Xmas 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone reader of my blog and to all of the Revelation clients who have helped to make 2010 a very prosperous year. I look forward to working with you through 2011 and hopefully we’ll make 2011 a mutually happy, prosperous and profitable year.

The UK office will be closed from lunchtime on Christmas Eve until Wednesday 29th December and then we shall be running a skeleton (assuming not too many mince pies have been eaten) staff until Tuesday 4th January. For this reason, I will be very grateful if any EMEA region support issues could be submitted only using the support@revsoft.co.uk email address and any sales questions emailed to mp@revsoft.co.uk. Although I am booked off until the 4th January, I will be monitoring my email periodically during the break.

I hope that you and your families have a great festive and New Year holiday.

Long Record Keys and the UD4.6

Back in June of last year, I wrote a blog posting about the release of the Universal Driver 4.6. Within that announcement, was a note about a change in the way that long record keys were to be handled. However, some more information has come to my attention and this posting is therefore to provide that extra information.

We were recently approached by a client who had upgraded to the Universal Driver 4.6 and who subsequently ran a long key check against their database. This check reported a number of long keys, but a subsequent attempt to remove them from the system using the removal utility failed. As an example, the error message received when trying to delete the bad records was “Unable to delete “M*15607”, FS100, M*15607”. And the actual key was M*15607 15608 15607 15608 etc…. It exceeded 552 characters.

The reason for this failure is down to the removal utility being run under the UD4.6 is bound by the imposed maximum key length. The Linear Hash Service will also have been generating application event logs on the server’s event log when it attempts to read or delete a long key.

As per the installation guide for the Universal Drive 4.6, the system should have been checked for long record keys ‘prior’ to the installation of the Universal Driver 4.6. The installation of the utility is covered in its own installation guide (Network Driver Update for Large Keys) which is included, along with the file, within the Universal Driver installation zip file.

However, if this step is missed out and it is run after the installation of the Universal Driver and it results in long record keys being found, the following steps can be followed to correct the issue:

1) Ensure that everyone is logged out of the system (all OpenInsight applications).
2) Locate and rename the REVPARAM file/s to something other than REVPARAM.
3) Change the chosen driver back to the 4.5 driver using netdrv.exe, or the previously used driver if you are coming up from an older one.
4) Start the application/s and run the utility to report and remove all of the long keys.
5) Change the chosen diver back to the 4.6 driver using netdrv.exe.
6) Rename your name changed REVPARAM file/s back to REVPARAM.

These steps should allow you to access the application through a single user maintenance mode without using the 4.6 service. The utility can be installed into OpenInsight version 7.x and 8.x systems and it is included in OpenInsight from version 9.1.

Installing OpenInsight into Citrix and Terminal Server Environments.

From time to time I receive requests from VARs and end-users on Revelation’s recommended configuration on Citrix, Terminal Server and similar environments. Until now, there was no real recommended advice on where the various OpenInsight components should be installed and people were left to find what works best for them, their application, their environment and the users.

During my many conversations with people, I have learned that a configuration that works well for one client needed a rethink and modification for another. Putting together a recommendation for OpenInsight was therefore always going to be a tough call and Revelation would run the risk of documenting one configuration that people would follow to the letter and find that it was not the right, or even the best, solution for them, their application or their users.

However, following a typical ‘why does it work that way’ conversion about running OpenInsight and Citrix, I discussed the possibility of having a recommendation white paper with Jared (Revelation’s chief networking professional in the New Jersey office), along with the necessary this is a starting point only caveats.

I am please to announce that overnight Jared has released a white paper on the ‘Best Practices for Deploying OpenInsight on Terminal Services and Citrix Environments’.

This guide is Revelation’s best practice advice and it provides people with a welcome starting point when deploying OpenInsight based systems to these environments that are becoming more and more popular. The paper has been put together from Jared’s experience of working with OpenInsight 9.x on Terminal Services and Citrix and you can read the full article on the RevUS web site at http://tinyurl.com/2346d96.

Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks to Jared for taking the time to put together this hugely useful document.