Posts in Category "Seminars"

Event vs. Session Expected Number of Participants for Seminars

When you create a Seminar SESSION, depending on your Seminar License quota for the number of concurrent users, it will give you the Expected Number of Participants drop down (to select over or under 600 users).

The values are:

  • Large Seminar Session (> 600 participants)
  • Regular Seminar Session (Up to 600 Participants)

If your Seminar License allows for over 600 concurrent seats, you get this option when you create a Seminar Session for a Seminar Room that exists under that License. If the quota on the License is under 600 for a maximum concurrency, you do not see this option when creating a session and it defaults to a ‘Regular’ session.

sessionload

 

However when creating an EVENT in the Event Management area and point it to a Seminar Room, you do not get presented with an option to select a Large Seminar Session (> 600 participants) or Regular Seminar Session (Up to 600 Participants).  It will just assume the maximum for the License.  So if you select a Room to point an Event to, which resides in a Seminar License folder, which has a quota of over 600, the default for the Event ‘Session’ will be ‘Large Seminar Session (> 600 participants)’ (although you won’t see this referenced in the information for the Event).

 

 

Seminar Room Information Access for Seminar Hosts

In Adobe Connect 9.1, there seems to a misconception sometimes among Seminar Hosts that a user in the Seminar Host group can view and modify any Seminar Room (and their recordings, etc.) on the system. This is actually not the case.  Here is a summary of the permissions and scenarios in which a user who is in ONLY the Seminar Hosts group can view and modify Seminar Room information and related content/recordings.

When the permission of a Seminar Room itself is changed to:

a) Only registered users may enter the room (guest access is blocked) 

Or

b) Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room

Then we explicitly set “denied” or ”view-hidden” permission for All Users in the database for this Seminar. In that case, a Seminar Host or user performing the operation no longer has any more permissions (as he is also part of All Users) unless that user is explicitly part of the Participant list either as host or presenter OR has Administrator or Limited Administrator permissions.

What this means is that if you select any of the two above access levels for the Seminar Room when you create it (so NOT ‘Registered Users AND Accepted Guests’), then ONLY admins, limited admins, and users who have been added to the meeting as a Host or Presenter can actually edit that meeting (and change recording access levels, etc.).

The bottom line is the person who is modifying Seminar Room access should be either part of Seminar Participants or should have Administrator / Limited Administrator permissions.

So in a nutshell, these are the scenarios where Seminar Host Group members can change recording access for a seminar:

  • Creators of the Seminar Room (who are obviously the host) – no matter what the access level of the room is set to.  If they created it, they can edit/change things in that Seminar Room.
  • A Seminar Host Group member who has been added to a room (that they didn’t create) ‘s Participant List as a Host or Presenter of the room – no matter what the access level of the room is set to.
  • A Seminar Host Group member who doesn’t have any Host permissions for the room but if the room is set to ‘Only registered users and accepted guests may enter the room’.
  • A Seminar Host Group member who is also a Limited Administrator.
  • A Seminar Host Group member who is also an Administrator.

Here are the scenarios where a Seminar Host Group member can NOT edit a room or change recording access, etc.:

  • A Seminar Host Group member who is NOT also in Limited Admins Group or Admins Group and who is not a Participant (Host) in the room and the room is set to “Only registered users may enter the room (guest access is blocked) “
  • A Seminar Host Group member who is NOT also in Limited Admins Group or Admins Group and who is not a Participant (Host) in the room and the room is set to “Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room”

Providing Diagnostic Data to Expedite Solutions for Connect Meeting Issues

Issue: Anything that may happen during a meeting which has a pejorative effect on end-user experience.

Solution: In Connect 9.1 we have a great diagnostic option in the meeting room. You can immediately pull logs from any meeting to diagnose:

If you click Help>About Adobe Connect, while holding down the Ctrl key, the debug logs will appear int he meeting room and you will have the option to copy them to your clipboard.

log-mtg.fw

 

log-mtg1.fw

Sending me these, along with the RTMP string  Help> About Adobe Connect, while holding down the Shift key – this will be most helpful from the client experiencing the extreme latency.

rtmp-mtg.fw

Now if you want to take it even one step further and provide a client-side view of the meeting:

The instructions for enabling client-side logging are here: http://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/enable-logging-acrobat-connect-professional.html

Providing all this data along with the date and time (including timezone) and Meeting URL of any issue, will greatly expedite analysis and solution.

Which remote clicker/mouse will work to advance slides in a Connect Meeting room?

Issue: When stand up training in front of a live audience is done in tandem with a remote audience in a Connect Meeting room, it is effective and fun to advance the slides in the Meeting room while dancing around your live audience instead of being tethered to a podium.

Problem: Some pointers will not advance slides in a Connect Meeting room!

Solution(s): Some advice from a celebrity panel of  Connect Presenters:

  • You must make certain the Meeting room is highlighted and in focus.
  • This cheap one is a favorite and works fine as long as the meeting is in focus. There is no need to have a mouse hover over the advance button or anything more than having the meeting room in focus http://www.rakuten.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=219974233
  • One of the Senior SEs suggested that once you click on the forward or backward arrows in the pod, (and then don’t click anywhere else!) the clicker should work.  He  always used the remote  McAlly Mouse.
  • Another team member suggests that the clickers only work when the PPT has focus. He will typically move the first slide ahead with the built-in track pad to move the cursor over the right arrow, then use the clicker for the rest of the deck
  • Another said that the Share pod needs to be “in focus” when using a clicker for presentations which have been uploaded.  When sharing the desktop it should work as you’d expect for a standard presentation.

My preferred option is the first. It is tiny and fits in my travel bag. It comes with a small zippered case and I keep the lithium battery out of it when not in use.

Osprey 530 Streaming Audio with Connect

Problem: Osprey 530 card is unable to stream audio in Connect 9.

Solution:

Verify that the Osprey has the correct microphone input, from the Osprey test dialog: right-click the Osprey Device icon in the system tray. For our environment the correct input was the option: Balanced.

osprey1.fw

Test the Flash Player microphone settings dialog by checking to be sure that the microphone signal meter is registering audio both inside the Connect Meeting addin and in the Flash Player for the Osprey microphone:

osprey2.fw

Inside Connect, the audio from the microphone will not be captured in either the addin or in FP 11.8 even though other Flash Player sites which use microphone (midomi.com, tunerr.com) work fine inside Flash player unless you change the setting inside Meeting preferences and turn off the Enhanced Audio option.

osprey3.fw

This workaround allows Osprey audio to project both through the Connect Meeting addin, and inside Flash Player 11.8. We tested with FP 11.8.800.168 and FP 11.9.900 and they both worked.

Note: When Enhanced Audio is turned off, you will lose the options of acoustic echo cancellation and automatic gain control, however these settings are client specific and will not affect other participants.

 

Upload Size limits in Connect

Problem: How big can my Presentations, Recordings and Uploaded Content be?

With reference to supported file size, Connect recordings max out at 2GB, but I would avoid letting them get that big. Uploaded content in the meeting file-share pod, by default is limited to 100MB; the Share pod is limited to 2GB. A PPTX file that pushes the 2GB upload limit will never remain 2GB in size as the conversion process with shrink it down substantially.

I just ran some quick tests and a combined PowerPoint and Wave file that is 134MB, when edited in Presenter and turned into a combined PowerPoint and PowerPoint Controller File (PPTX&PPCX) shrinks down to 22.3MB and when this same file set is Published to the server and converted to Flash, it is now 7.2MB. These numbers will vary depending on the nature of the content, but you get the idea – Flash is much more lightweight than the source files. Adobe does not sell Connect as a compression tool but  this is is a nice feature of file conversion. In the absence of Presenter, a direct PPTX upload to a meeting to to the content library will be converted and shrink down server-side. Captivate will also compress the output considerably as part of the publishing process.

One of the hazards with uploading large files is the with the many network variables commensurate with any slow upload (switches, hubs, cables, firewalls, filters, encryption, decryption, in general – the composite, vast slow-breathing World Wide Web with its dread abysses and unknown tides). And then, once uploaded to a Connect cluster, it must also replicate within the cluster or to the NAS. Breaking up your massive recordings into smaller ones (chapters instead of volumes) and using the pause feature during breaks etc. is always prudent. The same can be said for large PPTX files; the best-practice is to make them no longer than one session, with proper planning and preparation, you will start a new PPTX after every break.

The entry in the custom.ini file that adjudicates the default value for uploads to the content library is:

MAX_ASSET_SIZE=2GB

I would only consider lowering this from 2GB; raising it is not supported. This variable only affects the content library and not the Meeting room pods.

The upload and timeout entries required in the server.xml file follow:  /appserv/conf/server.xml

For server that are not running SSL, find the following section of the server.xml file

<Connector port=”80″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
executor=”httpThreadPool”
enableLookups=”false”
acceptCount=”250″
connectionTimeout=”20000″
redirectPort=”443″
URIEncoding=”utf-8″/>

Change it to include the items in bold:

<Connector port=”80″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
executor=”httpThreadPool”
enableLookups=”false”
acceptCount=”250″
connectionUploadTimeout=”36000000″
disableUploadTimeout=”false”
connectionTimeout=“60000″
redirectPort=”443″
URIEncoding=”utf-8″/>

For servers running SSL, find the following in /appserv/conf/server.xml:

<Connector port=”8443″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
executor=”httpsThreadPool”
enableLookups=”false”
acceptCount=”250″
connectionTimeout=”20000″
SSLEnabled=”false”
scheme=”https”
secure=”true”
proxyPort=”443″
URIEncoding=”utf-8″/>

Change it as follows:

<Connector port=”8443″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
executor=”httpsThreadPool”
enableLookups=”false”
acceptCount=”250″
connectionUploadTimeout=”36000000″
disableUploadTimeout=”false”
connectionTimeout=“60000″
SSLEnabled=”false”
scheme=”https”
secure=”true”
proxyPort=”443″
URIEncoding=”utf-8″/>

Note: Increasing the file size may cause degraded playback quality. Be sure to test the result after creating any recording over the supported 2GB limit.

Firefox Browsers Fail to Connect when stunnel is used to Secure Connect

Problem:  Firefox Browsers Fail to Connect when stunnel is used to secure Adobe Connect

Solution: Double check to be sure that this setting is in place in the stunnel.conf:

; Protocol version (all, SSLv2, SSLv3, TLSv1)
sslVersion = all
fips = no

  • The original file version will have this commented out.
  • Enforcing TLSv1 with Firefox will be problematic.

‘Not Found’ Error when trying to schedule a Seminar Session

UPDATED: 12-09-2013 – (Includes SQL statement below, to identify Events that point to a Seminar Room that have been deleted).  

If you run into a ‘Not Found‘ error while trying to schedule a Seminar Session (or modify an existing session’s timeframe) in Adobe Connect 9.1, you may be running into a known situation where there may have been an Event Session scheduled on a Seminar Room and then that Seminar Room was deleted.  When you create an Event in the Event Management area of Adobe Connect and then point that event to a Seminar Room, it creates an ‘Event Session’ on the Seminar Room Calendar (just like a normal Seminar Session).  Event Sessions appear in orange on the calendar and normal Seminar sessions appear in blue.

What happens when you delete a Seminar Room normally, is that any ‘Seminar Sessions’ that have been created for that room will also be deleted.  However Events do not get deleted, as they can still technically be used for other content items, rooms, etc.  They also contain reporting data.  So we do not actually delete the Event itself.  But we do remove the Event ‘session’ from the Seminar Calendar.  This causes confusion because at a glance, there appears to be no sessions scheduled on the calendar for the slot that was once taken up by the Event Session, before the Seminar Room got deleted.  Any attempt to modify an existing Seminar Session or Event Session’s time, or creating a new Seminar Session or Event Session that conflicts with the deleted Seminar Room’s Event (that is still present), will lead to a ‘Not Found’ error.

calendar-eventsession

This is an example of an Event Session scheduled on the Seminar Calendar

calblank

This is what the Seminar Calendar looks like if you delete the Seminar Room but leave the Event active. It will not show up any longer on the calendar but will still be affecting other sessions for that time slot it used to belong to.

notfound

The ‘Not Found’ error

 

The workaround is to delete the Event.  You cannot modify the Event’s time to expire it.  Once the Event is deleted, you will be able to create new, or modify existing sessions to use during that specific time.

Notes and Tips:

This issue is slated to be fixed in an upcoming release later this year (2013).

The Event Management system allows you to create Events that extend across a long period of time (multiple days). Do not schedule an Event for a Seminar Room, that extends beyond the exact time you actually need to use the Seminar Room for, otherwise you will lock up the Seminar Room Calendar for everyone else on the account and no one else will be able to create a Seminar Session. This also may manifest itself if your account was recently upgraded to 9.1 and you had existing Events that are persistent for a long period of time that extends into the future.

If you need assistance identifying what active Event may be pointing to a deleted Seminar Room, you can contact Adobe Support who may be able to identify this by looking in the system logs.

When your users delete Seminar Rooms, they will get the following warning (below) before deleting the room, indicating that there is a linked item.  This is indicating that there is an Event pointing to this seminar.  They should also delete the Event that points to this room IF that Event is still active or will happen in the future.  If the Event is past, it does not need to be deleted as it won’t conflict with future sessions that are created by other users.

deleteroom

This is the warning users will get if they try to delete a Seminar Room that has a Session associated with it.

 

UPDATE:

The following SQL will help identify (for On-Premise customers) an active (or still to come) Event that points to a Seminar Room that has been deleted.  When copy/pasting, make sure to clean up any extra lines, spaces, etc.    Change out the text in BLUE with your values.  The ‘lic’ value is the sco-id of the SEMINAR LICENSE FOLDER.   The start and end dates are the dates to search on, for an active Event.  If you suspect you may have a long term event somewhere on the system you need to search on, make sure your search criteria spans that entire date range.

 

declare @lic int;
declare @start nvarchar(30);
declare @end nvarchar(30);
set @lic = XXXXXX;
set @start = ‘2013-12-10 15:31:00‘;
set @end = ‘2013-12-31 16:29:00‘;

select

a.sco_id , a.account_id , a.folder_id, a.name, a.url_path,
a.source_sco_id,  a.date_begin, a.date_end
from pps_scos a (nolock)
where a.source_sco_id in
(select sco_id from pps_scos (nolock)  where folder_id= @lic and disabled is not null)
and (  ( a.date_begin >= @start and a.date_end <= @end)
or (a.date_begin <= @start and a.date_end >= @start )
or (a.date_begin <= @end and a.date_end >= @end )
or (a.date_begin <= @start and a.date_end >= @end)  )
and (a.type = 16 or a.type=5)
and disabled is NULL

 

Seminar Session Dropdown Box Limit

 

 

One thing seminar users may run into in Adobe Connect 9.1 with scheduling seminars is a UI limitation with the dropdown box that contains the list of all available Seminar Rooms on the account.  Currently, this dropdown box only lists up to 1000 Seminar Rooms (in alphabetical order).

As of 9/12/2013, currently the plan is to increase this limit for possibly the next release of Adobe Connect.  At the current time, if you reach 1000 seminar rooms across all of your seminar licenses, the dropdown box will not list any past the 1000th item.

If you run into this problem when scrolling through the list of available seminars, the only current methods to bypass this issue are to:

  • Delete/remove older Seminar Rooms that are no longer needed or used.
  • Rename seminar rooms to push the specific room to the top of the list.
  • Use the XML API (Web Services) to schedule seminar sessions (view blog entry here).

dropdown

Adobe Connect 9.1 Seminar Session Creation via the XML API

With the release of Adobe Connect 9.1, we are changing the way that Seminars need to be scheduled (more information here). That being said, there are obviously new integration requirements that are needed around this new functionality.  I am briefly going to talk about the steps it takes to create the new Seminar Sessions now with the XML API.

The first thing in the workflow would obviously be to create a Seminar Room (that you would associate a Seminar Session to).  You would do this as you normally would except now (with Connect 9.1) you do not specify a Start and End time in the creation process of the room itself.  You will notice even in the UI, that there is no longer a place to set a start and end time for a Seminar Room itself.  This needs to now be done in a Seminar Session moving forward.

So to create a Seminar Room, all you need to do is the following:

Call sco-update as:

 {serverURL}/api/xml?action=sco-update&type=meeting&folder-id=11029&name=MySeminar&url-path=/myseminar/

 (the ‘description’ parameter is optional).

where:

  • action=sco-update
  • type=meeting
  • folder-id={your Seminar License Folder sco-id)
  • name={whatever name you want to call the Seminar Room}
  • url-path={any custom URL you want} not required. System will just auto generate if left blank.

Results:

<results>
<status code=”ok”/>
<sco account-id=”7″ disabled=”” display-seq=”0″ folder-id=”11029″ icon=”meeting” lang=”en” max-retries=”” sco-id=”30009″ source-sco-id=”” type=”meeting” version=”0″>
<date-created>2013-08-26T17:08:30.060-04:00</date-created>
<date-modified>2013-08-26T17:08:30.060-04:00</date-modified>
<name>MySeminar</name>
<url-path>/myseminar/</url-path>
</sco>
</results>

 

Then, after your Seminar Room has been created, you need to create your Seminar Session with three (3) API calls.  

 

First:

Use the sco-update call to create the sco for the Seminar Session:

{serverURL}/api/xml?action=sco-update&type=5&name=MySeminarSession&folder-id=30009

where:

  • action=sco-update
  • type=5 (or type=seminarsession … either will work)
  • name={whatever you want it to be called}
  • folder-id={the sco-id of the Seminar Room from call 1 above}

Results:

<results>
<status code=”ok”/>
<sco account-id=”7″ disabled=”” display-seq=”0″ folder-id=”30009″ icon=”swf” lang=”en” max-retries=”” sco-id=”30010″ source-sco-id=”” type=”seminarsession” version=”0″>
<date-created>2013-08-26T17:12:54.927-04:00</date-created>
<date-modified>2013-08-26T17:12:54.927-04:00</date-modified>
<name>MySeminarSession</name>
<url-path>/p38z3wpft84/</url-path>
</sco>
</results>

 

Second:

Use the seminar-session-sco-update call to set the Session’s date/time as well as assign it to a Seminar Room (that either you created in the first part at the start of this blog entry or that exists already in Adobe Connect):

{serverURL}/api/xml?action=seminar-session-sco-update&sco-id=30010&source-sco-id=30009&parent-acl-id=30009&date-begin=2013-08-30T14:00:00.000-07:00&date-end=2013-08-30T15:00:10.000-07:00

where:

  • action=seminar-session-sco-update
  • sco-id={the sco-id of the Seminar Session from step ‘a’ above}
  • source-sco-id={the sco-id of the Seminar Room from step 1}
  • parent-acl-id={the sco-id of the Seminar Room from step 1}
  • date-begin={the starting date/time for the Session}
  • date-end={the ending date/time for the Session}

** the dates cannot conflict with another session or you will get an error response in the result, indicating there is a conflict.

*** yes source-sco-id and parent-acl-id are the same value in this call.

Results:

<results>
<status code=”ok”/>
</results>

 

Third:

Use the acl-field-update call to set the seminar-expected-load value:

{serverURL}/api/xml?action=acl-field-update&acl-id=30010&field-id=311&value=25

where :

  • action=acl-field-update
  • acl-id={the sco-id of the Seminar Session from the first step in the Seminar Sessions creation steps above}
  • field-id=311 (yes, use this field-id=311)
  • value={expected seminar load}

Results:

<results>
<status code=”ok”/>
</results>

*** If you don’t do this, it won’t show up on the Seminar Calendar.