Posts in Category "Training"

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.

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

 

 

Remove “Review” message in training content (on-premise installs)

Once a training is completed you can review it. When in review mode a message is displayed at the top of the browser window and in the window title.

Here’s a screenshot of the message showing on a training item in review mode:

reviewMode

Here’s how to remove the message and window title on your on-premise server (tested with 9.3.1c).
The change will remove the review message and title from the content window. It will not remove the review button shown under “my training” within Connect central.

Find the file: C:\Connect\9.3.1\appserv\apps\system\content.xsl and take a backup copy of it.

Open it in an xml friendly text editor such as notepad++ and find the following section and comment it out:

<xsl:variable name=”is-review”>
<xsl:choose>
<xsl:when test=”/results/extra/is-review”><xsl:value-of select=”/results/extra/is-review”/></xsl:when>
<xsl:otherwise><xsl:text>false</xsl:text></xsl:otherwise>
</xsl:choose>
</xsl:variable>

Commented:

<!–
<xsl:variable name=”is-review”>
<xsl:choose>
<xsl:when test=”/results/extra/is-review”><xsl:value-of select=”/results/extra/is-review”/></xsl:when>
<xsl:otherwise><xsl:text>false</xsl:text></xsl:otherwise>
</xsl:choose>
</xsl:variable>
–>

Add the following just below:

<xsl:variable name=”is-review”>
<xsl:choose>
<xsl:when test=”/results/extra/is-review”><xsl:text>false</xsl:text></xsl:when>
<xsl:otherwise><xsl:text>false</xsl:text></xsl:otherwise>
</xsl:choose>
</xsl:variable>

Apply the change to all nodes in your cluster and restart the Adobe Connect service for the change to take effect.

Please note: This is an unsupported change. I tested it on a 9.3.1c on-premise install, but should you encounter any issues with the training module or with other features in Connect, please restore the original file and restart the services.

XML API TIPS: Moving Virtual Classrooms to Meetings

You may have a situation arise where you want to move Virtual Classrooms (VCs) over to the Meeting area of Adobe Connect.  You may notice that if you try to move Virtual Classrooms, you only have the ability to move them within the confines of the Training module and not out to the Meetings area if you are using the UI.  There is an option however.  The API can be used to move VC’s either one by one or an easier way is to put them all into folders inside of the training area (in either Shared or User training folder) and then move the folders themselves (which in turn will move all the VCs inside of it).

The API process for doing this is:

https://{connect domain} /api/xml?action=sco-move&sco-id=xxxxxxx&folder-id=xxxxxxx

where:

sco-id = the sco-id of the VC (or folder that contains all the VCs you want to move)
folder-id = the folder-id of the destination folder you want to move the VC to.

** DO NOT move any main User Training folder or the Shared Training folder itself. ONLY move user-created folders or individual VCs themselves.

 

The process is not done however.  For each VC you move, you have to do one more step.  You need to change the icon of the VC to a meeting icon.  If you do not do this, the VC’s will NOT launch.  You won’t even be able to get to the information page for the VC once it’s moved.  The link to the VC information will simply refresh the meeting list page if you do not change the icon.

To finish the process change the icon by making this call:

https://{connect domain} /api/xml?action=sco-update&sco-id=xxxxxxx&icon=meeting

where:

sco-id = the sco-id of the VC you just moved.
icon=meeting

 

Now, the VC link will work and you will be able to get into the information page and access the links, content, reports, and archives.

Your application can handle building a list of VCs to move by using the sco-contents or sco-expanded-contents API calls (filtering on ‘icon=virtual-classroom’) to list out all VC’s in a specific folder or across the account as a whole, should you want to move everything for example.  Then your application would loop through and not only move the VCs but then also loop through each and change the icon.  If you only want to move one or two, you can simply do this in the browser with the API calls above.

It’s important to note that the uploaded content and any archives associated with this will be retained, HOWEVER in the reports, you will notice you are missing the ‘By Course’ report.  That is LOST with the move.  ‘By Course’ report is essentially the difference between a meeting and a VC.  So if you move VCs to meetings, that report is gone.  You still will have ‘By Attendees’ , ‘By Session’, and ‘By Questions’ (which are poll pod questions, not courses) reporting that will be retained.

Of course moving meetings to training will work the opposite way.  You finish that process off by changing the icon from ‘meeting’ to ‘virtual-classroom’.

 

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

Make Certain that Content is Replicated Across All Servers in a Connect Cluster

Occasionally a specific piece of content may be intermittently available in a cluster. It could be Presenter or Captivate published on-demand content or even content within a Meeting room. Sometimes in these cases, the content published on one server is not replicated to all servers in the cluster. There are a few quick things to check:

First: Note that with Adobe Connect 9, the installer includes a cluster option. If you begin with a single server installation and expand later to a clustered environment by adding a server or servers, you will need to manually make the following change in the /appserv/conf/server.xml file in order to enable communication over port 8507 among clustered servers. It is prudent to double check this in the server.xml file after installing even if the cluster option was selected during installation:

<Executor name=”clusterThreadPool”
namePrefix=”cluster-8507-” maxThreads=”150″
minSpareThreads=”5″/>

<!– Define a non-SSL HTTP/1.1 Connector on port 8507 –>
<!– Used for HTTP access for intra-Cluster communications. –>
<!– Equivalent to JRun CLUSTER_PORT –>
<!– Uncomment for clustered deployments
<Connector port=”8507″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
executor=”clusterThreadPool”
enableLookups=”false”
acceptCount=”100″
connectionTimeout=”20000″
URIEncoding=”utf-8″/>

Second: Test the 8507 port communications on each server: From a command prompt on each server, type netstat –an|find “8507” and check to be sure that 8507 is active and listening on each.

netstat -an|find “8507”

netstat.fw

Use telnet to test connectivity on  8507 between Connect servers. Use telnet to check both IP and machine-name as well.

telnet server-machine-name 8507

telnet 8507.fw

Note: The machine name appears to the left of the FQDN under the Connect Servers Setting on port 8510 locally on any server in the cluster; here I have artificially designated them as server1 and server2.

serversettings

Be sure to check telnet connectivity from and to every server in the cluster:

telnet 8507.fw

If the IP works with telnet and the machine-name does not work, it may be necessary to add entries in DNS or add hosts files to each server:

etc-host.fw

Check the software-based firewall on the server to see if it is potentially blocking replication traffic:

netsh firewall show config

firewallsftwr.fw

win-firewall-svc.fw

Note: Connect does not support dual stack ipv6 and ipv4 on the same server.

Note: If problems are noticed in the Meeting rooms, check port 8506; it is used for Meeting communication among the servers.

Third: Examine the Connect logs: Look first in the debug.log under the \logs\support directory and search on the string: cluster-  If replication is taking place, you will see this repeating cluster- entry logging the replication activity. Absence of these log entries will indicate that replication is not working:

[10-1 12:00:00,009] cluster-8507-630 (INFO) CLUSTER Sent file: \7\xxx-xxxx\fcs-meeting\public\all\224_XXX_4.fso 9978 bytes 12 ms 6371 kbps to: server1

cluster-debug.fw

Check for any error messages in these replication log entries. Search also for the word lucene. If you see a preponderance of lucene lock errors, contact Adobe Enterprise Support: entrsupp@adobe.com and provide a log snippet to expedite diagnosis.

Also check the error.log files for the entry  CLUSTER_CON_BROKEN

2014-10-02 15:28:48 “Server server1 unable to reach server2 on port 8507 to perform cluster operations.” CLUSTER  CLUSTER_CON_BROKEN

Fourth: Check the timing of active anti-virus scanning of the content directories \content\7\ on each server; compare the directory sizes on each server to see is there if a significant size delta. Antivirus software can impede replication in manner that is not uniform across servers; active scanning of the content directory during replication may lock the content files. Active scanning after hours or during a window when publishing is unlikely is prudent.

Fifth: Check the updater page. Make sure you are on the latest patches servers-side. http://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/connect-90-patches.html Keep in mind that 9.2 is a full installer and not a patch. For full installers, use LWShttps://licensing.adobe.com

These steps will solve most replication problems that you encounter. If problems persist, contact our  Enterprise Support Team.

Avoiding Inaccurate Completion Reports when a Meeting is Part of a Curriculum

When a meeting is part of an Adobe Connect Curriculum, a trainee can click on the Meeting and complete the Meeting task prescribed in the Curriculum prior to the Meeting taking place.

curr-mtg.fw

 

One way to help manage this is to choose the Meeting options to block Meeting access illustrated in the screen captures below:

block-mtg.fw

 

block-in-mtg-menu.fw

block-in-mtg.fw

The Meeting access options may be inconvenient to use, so here is another option to add a Meeting to a curriculum, while at the same time restricting the ability for a trainee to complete the Meeting task prior to the Meeting taking place:

Step one: The first step is to set a date and time under the Meeting properties. Make sure the date and time correspond to when the Curriculum task takes place. Note that this date and time has no effect on when the Meeting can be used. It is strictly an administrative tool to help with Meeting invitations and has no effect on when the meeting can be opened, Meeting persistence, etc. In this example I have set the meeting to October 22, 2014 at 12:45 for 1 hour:

meeting-date-time.fw

meeting-date-time-1.fw

 Step two: Download and unzip the Meeting Curriculum Wrapper: https://platinum.adobeconnect.com/lmfc/default/launchMeetingInCurriculum.zip

Note that it is zipped twice to facilitate download:

cur-unzipped.fw

Step three: Identify the Meeting sco ID from the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum and copy it to the clipboard:

The Meeting SCO is in the Meeting URL:

meeting-sco.fw

Note: You can also see the Meeting sco ID by pasting ?mode-xml at the end of the Meeting URL and reading it from the output:

meeting-sco1.fw

Step four:  Edit the index.htm in the unzipped LaunchMeetingInCurriculum folder by pasting in the Meeting sco ID from the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum. Use your favorite text editor such as notepad or textpad. Where the index.htm reads,  Enter the SCO of the Meeting, Virtual Classroom or Seminar var meetingScoID_str = ‘1660065186’; change the default Meeting sco ID, 1660065186, to the Meeting sco ID of the Meeting that you wish to add to the curriculum, in the case of my example here, the Meeting sco ID is: 502114549. Be sure to save the changes:

index-sco.fw

Step five: Zip all the edited contents of the LaunchMeetingInCurriculum folder and rename it to represent the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum. This will help you identify it and differentiate it from other Meetings with which you use this wrapper:

zip-contents.fw

zip-contents1.fw

Step six: Upload the edited zip file to the Adobe Connect Content Library:

upload.fw

upload1.fw

upload2.fw

Step seven: Import the wrapper from the Content Library into the Curriculum:

curr.fw

Note: Import options; the wrapper is Content and points to the Meeting:

curr1.fw

curr2.fw

curr3.fw

curr4.fw

Step eight: Test the Curriculum item; unless the time and date coordinate with the actual Meeting schedule, the pop up will deter the trainee from gaining premature access to the Meeting and skewing the Curriculum completion report:

curr5.fw

 Conclusion: With proper management and administration, an Adobe Connect Curriculum accurately measure the progress and completion of trainees. There are two ways to prevent a trainee from completing a Meeting curriculum task prior to the meeting taking place, the first is to block access to the Meeting and the second is to use the Meeting Curriculum wrapper.

Update your Presenter content in Connect

I have received requests from lot of users to publish the steps of how we can update an already published content on Connect server which is tied to a course/curriculum.

Please follow the below steps only if you have published your content in the below manner to Connect :

  •  Create a Presenter Powerpoint content
  •  Publish the file locally on your desktop as a zip file instead of publishing it to the Connect server directly.
  •  Once the zip file is published, upload the zip to your Connect content library

If you have published your Presenter content to Connect in the above manner, and you would like to make any changes to the content, you can do so by the below steps :

  • Make the desired changes in the Presenter file & save them.
  • Republish the file locally on your desktop as a new zip
  • Now login to your Connect application and navigate to the already published content
  • Click on Upload content and browse the new Zip file and Save.

 

Please note that although it displays a message there that : ” The content should be in the following format:  *.ppt, *.pptx , however you can also upload your zip file published from Presenter as well here as it is identified by the content type of the file being uploaded, which is ppt/pptx in a content published via Presenter.

upload-content

Please note that if your content is tied to a training or course item, it is NOT recommended to make changes to its content once the course has been made live for users as this may cause inconsistency in their reporting status. If your content is tied to a course/curriculum and you have updated the content after it is already in use by the users, only updating the original content would not update it in the actual course. You will need to update it from the course as well.

  • If it is a course, Goto the course and goto Select Content again and resave the content
  • If it is a curriculum, goto the curriculum, click the desired item from the left, on right hand panel under Course, click on Goto Source, now under that course, click on Select Content and resave the content

update-curr

 

update-curr-1

  • Please note that when you will go to update the content in the actual course/curriculum, you will get a warning message :

update-curr-2

  • Hence it is recommended not to modify the uploaded content in a training/course unless highly important, once it has been made live, else it might cause the above inconsistencies.

 

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.

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/