HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services is an application designed to demonstrate some of the basic features of HotDocs Cloud Services
for evaluation purposes. Unlike the regular version of Sample Portal that uses HotDocs Server to get interviews and
assemble documents, this version of Sample Portal uses Cloud Services instead and does not require an instance of HotDocs Server.
It also serves as one example of how a host application for Cloud Services can be designed and implemented;
the source code (included in the installation) contains many developer comments to help you understand how it works.
HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services demonstrates the following three features:
Template Management. Templates may be uploaded to the server, displayed in a template list, and used to
assemble documents on the server.
Answer Management. Answer files may be uploaded to the server and used with templates to assemble
documents on the server. They can also be created and saved either on the server or on the local computer.
Document Creation. At the end of assembly, documents may be downloaded to the local computer, but they cannot
be saved on the server.
Because it is an example application, Sample Portal does not contain any user authentication or user management.
It should not be used in any production-type environment.
2. System Requirements
Your system must meet the following software requirements before you can install HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services:
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 or later
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 or greater
A valid Subscriber ID and signing key issued for access to HotDocs Cloud Services
In addition to the requirements listed above for the server, end users who need to view or complete browser-based interviews, or who need to view or edit assembled documents, require the following:
A Web browser capable of displaying an interview. HotDocs Server 11 interviews requires Internet Explorer 8.0 or newer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari. For Silverlight-compatible interviews, the Silverlight 5 runtime engine should be installed.
Any word processor that can display, edit, or print an assembled text documents, including Microsoft® Word or Corel WordPerfect®.
Adobe® Reader® (for assembled PDF-based form documents) or HotDocs® Filler (for assembled HFD and HPD form documents).
3. Installing Sample Portal for Cloud Services
The process of installing HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services on your Web server is handled by a custom installation
package designed for this purpose. Like most installation packages, this installation consists of several wizard-like dialog
boxes that gather the information necessary for Sample Portal to be installed correctly.
To install HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services
Close all open applications.
Save the installation package (SampleCloudPortal.msi) to a location on the server's hard drive.
Open Windows Explorer and browse to the folder on the hard drive where the installation package is found.
Double-click SampleCloudPortal.msi. The installation program begins installing Sample Portal.
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. You will be prompted for information at the following
Enter the folder where Setup should install the program files. By default, this is "C:\Program Files (x86)\HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services\."
This dialog box prompts for the following information:
Sample Portal Domain: In this section you should enter the name of your site, which will appear at the top of each page.
The default name is HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services. You should also enter the name of the domain or computer you will use when accessing
Sample Portal for Cloud Services. If this is an internal server, you could use the computer name; for an external server, you would need to use
a web-accessible name (e.g., www.domain.com).
HotDocs Cloud Services Credentials: Enter the HotDocs Cloud Services URL (e.g., https://cloud.hotdocs.ws),
along with the subscriber ID and signing key you received when you signed up for HotDocs Cloud Services.
(The ID and signing key are both case-sensitive, so be sure to type those values exactly as you received them.)
Unless you receive instructions indicating otherwise, you should use the default Cloud Services URL displayed in the install.
After completing the installation, open a browser and enter the URL (e.g., http://www.domain.com/SampleCloudPortal)
in the Address box. (The last part of the URL, SampleCloudPortal, will always be the same, but you must
replace www.domain.com with the value you specified during the installation.) When the page appears, you will see
a list of templates ready for assembly.
4. Files Used with the HotDocs Sample Portal for Cloud Services
You should become familiar with the different files used by Sample Portal, including aspx pages, codebehinds, HotDocs templates
and component files, etc.. The following table lists the important files, grouped by folder, which are installed with Sample
Sample Portal for Cloud Services
This is the main program files folder (e.g., C:\Program Files\HotDocs Server\Sample Portal for Cloud Services).
It contains the the readme file and a shortcut to the Sample Portal for Cloud Services home page.
Sample Portal for Cloud Services\Files
This folder contains three subfolders:
Templates: As you upload templates to your server for use with the Sample Portal, they are copied
to the Templates folder. The index.xml file in this folder contains the list of templates that
users may assemble using the Sample Portal.
Answers: This folder contains the answer files that are created as users assemble documents and
save their answers on the server. Also, the index.xml file in this folder contains the list of
answer files that the Sample Portal displays on the Manage Answers page.
Documents: This folder contains the documents that are assembled using the Sample Portal.
Because the Sample Portal does not provide an interface for managing these documents,
you should periodically delete the contents of this folder to free up disk space.
Sample Portal for Cloud Services\WebApp
The SampleCloudPortal virtual directory created in IIS during the Sample Portal for Cloud Services installation points to this folder.
It contains the Sample Portal for Cloud Services application and C# source code. The following folders and files are of particular interest:
App_Code: This folder contains C# source code for the Sample Portal application.
bin This folder contains compiled binaries used by the Sample Portal application.
App_WebReferences: These are references to the HotDocs Cloud Services web service.
images: This folder contains images that are displayed by the user interface.
default.aspx: This is the "home page" for Sample Portal.
web.config: This configuration file is customized at the time of installation to indicate the Windows
user account used for impersonation. It also contains the URLs and file paths to various
HotDocs Server files required by the Sample Portal. Other application settings, such as
the session time-out period, are specified in this file.
5. Using Sample Portal for Cloud Services
To begin using Sample Portal for Cloud Services, open the application in your web browser (e.g. go to http://domain.com/SampleCloudPortal/).
Sample Portal for Cloud Services provides an interface for you to assemble documents by merging a set of answers with a HotDocs template
stored on the server. When you assemble a document, Sample Portal displays a set of dialogs (the "interview") where
you enter answers required by the selected template. When you finish entering your answers in the interview, you can
download and save the assembled document on your local computer.
Sample Portal also allows you to manage the set of templates available for assembly (a few sample templates from the HotDocs
Demonstration Templates library are included, but you can also upload your own templates), and you can also manage answer files
that are created when assembling documents.
To access Sample Portal
Open a web browser window.
Enter the Sample Portal URL in the Address bar. This URL looks like the following example, where
www.domain.com is your own domain or computer name:
When the Web site loads, you will see the Home page with a list of templates ready for assembly.
To assemble a document
At the Home (Select a Template) page, click the title of a template. The Answer Set page appears.
Choose a new answer file, an existing answer file on your PC, or an answer file stored on the server, then click
Continue. The Interview page appears.
Answer questions on each dialog of the interview, then click Finish when all questions are answered. The
Disposition page appears.
Do one or more of the following tasks:
If you did not answer all of the questions, click Return to Interview to finish answering required questions.
Enter a Title and Description for the answer file, then click Save Answers to save the answer file on the
Click Download to save a copy of the finished document(s) to your PC.
To manage templates
At the Home page, click Manage Templates. The Manage Templates page appears.
Click Edit next to a template to change its title or description.
Click Delete next to a template to remove it from the template list.
To manage answer files
At the Home page, click Manage Answers. The Manage Answer Files page appears.
Click Edit next to an answer file to change its title or description.
Click Delete next to an answer file to remove it from the answer file list.