How to troubleshoot AppScan Standard update issues

Technote (FAQ)


Question

How do you troubleshoot IBM Security AppScan Standard when problems are encountered while updating if Proxy Servers or Firewalls are preventing access to the updates server?

Answer

This technote outlines how the update process works along with some of the most common solutions to situations when the AppScan Standard updates fail.

  1. HTTP or HTTPS?:
    The AppScan Standard updates connect using HTTP.
  2. InstallShield Windows Processes:

    AppScan Standard performs its updates using InstallShield. When AppScan Standard checks for updates, the following InstallShield processes are running in the background sending information to AppScanUpdates.exe:

    issch.exe (InstallShield Update Service Scheduler)
    agent.exe (InstallShield Update Service Agent)
    ISDM.exe (InstallShield Update Service Download Manager)

    These programs are located in the "C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService" directory.

    If a personal firewall is present on the machine, these processes need to be allowed access to the Internet.
  3. Program Updates Applet using the Control Panel:

    If the Auto-Update process fails, one of the first steps to try is to navigate to the Windows Control Panel > Program Updates applet and attempt to download the AppScan Standard updates this way.

    That will show if AppScan Standard is not able to communicate with the update service properly or if the cause of the problem is the InstallShield service itself.
  4. AppScan Standard Update Servers:

    The first server contacted by the InstallShield Service is updates.installshield.com. The update service will download an XML file with the list of updates, the description and the location of the update files.

    After the list of updates is downloaded, InstallShield prompts for download confirmation. If confirmation is received, the agent.exe process launches the InstallShield Update Service Download Manager (ISDM.exe), which will connect to the IBM download server at download4.boulder.ibm.com and download2.boulder.ibm.com

    Please ensure there is access through Internet Explorer to the following server by accessing the link in Internet Explorer's browser:
    1. http://updates.installshield.com/about.jsp, will bring you to a page describing the Install Shield Software manager service
  5. WCCP connections

    There have been cases where the Install Shield Update service fails on networks using the Web Cache Communication Protocol (WCCP).

    This situation is harder to troubleshoot since the Internet Explorer settings appear to specify a direct connection since the HTTP requests are intercepted by the router and redirected to the web cache. Very few browsers are currently compliant with this technology.

    One clue that can indicate that WCCP is in the picture is that Mozilla Firefox cannot connect to any external sites while Internet Explorer can connect just file although proxy settings are blank and identical between the two browsers.

    The solution is to manually specify the address of a proxy server on the network that is not using the WCCP service and make sure that Bypass proxy for local addresses is checked.
  6. User-Agents:

    The User-Agent header is added to the HTTP request by an application in order to identify itself to the Web Server. All InstallShield processes use their own User-Agent.

    There are two stages to the update process.
    1. The download of the update list by the agent.exe process, which uses the following User-Agent header: "ISUA 4.60" and "ISUA 12.00"

      If you are running AppScan Standard 7.9 the User-Agent header is now "ISUA 6.10°
    2. The download of the update package by the IDSM.exe process, which sends all its requests using the following User-Agent header: "ISUSDownloader"

      Many proxies filter the HTTP traffic based on the User-Agent header. The Network Administrator would need to add the above two headers to the list of allowed User-Agents.

      Note: If Internet Explorer is able to access the download sites and there is no personal firewall involved, the problem is most likely caused by the InstallShield User-Agents being blocked by the proxy.
  7. InstallShield System Errors:

    The InstallShield services might become unregistered and fail to function properly. Here is a fix that re-registers all the Install Shield applications with the Operating System.
    1. Open a command prompt window (click Start > Run and type 'cmd')
    2. Change the directory to "C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService"
    3. Type "isdm.exe /regserver" and press Enter
    4. Type "agent.exe /regserver" and press Enter
    5. Change the directory to "C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files". (On Windows 2000, this will be "C:\WinNT" instead of "C:\Windows".)
    6. Type "regsvr32.exe isusweb.dll" and press Enter

  8. As a workaround, Product and Security updates are available for manual download from the Fix Central site.
    • To download updates:
      URL: http://www-933.ibm.com/eserver/support/fixes/fixcentral
      Product family: Rational
      Product: IBM Rational AppScan Standard Edition
      Installed version: highest number is the latest
      Platform: Windows
    • On Identify Fixes page:
        • Select Browse fixes
    • On Select fixes and download method page:
        • Product updates are identified by checkboxes labeled Fix pack. Security updates have checkboxes labeled Interim fix
        • Select the highest number to get the latest update
    • Next page will contain download link for selected product
    • To install updates:
        • Copy the install file on the AppScan Standard machine's desktop
        • Ensure AppScan Standard is closed
        • Double-click the install file and follow the prompts

Related information

Update function in AppScan Standard v 8.0

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Document information


More support for:

IBM Security AppScan Standard
Installation: Update

Software version:

7.9

Operating system(s):

Windows

Reference #:

1283297

Modified date:

2014-01-12

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