In general the installation of modules on Windows systems is handled automatically by ApTest Manager's INSTALL.pl script. If you are having problems installing modules, these instructions can help you resolve those issues.

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Configuring the Perl Package Manager

Strawberry Perl (and ActivePerl for existing ApTest Manager installations) relies upon its "Perl Package Manager" tool to handle the installation and management of add-on Perl modules. ApTest Manager knows how to use this tool during the installation process.

FTP and HTTP proxies

No specific configuration is required for the Perl Package Manager to work. However, if your network environment requires the use of a "proxy server" for accessing HTTP or FTP servers, you will need to configure the environment variable HTTP_proxy with the value of your proxy server, in the format "http://site.domain:portNumber". For example:

SET HTTP_proxy=http://www.example.com:80

If you are not sure if you need a proxy server or what your proxy server is, please consult with your network administrator.

Testing the Perl Package Manager

An easy way to test your configuration, or to see if configuring Perl for a proxy server is required, is to launch the Perl Package Manager via the Start->Programs menu, then perform a search. A successful search will look like:

PPM> search Archive-Zip
...
PPM>

If it instead looks like:

PPM>  search Archive-Zip
Error connecting to ....
PPM>

then your environment requires a proxy server, and you need to configure the HTTP_proxy environment variable and retry this search until it can be performed successfully.

Troubleshooting tip: if a proxy is required for your network and is not properly configured, the automatic installation of the components needed by ApTest Manager will not be able to occur. If you run into problems with component installation not happening automatically, this is a likely reason why.

Missing DLLs

In some instances, packages that are installed via PPM reference DLLs that are not available on your system. Most common among these is MSVCR70.dll. If you see an error about this DLL missing, you can find it (and most other missing DLLs) at dll-files.com. Follow the instructions in the FAQ section to install the DLLs on your machine.

In Linux/UNIXMac OS X environments, one way Perl modules are built and installed is using the CPAN module (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network). ApTest Manager directly supports the use of CPAN to install any needed Perl modules.

Configuring the CPAN shell

If CPAN has never been configured on your server you will need to set it up. To check if CPAN is configured and working already on your system, do the following (as superuser):

[root@example /]# perl -MCPAN -e shell

If CPAN is already configured, you should see something like:

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.59_54)
ReadLine support enabled
cpan>

If you see this, CPAN is already set up and ApTest Manager's installer will use it automatically. If you instead see introductory text about CPAN, followed by something like:

Are you ready for manual configuration? [yes]

then you will need to go through the CPAN configuration process. This process asks you a variety of questions. The default answer for each question is listed in brackets after the question mark, and in almost every case it is the correct answer.

Non-default settings

In our environments at ApTest, we typically only customize two things:

  • Cache size for build directory - the default is 10; we usually set this to 40 megabytes just so things stay cached longer.
  • Policy on building prerequisites - the default is 'ask'; we set this to 'follow', so that any pre-requisites are automatically loaded and built (most Perl modules have many prerequisites, and it can be tiresome to have to confirm the installation of each one).

FTP and HTTP proxies

CPAN will ask about FTP and HTTP proxies. If your network requires that you access FTP or HTTP servers via a proxy server, you need to provide the names of those servers when asked. Note that if these proxies are required for your network and are not properly configured the automatic installation of the components needed by ApTest Manager will not be able to occur. If you run into problems with component installation not happening automatically, this is a likely reason why.

CPAN mirror sites

CPAN will ask you which CPAN mirror sites to use for fetching modules when it needs them. CPAN has hundreds or mirrors around the world. Choosing one nearest you geographically is likely a good choice. In the United States, ApTest uses the North American mirror sites "valueclick" and "nasa". However, in our experience all CPAN sites are the same, and any one you choose should be fine.

Testing your CPAN configuration

Once configuration is complete, you should see a CPAN prompt like:

cpan>

Try performing a search command to ensure that everything is set up correctly:

cpan> i /Data::Dumper/

Should return output something like:

cpan> i /Data::Dumper/
Module    Data::Dumper    (I/IL/ILYAM/Data-Dumper-2.121.tar.gz)
Module    Data::Dumper::EasyOO (J/JC/JCROMIE/Data-Dumper-EasyOO-0.0503.tar.gz)
Module    Data::Dumper::HTML (Contact Author Daniel Muey )
Module    Data::Dumper::Names (O/OV/OVID/Data-Dumper-Names-0.01.tar.gz)
Module    Data::Dumper::Simple (O/OV/OVID/Data-Dumper-Simple-0.10.tar.gz)
Module    Data::Serializer::Data::Dumper (N/NE/NEELY/Data-Serializer-0.35.tar.gz)
Module    MLDBM::Serializer::Data::Dumper (C/CH/CHAMAS/MLDBM-2.01.tar.gz)
Module    MTDB::Serializer::Data::Dumper (T/TH/THOMSON/MTDB-0.1.0.tar.gz)
Module    Stem::Codec::Data::Dumper (U/UR/URI/stem-0.10.tar.gz)
9 items found
cpan>

If you see that type of output, you are all set. If not, it is likely a problem with your proxy configuration. Check with your network administrator, update the proxy configuration, and try again.

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