Instance Manager

The Instance Manager is used to define various system options that are stored in the Windows Registry on the server.  In order for the settings to take effect after modification, they require a restart of the related Windows Services.

Need Timeout Help? View the "Connection Timeout" section under Clients.

Data Source Tab

  • Connection Type: This field is used to specify the type of connection that APS will use to connect to the database. This must be set to the correct value for the Interface Service to connect to your database.
    • SQL Server: You can enter the name of the SQL Server and the database from which you want to draw information and the connection string will be formatted correctly underneath.
    • ODBC: Leave the "Server Name" and "Database Name" blank and select ODBC on the left-hand side. The connection string will need to be entered manually. 
    • Oracle: APS uses the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle as the provider. The connection string will need to be set manually. Information and examples regarding the string format can be found here. This is a link to more information on the Oracle Connection class used by APS to import from Oracle.
    • OLE DB: A connection to any data store accessible via OLE DB. The .NET OLE DB Connection String is designed to match the standard OLE DB connection string format as closely as possible. 

Note: Additional information on the Connection Types can be found here. There are certain keywords that are reserved by Access, ODBC, and SQL Server. When modifying database fields and columns, these keywords should be avoided to prevent syntax errors.

  • Import Database: The name of the database that APS will import data from and the server name that the database is located on is defined here.
  • Import Database Login: The username and password that APS will use to communicate with the database.
  • ERP System Login Credentials for custom Export: In order for APS to be able to communicate with the ERP system, enter the ERP username and password here.
  • Connection String: This defines the connection string that is used to connect to the database. The value required depends on the Connection Type and the data source you are connecting to. 
  • SQL to run before ERP data:  If specified, this query is executed when a Connection is opened for importing.  This can be used to configure various database specific Connection settings.  Leave blank to disable.

    Data Publish Tab

    • Connection String:  Defines the Connection String to use for connecting to the SQL Server to be used for exporting a Scenario.
      A sample Connection String is: “Data Source=(local);Integrated security=SSPI;Initial Catalog=APS.net”
    • Extra Services Contact Interval:  The number of milliseconds between requests from Extra Services to get information from the System Service.  The larger this value the longer the delay between when a change will occur in the System and when the Extra Services Service (and therefore Shop Views) will have access to that information.  The smaller this value the more activity that will occur on the computer as Extra Services contacts the System Service for updates.  The recommended value is 1000 milliseconds (1 second).

    Web Services Tab

    This tab contains webhooks that are used to trigger import and publish (export) functions. 

    The pre-import URL is used by PlanetTogether to trigger an integration and import the data. The post-export URL will trigger an export of the data from PlanetTogether. This works similarly to the run stored procedure and custom program options. 

    The Import webhook will put json data in the format: {"ScenarioId":1,"StatusStep":0}

    The publish webhook will put json data in the format: {"ScenarioName":"Live","StatusStep":1}

    Services Tab

    This tab lists the services for the instance, the port numbers for each service, and the status of each service.

    • Service Port:  Each Service “listens” to the specified Port for incoming communications.  Each Port on your computer can only have one active service using it so each port must be unique and must not already be in use.  If a port is in use when you try to start the service, it will fail to start and indicate the port as the reason in itsmessage log file.
    • Automatically Start Services after Server Reboots: Whether the services are to automatically start.
    • Service Manager: This button will open the Server Manager dialog. 
    • Client Updater Service Version:  Indicates the format version of the Client Updater UpdateFiles.config file.

    Service Logon As Users: The service logon account can be specified in this tab for the Interface and Extra Services. 

    Automatic Actions Tab

    Settings below are used to trigger periodic actions in APS.net. Automating these tasks does not impair the user's ability to perform the tasks manually but will optionally trigger certain functions based on regular time intervals.

    Run Automatically Every __ Seconds:  The amount of time (in seconds) between the broadcast of transmissions to trigger scheduler actions.  These broadcasts will first occur when the SchedulingAgent service is started and then at the specified frequency. 

    Warning: If this is too small a value then the system can become continuously busy and unusable for the users. Typically this value should be at least ten minutes (600 seconds).

    Run Automatically at these times of the day:  A comma-separated list of times of day to run the Tasks.  For example: “8:00,9:30,14:00,22:00”.  Leave blank to disable running by time of day.

    Note: The format of the times depend on the computer's regional date/time settings. Additionally, days of the week must be specified in English (they are not dependent on regional settings).

    Example Values:

    • Time Only: 8:00 (every day at 8am)
    • Day Only: Monday (every Monday at midnight)
    • Day and Time: Monday 8:00v (every Monday at 8am)

    Actions to Run:  The options below determine which Tasks are run by the Scheduling Agent each time. They are run in the order listed below.

    • Import:  This specifies whether the Perform Import action should be included. This should only be set to true if the APS.net Interface Service is running and configured properly.
    • Clock Advance:  This specifies whether to advance the APS.net Clock to the current system time.
    • Optimize:  This specifies whether to perform an Optimization (using the Shared Optimization Settings).
    • Publish: This specifies whether to publish the scenario data. 
    • Store KPI Snapshot: This specifies whether KPI snapshots should be stored automatically at specific times and frequencies. 

    Enable Scheduling Agent Diagnostics:  If checked then various diagnostic files will be written to aid in troubleshooting.

    Clients

    Client contact interval

    • Master Scheduler: This defines how long (in milliseconds) the server should wait before timing out the master scheduler connection if it doesn’t hear from the master scheduler clients.
    • What-if: This defines how long the server should wait before timing out the what-if connection if it doesn’t hear from the what-if client.
    • View Only: This defines how long the server should wait before timing out the View only connection if it doesn’t hear from the View only client.

      Active Directory: These options allow the use of Microsoft Active Directory.

      • Allow Password saving: Check this box to allow client machines to save login password. Unchecking this box will increase security by having users manually enter their passwords every time they log into the client. 
      • Allow Active Directory Login: Check this box to allow client machines to use logging in with windows credentials

      Connection Timeout

      • Client Timeout: Enter the maximum number of seconds the server should wait before disconnecting.
      • Interface Timeout: Enter the maximum number of seconds the server should wait before disconnecting.

      Note: Default connection timeout is set to 120 seconds for both Client and Interface.

      User Credentials

      • Reset User: A user's password can be updated or marked for a reset at the next login using this option.

      Note: User Credentials functionality is only available in Version 12.0 and later.

      Warning: Both the System Service and Extra Services must be running to use this feature.

      Diagnostics Tab

      The user can build connection strings by clicking on the icon beside the Logs database connection string box. 

      • Enable Diagnostics: If enabled, the client support can more easily retrieve the relevant data to assist in solving data-related problems. This feature allows PlanetTogether to access data over a secure connection and with no time and effort required from your IT staff. Our team will use this data to resolve software issues and improve the quality of our software. Types of data sent include scheduling data, settings files, error/message logs, and usage statistics. 

      Email Tab

      Support emails and logs can be sent using the SMTP server configured in this tab. If configured, this will allow users in PlanetTogether to send emails directly to the PlanetTogether support team.

      Note: Server configurations and destination emails can differ between instances. 

      Analytics

      This tab allows users to define the connection string to use to connect to their analytics database. There is a Publish Scenario option in PlanetTogether that allows users to only publish the data to the analytics database. Checking this option can provide a way to quickly send data to analytics and create reports. 

      The user can build connection strings by clicking on the icon beside the Logs database connection string box.

      Selecting the "Publish to Analytics Database" will send the data to the database specified in this tab of the Instance Manager.

      Backup Tab

      Working Data Folder where system data is stored:  Specifies where all data created by all of the APS.net services will reside.  This folder and the System Service subfolder, in particular, should be backed up frequently to prevent possible data loss.  This folder must be writable by the APS.net Services.

      Backup/Diagnostic Recordings:  Recordings store user and interface actions.  They can be used for restoring from fatal errors, repeating errors for support of problem resolution, and new version testing.  Recordings are stored in the “Recordings” directory. Each recording is stored in its own sub-folder named after the time when APS.net started.

      • Record System:  Set this value to true to record actions performed on the system.  The recording can be used by APS support personnel to help identify problems you experience on your system and to recover from fatal errors.  It is highly recommended that this be enabled.
      • Max Number of System Sessions to record:  The maximum number of recordings folders that the system will make.  The minimum and default values for this setting is 10.  The larger this number the further back in time it is possible to go to retrieve old data and the more storage space is occupied on the computer.
      • Max Number of System Backups to save per session:   The maximum number of “.dat” files that will be stored in a recording as “.dat” files are deleted so are preceding transmissions.  The larger this number the further back in the current System Service sessions it is possible to go to retrieve old data and the more storage space is occupied on the computer.  The minimum value for this setting is 10 and the default is 15.
      • Minutes Between System Backups:  Specifies how often backups are made (in minutes) or how frequently “.dat” files are created within the current recording. The “.dat” files are created at each backup interval in which transmission occurred after the last backup.  The larger this number the easier it will be to resolve any problems that occur in the system and the more storage space consumed on the computer.  The minimum value for this setting is 1. The recommended value is 15.

      Recordings Tab

      This allows you to select the folder in which your recordings should be loaded and playback your recordings. 

      Caution: Do not use this tab without PlanetTogether instructions. This is for Systems Diagnostics only.

      Playback of Recordings:

      • System Start Type:  Specifies how the System Services should start and what data should be loaded.  The possible values are:
        • Normal: This is the setting used in a live production environment.  It causes the System Service to load the Scenarios.dat file in the Scenario directory.  If it doesn’t exist, a new empty system is created.
        • Fresh: Create a fresh system every time the system starts. This is only useful for testing purposes.
        • Absorb Customizations Folder: When running with this setting, the files in the customizations folder are absorbed into the Scenarios.Dat file on the server. The customizations are used immediately, so you can also test your customizations while running in this mode.  To use this setting, arrange the customizations folder the way you want by dropping in DLLs, data files, etc. The customizations folder is a subdirectory of the working directory. Subdirectories of the customizations folder aren’t supported.  Set this setting's value to AbsorbCustomizationsFolder. Start, then Stop APS.net and change the value of this setting back to “Normal”. When APS.net is restarted the files that were absorbed into the customizations folder will be used.
        • Recording: Load the specified recording and playback the transmissions. This mode is useful for testing Recordings that contain the replication path of a problem.
        • Recording Client Delayed: Load the specified recording and playback the transmissions. This mode is useful for testing Recordings that contain the replication path of a problem. A replay of transmissions is delayed until a special message is received. The data generator has the ability to send this message.
        • Unit Test:  This is used to test a set of Recordings against a base case to look for discrepancies using a new software version.
        • Unit Test Base:  This is used to construct a test case to be tested against later.
        • Prune: This is used to prune scenario data.
      • Folder from which Recordings should be loaded:  When the Start-up Type is set to “Recording”, APS will load the recording specified in this folder at startup.  The time it takes to startup will depend on the quantity and types of transmissions that need to be replayed.  Once playback has completed everything will proceed as normal and APS.net will operate out of the normal working directory. The contents of the specified recording directory will not be modified.
      • Starting Scenario Number:  When a recording is played back you may specify which recording to start the playback at.  If the recording you specify doesn’t exist, then the first recording found will be used.  The smallest usable value you may enter is 0. For example: If the following .dat files are in your recording and you wanted to use the middle one, you would enter “99” for this setting:
        0000000090._2005-10-20-10-53-08-scenarios.dat
        0000000099._2005-10-20-10-53-08-scenarios.dat
        0000000103._2005-10-20-10-53-08-scenarios.dat
      • Non-Sequenced Transmission Playback:  Whether to make transmissions that are being replayed non-sequenced. If this field isn’t set then the value of the sequenced field in the transmissions is left alone.
      • Single-Threaded Transmission Processing: when running in debug mode, this prevents transmissions from being dispatched on separate threads. This is useful to prevent the code in the debugger from jumping around as multiple threads are not handled well by the debugger. Having multiple threads lead to symptoms such as needing to click on a line more than once to step over it and the code jumping to strange locations and returning as you try to step over lines. 

      Packages Tab