Help Server on SharePoint Troubleshooting

Help Server - No ResultsYesterday I stumbled upon a very specific problem concerning the installation of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Help Server on a machine that is running SharePoint (in my case and I guess more often SharePoint plus Enterprise Portal). The issue is that whatever you try you always get the message No results – The requested topic could not be found.

I created a new website in IIS (Internet Information Services) and used the AX installer to install help. I was using – in analogy to the SharePoint sites that were there already – a newly created directory like C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\12345 for the website. I did not know that there is a known issue with that particular constellation that is documented on the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Support Blog:

d. This is very strange but if help server content is installed in directory of SharePoint ie: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\8082\DynamicsAX6HelpServer\Content the Search Service does not return correct files and the Help Server does not work correctly. So far we have no idea why does it happen but the workaround is to uninstall Help Server and install it on Web Application which physical path points to ie:  C:\inetpub\wwwroot\8082\DynamicsAX6HelpServer\Content

As I said at that point I didn’t know about the described solution and so I had a very hard time dealing with it. Actually recreating the index and setting several different combinations of permissions on the folders 12345 and DynamicsAX6HelpServer lead to a working help system but today I realized that it didn’t work again! How weird is that! Finally I uninstalled AX help, deleted the website in IIS and recreated everything in a different physical location. After the indexer did it’s job everything just works as expected 🙂

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