Posts in Category "Technotes"

Meeting Add-in | Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9, 10.8, 10.7 with Safari 6.1 or 7

In case you have not seen, we have published a brief article on the issues with using the Adobe Connect Meeting Add-in with Mac OSX Mavericks and newer versions of  the Safari browser.

Details and instructions (in an additional linked article) on how to suppress the restrictions put in place by the newer browsers can be found here:

http://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/connect-add-in-osx-mavericks-109.html

Meeting Room Access Improvements in Connect 9.1

Issue: In Adobe Connect 9.1, we’ve made a number of changes to the way you enter an Adobe Connect Meeting room. This article will explain what changed with reference to meeting room accessibility in Connect 9.1 over against 9.0 and how the 9.1 changes are an improvement.

We solved two key entry issues:

1. The first issue addressed was the ambiguous message received by a participant who clicks a meeting room URL before the host opens a meeting room.  The ambiguous default message in Connect 9.0 reads, The Host has ended this meeting. Thank you for attending. This can be confusing as it refers to a previous meeting rather than the one about to start. Many confused participants, upon seeing that message, thought they missed the meeting; certainly, for someone new to Connect, this stark message often left the eager, early, overachieving (probably a bit anal-retentive) participant in the confused position of hitting a wall with no apparent gate through which to enter the upcoming meeting.

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We fixed this ambiguity in Connect 9.1; now when a participant clicks the meeting room URL before the host reopens the new message reads, The meeting has not yet started. You will be able to access the meeting once the host arrives. Please wait.

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Note: This message is clearer; participants now know to wait until the meeting is opened by the host. You can overlook that it uses the noun access as though it were a verb.

2. The second issue addressed with reference to meeting room accessibility in Connect 9.1 is that of eliminating some confusion around closing the meeting. There are two common ways that hosts close meetings, the first is to simply close the browser or addin and the second is to use the meeting room menu option to end the meeting.

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In Connect 9.1, both of these options (End Meeting… or close browser) place the concluded meeting into the same state based on which of the three options the host chose under the meeting properties when creating the meeting room; Connect offers three access settings for meetings:

  • Only registered users may enter the room (guest access is blocked)
  • Only registered users and accepted guests may enter the room
  • Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room

These option are found under the Edit Information tab; a quick way to get to the Edit Information tab from any open meeting is by clicking Manage Meeting Information under the Meeting menu item:

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Note: The option Only registered users and accepted guests may enter the room, is the default choice.

If you choose to set either the first or second option listed, then in Connect 9.1 it does not matter how you close or end a meeting room. If the meeting room is closed, then the meeting users will need to request entry before joining.

If your meeting is set to the third option, Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room, then there is a change that may confuse those hosts who are used to Connect 9.0 and prior versions of Connect and Breeze. Participants will now be able to enter a meeting room whether the the host closed the browser or whether the host used the meeting menu option to end the meeting. The setting under the meeting properties adjudicates; a meeting room deliberately set up to be open, will now remain an open room: With Connect 9.1 participants will be able to enter rooms set up with open permissions. It is prudent to carefully consider when to choose the option, Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room. And if you do choose this option, it is prudent to consider what is left in the meeting room to see, whether old chat messages or something in the share pod keeping in mind that a participant cannot navigate within the room, but may only see what is on stage.

3. There is another way to block entry to a meeting.  Connect has a feature to block meeting access and make sure users request entry.

In the menu bar, select Meeting > Manage Access and Entry > Block Incoming Attendees:

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To allow incoming attendees to request entry to the meeting, select the option, Incoming attendees can request entry:

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Note that in the text box, you have the option to edit and save a message for incoming attendees.

Conclusion: While initially, the new meeting room access improvements in Connect 9.1 may cause confusion, the changes with reference to meeting room accessibility in Connect 9.1 over against 9.0, offer a more intuitive and consistent workflow. And while old habits dies hard, I think you will agree that the 9.1 changes are warranted to allow hosts to better manage Connect 9.1 meeting access.

Meeting Connection Test Page Fails at Step Two

Issue: Meeting test page fails at step 2; there are many possible causes for this:

1. If it is failing when you attempt to connect through a remote edge but does not fail when you connect directly to an origin, then the most likely culprit is name resolution. Audit your remote Edge name-resolution against these tutorials:

Adobe Connect Edge Server Deployment Options: part 1

Adobe Connect Edge Server Deployment Options: part 2

2. MS Patch MS12-006 (installed on client workstation) has been problematic:

MS Update MS12-006 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms12-006) causes step two of the meeting test page to fail; more details on the Patch regarding TLS/SSL can be found here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2643584

3. Other network and client-side constraints and configuration issues can cause this test to fail. In order to troubleshoot, try the following tests and gather the data from them:

For on-premise customers who are experiencing a failure at step two, try hitting the test page on the Adobe hosted service:

https://my.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Firefox and IE should look like this:

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Chrome looks like this; notice the absence of an addin:

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To drill deeper, click on the Send Results link:

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And then click on the Details link

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Note: Currently, as of the writing of this blog entry, in Connect 9.1, there is a known bug that prevents the addin version from appearing in the the meeting test-link output. In the screen capture above, you only see the Flash-player version. This is scheduled, tentatively to be fixed in Connect 9.2.

You may copy and paste the output from the details link to assist the Adobe Customer Care team with diagnosing meeting connection issues. Do not use the Send Results link on the meeting connection test page, but manually copy and paste the results into an email.

On the meeting test page, if you find that you need the addin, (excluding Chrome) simply click on the Downloads link:

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Note that the Flash-player download link is also available:

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The meeting test link has some limitations, for example, it will not diagnose tunneling RTMP(S) over HTTP(S). To figure out if you are tunneling and thereby experiencing additional latency and connection drops caused by something on the network blocking RTMP, (usually a proxy or firewall), look in the upper left corner of a live meeting room and see if there is a “T” in the output when you click on the green connection indicator:

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All of this information is vital when trying to diagnose meeting connection issues.

Look for an upcoming blog article on diagnosing and traversing sources of network blockages of RTMP(S) resulting in tunneling RTMP(S) over HTTP(S) and causing increased latency in a meeting. You should have a lightening fast connection and it is very doable with the right configuration:

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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.

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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.

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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.

Connect & Unified Voice (UV) Traffic Flow Diagram

Issue: Plan for the flow of traffic to enable UV among the various components in any Connect deployment: Connect, Flash Media Gateway (FMG), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

There are numerous documents on the topic of Unified Voice (UV) with Connect:

This diagram shows the flow of traffic and the protocols used for UV with Connect and is offered as a planning and a troubleshooting tool; click on the diagram to expand it for viewing:

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The Adobe Connect Deployment Guide on the F5 Website needs Updating

Issue: Be careful when following the Adobe Connect Deployment Guide posted on the F5 Website. While the article is be helpful, there are some ambiguities that can lead to trouble. I have tried to update their deployment guide but have not succeeded; the LTM is the most popular load-balancing device and SSL accelerator in the Connect niche and when it is set up properly it works splendidly. Here are corrections, updates and things to watch out for when deploying Connect behind an LTM:

1. Do not use an HTTP profile for an RTMP VIP. An HTTP profile for RTMP VIPs may affect playback of video as well as break remote Edge connectivity. Remember that you have two servers running on each box, a Tomcat application server and an FMS server. Do not treat the FMS server as though it were an application server; RTMP is a streaming protocol that requires a TCP profile at the HLD VIP:

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2. Use the health monitor documented here for LTM.

3. Do not use session-awareness or stick-sessions even if you use SSL. The Round Robin algorithm should float freely to the Tomcat application pool.

4. Do not use Nagle’s Algorithm with SSL; it will have a negative effect on performance.

Review this general Connect pool/cluster configuration tutorial before configuring BIG-IP LTM with Connect: Adobe® Connect™ server pools/clusters and hardware-based load-balancing devices with SSL acceleration

Adobe Connect Servers and Hardware-based Load-balancing Devices

This updated article offers a best-practice configuration of a basic Connect pool/cluster behind a high-end, application-aware HLD such as F5 BIG-IP LTM. This article does not discuss SSL-acceleration. This article does not describe all the possible configurations, but offers a general working example of a basic HTML/RTMP non-SSL cluster/pool of Connect servers.

Adobe Connect Server Pools and Hardware-based Load-balancing Devices: http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2009/04/load_balancing/index.php

What Camera should I use in my Connect Meeting?

Issue: Many customers ask Adobe what camera to use with Connect

The short answer is, most any camera you would like. Adobe does not recommend specific cameras but we do have this posted for guidance:  Peters’ Camera Options Recordinghttps://my.adobeconnect.com/p11223582/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

 

Clustering Adobe Connect Servers with Microsoft Network Load Balancing

Many software-based server load-balancing and fail-over options have prematurely reached the end of the product life cycle. The market prediction that effectively swept software-based options off the enterprise landscape was that the price of superior hardware-based solutions would decrease enough to make the software options superfluous. The problem with this prediction is obvious to anyone who has tried to cluster a small pool of application servers on a tight budget: the price of the hardware options that are worth having have not dropped enough to fill the niche occupied by software clustering applications….

Criseyde and Troilus live: See the updated tutorial on the Connect Users Community: http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2009/04/clustering_nlb/index.php

Accessing and Editing Adobe Connect Recordings

When most people think of meeting recordings, they often expect a standard video capture of the original meeting. For most web conferencing platforms, this is the case. Adobe Connect recordings however provide much more functionality. It’s certainly possible to generate a static video by clicking the ‘Make Offline’ button. By default however, Adobe Connect recordings are much more interactive and completely indexed….

See Alistair Lee’s complete tutorial here: http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2013/01/accessing_editing_adobe_connect_recordings/index.php