Deleting Corrupted Ghost Meetings on Adobe Connect On-premise Servers

Deleting Corrupted Ghost Meetings on Adobe Connect On-premise Servers

Perhaps due to network outages or hardware failures, etc., there are rare occasions when the Adobe Connect database may become disconnected from the Adobe Connect server while active Meeting sessions are ongoing. It is prudent to avoid database outages while Connect is in use and to publish maintenance schedules so that Meetings are not in session when the database is taken offline for administrative reasons. In most cases when the database is disconnected, once it is reconnected, Connect will be fine and all Meetings will be functional upon full recovery of all systems. In the rare instance, that a Meeting is corrupted through a database outage and cannot be deleted through the Connect Central GUI, you may need to manually delete the Meeting room from the content library directory structure and possibly also from the database itself. If you see displayed at the corrupted Meeting URL, a gray window without any menu or pods, or if you see the following error when you hit a corrupt Meeting URL, you may need to manually delete the Meeting:

Request Not Processes” – “For further assistance, please refer to the Adobe Connect support center or contact Adobe Connect support

If the Meeting cannot be deleted through the Connect Central GUI, delete the content folder for the corrupted Meeting. You can identify it by its sco ID in the Connect\content directory:

content.fw

Restart the Connect and FMS services. If that fails to remove remnants of the corrupt Meeting from the database, try recreating the folder mentioned, (even with empty content), then attempt to delete the room again. If that fails, you may need to delete the Meeting references from the database manually:

sco: update pps_scos set disabled = getUTCdate() where SCO_ID=XXXXX

Note: XXXXX represents the actual sco ID of the meeting.

On-premise Adobe Connect Servers and Java

The question occasionally comes up: May I freely update Java on my Adobe Connect on-premise server?

And actually this question should be split into two questions:

  • What version of Java may I use?
  • What update of that version may I use?

It is important to keep these two questions separated because going from 1.6.0_37 to 1.6.0_45 is different from (more trivial than) moving from Java 6 to Java 8 (whereby compatibility issues could result).

With reference to the shipping version with Connect, our standard is Java 7, and has been since 9.1.1. Since we make every effort to keep Adobe Connect up to date with its surrounding infrastructure,we will evaluate a move to Java 8 going forward, as eventually public Java 7 updates will come to an end.

With reference to the updaters, Oracle releases quarterly Critical Patch Updates (see http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/alerts-086861.html), and we have been striving to keep up with these (although our release cycle does often mean that we are one or two quarters behind so as to allow for time to fully test). The version being packaged with 9.4 is 1.7.0_71, the Critical Patch Update from Oct 2014.

While we  don’t believe there is any particular compatibility issue with moving from JRE 6 to JRE 7, nevertheless we do not recommend that customers update the JRE separately from Connect itself. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • We have uncovered JRE bugs in the past during our performance/longevity tests.
  • We also moved from 32-bit JRE to 64-bit JRE and this necessitated sizing changes (heap size etc.).

Heap size is an important variable that warrants performance testing to ensure that the sizing is adequate for the target JRE version. All this is due diligence is done as part of our packaged Connect builds; by updating outside of our quality assurance and performance testing cycles, you add unnecessary risk. It is best to take full advantage the battery of testing accomplished by the Adobe Connect engineering team; by upgrading the JRE separately, you will create an infrastructure with variables that have not been fully tested and thereby assume commensurate risk.

Last Minute Managing of Large Adobe Connect Hosted Seminars

Currently, as of Connect 9.3.1, Adobe Connect hosted Seminars may launch on regular Connect Meeting server instead of their designated Webinar servers. If Seminar preparation keeps the Seminar room open for an extended period just prior to to the actual Seminar itself, the Seminar may remain on a Meeting server that is not rated for a large capacity Seminar. Simple precautions will avoid this from happening.

In order to avoid this, on the day of the scheduled Webinar, be sure to open the Seminar room only 30 minutes prior to the start of the Seminar session. By opening the Seminar earlier and keeping it open for final editing right up to the start of the Seminar session, you can lock the seminar onto a regular Connect Meeting server rather than on a Webinar server designed for large capacity sessions. While you can certainly spend as much time as needed to prepare your seminar room in advance of the actual session, you should close the Seminar room for at least seven minutes prior to the actual scheduled Seminar session. Seven minutes is the time it takes the Seminar room to process garbage collection from editing and preparation activities before opening up for the real event.

Adobe is looking at ways to automate the transition from a regular Meeting server to a Webinar server with an eye toward  future release. In the interim, just be sure to time your final Seminar preparation to allow for transition to a Webinar server where large Seminar concurrency is supported with robustness.

Adobe Connect Add-in Compatibility with the Google Chrome Browser

Updated January 27, 2015:

Note: This article only applies to Adobe Connect on-premise server deployments. Adobe Connect hosted clients are unaffected.

The Google Chrome browser is currently shipping with two versions of the Flash plugin.  The default PPAPI and also the NPAPI Flash plug-in. The following versions of Adobe Connect installations are incompatible out of the box with the default PPAPI plug-in:

  • 9.1.2
  • 9.1.1
  • 9.0.1 – 9.0.4
  • 9.0.0.1
  • 8.2.2.4
  • 8.2.2

PPAPI plug-in incompatibility results in the Adobe Connect Add-in not being detected and launched in Chrome when invoked in a Connect Meeting. Even if the Add-in is installed, the meeting opens in the browser and not in the Connect Add-in. Upon attempting to share ones screen (a Connect feature supported in the Add-in but not in the browser), the following message appears:

chrome-addin.fw

Google Chrome, with the release of Version 40, will no longer use their whitelist to allow NPAPI  plugins to run without requiring approval: http://googleappsupdates.blogspot.com/2015/01/upcoming-changes-to-npapi-support-in.html Chrome users will not be able to use the Adobe Connect Add-in for the above listed versions of Connect. To address this problem, Adobe is patching the following Connect versions for use with Chrome:

  • 9.1.2
  • 9.1.1
  • 9.0.4
  • 8.2.2

These patches will fix the incompatibility problems with the PPAPI plug in. Adobe Connect servers that are not running one of these versions (or a later version) will need to be upgraded to the nearest later version to the one currently installed and then apply the appropriate Connect PPAPI patch.

There should not be any change in the behavior for Flash Player NPAPI in January because Flash Player is not listed among the applications  that are going to be removed in January:  http://blog.chromium.org/2013/09/saying-goodbye-to-our-old-friend-npapi.html

Workarounds until the patches are available:

  • You can attend Adobe Connect Meetings without the Adobe Connect Add-in, however the Add-in is required for enhanced functionality like screen sharing and making offline recordings.
  • Turn off auto-upate in Chrome so that you do not upgrade to a version of Chrome that is problematic.
  • Alternatively you can use any browser other than Chrome with Adobe Connect.
  • Manually enable NPAPI by clicking on the “Plug-in blocked” message in the URL bar and choosing “Always allow plug-ins on [website]” http://www.chromium.org/developers/npapi-deprecation
    • chrome-enable.fw

 

 

 

 

Note: In April 2015, this will no longer be an option as NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome and Google will un-publish extensions requiring NPAPI plugins from the Chrome Web Store. Google will however provide an override for advanced users in the form of an ‘enable-npapi’ flag and enterprise policy to temporarily re-enable NPAPI.

The Adobe Connect API Accepts Special Charaters (+,$,# etc) if Executed with Encoded Values

Description : The Adobe Connect Web Services API accepts special characters such as (+,$,# etc) if you encode the characters. For example:

If a user Login employs the credentials shown below on the User Interface, it will work without issue.
User Name :- abc+def@adobe.com
Password :- Passw0rd

However, when the user uses the following API “/api/xml?action=login&login=abc+def@adobe.com&password=Passw0rd”

The plus sign is interpreted as though it were a space and the Login looks like this “abc def@adobe.com” resulting in the following:

  • <results>
  • <status code=”no-data”/>
  • </results>

In order to employ these special characters, you must encode them and then execute the API.  For instance in the above case we will execute an API as shown below :

/api/xml?action=login&login=abc%2Bdef@adobe.com&password=Passw0rd

Special character encoding reference information is found under URL :- w3schools  This reference is useful for those users who are trying to run API with special characters.

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’.

 

Some Facts About Poll Pod Reporting

Description :  In meeting room, with poll pods.

Poll-Pods

–  If we do not end the poll and rather we close the meeting room directly, which as a result would close the poll automatically.
-  If we leave the meeting room ideal and do not end the poll, then meeting session expires after few hours, which as a result closes the poll.

– If we close/End the Poll Pod.

In any case where the meeting session closes the “update-poll-results” query would still triggers and send the captured results to the Data Base, which as a result should be visible in the reporting of that particular Live Session.

It was always designed to update the poll results in CPS whenever poll ends/explicit meeting end/automatic meeting unload. So if user ends the meeting without ending the Poll Pods, this procedure would still work. In ideal sessions also, after certain time if session is closed, all users’ connection are closed and meeting app gets unloaded at FMS server.  Hence poll reports will be sent to the CPS when meeting app gets unloaded.

Resolved: CSO – DATE (2 DEC 2014) – Intermittent Connect Restarts

This is resolved as of 2014-12-02 12:08 EST. 

We are actively working to solve an intermittent issue with Connect restarts on some servers in DA2 clusters.

This issue is causing outbound connections to be dropped.  This will result in outbound connections to mail, SIP and telephony providers to drop. It will not prevent regular http and rtmp traffic as they go through a different firewall.  The issue is that the Connect scheduler relies on mail going out, and if the queue builds it can cause problems with the Connect service. The exact clusters affected are in DA2:  NA3, NA4, NA5, NA7, NA10 and NA11.

The root cause is isolated to a change made by one of our service providers last night and we are working aggressively to get it resolved. It is affecting other Adobe products as well as Connect.

 

You may check http://status.acrobat.com/ for updates.

Global Dial-in Number Link Missing using InterCall Teleconferencing

While using InterCall as a teleconferencing provider, sometimes the option “Further dial in Numbers” under Adobe Connect –> My Profile –> My Audio Profiles is missing.

 

This setting is controlled by InterCall itself.  They must enable their Global Access Settings under the user’s teleconference settings to get this link under the Connect audio profiles.

 

FurtherDial_img1

Link Missing

Link Missing

Connect Meetings do not inherit the properties from its base template.

We have optimized meeting utilization of available bandwidth in Connect Version 9.2.2c and made some changes to retain these settings.

Earlier than 9.2.2c:

New meetings retained their preference settings (for ex., Bandwidth configuration LAN/DSL/MODEM) from its base template).

9.2.2c and above:

New meetings do not retain their preference settings (bandwidth settings in 9.2.2c and video settings in 9.3+) from base templates.

Example:

On Connect 9.2 and previous versions:
1.       Create a template and change the Room bandwidth to Modem.
2.       Moved the meeting in shared template folder.
3.       Create a new meeting using the above template and the Room bandwidth should be Modem.

Test with Connect 9.2.2c
a.      Created a new Room with base template as Step 1 above.
b.      Now, the room bandwidth will be DSL (default setting).
c.      Note: preferences in the Template created in Step 1 are still set to Modem

Bandwidth settings are removed from the User Interface in Connect 9.3.  Video and screen-share settings can be adjusted according to bandwidth/requirement.