Posts in Category "General"

On-premise Adobe Connect Servers and Java

The question occasionally comes up: May I freely update Java on my Adobe Connect on-premise server?

And actually this question should be split into two questions:

  • What version of Java may I use?
  • What update of that version may I use?

It is important to keep these two questions separated because going from 1.6.0_37 to 1.6.0_45 is different from (more trivial than) moving from Java 6 to Java 8 (whereby compatibility issues could result).

With reference to the shipping version with Connect, our standard is Java 7, and has been since 9.1.1. Since we make every effort to keep Adobe Connect up to date with its surrounding infrastructure,we will evaluate a move to Java 8 going forward, as eventually public Java 7 updates will come to an end.

With reference to the updaters, Oracle releases quarterly Critical Patch Updates (see http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/alerts-086861.html), and we have been striving to keep up with these (although our release cycle does often mean that we are one or two quarters behind so as to allow for time to fully test). The version being packaged with 9.4 is 1.7.0_71, the Critical Patch Update from Oct 2014.

While we  don’t believe there is any particular compatibility issue with moving from JRE 6 to JRE 7, nevertheless we do not recommend that customers update the JRE separately from Connect itself. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • We have uncovered JRE bugs in the past during our performance/longevity tests.
  • We also moved from 32-bit JRE to 64-bit JRE and this necessitated sizing changes (heap size etc.).

Heap size is an important variable that warrants performance testing to ensure that the sizing is adequate for the target JRE version. All this is due diligence is done as part of our packaged Connect builds; by updating outside of our quality assurance and performance testing cycles, you add unnecessary risk. It is best to take full advantage the battery of testing accomplished by the Adobe Connect engineering team; by upgrading the JRE separately, you will create an infrastructure with variables that have not been fully tested and thereby assume commensurate risk.

Last Minute Managing of Large Adobe Connect Hosted Seminars

Currently, as of Connect 9.3.1, Adobe Connect hosted Seminars may launch on regular Connect Meeting server instead of their designated Webinar servers. If Seminar preparation keeps the Seminar room open for an extended period just prior to to the actual Seminar itself, the Seminar may remain on a Meeting server that is not rated for a large capacity Seminar. Simple precautions will avoid this from happening.

In order to avoid this, on the day of the scheduled Webinar, be sure to open the Seminar room only 30 minutes prior to the start of the Seminar session. By opening the Seminar earlier and keeping it open for final editing right up to the start of the Seminar session, you can lock the seminar onto a regular Connect Meeting server rather than on a Webinar server designed for large capacity sessions. While you can certainly spend as much time as needed to prepare your seminar room in advance of the actual session, you should close the Seminar room for at least seven minutes prior to the actual scheduled Seminar session. Seven minutes is the time it takes the Seminar room to process garbage collection from editing and preparation activities before opening up for the real event.

Adobe is looking at ways to automate the transition from a regular Meeting server to a Webinar server with an eye toward  future release. In the interim, just be sure to time your final Seminar preparation to allow for transition to a Webinar server where large Seminar concurrency is supported with robustness.

Adobe Connect Add-in Compatibility with the Google Chrome Browser

Updated January 27, 2015:

Note: This article only applies to Adobe Connect on-premise server deployments. Adobe Connect hosted clients are unaffected.

The Google Chrome browser is currently shipping with two versions of the Flash plugin.  The default PPAPI and also the NPAPI Flash plug-in. The following versions of Adobe Connect installations are incompatible out of the box with the default PPAPI plug-in:

  • 9.1.2
  • 9.1.1
  • 9.0.1 – 9.0.4
  • 9.0.0.1
  • 8.2.2.4
  • 8.2.2

PPAPI plug-in incompatibility results in the Adobe Connect Add-in not being detected and launched in Chrome when invoked in a Connect Meeting. Even if the Add-in is installed, the meeting opens in the browser and not in the Connect Add-in. Upon attempting to share ones screen (a Connect feature supported in the Add-in but not in the browser), the following message appears:

chrome-addin.fw

Google Chrome, with the release of Version 40, will no longer use their whitelist to allow NPAPI  plugins to run without requiring approval: http://googleappsupdates.blogspot.com/2015/01/upcoming-changes-to-npapi-support-in.html Chrome users will not be able to use the Adobe Connect Add-in for the above listed versions of Connect. To address this problem, Adobe is patching the following Connect versions for use with Chrome:

  • 9.1.2
  • 9.1.1
  • 9.0.4
  • 8.2.2

These patches will fix the incompatibility problems with the PPAPI plug in. Adobe Connect servers that are not running one of these versions (or a later version) will need to be upgraded to the nearest later version to the one currently installed and then apply the appropriate Connect PPAPI patch.

There should not be any change in the behavior for Flash Player NPAPI in January because Flash Player is not listed among the applications  that are going to be removed in January:  http://blog.chromium.org/2013/09/saying-goodbye-to-our-old-friend-npapi.html

Workarounds until the patches are available:

  • You can attend Adobe Connect Meetings without the Adobe Connect Add-in, however the Add-in is required for enhanced functionality like screen sharing and making offline recordings.
  • Turn off auto-upate in Chrome so that you do not upgrade to a version of Chrome that is problematic.
  • Alternatively you can use any browser other than Chrome with Adobe Connect.
  • Manually enable NPAPI by clicking on the “Plug-in blocked” message in the URL bar and choosing “Always allow plug-ins on [website]” http://www.chromium.org/developers/npapi-deprecation

 

chrome-enable.fw

Note: In April 2015, this will no longer be an option as NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome and Google will un-publish extensions requiring NPAPI plugins from the Chrome Web Store. Google will however provide an override for advanced users in the form of an ‘enable-npapi’ flag and enterprise policy to temporarily re-enable NPAPI.

The Adobe Connect API Accepts Special Charaters (+,$,# etc) if Executed with Encoded Values

Description : The Adobe Connect Web Services API accepts special characters such as (+,$,# etc) if you encode the characters. For example:

If a user Login employs the credentials shown below on the User Interface, it will work without issue.
User Name :- abc+def@adobe.com
Password :- Passw0rd

However, when the user uses the following API “/api/xml?action=login&login=abc+def@adobe.com&password=Passw0rd”

The plus sign is interpreted as though it were a space and the Login looks like this “abc def@adobe.com” resulting in the following:

  • <results>
  • <status code=”no-data”/>
  • </results>

In order to employ these special characters, you must encode them and then execute the API.  For instance in the above case we will execute an API as shown below :

/api/xml?action=login&login=abc%2Bdef@adobe.com&password=Passw0rd

Special character encoding reference information is found under URL :- w3schools  This reference is useful for those users who are trying to run API with special characters.

Some Facts About Poll Pod Reporting

Description :  In meeting room, with poll pods.

Poll-Pods

–  If we do not end the poll and rather we close the meeting room directly, which as a result would close the poll automatically.
-  If we leave the meeting room ideal and do not end the poll, then meeting session expires after few hours, which as a result closes the poll.

– If we close/End the Poll Pod.

In any case where the meeting session closes the “update-poll-results” query would still triggers and send the captured results to the Data Base, which as a result should be visible in the reporting of that particular Live Session.

It was always designed to update the poll results in CPS whenever poll ends/explicit meeting end/automatic meeting unload. So if user ends the meeting without ending the Poll Pods, this procedure would still work. In ideal sessions also, after certain time if session is closed, all users’ connection are closed and meeting app gets unloaded at FMS server.  Hence poll reports will be sent to the CPS when meeting app gets unloaded.

Resolved: CSO – DATE (2 DEC 2014) – Intermittent Connect Restarts

This is resolved as of 2014-12-02 12:08 EST. 

We are actively working to solve an intermittent issue with Connect restarts on some servers in DA2 clusters.

This issue is causing outbound connections to be dropped.  This will result in outbound connections to mail, SIP and telephony providers to drop. It will not prevent regular http and rtmp traffic as they go through a different firewall.  The issue is that the Connect scheduler relies on mail going out, and if the queue builds it can cause problems with the Connect service. The exact clusters affected are in DA2:  NA3, NA4, NA5, NA7, NA10 and NA11.

The root cause is isolated to a change made by one of our service providers last night and we are working aggressively to get it resolved. It is affecting other Adobe products as well as Connect.

 

You may check http://status.acrobat.com/ for updates.

Global Dial-in Number Link Missing using InterCall Teleconferencing

While using InterCall as a teleconferencing provider, sometimes the option “Further dial in Numbers” under Adobe Connect –> My Profile –> My Audio Profiles is missing.

 

This setting is controlled by InterCall itself.  They must enable their Global Access Settings under the user’s teleconference settings to get this link under the Connect audio profiles.

 

FurtherDial_img1

Link Missing

Link Missing

Adobe Connect Supported Video Input Resolution Option Questions and Answers

An interesting question came up that others may have: What are the supported video input resolutions for Connect? I am testing a Matrox MXO2 Mini that allows me to send a variety of different resolutions through a USB shim that can be used in Connect. I have tried a number of resolutions that will either not show a full frame of video or no video at all. Can I get a list of the supported video input resolutions?

Answer:

For 4:3:

160×120
320×240
640×480

For 16:9:

214×120
427×240
854×480

Another question came up on the same topic that will be of interest. Similar to something Hippasus might ask Pythagoras: If there are three supported resolutions per aspect ratio why are there four settings for video quality under video preferences?

video-quality.fw

Answer: Apart from Video  Resolution, there are other parameters as well which define the video quality such as Frames/sec and Video Compression Quality. These four settings have different combinations of these variables:

                                           Resolution                      Frames/sec                Video Compression %

High                                      640×480                               20                                                           90

Standard                              320×240                               10                                                           80

Medium                               320×240                               8                                                              75

Low                                        160×120                               4                                                              70

For the 16:9 aspect ratio, the settings are the same as their 4:3 counterparts. For example, if 4:3 resolution for any quality setting is 320×240, then its 16:9 counterpart will always be 427×240.

214×120
427×240
854×480

VoIP Bandwidth and Microphones

When using the Nellymoser codec, one microphone might produce more bandwidth over against another. Nellymoser accepts five different microphone rates values: 5, 8, 11, 22 and 44. Each of these rate values consumes bandwidth of roughly double its value. For example the 8kHz setting consumes roughly 16kbps and 11kHz setting consumes roughly 22 kbps. The default rate value is 8kHz. This may vary depending on the sound capture device in use.

The Flash Player microphone reference documentation reads:

“The default value is 8 kHz if your sound capture device supports this value. Otherwise, the default value is the next available capture level above 8 kHz that your sound capture device supports, usually 11 kHz.”

It is possible for two different microphones to consume different amounts of bandwidth.

In case of the Speex codec, it has a fixed sampling rate of 16kHz. Speex allows control of the quality by offering us 11 different encoding quality options. See the following reference table :

 

Speex NellyMoser
Quality (EncodeQuality)Mic rate is fixed at 16 Bandwidth(kbps) Quality (Mic Rate) Bandwidth (kbps)
0 3.95 5 11.025
1 5.75 8 16
2 7.75 11 22.05
3 9.80 22 44.1
4 12.8 44 88.2
5 16.8
6 20.6
7 23.8
8 27.8
9 34.2
10 42.2

 

Adobe Connect supports three Speex settings:

  • Fast : Encode Quality 4
  • Good : Encode Quality 6
  • Best : Encode Quality 8

Increasing the encoding quality will increase the quality of the stream but will also require greater bandwidth. The Speex codec is optimized for voice and also includes voice activity detection that allows it to reduce bandwidth.

Adobe Connect 9.3 Concurrent Learner Licensing Updates

Adobe Connect 9.3 Concurrent Learner Licensing Updates

As we released Adobe Connect 9.3, we began to more accurately track Concurrent Learner licensing usage (i.e., licensing of the Adobe Connect Training Module), with reporting available in the “Reports” section of Adobe Connect Central to provide specific usage metrics.  With increased accuracy of concurrency measurement introduced in version 9.3, you may reach your concurrency limits more quickly due to this change.  Here is an FAQ around this update:

http://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/connect-93-concurrent-learner-licensing.html