Posts in Category "Meeting"

Ensuring that Email Generated by Adobe Connect Servers is Received

There have been more than a few incidents reported on the topic of email messages from Adobe Connect servers not getting delivered. These include messages generated by the Adobe Connect Events module as well as system email messages such as that generated by changing a password.

The first thing to avoid to prevent this problem is that of using special characters in the host’s name. This is scheduled to be fixed in Connect 9.3, but currently, in 9.2, if you place a comma in the Event host’s name such as Frank D., El Presidente’  it will cause an error identified in our server logs by a messaging exception.

The second thing to avoid is inviting over 20,000 participants to an Event. This generates an operation size error and causes problems with email messages being sent out. We also plan to address this ceiling tentatively in Connect 9.3.

With specific reference to Adobe Connect Hosted accounts, we just made the following change to ameliorate email problems: As of April 28th, 2014, administrative email notifications sent from Adobe Connect servers will now be coming from admin@adobeconnect.com instead of admin@acrobat.com This will help by disassociating Connect-generated email from that of the Acrobat domain which could be potentially blocked by virtue of its identification with document storage. We also made some internal changes to the way the Connect servers handle email and we worked with our Web infrastructure partners to insure that Connect generated email was not being treated as SPAM on the Web.

There is a bit of a conundrum here. If Adobe Connect Events email invitations are sent out in massive mailings to those who perceive the email as SPAM, then the Adobe Connect servers could be tagged as producing SPAM by those end-user recipients. An overzealous Events manager may cause Gmail and other providers to treat Adobe Connect email as SPAM. When an Event that is capped at 500 participants sends out 5000 email invitations, it is expected that many recipients will at best ignore the inbound email traffic and many more may consider the traffic to be a nuisance. We are investigating possible approaches to ameliorate this problem and plan in 9.3  to add an opt-out option for Events invitations that will offer a convenient alternative to any SPAM reply option for recipients to invoke.

We love large Events and Adobe Connect handles them very well; this is a case when our success can potentially lead to some problems. Currently the Adobe Hosted Service is green for SPF record checks.  We pass all major email providers and are not blacklisted according to common checker tools on the internet.  This should resolve the lion’s share of current email issues and the upcoming changes in 9.3 will serve to harden this capability for future Events.

Connect 9.1.x on-premise server – “Send Invitations” checked by default

When creating a new meeting you are asked if you want to send out meeting invitations by email.

In Connect 9.1.x the option to send invitations is selected by default.

If you do not wish to send out invitations for your meetings you have to select “Do not send invitations” every time you create a new meeting.

sendInvitations

You can change this behavior to make  “Do not send invitations” the default when creating a new meeting.

To do so, edit the notify.xsl file which is located in \Connect\9.1.1\appserv\apps\meeting\  ( but please remember to take a backup copy of the file).

1. Open the notify.xsl in an xml-friendly editor such as notepad++

2. Find this section:

<table cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″>
<xsl:call-template name=”input”>
<xsl:with-param name=”title”   select=”‘send-invitations'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”name”    select=”‘date-scheduled'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”type”    select=”‘radio'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”value”   select=”/results/common/date”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”checked” select=”true()”/>
</xsl:call-template>

<xsl:call-template name=”input”>
<xsl:with-param name=”title”   select=”‘no-invitations'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”name”    select=”‘date-scheduled'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”type”    select=”‘radio'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”value”   select=”‘ignore'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”checked” select=”false()”/>
</xsl:call-template>
</table>

3. Change “false” to “true” and “true” to “false” to swap the selection.

It should now look like this:

<table cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″>
<xsl:call-template name=”input”>
<xsl:with-param name=”title”   select=”‘send-invitations'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”name”    select=”‘date-scheduled'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”type”    select=”‘radio'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”value”   select=”/results/common/date”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”checked” select=”false()”/>
</xsl:call-template>

<xsl:call-template name=”input”>
<xsl:with-param name=”title”   select=”‘no-invitations'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”name”    select=”‘date-scheduled'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”type”    select=”‘radio'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”value”   select=”‘ignore'”/>
<xsl:with-param name=”checked” select=”true()”/>
</xsl:call-template>
</table>

 

4. Save the file and restart the services.

5. Check your changes by creating a new meeting. If you encounter any issues, restore the original file.

 

 

Specifications for MP4 Conversion for Connect Recordings

Here are the specifications for the MP4 conversion; they are similar to our FLV specifications albeit with better compression:

  • Resolution: 1024X768
  • Frames Per Second: 8 FPS
  • Video Bitrate: 1024kbps
  • Audio:
    • Codec – AAC (Advanced Audio Codec)
    • Profile – Main@3.1
    • Bit Rate – ~55Kbps (VBR)
    • Channels – 1 (Mono)
    • Sampling rate – 44.1Khz

Be Aware of the Closed Captioning Pod Defaults

Last week we found out that Caption Colorado changed their IP address and port number for the Closed Captioning pod downloadable from the Connect Exchange Website. Here is the direct link to the Connect version 9 Closed Captioning Pod

The new Caption Colorado information includes:

If you are experiencing any trouble with the Closed Captioning pod while using it in a Connect Meeting with Caption Colorado, please set your host to “captionedtext.com” and to port 11100 in the adobe pod. Note that the new IP, 54.193.31.11, depending on your infrastructure’s network security settings, may need to be white-listed.

For an updated user’s guide referencing the Closed Caption Pod, see this PDF: http://platinum.adobeconnect.com/cc/

 

 

Arkadin Audio Profile Conference Numbers

For Arkadin customers who integrate Arkadin audio profiles into Adobe Connect Meeting rooms, they need to be very careful in what numbers they are inputting into the profile fields when they are creating the telephony profiles.  Also, if these profiles are being provisioned automatically by an application utilizing the API, developers need to make sure the values they are passing in via the web services are also correct.

Arkadin has 3 phone numbers that are required when building an audio profile (UI pictured below).

arkprof

  1. Toll Access Number‘ (in the API this is: ‘x-tel-arkadin-conference-number‘)
  2. Toll Free Access Number‘ (in the API this is ‘x-tel-arkadin-conference-number-free‘)
  3. SIP Access Number‘ (in the API this is ‘x-tel-arkadin-conference-number-uvline‘)

It is crucial that you do NOT inadvertently put the Toll number (a non ‘1-8xx’ number) in for the Toll Free value and vice versa.  If you put a toll number in for the toll free number, the audio profile will save correctly, HOWEVER the UV line (Universal Voice) will not be able to connect to your meeting room when you try to start the audio (for Audio Broadcast and for Meeting Recording with Arkadin).  Universal Voice can only call out to a toll FREE number.  So if you are seeing your Arkadin audio conference not connecting correctly in the Adobe Connect Meeting room, please make sure to check your Arkadin profile that is assigned to the meeting, to make sure the toll free number is actually a toll free number, and the toll number is also correct.  The SIP access number should be set to the toll FREE number as well.

 

Estimating the Size of Archive Meeting Recordings

I was recently asked if I had any test data showing how big a recording becomes based on the use case during the Connect Meeting being recorded. While plenty of anecdotal information exists,  I thought it prudent to begin a list of use cases and show what the size was after five minutes of each use case. This article will be a work in progress as I add different use cases in order to offer various concrete examples to use as a basis to estimate recording size based on what is being recorded, whether multiple Video pod camera feeds or screen-sharing or VoIP, etc. Among its purposes, this exercise will help meeting hosts to avoid exceeding the 2GB limit on Adobe hosted clusters for recording size.

Most relevant among the variables considered is the notion that recording size is affected by the streams present in the meeting being recorded. Typically a Video pod with VoIP (640X480) shared per hour will result in an FLV of around 200MB. Sharing a screen in a meeting (1680X1050) will result in an FLV size of around 150 MB. PPT/PPTX files uploaded to a meeting room and displayed while recording will not play a significant part in recording size because the recordings link to external content rather than contain that content intrinsically. For example,  a meeting with two Video pod streams could have recording size of around 400MB and a meeting having a single Video pod stream with VoIP and screen-sharing could end up around 350MB. The actual results may differ as the screen resolution of the publisher, the type of sharing and the amount of movement are all variables that can affect recording size: If there is little movement on screen or in the Video pod stream, the recording size will be less than it would be with a lot of movement.

Here are some concrete examples to use for planning; each recording is approximately five minutes in length:

A meeting with a single video feed for the Presenter to display and scroll through an uploaded PowerPoint file while using integrated telephony:Title: Recording Size Test_0
Type: Recording
Duration: 00:05:31
Disk usage: 8335.3 KB

rec-size1.fw

 

A recording of a meeting with six video feeds and an uploaded PowerPoint file
Title: Planning Troubleshooting and Support Meeting Room _15
Type: Recording
Duration: 00:05:48
Disk usage: 13873.8 KB

rec-size2.fw

 

A recording of a meeting with four video feeds and screen sharing an application with normal activity
Title: Planning Troubleshooting and Support Meeting Room _16
Type: Recording
Duration: 00:05:56
Disk usage: 21660.8 KB

rec-size3.fw

More examples to follow.

Where is my Engagement Dashboard?

At some point you may want to use the Engagement Dashboard to track your users’ attentiveness in an Adobe Connect Meeting room, but wonder where oh where it may be…  You glance up at your Pods menu (as a host) and see it is not listed.  You may wonder why.  Well, here’s why…

If you want to use the Engagement Dashboard, one of the following scenarios has to be true:

  • You are a Seminar Host and created a Seminar Room.  Seminar Rooms have the Engagement Dashboard in the Presenter Only Area.
  • You are an Event Manager and created an Event that points to a meeting, seminar room, or virtual classroom, in the Event Management area of Adobe Connect.  If you point an Event to any meeting, virtual classroom, or seminar room, it will have the Engagement Dashboard in the Presenter Only Area.
  • You are a Training Manager AND Meeting Host and you create a Virtual Classroom (you must be both to even create a VC in the first place), it will have the Engagement Dashboard in the Presenter Only Area.
  • You are an Meeting Host AND Event Manager and you create a Meeting (just being a Meeting Host will NOT give you access to the Engagement Dashboard).  Only then will the Meeting have an Engagement Dashboard in the Presenter Only Area.

Situation where you will have a room open and you won’t have the Engagement Dashboard as a Pod option:

  • You are a Meeting Host but NOT an Event Manager as well.  You will not see the Engagement Dashboard in the available pods and it will not be in the Presenter Only Area.

Additional Resources around the Engagement Dashboard…

http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2012/06/sneak-peek-the-engagement-dashboard.html

https://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2013/06/rules_of_engagement/index.php

engage1

engagement2

How to completely delete content from a Meeting room

To completely delete content from any meeting room there are at least two places and possibly a third place in Connect from which you must delete it.

The first place is the most obvious and it is in the Meeting room itself under the Pods menu and Manage Pods option:

del-con.fw

del-con1.fw

The second place is in the Uploaded Content directory under the Meeting Information. To get there from a Meeting room, a host and owner can click Manage Meeting Information under the Meeting tab:

del-con2.fw

Then go to the Uploaded Content tab:

del-con3.fw

The third possible place is the Content Library. If you uploaded or published to the Content Library and pointed the share pod to it, you will need to go to the Content Library to delete it. If you uploaded directly to the Meeting room then you may skip this step:

del-con4.fw

Aspect Ratio 16:9 for video pod does not apply on MAC computers

Description:- When you select 16:9 aspect ratio it displays a 4:3 ratio in a window with empty space on MAC computers however A true 16:9 aspect ratio will fill out that whole empty space, which works fine on windows machines.

Reason Being : It was a bug according to which, on Mac computers it is a Limitation that cameras cannot support wide screen (16:9) Aspect Ratio. This was basically more of a flash player limitation which at present, is set as by design.

 

Editing Connect On-premise Email Send Source Options

Adobe Connect hosted customers have long enjoyed the option of having their Connect account administrative email sent out to users on behalf of a specified email source rather than the system email parameter configured during installation of the Connect server.  In order to exploit this option for on-premise Connect deployments, you first need to apply the following SQL update statement.  This will  add a row into the pps_account_features table:

insert into PPS_ACCOUNT_FEATURES
(ACCOUNT_ID, FEATURE_ID, DATE_BEGIN, DATE_END)
values (7, 71, ‘2014-02-20 00:00:00.000′,’3000-01-01 00:00:00.000′)

After adding this row, check the system email settings with the SQL statement below to make sure it is correctly configured:

select * from PPS_CONFIG
where name like ‘%email%

The results of the query above should correspond with the settings prescribed on local port 8510 on the Connect server settings page in the Connect server configuration wizard.

SECTION              NAME    VALUE   COMMON_NAME
hosted   validation-emaillist                         NULL
main      config-bcc-email              NULL     NULL
main      config-support-email      admin@connectaccount.com         NULL
main      config-system-email        admin@connectaccount.com        NULL

After making the prescribed database changes, they will either take effect immediately after you cycle the Adobe Connect and Flash Media services or after 10 minutes. You do not need to cycle the services unless the change must be immediate.

With the above settings in place, if you create a user in Connect with the email address  joe@connectaccount.com and then you add  Joe to the Meeting Hosts group, the admin designated in the system-email parameter on the server settings page will send email on Joe’s behalf.

To prove this, simply log in, as Joe, create a meeting and add the user with email admin@connectaccount.com (or anyone you chose) as a meeting participant and send that person a meeting invitation. It should read: admin@connectaccount.com; on behalf of; joe@connectaccount.com:

The meeting invitation will look something like this:

From: admin@connectaccount.com [mailto:admin@connectaccount.com] On Behalf Of Joe
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2014 5:30 PM
To: WhoeverIChoose@wherever.com; WhoeverIChoose
Subject: Adobe Connect – Meeting Invitation to “My most excellent meeting”
When: February 23, 2014 5:30 PM-6:30 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Where: http://meeting.connectaccount.com/meeting/

Please join me in an Adobe Connect Meeting.

Meeting Name:  The Only Meeting <snip>

Note: This will not affect password reset email messages.