Up Server tier

Deploy as console app

Last modified on August 15, 2012 17:21

The ServerConsole is provided with the DevForce installation to host the EntityServer services in a console application.

You'll usually use the ServerConsole only during development and testing when your planned deployment is as a Windows Service.  The ServerConsole is a simple utility you can stop and start as needed during development to test your n-tier application with a remote EntityServer.  

The ServerConsole is not intended to be used in production deployments.  

Files and assemblies

The following assemblies are always required:


You'll also need the .config file:

If you're deploying a Code First model, you'll also need the following:


You'll of course also need all of your own "server-side" assemblies.  These are the assemblies holding your entity model(s), and any custom extensions you've implemented.  

If the ServerConsole is run on your development machine, the required IdeaBlade assemblies will already be present with the DevForce installation.  


Did you notice above that the configuration file used here is named ServerConsole.exe.config?  This is because the executable is named ServerConsole.exe and we're following standard .NET config file naming and discovery conventions.  (In Windows Server 2003, the config file should be named ServerConsole.config.)

The config file will contain most of what's in your app.config file in your client application.  It's usually easiest to copy that file and edit as needed.  You can also use the N-Tier Deployment Tool to create the file for you.

Database connection information

You'll usually need the <connectionStrings> for any databases your application uses.  (You can also use <edmKeys> instead of or in addition to connectionStrings, but they may be deprecated in the future.)

If you are using a custom DataSourceKeyResolver  to dynamically provide connection information, you will not need to define connection information in the config file.


You can use the <logging> element to set the file name and location of the debug log, or to turn logging off altogether.  You also might want to archive log files.  Generally other logging attributes are not needed, or used only for debugging purposes.

Logging on the server is usually a good idea, since the diagnostics provided will help during testing and in resolving deployment problems.

A typical config file might contain the following logging information:

<logging logFile="DebugLog.xml" archiveLogs="true" />

... to create a file named DebugLog.xml and archive files automatically.

Also see the Log topic for more information.


You'll generally use the <objectServer> element to configure the service information for the EntityServer.  

At a minimum you'll have something like the following:

<objectServer remoteBaseURL="http://localhost"

If you've modified the defaults for either allowAnonymousLogin or loginManagerRequired then you'll also need to include a <serverSettings> element with your settings.  The <clientSettings> apply only to the client application.

Note above that we're using port 9009, one you often see in DevForce samples, but there are no DevForce requirements for this port number, and you can pick any free port.  You should, however, not change the service name.

You will usually need to allow the ServerConsole to communicate through your firewall on the port you've chosen.  For example, in Windows Firewall the first time you run ServerConsole.exe from a specific folder and for a particular port number you'll be prompted to unblock communications to allow the program to accept inbound communications on the port.  You can also manually use your firewall software to open the port wanted, but this is less secure.  See Windows Firewall documentation for more information.  

Although we show use of the http protocol above, you can also use net.tcp and https. If using https you'll need to create an SSL certificate and map it to the port wanted - see this blog for more information.

As with any DevForce server or client, you can replace the <objectServer> configuration with a WCF <serviceModel> section which gives you complete control over the configuration of communications. See the samples.

Using the ServerConsole

All you need to do to use the ServerConsole is place all required files and assemblies in a folder, along with the ServerConsole.exe and ServerConsole.exe.config, and run the ServerConsole executable.  As noted above you may get a firewall prompt, which you should accept, and the EntityServer services will start.  The console window will display information about the service configuration, or error information if the service could not start.  

You can then run your client application - on the same machine or another machine on the network.  Remember to make sure that its <objectServer> settings match those of the server. 

You can terminate the services by closing the window, or pressing either Enter or Ctrl-C within the window.

Note that by default the ServerConsole "publishes" its trace messages.  See the logging topic for more information.

Using the n-tier starter tool

One of the tools provided in your DevForce installation is a utility called the "N-Tier Configuration Starter".  Such a lofty name for such a simple tool.  You can use this utility to have DevForce create separate Client and Server folders containing the necessary files.  The tool will also create a ServerConsole.exe.config based on your application's config file.  See the walkthrough for more information.


  • You receive an AddressAccessDeniedException telling you that HTTP could not register your URL because you do not have access rights to the namespace. This is caused because the executable is not running with administrator privileges and HTTP addresses are secured resources.  You have two options:
  1. Run the ServerService with an administrative account.
  2. Run the Netsh command line tool to register the namespace with the account. The steps are as follows:
    1. Open a command prompt using “Run as administrator” and enter:
    2. netsh http add urlacl url=http://+:9009/ user=DOMAIN\USERNAME
      ...where “9009” is the port you are using for the EntityServer, and DOMAIN\USERNAME is the system account to be granted access.
  3. Also see http://blogs.msdn.com/drnick/archive/2006/10/16/configuring-http-for-windows-vista.aspx for more information.

Created by DevForce on March 04, 2011 17:29

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