Archive for November, 2013

Where is the Connect Meeting Add-in Installed?

Here are the client-side installation locations for files required by Connect Meeting add-in and its mms.cfg configuration file.

1. In Connect version 9, the default installation directories on each client platform are:

Windows (32 and 64 bit machines)

  • %appdata%\Macromedia\Flash Player\www.macromedia.com\bin\adobeconnectaddin
  • or   C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\www.macromedia.com\bin\adobeconnectaddin

Macintosh :

  •  ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/www.macromedia.com/bin/adobeconnectaddin

2. The  configuration file, mms.cfg, for the add-in is located here: :

Windows (32 bit) :

  •  C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
  • or C:\Windows\System32\mms.cfg

Windows 7 64 bit

  • In: c:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
  • or c:\Windows\SysWOW64\mms.cfg

Macintosh OS

  • <hard drive>/Library/Application Support/Macromedia/mms.cfg

Adding the Passcode Feature for Connect Meetings

You may add a passcode feature as an additional security option for Connect Meeting room access in Connect versions 8 and 9. Each Meeting room can have its own passcode.  The parameter will appear under the Edit Information tab of the Connect Meeting:

pc2.fw

This is a great option. For example, it allows you to pop up a fast ad hoc meeting with full guest access while requiring guests to apply a pass-code to enter:

pc.fw

It also allows an additional layer of security for registered users as well; they also would need to enter a passcode in addition to any permissions (even host-level) granted to the room.

pc1.fw

Once applied, when a users hits the Meeting URL they will be presented with the passcode field:

pc3.fw

To add this feature, simple log onto your on-premise adobe Connect server as a Connect Administrator and enter the following into the URL line in Connect Central:

http://YOURDOMAINNAME/api/xml?action=meeting-feature-update&account-id=7&feature-id=fid-meeting-passcode-notallowed&enable=false

Where “YOURDOMAINNAME” is actually your domain name.

If this executes correctly, you will see the following output when you follow-up by entering this command into the same URL line in Connect Central:

http://YOURDOMAINNAME/api/xml?action=meeting-feature-info&account-id=7

Output: feature-id=fid-meeting-passcode-notallowed

Alternatively you could simply check and see if the feature is available under the Edit Information tab of any Meeting.

Note: Your Meeting passcode can be up to 16 letters or numbers; keep in mind that it is a convenient supplementary security mechanism rather than a primary means. You will see this warning if your passcode is not supported go over that: Your passcode must be between 1 and 16 characters long (letters or numbers, no spaces).

In adding this feature you have invoked the Web Services API in Connect. If you are not familiar with the API see the following document; it is rich with options: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/connect/9.0/webservices/connect_9_webservices.pdf

Note also that with Connect 9.2, in Connect Central under Administration > Users and Groups > Edit Login and Password Policies, there are two relevant check boxes, one to enable and the other one to force the use of the passcode:

passcode.fw

Setting Email Sender for all messages to a generic address

This is a way to workaround a mail server blocking emails where the sender and mail server domain do not match.

Before you do this, make sure you have a working backup copy of your database!
First step: make sure the admin email address is set to the generic address you want to use.

You can do this on the database by running this SQL update query:
update PPS_CONFIG set VALUE = ‘genericaddress@mailserverdomain.com’ where NAME=’config-system-email';

Next switch on the feature to send emails from this address:
insert into PPS_ACCOUNT_FEATURES (ACCOUNT_ID, FEATURE_ID, DATE_BEGIN, DATE_END, RECORDCREATED)
values (7, 84, GETUTCDATE(), ‘3000-01-01 00:00:00.000′, GETUTCDATE());

After setting this, emails should be sent in the format:

“genericaddress@mailserverdomain.com on behalf of user@othermailserver.com”

Stunnel Support with Adobe Connect 9.x

Up until Adobe Connect 9.0.0.1 (full installer) for on-premise (licensed) deployments, Adobe packaged Stunnel with the Connect application to handle the software SSL.  With the release of 9.0.0.1 of Adobe Connect, we included Stunnel 4.53 but do not unpack and install it with the installer (as we previously had done with Connect 8.x).  If you install (or are running) 9.0.0.1 and are looking for the Stunnel package, you need to navigate into the unpacked Adobe Connect 9.0.0.1 installer folder ({unpacked folder}\Adobe Connect 9.0.0.1\Adobe Connect\Merge_Modules) and look for the stunnel-4.53.zip file.  From there, you can install Stunnel 4.53 for your SSL deployment.

With the release of Adobe Connect 9.1.1, we no longer even ship the Connect installer with the Stunnel bits.  So you will need to obtain the Stunnel installer from either Stunnel’s website or from a 9.0.0.1 installer of Adobe Connect.  The last shipped version of Stunnel (with Connect 9.0.0.1) was 4.53, but again it was not ‘unpacked and installed’ as of 9.0.0.1.

The latest build of Stunnel that Adobe QE has tested with is version 4.56, which at the time of this article, is the latest production Stunnel build.

 

 

 

The Mystery of Burst Packs for Meetings

Issue: Adobe Connect hosted customers sometimes ask how to predict the burst pack size needed for insurance that their large meetings with unexpected attendance will be handled.

Solution: Burst Packs will extend the capacity of the Named Host license by up to five times the ceiling. This means that a room with a ceiling of 100 is best covered by a burst pack of up to 500 attendees, or 400 above the standard capacity of 100.  The burst pack minutes will be depleted, for each minute each user exceeds the capacity of 100.  For example, if 110 people join your meeting at the same time, and all 110 stay for 10 minutes, this will require 100 burst pack minutes to accommodate the 10 additional attendees in overage multiplied by 10 minutes.

If during a meeting, you accidentally go over the number of attendees accommodated by your burst pack, then the burst pack  balance will appear as a negative number.  If the meeting is very well attended and the burst pack exceeds 1000, it will be disabled for future meetings so no more overage will be accrued.   For the initial meeting overage, it will go over 1000 (one-time) if a current meeting is on-going, and won’t shut down until that meeting ends. Adobe does not penalize you for your successful use of Connect, but the hard limit for overage is set to 1000.

The meeting will not kick people out because of an overage;  burst pack minutes will continue to accumulate, even if the burst pack is depleted in order to ensure the meeting is not disrupted.  Adobe will then take those overage minutes out of their next burst pack purchase.

Ask your sale representative about burst packs and how to add them to insure successful large meeting in Connect.

Vantage Point is not just about Bandwidth

Vantage Point from Refined Data works with Connect and provides remote control of Cameras, Microphones, Telephones, Volumes, Tech Support, Motion Detection, Mouse Detection, Continuous attendance tracking and reporting and much more so it’s not just about bandwidth reduction.

On the bandwidth front, Vantage Point publishes streams to Refined Data servers at 100Kbps for each participant in the room; this is less than Connect in most cases, but the Host only consumes as many streams as they can view at one time. The host can see as few as 5 or 6 students at one time or as many as 50 or more depending on their screen resolution, window size, Vantage Point settings, connectivity and bandwidth availability.

This means that even with 100 Participants in a Connect room and one Host the bandwidth consumption looks like this:

  • Participant Load: 100kbps Up (to publish their own camera to Vantage Point), 100kbps down (to view the Host in Connect). This is a small signature on the network.
  • Host Load: 100kbps Up (to publish their own camera in Connect), 2.5mbps down (assuming they view 25 participant cameras in Vantage Point at one time). The Host is the only one who needs a really good connection.
  • Total Load on Adobe Connect: 1 publish stream + 99 subscribers

The host can always reduce their own load simply by viewing fewer simultaneous Video pods in Vantage Point. The bandwidth load for students or participants is not affected at all by class size. Bandwidth load for Hosts rises linearly with class size but can be limited by the host at any time based on the maximum number of cameras they view at one time.

In Connect, the bandwidth load rises with the number of cameras being shared:

  • 4 Cameras: 16 Connections on the Server, each user publishes 100kbps and consumes 300kbps
  • 10 Cameras: 100 Connections on the Server, each user publishes 100kbps and consumes 900kbps
  • 20 Cameras: 400 Connections on the Server, each user publishes 100kbps and consumes 1.9mbps

Even if Connect could technically support 50 or 100 simultaneous web cams in a single meeting (2,500 streams risks significant latency), consider the requirement that participants would need 5-10mbps of bandwidth to support the load, before accounting for VoIP, screen-sharing and basic overhead. Anything above 10 simultaneous web cameras may be difficult for a host to manage and apart from any other considerations, there may not be enough real-estate for content if you are showing 10 or more web cams in the meeting room.

Vantage Point only publishes at 100kbps, most of the time; DSL and Standard quality is already more than twice this load in Connect and can easily rise higher if the room is set to use the Highest video quality at 16:9. With Vantage Point, Adobe Connect saves the server load, participants are not affected by class size, Hosts can see all of their students, all of the time and enjoy unparalleled control of the classroom environment.

Check it out at Refined Data: http://vantagepoint.refineddata.com/

Linux Sound Card Drivers cause a Crash during a Connect VoIP Session

To avoid problems with select Linux sound card drivers turn off Enhanced Audio in a Connect Meeting:

Meeting->Preferences>Microphone:

mic-enh.fw

Some crashes on Linux are avoided by turning off Enhanced Audio and canceling Acoustic Echo Cancellation Mode.

For Success with Unified Voice for On-premise Connect Deployments be kind to SIP Traffic

Issue: Avoid latency caused by packet inspection of SIP traffic for Unified Voice (UV)

To avoid latency caused by packet inspection of SIP traffic UV, simply be sure to disable SIP packet inspection on an application-aware firewall. The best-practice it to implement a global address tag in the sip.xml file on the Flash Media Gateway (FMG) server.

FMG and SIP works best with Connect when there is an absence of superfluous speed-bumps; click on this diagram thumbnail to view the traffic flow among the servers:

Connect_FMG_Flow

Troubleshooting Caption Colorado Domain Names in Meeting Pod

Issue: Sometimes the Closed Captioning pod fails to connect to Caption Colorado.

Symptom looks like this:

CC.fw

Always make certain you have the correct pod version: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect/feature-details/closed-captioning.html

There are two names available at Caption Colorado, one is a legacy name for Breeze and the other is for Connect. Both point to the same TCPIP address:

C:\flyfishing\frank>nslookup connect.captioncolorado.com
Server:  dns.adobe.com
Address:  xx.xx.xx.xx
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    connect.captioncolorado.com
Address:  216.241.103.7
C:\flyfishing\frank>nslookup breeze.captioncolorado.com
Server:  dns.adobe.com
Address:  xx.xx.xx.xx
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    breeze.captioncolorado.com
Address:  216.241.103.7

Workaround: When either of these domain names (Breeze or Connect) fails to connect, use the other. This is a known issue at Caption Colorado and they are working to resolve it. Simply juxtaposing connect.captioncolorado.com for breeze.captioncolorado.com or visa versa in the pod configuration will solve the connection issue and facilitate closed-captioning.

Adobe Connect Meeting Add-in for 9.1.2 is Now Available

The new Adobe Connect Meeting Add-in is now available.  This latest version of Adobe Connect Add-in is 11.2.392.0 for both Windows and Mac platforms.  Please see the following knowledge base article below for the latest information including the list of issues that have been fixed in this release as well as the links to download both the Windows and Mac versions of the Add-in.

http://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/latest-connect-91-addin.html