QTerm 7.0

The 7.0 version of QTerm brings a new look and easily accessible function panels which can be permanently displayed (pinned) or can be automatically hidden and only displayed when moused over. Mutiple frame windows are also supported with one or more terminal windows in each frame. This allows you to easily take advantage of multiple monitors.

If you are interested in trying out the new version please click here to download the software

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ClearConnect Installation (Server Database)

Introduction

Run the ClearConnect setup on your network server to install the ClearConnect and ClearView webs.  You then need to install the terminal emulation components you wish to deploy, such as QTermUTS or Web-T27.  Note that you may well choose to deploy multiple components.  For example QTermUTS for your support staff and Web-UTS or QTermJavaUTS for your field offices, whatever makes sense to your business.

ClearConnect can be used for QTerm deployment as well as the web and java components.  The initial download can be performed by a user selecting the Install QTerm link from the ClearConnect login page.  Subsequently, QTerm itself will check with ClearConnect to see if a new version is available.  If so, it will instigate the update.  Note that the availability of an update is governed centrally; by indicating this in the database.  Also note that you can make updates available for a select subset of your users by defining departments.

The web emulation components (Web-UTS, Web-T27) are ActiveX controls and the java components (QTermJavaUTS, QTermJavaT27) are java applets.  The web components are installed on the web server as cabinet files and the java components are installed as jar files. An ASP page on a web server is accessed from a user's desktop to automatically download the ActiveX control or java applet.

The centralized access to a web server provides simple management of the profiles and settings required for the end users.

Configuring the Database

In order to support the administration facilities of the 5.0 release the QTerm.mdb database must first be configured, with users and terminals etc.  This sets up all the information required by each user.  The principal entries in the database are:

·    Departments

·    Users

·    Terminals

·    Host Groups

·    Hosts

·    Profiles

 

The departments and users tables implement a model of the organizational structure.  The terminals and hosts define the session connections.  The profiles define what is to happen when the user starts up.

The grouping of Users within a Department and Hosts within Host Groups is a convenience that allows a flexible method of configuring users, typically to match the organizational structure within your company.  In the simplest case you would just have one department, containing all users, and one host group containing all hosts.

So, start designing your network database with this approach in mind.  Also note that if you use the AdminImport program to initialize the database then a single department and single host group are created.  

Departments/Users

The first step is to create the departments and the users, then the terminals, the host groups and the hosts.  If this is an upgrade from a 4.x installation then it is easier to start by using the VAdminImport program to import the Terminals and Hosts files. 

Terminals

Each user may have one or more terminals and they are assigned exclusively to that user (unlike hosts for example which can be used by many people).

Hosts

Setting up hosts also involves defining host groups, much like setting up users in departments.  Host groups are a handy way of assigning host access to an individual user or to a whole department.  Again, if all users have access to all hosts then only one host group is needed. 

Profiles

A profile tells the client software what to do when it is started.  This allows centralized control over a widespread network of users.  Typically you will create a profile per department and optionally individual profiles for select users.  In the simplest case just one profile will suffice for everyone.

Profile Access

When the client software starts up it requests a profile from the server.  Desktop QTerm simply uses the server path configuration in the settings file to know whether to access the server.  The web controls however do not have an initial directory and cannot depend on having a settings file.  The profile url comes from the web page hosting the web control.

Profile Content

What you create in the profile entry is actually a base profile, the information that is common to a group of users.  The actual profile that is sent to the client software contains this base profile plus dynamically generated information, all in section/name/value format.  The sections in the base profile are:

[Macros]

[Properties]

[Files]

and they are all optional.  You create them using a simple text edit box.  If these sections are present then they are downloaded and merged into the user’s settings on the client machine.

 

[Macros]

Include the macro set name, macro name and macro definitions, as shown below. Any existing macro with the same name will be updated.  Any other macro will be inserted.

 [Macros]
1=macroSetName1,macroName1,"display string1"
2=macroSetName1,macroName2,"open host"
3=macroSetName1,macroName3,definition3
etc

 

[Properties]

This is a powerful facility but requires detailed knowledge of the layout of the settings file.  Each entry inserts or modifies an entry in the user's settings, by referring to a configuration section name and an item name and providing a value

[Properties]
1=section,name,value…
2=section,name,value…
etc

 

For example to set the number of screen columns for terminal number 6 you would include:

 [Properties]
1=Term6,Columns,120 

which sets the configuration item:

 [Term6]
Columns=120

 

[Files]

The files section contains the names of files required to be download and, importantly, whether they need be loaded if already present on the target machine. This speeds up operation if files are not required to be re-loaded and also allows the network supervisor to force downloading of files the next time the profile is accessed.

The Settings file must be downloaded at least once and thereafter may be forced to download (DownloadNewSettings=1), overwriting whatever settings are on the desktop. 

If the Settings file is to be downloaded then the SettingsURL parameter must be specified. This indicates the URL where the Settings file is to be found (on the network server).  You can include up to 25 arbitrary files that will be copied when the profile is processed. The key names must be File1 through File25.

By default the files are downloaded to the system TEMP directory but the Local Directory parameter may be used to specify a target directory on the users desktop. This should be specified if you want to allow users to modify the Settings file on their desktop and to preserve those settings. 

[Files]
LocalDirectory=c:\qw\web

SettingsURL=http://www.abc.com/web.cfg

File1= http://www.abc.com/script1.scr
File2= http://www.abc.com/myscripts/script2.scr

 

The dynamically generated sections are as follows:

[Actions]

[Terminals]

[Hosts] 

The actions are generated from various database settings for the department and the user, such as the required software version and whether to force download new settings.  Here is how the actions are generated: 

Database Setting

Generated Action Entry

Notes

<User not found>

ProfileStatus=-1

ProfileError=user not found

Invalid user name supplied

User Disabled

ProfileStatus=-1

ProfileError=user disabled

User entry is disabled

 

LocalDirectory

LocalDirectory=pathName

Sets the local client directory for downloading files.  Note this does not apply to the desktop QTerm settings file, since that is found in the working directory.

Force Download Settings

DownloadNewSettings=0/1

SettingsURL=settingsFileURL

The DownloadNewSettings action forces a new configuration file to be downloaded, overwriting the current user's settings.

If DownloadNewSettings is set to 0 (meaning not required) it is still downloaded if the SettingsURL is valid and no settings file is found in the client directory.

Update Hosts

Update Properties

Update Terminals

UpdateHosts=0/1

UpdateProperties=0/1

UpdateTerminals=0/1

The hosts section is to be updated.

The properties section is to be updated.

The terminals section is to be updated.

Update Software

Software URL

Version

 

UpdateSoftware=0/1

SoftwareURL=programFileURL

SoftwareVersion=n.n.n.n

The DownloadNewSoftware action forces a new desktop software executable to be downloaded, overwriting the current one. The SoftwareURL parameter is used to download  the new program version.   The Version Required database parameter enables the supervisor to rollback to a specific software version if necessary.

 

User Database Connection

When a user starts up the client software it requests a profile from the database via an ASP page on the web server.  The request includes the user name, which is used to look up the database information.  So, how does the server decide what profile information to send back?   

First, the user is a member of a department and each department has a configured profile.  More individuality is provided by assigning several terminals specifically to each user.  Each terminal will want to connect to a host and usually all users in a department will be provided the same set of hosts.  That’s where the host group comes in.  The host group is simply a group of hosts.

For total control each user can point to a personal profile and/or a specific host group.

Statistics

Each time the software is started or ended a notification is sent to the server; also each time a session is connected or disconnected.  These statistics are maintained in the QTerm database on the server.

Web Page Details

For the web-based products a web page is accessed that contains the web emulator object (ActiveX control or Java applet).  The default web page generated by the ClearConnect ASP pages maximizes the screen area available to the emulator screen. 

However, this is the web, so you can use your imagination and artistic talents to their full in designing your own web page!  Please contact Quickware if you are unsure about how to modify the html in the ASP pages and be careful not to damage the logic.