Posts in Category "Meeting"

Generating Server-side Logs to Troubleshoot On-premise Connect Deployments

In order to diagnose unexpected behavior within Adobe Connect, it may be necessary for the Adobe Connect Support team to examine server-side logs from an on-premise Connect deployment. The logs directory is located in the Connect (or Breeze – it is not uncommon for Connect upgrades to reside in legacy Breeze directories) directory:

logsdir.fw

Within the logs directory there are sub-directories containing various logs:

logsdir1.fw

The most commonly requested log by the support team, is the debug.log. It can be found in the logs>support directory. With the services running, the current debug log will appear without a date at the top of the debug.log file list. The default rollover is 12 hours generating AM and PM logs each day:

logsdir2.fw

In order to make the debug.log file more useful for purposes of diagnosis, you can enable verbose logging by adding entries to the custom.ini file located in the Connect or Breeze version sub-directory. Here you see it located in a 9.3.1 directory under the Breeze root installation/upgrade directory:

logscustomini3.fw

Before editing the custom.ini file, be sure to create a backup copy of it. Add the following lines in order to enable verbose logging:

HTTP_TRACE=true
DB_LOG_ALL_QUERIES=true

Note that for versions of Connect 9.2 and prior, use yes instead of true:

HTTP_TRACE=yes
DB_LOG_ALL_QUERIES=yes

Save the custom.ini file (be careful not to accidentally change the file type to .txt) and during a scheduled maintenance window, cycle the Connect and AMS/FMS services in order to load the changes and begin verbose logging (note this will bring Connect down while the services cycle):

logssvcs4.fw

There are occasions when it may be prudent to provide more than one log for a more complete diagnosis. To provide a full sample of the various Connect logs without sending a massive historical sample of log files, you may simply stop the Connect services (during scheduled downtime as this will bring down Connect) and rename the entire log directory to log.old. Then upon starting the services back up, recreate the issue being diagnosed and then stop the services.

This activity will generate a new small log directory isolating the issue under scrutiny that you just reproduced in Connect: Zip/compress this new abbreviated log directory with all its fresh abbreviated sub-directories and provide it to the the Adobe Connect Support team to help expedite more exhaustive server-side log analysis. This option is particularly helpful when examining a cluster as each server will have a set of logs. When providing cluster logs, always label each compressed log folder to easily identify the server from which it came.

Note that often when diagnosing unexpected behavior in Adobe Connect Meetings, it may also be prudent to enable client-side Connect addin verbose logging as well.  The relevant client-side logging tech-notes are here:

Enable logging | Meeting Add-in

Troubleshooting Verbose Meeting Addin Logging

Virtual Classrooms and Account Limit Reached Error

This article is applicable ONLY to Adobe Connect users who have purchased a Named Virtual Classroom Manager license within the Training Module and are running into Account Limit Reached messages unexpectedly when they are launching Virtual Classrooms.

With the release of Adobe Connect 9.4 in May of 2015, we introduced a new training license model called the “Named Virtual Classroom Manager”.  This is specifically for Connect users to create and host Virtual Classrooms (plus it gives you access to the Events module).  It is basically another way we are licensing access to Virtual Classrooms.  This means there are technically two different types of Virtual Classrooms that can be created when you have the Training module enabled:

  1. The ‘traditional’ model of Virtual Classrooms (VC) which use the Concurrent Learner seat quota on the account (up to 100 seats per room), and…
  2. The Named Virtual Classroom Manager (NVCM) model of Virtual Classrooms which use a built-in 200 seat quota and does not use any Concurrent Learner seats.

When accounts are provisioned and quotas and features purchased, customers have the option of buying ONLY a Named Virtual Classroom Manager license.  They do not need to buy any additional training seats for Concurrent Learners.  In the older traditional model, in order to use a Virtual Classroom, you had to buy Concurrent Learner seats (say 250 seats for sake of discussion).  When a training manager created a VC, it would utilize seats out of that (in this example) 250 seat quota, up to 100 attendees (the rest of the concurrent seats could be used for another VC or other training content).  It was capped at 100 per VC.  With the new Named Virtual Classroom Manager license, you can now have only the NVCM feature enabled (and essentially have purchased no other training seats…so Concurrent Learner quota =0) or you can have it in conjunction with other training seats purchased in case you have a need for on-demand courses and curriculum, etc.. The NVCM model VC will not use any Concurrent Learner seats. It has a built-in 200 seat quota per room.  However, the caveat here is that the VC created for intended use with the NVCM model needs to have one of a few conditions in place in order to take on that NVCM model.  Otherwise, it may inadvertently take on the behavior of a traditional model VC and it could lead to unexpected circumstances like an ‘Account Limit Reached’ when the very first person joins the VC.

Let’s explain…

To create a Virtual Classroom, no matter what type of training features/quotas were purchased, all you need to be is a Training Manager, Named Virtual Classroom Manager, or Administrator.

The process of creating a VC is always the same.  You click on the “New Virtual Classroom” button from within the Training module.

Each time a Virtual Classroom is launched, Adobe Connect checks a few conditions to see how the VC should be licensed when it launches.  The result of which will dictate the quota used for the seats.  Where this becomes very problematic and confusing for customers is when the customer ONLY purchases a NVCM license and doesn’t have any Concurrent Learner seats (so Concurrent Learner = 0).  It is possible for a customer to create and launch a VC that is trying to use a Concurrent Learner quota by mistake.  If that happens, you will get the error ‘Account Limit Reached‘ right away.

For the sake of the scenarios below that explain how the VC’s are licensed when they launch, I will also mention that when a VC is created in a NVCM’s individual user folder under the Training tab, it automatically is a NVCM model room.  If it’s created under the Shared Training area of the Training tab, then there is a setting you can check or uncheck called ‘Named Virtual Classroom Model‘.

nvcm

The value can either be Yes or No.  Below in the listed scenarios, that is what ‘set to yes’ or ‘set to no’ means.

Also below in the listed scenarios, a ‘NVCManager‘ is a person who is in the group ‘Virtual Classroom Managers’ in the Users and Groups area of Connect.  That is what gives that person the ability to utilize the NVCM model.  A ‘non-NVCManager‘ indicates someone who is NOT in that group.  This would be a normal Training Manager or Administrator.

Here are the conditions and scenarios (assuming the room is Public) where a VC can be launched with or without the 200 seat expected NVCM quota:

Green = NVCM is used and quota will be 200 seats
Red = traditional model is used and quota will be taken from Concurrent Learner seats and could result in an “Account Limit Reached” error if that quota is 0.
Orange = NVCM is used but there could be some confusion due to the lack of NVCM in the room or permissions for that NVCM.

Scenarios:

  • VC created in My Training folder by NVCManager – launched by NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200)
  • VC created in My Training folder by NVCManager – launched by non-NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200) however will not have the host present even if non NVCM who launched the room is a host (permission-wise).  A NVCM needs to be present for the room to have an initial host, similar to Named Host Meeting.  If the VC is ‘public’ as far as access level, it will launch and use the 200 seat quota for that owner, but if the owner isn’t in the room, the users who have entered will be participants.
  • VC created in Shared Training folder by NVCManager (set to yes) – launched by NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200)
  • VC created in Shared Training folder by NVCManager (set to yes) – launched by non-NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200) however will not have the host present even if non NVCM who launched the room is a host (permission-wise).  A NVCM needs to be present for the room to have an initial host, similar to Named Host Meeting.  If the VC is ‘public’ as far as access level, it will launch and use the 200 seat quota for that owner, but if the owner isn’t in the room, the users who have entered will be participants.
  • VC created in Shared Training folder by NVCManager (set to no) – launched by NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200)
  • VC created in Shared Training folder by NVCManager (set to no) – launched by non-NVCManager = Will use Traditional VC license (quota 100 taken from Concurrent Learners quota).  IF there is no quota for Concurrent Learners purchased, user will get ‘Account Limit Reached’ error.
  • VC created in Shared Training folder or My Training folder by non-NVCManager (set to yes) – launched by NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200)
  • VC created in Shared Training folder or My Training folder by non-NVCManager (set to yes) – launched by non-NVCManager – the room will behave like a Named VC and will use the 200 quota. But The room will not be owned by anyone, to be more precisely, there will not be an active host until an Named VC manager enters the room. Also all other non-NVCM hosts and presenters will be downgraded to participants until NVCM, who is assigned as a host, arrives.
  • VC created in Shared Training folder or My Training folder by non-NVCManager (set to no) – launched by NVCManager = Will use NVCM license (quota 200)
  • VC created in Shared Training folder or My Training folder by non-NVCManager (set to no) – launched by non-NVCManager  = Will use Traditional VC license (quota 100 taken from Concurrent Learners quota).  IF there is no quota for Concurrent Learners purchased, user will get ‘Account Limit Reached’ error.

So ultimately if you have purchased a NVCM license and you are expecting a VC to open and allow 200 seats, but you are getting an Account Limit Reached error either right away OR after a lower number of people access the room (so under 200), then most likely one of the situations above (in RED) has occurred.  To confirm, make sure that the creator of the room is in the NVCM group, the room exists inside of a NVCM’s My Training folder, the host launching the room is a NVCM, or at the very least the room has ‘YES’ set for the ‘Named Virtual Classroom License Model’ setting if the room is in the Shared Training area.

Troubleshooting the Flash-less Connect Addin Launch Feature

In order for the Flash-less Connect Meeting Addin to work, you must install the latest Connect Addin as an executable. The reason behind this requirement is that the Addin executable setup inserts needed registry keys within the Windows platform that are necessary to launch the Meeting Addin without Flash. The default, Lightning Addin download by design does not have admin access and cannot configure the Windows client for Flash-less Meetings.

With reference to Macintosh clients, the same rule applies as well. The complete installer needs to be run locally on each client to enable launching the Connect Meeting Addin without Flash.

flashlesssnapshot

If the Flash-less launch continues to be problematic, check for older version of the Addin and uninstall them:

flashlessunsint.fw

If the problem still persists, check also in the registry as there may be residual “connectpro” entries there under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT:

forceaddin-reg.fw

Manually delete these entries carefully.

New Adobe Connect Support Blog Subscription Option

Now you can stay on top of the new articles and posts by subscribing to the Adobe Connect Support Blog. Simply go to the Adobe Connect Support Blog home page and enter your email address and check off the categories about which you would like to be notified. Click “Subscribe me” and you will begin receiving  regular updates:

subscribe.fw

 

 

Recording Message in Edge Browser

When using the Microsoft Edge browser in an Adobe Connect Meeting, you may see the following dialog box in the upper left:

msedge1.fw

This does not indicate that the Adobe Connect Meeting is being recorded for later playback as an on-demand archive. To see if an Adobe Connect Meeting is being recorded, the place to look in the 9.5 Meeting is here:

msedgerec.fw

The Microsoft Edge notification is not actually denoting recording in the traditional sense understood by Adobe Connect Meeting users. If you hover the mouse over the red dot in Edge, the recording message will appear in an Connect Meeting, but it has nothing to do with any actual recording. It seems merely to be triggered by the act of broadcasting with a camera or microphone. The recording indicator dot will disappear in Edge if the microphone and camera are not in use or muted, paused or turned off.

The new Flashless Addin feature update 9.5.2 – some most common queries answered

With the recent 9.5.2 update, Adobe Connect sessions should be accessible to users even if Flash is restricted or not available on their systems. This is described in the 9.5.2 Release Notes.

How does this affect my users attending meetings ?

If flash application is blocked or restricted in any user environment, the user should not be forced to install flash to attend Connect meetings now. When the user will try to launch a meeting, they should see a prompt to either choose to open the meeting in flash application or Adobe Connect addin.

If either of these is not installed, users get an option to choose to install the desired application as per their requirement/policies.

FP5

Does this also affect my user’s ability to play recordings ?

Recording playback on client users is also expected to work in the same manner as meeting rooms even if Flash is not present on the client.

Recording playback in on a client without Flash installed will prompt the user to launch it in the addin or prompt the user to install the Connect addin.

FP7

 

What would be my experience if I am connecting via a mobile device with or without Connect mobile app ?

Flashless Add-in launch is a Desktop only feature and only affects any users attending meetings on desktop clients. It does not affect mobile client in any way whether or not the users choose to come via mobile app.

What if I try to load Flash content in my meeting opened in addin ?

Once you choose to open your meeting room in the Connect addin, any content uploaded by hosts/users inside the addin, are expected to work in the addin itself. There should not be any dependency on Flash player for the same.

Does this also mean that users will now have to pass all 4 steps in the meeting Connect Test instead of the current 3 that are required ?

Meeting Connection test is still based on flash player so if users want to run meeting test, they should have flash installed. It would still not be mandatory to pass all the 4 tests as its optional installing one of the components : either the addin or flash plugin, for attending meetings or watching recordings.

 

Watch out some Quick troubleshooting tips in case you are encountering any troubles with the new addin.

Feel free to contact Support for directing any further queries or information !!

 

Connect Meeting Room “NOT FOUND” Error when Launching

This blog article is pertinent to Adobe Connect HOSTED customers who have an account on the following clusters:

NA1, NA2, NA6, NA8, NA9, NA12

We have discovered a new bug recently with the 9.5.2 update (now live on accounts hosted on the clusters mentioned above) which can cause an issue for customers.

 

ISSUE:

You may try to launch a room and get a “NOT FOUND” error instead of the room opening as expected (image below):

notfound

 

This is because if the template from which a meeting room was created happens to have been deleted, then the meeting could result in the ‘Not Found’ state after 9.5.2 upgrade.   Meetings can have many ‘layers’ of templates under them.  Rooms created off of a template created off of a template created off of a template….and so on.  This will only affect a room if the template immediately underneath it is deleted.  Otherwise, if a template many layers underneath a room is deleted, this bug will not be present.  If you are not in the habit of deleting templates, you shouldn’t have to worry about this issue.  If for some reason you run into a room that will not launch and the attempt results in a ‘Not Found’ error screen as seen above, it could be because it’s template was inadvertently or intentionally deleted by the host, and admin, or any other user who has access to modify and administer that template.  Sometimes admins and meeting hosts go into Template folders (either My Template or Shared Template folders) and purge old, no longer used templates.  This could lead to rooms that were created off of those templates, experiencing this problem now as of the 9.5.2 upgrade that was performed this past weekend (February 7th).

Support has a way of recovering templates if they were recently deleted.  They should be contacted as soon as possible so that content (the template) can be recovered if it is still available on our storage devices and backups.

We are working on a hot-fix patch ASAP (we are targeting end of week internally and it should not impact the 9.5.2 rollout scheduled for the remaining clusters).  This fix should alleviate this issue and make it so that the meetings that were created off of a now deleted template, will still launch as expected.

Please contact support for any questions / concerns on this issue or if you are a partner/reseller and have customers who are experiencing this issue.  Again, it will only affect meetings on the clusters mentioned above, where the template used directly underneath a meeting, has been deleted.  Multiple layers down won’t affect the highest level meeting but any template underneath that has a template directly below it, will also be in this state if launched.

 

Behind the Curtain: Making Multiple Connect Meetings or Seminars Appear as One

On those occasions when a Meeting invitation may attract more participants than expected or planned for at the last minute so that you are unable to increase Seminar capacity in a timely manner, a skilled host can use two or more Connect Meeting rooms and project them to participants as though it were one room as an emergency workaround. Here is a basic outline of how to split a large meeting onto multiple servers. It is prudent to not just have more than one Meeting in these cases, but also to make sure each Meeting is hosted on a separate server in a cluster to add robustness to the meeting. Load-balancing is a wonderful thing and you should always use it to its fullest.

Assume an example of a three-server cluster/pool of Connect servers and that you want to split a Connect Meeting onto all three servers; a simple 3-server cluster is depicted here to use as an example:

C9SSLCluster3Simple

For a working example, let’s place a Connect Meeting room hosted on each server; to do this you will need three separate URLs: One URL for each 1/3rd  of your attendees. Getting the attendees distributed among the three rooms can be tricky. One effective technique is to either send out three different invitations, with each targeting 1/3rd of your audience and each offering a different URL, or just point everyone to a page with  all three URLs and request/instruct the participants to alphabetically arrange themselves in subsets of users by URL selection. That way it is not random; I have seen this technique work fine; here are sample meeting URLs based on our picture above:

http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting1
http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting2
http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting3

To make certain the each meeting is hosted on a separate server (rather than all three on one as load-balancing could easily prescribe), it will require some effort to keep entering and leaving the room until your meeting lands on the server you want. Using multiple browsers may be helpful as well. Working on this well in advance of the meeting is prudent as there is a session timeout factor to consider. The load balancing algorithm will eventually get the sessions distributed but it may take some effort.

The way to tell which server you are on is simple: In any meeting room click Help and while holding down the shift key click About Adobe Connect. This will pop up an RTMP string that will identify the server that Meeting is hosted on and also which server a client is coming through as each client can be using multiple servers (just to add not only to the complexity, but also the overall robustness).

Here is what the RTMP strings might look like for each of the three servers in our simple example above ( I am inserting some URL parameters from a hosted meeting as I write this in order to create our hypothetical example RTMP strings – rtmp://arfms3.adobeconnect.com:1935/?rtmp://pcparapp07:8506/meetingas3app/89676385/630888204/)

rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/

The first name in the string (connectmtg0#) is the built-in Connect Edge server and the second name (connapp0#)  is the Connect origin server  hosting the meeting (each Connect servers runs both AMS/FMS and Tomcat together). The second name is the important one for our technique of splitting the attendees onto separate meeting servers.

In the hypothetical RTMP string samples above, I have made these artificially neat and tidy, the truth is that the first part of the string can be any of the three for any meeting participant regardless of the application server hosting the meeting. For example, you could come in to connapp01 through connectmtg03 – any combination is possible. Load balancing is done at more than one level as Connect leverages both a hardware-based load-balancing device and also its own internal clustering capabilities; combinations for various clients (including the hosts and presenters) in our example cluster depicted  above might include:

rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/

The key to remember is that the second name is the one that matters; a distribution of participants approximating 1/3rd on each server is the goal targeting: connapp01, connapp02 and connapp03. After this is set-up, the pre-meeting preparation part is complete (this should be done at least one hour prior to the meeting).

Next comes the creative hosting venture during the split meeting: As the host, you will need all three meetings open in front of you to manage them as one. From the perspective of the participants, there is only one meeting (ignore the host behind the curtain). Be sure to hide the Attendee List Pod in the Presenter-only area as it will only present those participants in that specific Connect Meeting thereby allowing a peek behind the curtain or misrepresenting the size of the entire three meeting combination.

And here is where the techniques are very much up to you:

  • Splitting video among the three rooms is possible using a third-party option, one we have used successfully is: Splitcam.com.
  • For audio, if using integrated audio, be sure to use the same integrated telephony number for all three rooms.
  • If using VoIP, then allow one speaker only at a time to send audio via VoIP.

Some ways in which you can limit the amount of data being processed in your room and to improve the overall performance of these sessions are:

  • Optimize room bandwidth. In a Connect Meeting, at the top of the screen click on MEETING > Preferences. Under the preferences menu you are able to adjust screen sharing, video and VoIP quality setting separately.
  • Turn off cameras whenever they are not in use.
  • When in use, multiple cameras should probably be set to SLOW images (depending on how many and other variables).
  • Turn off VoIP if not talking.
  • Participants should directly connect to the fastest internet connection available and be on a dedicated DSL connection, at a minimum.
  • No clients or hosts on wireless – allow no exceptions.
  • Shut down Email, instant messaging, and any programs NOT being used for the presentation.
  • Shut down any VPNs as a VPN will potentially destroy the possibility for success.

When large Connect Meetings or Seminars become commonplace in your enterprise, this cumbersome workaround quickly becomes impractical and you should increase your Seminar or Webinar licensed capacity as needed to avoid this complexity and manual work. With that said however, this technique will work in a bind and will provide a robust Connect Meeting experience for a very large audience even if it challenges a seasoned Connect Meeting host.

On-premise Connect without Webinars Throws an Error when Moving Meetings

On-premise Connect customers running version 9.5 who do not have the Webinar option enabled will see an error when trying to move meetings via the GUI in Connect Central:

Webinar95Bugon-prem.fw

This will be fixed in an upcoming release and in the meantime we have two workaround options:

Connect 9.5 Edge Server Installation Instructions

Note: The upgrade installer described in this article below is deprecated. For instruction on the latest 9.5 installer, please see the following article: 9.5 Connect Edge Proxy Server Full Installer

Connect 9.5 server installation instructions:

  1. Create a folder <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver
  2. Download the Edge 9.5 (based on AMS 5) installer
  3. Run the self-extracting .exe file downloaded in step#2 to <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver
  4. Refer the following articles for deployment options:
    1. http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2011/06/edge_server_deploy/
    2. http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2011/06/edge_server_deploy2/
  5. Run <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver/win32/vcredist_x64.exe
  6. Run the following commands as administrator:
    1. cd <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver/win32AMSAdmin.exe -install
    2. AMSMaster.exe -install
    3. sc start amsadmin
    4. sc start ams
  7. Confirm that services “Adobe Media Administration Server” and “Adobe Media Server (AMS)” are running
  8. If services need to run using specific user credentials, then be sure to set the credentials in service properties and restart the services