A much used Utility for UD Troubleshooting

Network ErrorOnce installed and configured, OpenInsight systems usually just run and run with little to no maintenance, other than the usual database related admin that is inevitable.  However, from time to time, some things have to change on business networks and this can often introduce a change to something that OpenInsight relies on.  Maybe a permission changes, a changed setting gets put back to a default during a platform upgrade, etc.

For example, new server and workstation deployments often contain default firewall rules that block OpenInsight from communicating with the Linear Hash service on the server. When this occurs an FS1019 message will appear during OpenInsight start-up.  Error message FS231 is also quite common with network related issues.

Revelation VARs have traditionally been application and data specialists and the networking side was a very small part of their business or something that was part or wholly contracted to a third party or simply left with the end user’s IT department.  Today, there is a myriad of networking options, configurations and things to think about when deploying all types of software to both desktop and web based clients.  It is therefore no surprise that the vast majority of our support calls these days are of a networking nature.

As many of you will know, Revelation has a growing library of knowledge base articles that are mostly written to address current issues and questions that our VARs are asking.  One such article takes on the topic of troubleshooting the scenario when OpenInsight is unable to connect to a database using the Universal Driver – a much needed and much valued tool when running OpenInsight on modern operating systems and over local and distributed networks.

Entitled ‘TCP/IP Port Check Utility for the Linear Hash Service‘ the knowledge base article looks at the issues and it contains an extremely useful utility and trouble shooting procedures to verify communication with the server.  Those of you that have contacted Bill in the RevUK, will have been pointed to the utility as a first port of call in working through the troubleshooting workflow.

For further information and to download the utility please visit www.revelation.com/o4wtrs/KB_Articles/KB0269.htm.

Conference Pictures

Bob at the 2015 Conference. I think that Bob just might have been caught me taking this picture of him posing as one of the Blues Brothers, Bryan and the other Bob escaped the camera.  However, with a few hundred photographs taken, not everyone noticed so obviously.

Following the final days closing address where the slide show was run, numerous delegates asked me if they could get a copy of the slideshow and also copies of the photographs taken throughout the three day conference.

I am pleased to announce that the slideshow has now been uploaded to my RevUK YouTube channel and the URL is copied below.  This presentation includes some captions on most of the images but you really had to be at the conference to understand them.  For those of you that were there, who enjoyed the laugh in places and who took the time to mentioned the emotion that it drew out of some people, the lasting reminder and captions will make sense and I hope that you will enjoy another viewing.

The photographs have also now been uploaded to my M4Photo website.  The images have been posted into two separate galleries.  The first contains the images captured during Dan Lier’s highly motivational keynote address and for those of you who simply want to jump straight into the Revelation community photographs, those are contained in the Revelation 2015 Conference gallery. The  links are:

For those of you that are interested in such things, I have created a specific Revelation Software gallery on my photographic website and I plan to house all of my Revelation related images there. All of the images in the Revelation Software gallery are available to Revelation developers and clients around the world.

Please ignore the default link to the ordering page, they are available without charge in .jpg format and supplied by email.  Simply find the image or images that you wish to receive and drop me an email with the number of the image or images. Each page has 12 thumbnails and clicking on any thumbnail will open up a slightly larger version of the image which has the photo’s ID.  For example, 1P7A8397.  It is that number that I require, along with your preferred email address for the images to be sent to.  I will use Hightail because the files will be large.  Please let me know if you are unable to accept hightail emails and we’ll work something out.

I received some great comments following the conference about the slideshow and as photographing this sort of event is new to me, I will be very interested to hear your thoughts and comments.  I just hope that you enjoy the images and I look forward to see you again at the next conference, whenever and wherever that may be.

All good things must come to an end.

No image from today I am afraid because I’m packed and waiting for the shuttle to begin my journey back home.  Yes, the conference has drawn to a close after two and a half days of fabulous content and socialising with some of the best people in the business.

I’d like to say that today was a slow start and easy going, but I’d be lieing.  The sharing of knowledge during the sessions remained high during the two technical sessions today.  I sat in on Bryan’s talk about the secrets of the Universal Driver during which he turned on the artist in himself and the session was both enlightening and full of drama, it was just a good job that Dee was on hand and those of you who were there will know what that means.

The UD5 looks to be taking a large step forward and it will certainly offer another good reason for users to seriously consider a move to OI 10 sooner, rather than later.

The second of the two sessions that I sat in on was Bob’s presentation on the use of HTML in OpenInsight controls.  Again,  another presentation full of useful information, code and examples.  Much of the technical side went over my head, but it was good to see how HTML can be used to create rich and dynamic OI forms, especially where formatted text is needed.

This then left Mike and his closing address.  Mike thanked everyone loft attending and thanks were also extended to his team.  I can’t say how things were going behind the scenes, but if there were any hurdles to overcome, they were not noticed on my side of the conference.  As usual,Nancy and the guys ran the show to perfection and the speakers presented their content with clarity and a level of professionalism that has become a staple of the Revelation Conferences.

I had been taking photographs throughout the conference and I took the liberty of putting together a photo slide show.  At nine minutes, it was longer than I had anticipated and three times what Bob and I had spoken about.  However, it flowed and generated som laughs and (I hope) it summed up a wonderful conference.

Anyway, it’s all over now till next time and I’ll be heading to the airport shortly.  Thank you to everyone that joined us in Houston, safe journey home and I look forward to catching up with you all in the not too distance future.

As a closing remark, I would urge all OpenInsight developers to seriously consider attending the next Revelation Conference, wherever and whenever that will be.  There will no doubt be more OI10 knowledge on offer and this release early is looking like being a game changer for every OpenInight developer and our end user base – there really is a lot for everyone and far too much to be missed by those who are unable to makes he conference.  The knowledge on offer means this event really ought to feature in every developer’s training budget, well that I my opinion anyway.

Another day of learning in Houston.

1P7A8706Well today was another full day of socialising, learning and inspiration.  Sorry for the brief overview of my day, but tomorrow will be a long day and I’m still putting to bed a photo presentation for the morning.  It’ll also be going online somewhere next week, so watch for more when I’m back home.

Today (we’ll yesterday now), began with breakfast before we broke into two sessions.  I’d listened to Carl yesterday, so it was a hour or so with Bob Carten on the changes to Indexing and Selects.  With help from others in the community Bob has done allot of work on performance profiling of OpenInsight and he is putting that knowledge to good use.  Some long standing assumptions have been dashed and set aside and we can look forward to a new set of OI profiling tools that will help to achieve performance increases within our systems.  Bob has seen increases of up to 30% in places with regards to Selects and Indexing.

Performance and system profiling is an extremely hot topic at the moment with many of my customers and you really needed to be in this session to fully understand the work that Bob and the team have been doing in this area.

Mike followed Bob in a session that looked at the new Forms Designer and some of the new controls that we can look forward to.  However, from my point of view, it was great to see first hand just how easy it will be to utilise much of the new GUI design elements without having to learn and write new code.

Lunch was a wonderful Italian themed affair with lots to choose from.  Refreshed and ready for more, we all joined Mike in the main hall for a session on what is involved with moving an OI 9.4 and prior application to version 10.  The process is not an upgrade, it’s a conversion and Revelation have built tools to, not only help developers through the conversion process, but if you decide to copy the tables over, the process will optimise them as well – a double bonus.

Mike included allot of useful information about preparing for the conversion process and he confirmed that there are numerous ways to achieve the conversion.  As usual there are two ways to do it well, two ways that’ll get your there and two that are not ideal but they’ll get you there all the same.  The attendees, now know at least one of the two best ways and this session provoked allot of questions, so this is clearly something that developers worry about and want to do right first time.

The afternoon got a little heavy for someone with my limited technical understanding but Bryan’s presentation about the Engine Server was not only entertaining (as usual) but highly educational.  We learned how to properly configure and control the engine server and much more.  I the other room, Bill and Dave educated their audience on the introduction of R/List into the Banded Report Writer.

I finished up the afternoon listening to Bill talk about the new OpenInsight Authentication Module that is coming in OI 10 and which ‘can’ be made available to developers using 9.4, on request.  This is another highly topical subject and questions flowed throughout and not least from people building web based solutions.

The weather had turned today and the evening rounded out with a lovely dinner in the Palm Court.  It was a little cold and damp for the planned pool side party.  However, everyone had a great time and many of us took the advantage to catch up with people before we all head off for home tomorrow lunchtime.

That’s it for now.  We have an early start and a long journey home tomorrow and I need some shut eye.  Please watch the blog for details of the photographs and video presentation being published on-line and also how to get Dan’s motivational download.

A Very Motivational Day

Dan Lier RevCon 2015
Dan Lier RevCon 2015

Today saw the Revelation Software 2015 Conference begin in earnest and what a day it would prove to be.  With motivation, inspiration and education flowing throughout the day, this is looking like being the best Revelation Conferences for years.  Mix in the massive changes to OpenInsight and this is one conference that I personally think that no professional OpenInsight developer should have risked missing.

The day began at 08.00am for breakfast with everyone congregating in the room that would serve to be our refreshment room for the day.  Whilst the welcome reception the night before was busy, the breakfast was even busier.

Anyway, onto the more important matters of the day and I should qualify this posting with a quick statement that I really cannot do the first day justice.  There was just too much going on from the off and I’d be here half the night typing and still only scratch the surface.

1P7A8552Following breakfast, we all joined together in the main conference room for Mike’s opening Welcome Address.  Mike spoke on three key topics being the State of the Company and where we are now, Current Development and our Future Direction.  During the first section, Mike outlined where we are and how things are going. He also introduced new members of staff that have joined since the last conference, where we are marketing and he reminded everyone that our licensing prices remain stable and largely unchanged.

The Current Development was all about OpenInsight 10 and that would form the backbone of this conference.  Turning to the future direction, he discussed the Internet of Things, the continued rise in Mobile Computing and that we will be pushing harder on performance gains and cloud solutions.

Mike then handed over to Dan Lier for one of the most enlightening and motivational talks that I have heard of in a long time.  It is very easy to feel down about things at the moment and there are far too many people looking to the negativity in the economy, their market places and life in general.  Revelation has weathered the recessions well and the community has much to be positive about. Dan’s talk was a perfectly timed reminder that we all need to believe in our products and our abilities, that we need to maintain a positive attitude and to be consistent in our daily lives.

Dan is making his give-away available to all attendees via a free download and I have permission to offer that to my blog readers.  It is getting late and I have another long day ahead of me, so that’ll be the topic of a separate blog posting.

Owing to the importance of the OpenInsight 10 knowledge to be shared at this specific conference, the key presentations are being repeated this year.  This makes deciding which to attend much easier and, following lunch, I decided to listen to Carl talk about the Forms Designer and Presentation Server enhancements that are coming in OI10.  The are numerous and far reaching and I really can’t begin to list them, or even highlight them, here.  However, to summarise, the general message was that a number of functions have been deprecated in favour of cleaner better ways of doing things – whilst making sure that existing application will not break.  He then also worked through the numerous APIs and controls that have been enhanced and how the panels work within the new product.

In short, Carl’s presentation was all about how OI10 will help developers to be more efficient, work smarter and provide end users with a faster and slicker looking interface.  Best of all, for those of us developing solutions with OpenInsight, we will not have a huge learning curve because Revelation are putting the OPEN back into OpenInsight and making things super easy for us to use during our OI9.x and prior application upgrades to 10.

For me, I’ll have a toolset that is more intuitive, more recognisable and that will help our customer base and new developers to build better systems, faster and smarter that before.

Carl was up against Bob Carten who was talking about Indexing and Selection Changes in OI10 and I hope to catch that presentation during it’s rerun tomorrow.

Lunch was a lovely buffet affair after which Carl continued his two part presentation.  Yes, there really is that much that is changing in the presentation server and you really needed to be at the conference to get the full benefit of what is coming to all OpenInsight developers fairly soon.  We run regular RUGs in the the UK but I just know that we will not be able to touch on the value wrapped up in this conference.  I have said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but these Revelation conferences really are a must attend for all professional OpenInsight developers.

In the other room David was outlining the OI120 Management Console.

Following a short break, we were into the final sessions of the day.  Bob Carten’s talk was all about OpenInsight and the Cloud, but with numerous EMEA clients asking about GIT support, I decided to learn a little more from Bob Catalano’s session.  Assisted by Kevin Conner who spoke about the setting up of the GIT Server, Bob took the audience through Revelation’s adopted workflow for their use of GIT to help to manage the OI10 project and their development team which is spread over two continents.

With a highly educational day completed, we all had an hour or so to ourselves (although some of us had clients needs to attend to) before heading down into the Black Swan bar for some amazing food and something to drink.  The usual vendor fair was dropped this year in favour of a more informal session where developers were encouraged to bring along their laptops and share their OpenInsight solutions with everyone.

This was a great idea and within minutes of the session opening all of the power stations had been filled and small groups were found huddled around computer screens, sharing techniques and sharing ideas with each other.  The evening to busy, noisy and extremely well received by all of the delegates and Revelation staff alike.

So, wow. what a first day.  If this was anything to go by, I am sure looking forward to tomorrow and Friday morning and finding out more about what our wonderful toolset has to offer in the forthcoming OpenInsight 10 release.

RevCon 2015 opens for business

Revelation Software Conference 2015This evening saw the opening of the Revelation Software Users conference for 2015.

This evening was an opportunity for those delegates that have flown in over the last couple of days to get together formerly for the first time.  I arrived in the lobby just before the planned 7.00 pm start and already there were a large number of Revelation staff and delegates at the welcome reception, despite more people due to arrive later.

Like previous years, the reception is an opportunity to catch up with some old friends and to make some new friends, and this year I saw a even mix of familiar faces and new people to meet.  Revelation laid on a wonderful buffet and this was complimented by a private bar in the meeting area.  Running from 7.00pm until 9.00pm sharp, the welcome reception was ideally timed and a great opportunity to set the tone of things to come.

Tomorrow will begin with a breakfast at 8.00am following which Mike will officially open the conference, followed by the keynote address and then we will split into two optional tracks during which I hope to learn all about what OpenInsight 10 has to offer, how it can be applied to existing applications and how it will help new applications see the light of day.

I looks like being a full on few days to come.  Best I get some sleep then ;).

Conference Countdown

Revelation Software Users Conference 2015As many of you will know, I’ve been in Houston since Saturday and it’s been pretty quiet around the hotel.  However, this morning things are a little different because I seem to be bumping into friends from around the Revelation community at every turn and just this morning we had a small group representing the US, the UK, central Europe and Australasia.  Things just got a little busier and the formal welcome reception is still a good few hours away.

Those of you that will be joining Nancy, Mike and the team in sunny Houston, will know that the topic of this years conference is OI10, Revelation’s much anticipated next version.  The schedule looks to be packed full of highly educational content where we will learn much more about this huge release and I can’t wait for Mike’s opening address in the morning and the OI10 knowledge sharing that will fill the rest of my time in Houston.1P7A8381-2

If you have been unable to join us at the Omni Hotel in Houston and you wish to follow along with the proceedings, highlights and maybe one or two hot pieces of news straight from the conference, please set your systems to monitor Twitter.  RevUS will be tweeting throughout the conference using @RevsoftUS and hashtags #OI10LIVE and #OI10Conf.

So as not to over complicate things, I’ll also be using these hastags from my usual news feeds.  I plan to use my RevUK blog as the key source and push links to these postings out to Twitter and Facebook.

Interesting article from Elkie.

I am often asked by my VARs to help them  to get over the sales reluctance within their sales pitches and more often than not this is to do with our MultiValue technology being stereotyped as old and out of date.  Those of us working in the niche, know that the technology has constantly evolved to move with the times and we still underwrite many small, medium and large organisations business on a day to day basis.

However, Elkie’s interview (linked below)  interview gives a slightly different view of tackling the issue and it has certainly given me food for thought.  It also has a couple of nice mentions for Revelation which is welcome.