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SSI Web 5: Microsoft IIS

Create Files to Upload to Server

SSI Web survey authors install SSI Web on their local PC. When they are finished creating a survey, they click Field | Prepare for Web Upload.

Prepare for Web Upload assembles the files required to run the web survey. It places these files in a "Web Upload" folder inside the study folder. These files are later uploaded to the web server by using FTP software.

Installing Perl

SSI Web uses scripts written in the Perl programming language to run web-based surveys. A Perl interpreter must be installed on your web server for SSI Web surveys to work correctly.

Active State provides a free version of their ActivePerl interpreter at Both ActivePerl 5.8.4 and 5.6.1 are supported. We recommend the "MSI" version.

When installing ActivePerl, we recommend accepting all of the defaults.

The main "Perl" option and the "Perl ISAPI" option are required. "PerlScript", "PPM 3.0", and "Examples" are not required, but will not harm the ability to run SSI Web studies.

Make sure the following options are checked:

Perl should be added to the PATH environment variable, a Perl file extension association should be made, and the IIS script mapping for Perl and Perl ISAPI should be created.

Although instructions have been provided for ActivePerl, SSI Web can utilize any available Perl interpreter. Please consult your System Administrator to make sure a Perl interpreter is available.

Configuring IIS

IIS 6.0

Using IIS 6.0 (Windows Server 2003)

Before you begin make sure to complete the Installing Perl section above.

To begin, create a folder that serves as your study root in the wwwroot folder. The main folder for web pages under IIS is C:\Inetpub\wwwroot (although this is the default location, your system administrator may change it).

For example, if the SSI Web study were called "stu1", a folder could be created in the wwwroot folder named "stu1".

Open the IIS (Internet Information Services) Manager, located in the Administrative Tools folder of the Control Panel. A new virtual directory must be created by right-clicking "Default Web Site" and selecting New|Virtual Directory.

Using the Virtual Directory Creation Wizard, select an alias for the folder. The alias is used in the web URL, i.e.

Next, enter the path to the folder where the study is located. This is the study root folder that was created in a previous step.

Make sure only the "Read", "Run scripts", and "Execute" options are checked.

After finishing the Virtual Directory Creation Wizard, the alias used appears in the list of items under Default Web Site. Right-click the alias and select Properties.

To verify that SSI Web scripts will run correctly, check that "Execute permissions" says "Scripts and Executables", and click Configuration.

Scroll down through the extensions, and verify that your Perl interpreter is registered to handle .pl extensions. If it is not present, check with your System Administrator about adding the extension.

Permissions must be set on the files so that they can be viewed on the Internet. To do this, right-click the virtual directory, and select "Permissions".

Find the entry for "Internet Guest Account", and if not already checked, put a check for the "Modify" flag. All the flags below it should also become checked. Click OK to close the permissions window.

To complete the configuration, click Web Service Extensions from the tree view. If not already allowed, right-click "All Unknown CGI Extensions" and select Allow. This should also be done for other items referring to CGI, such as "Perl CGI Extension" (this may vary with your Perl interpreter).

Configuration of the web server is now complete and ready for testing. Be aware with the many different Perl interpreters and server configurations, these instructions may vary slightly. Consult your System Administrator for assistance.

Uploading Files and Folders

The files and folders created in the Web Upload folder (see: Create Files to Upload to Server) now must be set up and configured on your web server. The following table describes the contents of the Web Upload folder.

File / Directory Description
   STUDYNAMElogn.htm Login page. Entry point for respondents.
   STUDYNAMEadmn.htm Admin Module login page. Entry point for study administrators.
admin Folder or directory.
   STUDYNAMEqst.cgi Main web questionnaire file.
   STUDYNAMEpath.cgi Contains server path information.
   STUDYNAMEpacc.cgi Contains Admin Module passwords.
   STUDYNAMEpidx.cgi Respondent password index file. Index for password ranges in p???.cgi files.
   STUDYNAMEp???.cgi Contains respondent usernames, passwords, and quota settings. ??? represents 001, 002, 003, etc.
   * STUDYNAMEdsgn.cgi Design file for CBC/Web studies.
   * STUDYNAMEctxt.cgi Conditional relationship text for CBC/Web studies with conditional relationships.
Design file for MaxDiff/Web studies.
cgi-bin Folder or directory that contains all of the Perl files.  
graphics Folder or directory that contains all the graphics in your study.
data Folder or directory that will contain respondent data.

* Only for CBC/Web studies

** Only for MaxDiff/Web studies

The default configuration has a cgi-bin folder for each study. Some ISPs do not allow this. For configurations other than the default, see the Configuring a Common CGI-BIN for All Studies section below.

The contents of the Web Upload folder are usually uploaded to the web server via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP is a method which transfers (uploads) files from your local PC to the web server on the Internet. To FTP your files, you need an FTP program. We recommend WS_FTP (

When uploading files to the web server it is essential that you upload in binary mode. Binary mode ensures that the file is not changed in any way during the upload process. The size (number of bytes) of all files should be the same on the web server as they are on your local PC.

At this point, if you have uploaded the files and folders and set permissions correctly, your survey should be working. Go to STUDYNAMElogn.htm on your web site and test your survey making sure the study behaves as expected and that it is saving data. Remember to log into the Administrative Module through STUDYNAMEadmn.htm to see your results and download your data.

If you are getting errors see the Common Mistakes section below.

Configuring a Common CGI-BIN for All Studies

The default configuration of SSI Web has a separate cgi-bin directory inside each study root directory. Some web server configurations and ISPs do not allow this. They have a specific location where all CGI scripts must reside in order to execute. The following steps outline how to make SSI Web work with this alternate configuration:

  1. Upload all of the SSI Web Perl files (*.pl) to the location where they have permission to execute (the "common cgi-bin").

  2. In the authoring interface of SSI Web, go to Compose | Survey Settings | Server Settings. Modify the default paths to account for the new location of the Perl scripts. The following list describes the Server Directory Paths that need to be modified:

    • Administrative Directory: Path from the Perl scripts to the admin directory.
    • CGI Scripts Directory: Path from STUDYNAMElogn.htm to the Perl scripts.
    • Data Directory: Path from the Perl scripts to the data directory.
    • Relative Path from CGI Scripts to Graphics: Path from the Perl scripts to the graphics directory.
    • Relative Path from logn.htm to Graphics: Path from STUDYNAMElogn.htm to the graphics directory.

    These changes are stored in the STUDYNAMEpath.cgi, STUDYNAMElogn.htm, and STUDYNAMEadmn.htm files. The notation "../" means go up one directory.

    For example, given the directory structure:


    The alternate paths are:

    • Administrative Directory:   ../htdocs/study1/admin/
    • CGI Scripts Directory:   ../../cgi-bin/
    • Data Directory:   ../htdocs/study1/data/
    • Relative Path from CGI Scripts to Graphics:   ../htdocs/study1/graphics/
    • Relative Path from logn.htm to Graphics:   graphics/

  3. Remove STUDYNAMEpath.cgi from the admin directory. Upload the STUDYNAMEpath.cgi, with the modified path information, to the "common cgi-bin" directory next to the Perl scripts.

Common Mistakes

Make Sure Perl is Working

The best way to verify that Perl is working properly on your server is to use a test script named "". You can get "" by downloading the file.


Simply unzip the contents of the file and upload "" to the cgi-bin folder on your web server. Give "" proper execute permissions (755) and test it by browsing to it on your web site (i.e. The test is successful if you see "Debug Test #1 Successful" on your screen. If you get an error message, or if the code of the script is displayed on the screen, the test failed. Please contact your system administrator for help in running this simple Perl script.

The Perl files (*.pl) need to be uploaded to your web server in "Binary Mode". The two main Perl files are and Both of these files need "execute" permissions. Our Perl scripts need to know where the Perl.exe is installed on the web server. Sometimes this is called the "Path to the Perl Interpreter". This path could vary across web servers. You will need to find out from your hosting provider what their Perl path is.

The SSI Web license agreement specifies that our users are not allowed to modify our Perl scripts. However, you are allowed to modify the Path to the Perl.exe. This path can be found at the top of the Perl files and

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