps (I use Win 7 on x64) but I got
    HTTP Error 500.0 – Internal Server Error

    Module : IsapiModule
    Notification : ExecuteRequestHandler
    Handler : AboMapperCustom-12152633
    Error Code : 0x800700c1
    Requested URL : http://localhost:80/mapguide6.5/mapagent_isapi.isa?item=test
    Physical Path :C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5\MapAgents\mapagent_isapi.isa
    Logon Method : Anonymous
    Logon User : Anonymous

    also I set for “IUSER” full permision on \MapAgents folder
    I noticed a web.config file in this folder

    any idea?

    Albert Kalman

    Comment by Albert Kalman — October 29, 2011 @ 6:08 am

  4. Hi Albert,

    The test environment I used to figure this out was 32bit so I was not able to test this theory – but maybe double check that you’ve set the application pool to be 32bit by setting “Enable 32-Bit Applications” to true. I also ended up with a web.config created in my MapAgents folder. It looked like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <handlers accessPolicy="Read, Execute, Script">
    <add name="Mapguide65" path="mapagent_isapi.isa" verb="*" modules="IsapiModule" scriptProcessor="C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5\MapAgents\MapAgent_ISAPI.dll" resourceType="Unspecified" requireAccess="Script" />
    <add name="mg65" path="mapagent_isapi.isa" verb="*" modules="IsapiModule" scriptProcessor="C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5\MapAgents\MapAgent_ISAP.dll" resourceType="Unspecified" requireAccess="Execute" />

    Looks like of those was leftover from changing my execution access from Execute to Script.

    You may also want to check that your application pool has the Managed pipeline mode set to Classic. As for the user permissions, the application pool by default will be executing as network service. I did not need to modify any permissions on the MapAgent folder or the isapi files for this to work.

    Hopefully one of those suggestions gets you up and running.

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — October 29, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  5. [...] Mapguide 6.5 on modern platforms!   This post builds on my previous post that documents how to install Mapguide 6.5 on Windows 2008.  In this edition we look at the situation faced on a clients server.   Basically [...]

    Pingback by Mapguide 6.5 Server Not Found on Hardened Windows 2008 Server « Geospecialling — December 14, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  6. I am not able to edit the Palm SDK file with orca, I keep on getting the fioolwlng error message: Failed to open MSI Database: filelocation\Palm SDK.msi’ I have made sure the Palm-Mojo-SDK-Win- is in the same directory, I have made a copy of the file from the temp directory, I have even tried reinstalling orca(which launches fine by itself) but I cannot edit this .msi file for some reason. Any assistance would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    Comment by Yasmeen — June 3, 2012 @ 4:11 am

  7. Hi Yasmeen,
    I’ve never tried modifying the installer that you’re talking about though perhaps you could take a look at this link. http://www.juergentreml.de/archives/802 You could also check that you’re using the latest version of Orca which I believe is 3.1. Hope that helps!

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — June 5, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  8. An extra note about getting the Oracle Spatial data provider in MapGuide 6.5 to work with older Oracle Clients (< 11g) on 64-bit Windows Server 2008

    You probably want to (you should) install MapGuide on a path free of spaces and parentheses (The default is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\MapGuideServer6.5")

    The Oracle Client has issues with applications residing in such paths and throws back cryptic ORA-12154 errors when MapGuide tries to connect to any Oracle spatial data source, despite tnsping and sqlplus giving the all clear.

    Comment by Jackie Ng — May 10, 2013 @ 3:07 am

  9. Thanks Jackie, great tip. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across and given up in the past!

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — May 10, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  10. Men, so YOU ARE THE BEST GUYS, That was very very great, big big big solution, I say at this moment very goodbye to virtual bom, it´s running very well in my windows 7 x64, ver very thanks by solve my problem!!!! I REALLY LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
    Best Regards from Brazil!!!

    Comment by Leonardo Oletic — June 10, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  11. Glad we could help Leonardo :)

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — June 11, 2013 @ 7:27 am

  12. This guide helped a lot. With this i could install even on a Server2012. One last point i could not solve. Everything is fine except the DwgExtension. I’m going nuts, but it will not work. I get the Layerlist in the author but nothing else works.

    thx for your help

    Comment by Markus Strauss — February 19, 2014 @ 12:45 am

  13. thanks for the comment Markus – very glad to have helped! ;)

    I’ve spent some time on the DWG extension before but unfortunately not enough time to get it sorted. If I recall it came down to a permissions problem caused by the higher default restrictions on Windows 2008/2012. I believe it was on the registry but I’m going from (bad) memory. If I were to start again the first place I would start would be to download Microsoft Procmon on the Mapguide server and setup some filters to try and pinpoint Mapguide/dwg extension. I suspect that will give you a better idea of where to look.

    If you do solve it and are interested – I’d be more than happy to link to your own post.

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — February 19, 2014 @ 10:24 am

  14. Darrin, I’m sure glad I came across this post. I have followed your instruction but I get this error when testing…The page you are requesting cannot be served because of the extension configuration. If the page is a script, add a handler. If the file should be downloaded, add a MIME map. Any idea what might be happening here? BTW, I am using MapGuide 6.3.


    Comment by Rob Mayerik — August 8, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

  15. Hi Rob – having to dig deep here :) There are so many possibilities… First off – it could be Mapguide 6.3. I never did try to get 6.3 working. It might have some dependancy that 6.5 does not. I believe it is a free upgrade to use 6.5? Check out Gord Lucketts post at http://mapguide.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/autodesk-mapguide-6-5-retired-but-still-downloadable/ for urls that will let you download the latest Mapguide 6.X. If your CD key works you may be in luck – or a quick call to your Autodesk rep to confirm.

    Aside from that my best guess is that you should revisit the part of the post where enabling the isapi is enabled. ie. renaming the file to .dll. Next start checking out the windows event logs as well as the IIS error logs – they might give you more information on where to start.

    I know its not much – but hopefully it will help.

    Oh and I must add a plug – my company LegacyX (http://www.legacyxsoftware.com) specializes in helping organizations with modernizing their legacy software applications.

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — August 8, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

  16. Darrin, Thanks for the quick response. Just for kicks I changed the test url to http://localhost/mapguide6.3/MapAgent_ISAPI.dll?item=test (notice the dll) an I got a response. It’s not the response I wanted, but it’s progress. This is the message I got:

    MapGuide Server #1 [Local]
    Autodesk MapGuide Server could not be found. If you need more assistance, please contact your Autodesk MapGuide Server Administrator.

    Comment by Rob Mayerik — August 8, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  17. Aha! You found a little hole in my post. The URL is wrong now that we’ve renamed the ISAPI file t be .dll. Good catch!

    For the new error – take a look at this post:

    If that does’t help – chec the mapguide logs (once enabled) might give you more info on that error. It could be a COM+ permissions thing. Check that Mapguide service is running and that in the mapguide admin the little green traffic light is on – it has a secondary “on/off” switch which always annoyed me.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Darrin Maidlow — August 8, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

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