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Is it the network

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    Is it the network

    I have recently inspected a small network who has been having issues with an application written in V9.

    Intermittently the application would freeze, throwing up a script message.

    If the operator closed the application and then reopened it, the script would work as expected.

    After all if you click a button and the script doesn�t execute and throws out an error message that hints at lack of resources. Closing the V9 application and then reopening it and clicking the same button sees the script work as intended. That tells me that it must be an environmental factor.

    Initially there wasn�t the recommended ram in either the server or the workstations, and we thought this was where the fault lay.

    However, even when upgrading the 2003 Server to 4 gig and putting 2 gig of ram in everyone�s machine, the problem still persisted.

    The operators were understandably becoming increasingly frustrated.

    I subsequently did a site visit and using standard diagnostic tools here is what I found.

    In a six user network, the workstations were running a mixture of XP SP2 and SP3.

    Some machines had more than one Anti Virus software running. Whilst everyone had AVG, one workstation was also running Symantec Antivirus, and another had remnants of Spyware Protection from AOL.

    Running a Registry Checker revealed in excess of 1200 issues on each and every workstation. The lowest being 1247, the highest 1690 with an average of around 1400.

    Further tests revealed in excess of over 200 megabytes of temp files on each workstation. The highest had 943 megabytes of temp files with the others having a range between 240 to 477 megabytes.

    Because the V9 application froze the client�s frustration was vented towards Alpha and ultimately ourselves because we built it.

    And this would happen on different workstations at different times.

    The V9 development engine used is the current as indeed is the runtime.

    Throughout this painful process I have defended Alpha because everything told me it was the network environment rather than bugs in V9.

    Would someone like to comment on my conclusion?
    Database Software Solutions Limited
    PRECISE360 -

    Re: Is it the network

    What was the error that was thrown, the details of the error will help get to the root of the problem.


      Re: Is it the network

      Hi Steve

      Thanks for your quick response?

      I attach two examples. If it was an error in the Xbasic of the script I would expect it to fail on each occassion.

      What Alpha condition would make it work sometimes and at other times not?

      Kind regards
      Database Software Solutions Limited
      PRECISE360 -
      LYNCHPIN -


        Re: Is it the network


        Others may be smarter than me, but I would certainly like to see a sample of the application with instructions on how to duplicate the problem. If the app is not possible, a copy of the query that is showing up could be helpful and knowing what it is supposed to do and what it is controlling. in fact, thewhole script could be useful.

        Having seen some of this in v9, v8, v7, etc, I have always found it to be something i did. I am not saying it is you, but it WAS me.

        Dave Mason
        [email protected]
        Skype is dave.mason46


          Re: Is it the network

          Hi Alex,

          Originally posted by alexmuir View Post
          I attach two examples. If it was an error in the Xbasic of the script I would expect it to fail on each occassion.

          What Alpha condition would make it work sometimes and at other times not?
          These two images just say that Alpha has an issue, not really much more. It might be windows, network or Alpha Five.

          To isolate, 1st eliminate the network. If the app fails on a local hard drive, then you know it is not network related. Focus on Alpha Code. Occasionally it is also corrupted data in a record can cause these failures.

          If the app fails on one computer locally, but not another, then it may be an issue with Windows or other installed programs (like anti-virus)

          If the problem shows up when more than 1 user has the same table open on the network, it is a sharing issue (still doesn't tell you if Server, Windows or Alpha)

          Also, just because these problems happen during a query, does not mean that is the source. Alpha's internals could have been destabilized by things prior to that point. The trick is to find repeatable steps from a clean start of Alpha Five that you can then test the portions individually.

          Ira J. Perlow
          Computer Systems Design

          CSDA A5 Products
          New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
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            Re: Is it the network

            Hi Alex,
            You may or may not be aware that this issue has been commented on many times on this forum. Unfortunately I believe that many people are in denial of the problem. The fact is, many many Alpha users suffer from these problems. Indeed, at one point my network became practically unusable. I eventually hired a professional to try and diagnose the problem. Our network had no other problems - just Alpha issues. His only conclusion was that our Windows updates were not up to date.

            Like you, I now believe the problem was exacerbated by running a mixture of SP2 and 3, plus not running Windows updates regularly. We now have all our workstations on SP3 and religiously run Windows updates on a weekly basis. (Plus, we removed all the Norton anti-virus). The other possible redeeming factor was installing the Alpha shadows - which I didn't utilise from the outset. Suffice to say, we now have very few problems. However, there is still the question as to why Alpha is more sensitive than any other software we run on our network.
            Kind regards,
            Larry Gordon
            Last edited by Larry Gordon; 10-28-2009, 09:11 PM.


              Re: Is it the network

              sir lary,

              Very Well said! I'm with you.

              I know you develop a sense of urgency to your work and pay attention to details. Always ask for the order! Don't worry about your technique or style. Hope alpha fix this.

              Manipulating outcomes never provides the best results.
              Thank you for telling the Truth!

              Good luck.
              "Knowledge without application is useless."


                Re: Is it the network

                I have experienced that error with another DB software called approach. I found the issue was a memory address problem with approach trying to access the same ram address as another program. If the other program was started after approach the error did not occur. It is difficult to know which one causes it as there are so many things started nowadays. My particualr problem was a communication program called mercury. It is possible that virus checkers, music players etc will cause this.

                I narrowed the problem down by trying guess the culprit, turn it off and see if the problem persists