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Thread: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

  1. #1
    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Is it safe to run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db with about 20 users?
    In other words, a runtime app with the db in the server only.
    So the users will open the runtime and then open the db in a server.
    Is this feasible or possible danger of file corruption?

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    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    It's absolutely safe to do, I do it with approximately 40 users daily.
    For the most part, I use MySQL as the backend.

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    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Thanks for the response. I will follow further

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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    The big thing with using shadowed tables is the screen refresh. I would think 20 users would notice quite a lag during data entry without it.
    Robin

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    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Good observation, Thanks.
    Problems are beginning to show.
    1st let me explain the scenario. It was not my choice.
    The data is loaded in a remote server.
    That server has the runtime also and is loaded along with the data.
    So the users open the runtime using Citrix, individually.

    Already one table loss some data.
    The major issue now is that after printing a report we get an error runtime error:with A5print.dbi
    So the report prints. then stops the program. with above error.
    The program is running with the property 'as administrator'.
    The reports, do not have 'Lock table' checked. I will try later tonight to unlock and see if that helps.
    Any suggestions?

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    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Slight twist, I have 14 users using local runtime to open the data files on the server. No problems. This does not utilize shadowing at all.
    Dave Mason
    dave@aldaweb.com

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    Member Tim Sutherland's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    Slight twist, I have 14 users using local runtime to open the data files on the server. No problems. This does not utilize shadowing at all.
    Dave,

    Curious why you choose not to utilize shadowing?

    Thanks

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ronald Anusiewicz's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    The data is loaded in a remote server.
    That server has the runtime also and is loaded along with the data.
    So the users open the runtime using Citrix, individually.
    So if I understand this correctly, you are opening 20 instances of the runtime on the server and all instances are connected to the workspace files on the same server. This is like opening 20 instances of the runtime on a stand alone computer. If this is correct, I think you will find that Alpha has loaded in the same core of the processor. From Lenny Forziati on the message board: "Alpha intentionally binds to a single CPU on a multi-CPU/core system in order to avoid any problems"

    In this configuration, shadowing would not be beneficial. Shadowing is beneficial when separate work stations each running it's own runtime are connected to data files on a remote server.
    Alpha Anywhere v3.5
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    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    I believe that it is what happening. In the past when running a single runtime in a PC, of course with no shadow db, and loading runtime a 2nd time, alpha will fail after a while. Only a closing of both runtime instances and a complete reboot, things will come back to normal.
    So far under Citrix, seems to work, ('seems to work') The only issue is when printing. The moment that Alpha send a report to the printer, Alpha stops working and reload is needed. If the report is sent to the screen, it is OK. Also printing to a PDF printer is OK.
    Have any one experienced this issue?

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    I have always used the bootstrap method for distributed apps running from a server.
    Reason;
    1) the app files are downloaded to the separate pc's, creating a network optimised data exchange
    2) when the base app is updated, the latest version is available to the user.
    3) latency. You will bump into yourself if you open (in my experience) more than 5 users in a key bashing environment.
    Ted Giles
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  11. #11
    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Glad to hear from you. Correct.
    That is the best and effective way. This scenario is not my choice and I am trying to help]
    The system was working, just as you explained.
    In this case the data is in a remote server. So they tried to replicate the normal process and it was so slow that users had a chance to take coffee breaks between searches. and printing took a loooong time.
    So the came up with the idea of using Citrix. Maybe that works in other situations.
    So I am hoping from Alpha users using Citrix, if they were able to overcome the printing issue.
    I have searched in the web and Citrix is know for printing issues.

  12. #12
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    How complex is the application, Mike?
    Do you need centralised or local printing?
    Ted Giles
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    One caution: Using shadow is straight forward, but direct with no shadow, you have to create forms a bit different to not dupe where it is needed. Records could overwrite each other without some thought.
    Dave Mason
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    Member MikeData's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Ted, I just got word, they got to print. The did as instructed by Citrix in reloading new printer drivers in Citrix.
    One question to Dave, create forms differently? Can you give me a hint?
    BY the way thanks for all the responses.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Records could overwrite each other without some thought.

    As soon as the first field is complete, save the record if no shadow is used.

    I actually do that all the time to prevent users overwriting each other. Safety thing!
    Dave Mason
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Mike hasn't said what version of Citrix is being used or if virtual machines/servers are involved. Part of Citrix's appeal is that they have made a huge effort to allow the remote, server-based sessions to communicate with local hardware on the desktop, much more so than Microsoft/Terminal Services which is the closest competitor for this type of remoting desktop programs to a server. Citrix is, or has been, a much more expensive alternative.

    Most of the information about the number of concurrent remote users possible under TS and Citrix is frustratingly incomplete. Previous information would have pegged the maximum concurrent users, for acceptable performance, at around 12 - 14. That is, all users logged in and all using the application under normal conditions. It does depend somewhat on the complexity of the application and whether it's running a lot of summaries or things like A/R or A/P reports for display or printing. But if Mike can get 20+ concurrent users that would be very valuable information in favor of Citrix, since I'm pretty sure that the same could not be said of MS/TS.

    I see Mike posted that they reconfigured the Citrix printing setup and the printing issues seem to be resolved. That's good news.

    Later versions of Alpha (after A5V5) attach themselves to a single processor. There are a number of built-in Alpha functions which, theoretically, should allow you to spread the load and avoid these problems: they are PrimaryProcessor(), SelectBestProcessor() and SetPrimaryProcessor(). I spent a lot of time trying to get those functions to work in a T/S environment, but without much success and eventually we retreated back to shadowing.

    These issues have been dicussed before in relation to TS specifically, but could apply just as well to Citrix. One such discussion thread can be found at
    https://forum.alphasoftware.com/show...ngle+processor

    OTOH, knowing that a desktop application could be moved to a Citrix server and provide comparable performance for up to 20 users, might extend the life of some desktop apps in the face of the web onslaught.
    Finian

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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    We have a different setup using TSPlus raher than Citrix/MS Remote Desktop where we are running 9 VMs on 2 servers, each with Intel Xeon E5-2650v4 with 128Gb of memory. All disk storage is SSD.

    Each VM is allowed 12 VCPUs, 24Gb of memory a system disk and a data disk. Each user starts their own instance of Alpha (currently a mix of V10.5 & V11, soon to be latest V12) with most accessing their own dedicated app.

    CPU normally maxes around the 50% mark during the working day with the odd processor/thread bumping to 100% for a couple of seconds.

    User counts of between 40 & 50 are easily managed on this setup per VM, although we do see significant problems if the user count goes much over 60 with users hanging on disconnect using 100% of a single core. We don't yet know if this is Microsoft, TSPlus, Alpha or our app. If anyone goes down this route we'd strongly reccomend that user user has a dedicated windows login as we have seen prints directed to the wrong location if 2 users are logged in with the same ID.

  18. #18
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Hi Jon:
    Are you running Hyper-V or VMWare or something else? Have you ever checked which processor Alpha is using in the VM sessions? Do the Alpha instances on one VM all attach to the primary processor? Are your 40 - 50 users all running concurrently? I wonder if TSPlus has something to do with your concurrent user counts which are higher than I've seen reported for either MS TS or Citrix.

    Our "big box" server, is older but has loads of hd space (but not SSD) and 186 gigs ram. We divided it into 1 Vm server and about 15 vm's. We run only one Alpha per VM and shadow to the VM Server. Plus, for where we have scanners and other hardware attached, we will run from the desktop, also shadowed to the virtual server.
    Finian

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    I just knew you handled the Moon Landing!
    Nice set up, F.
    Ted Giles
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: run a runtime application in a network and no shadow db

    Finian,

    Running VMWare on these, but I do have an HyperV box that may see some action soon(ish) if things go according to plan.

    We have 50+ users logged in concurrently on each VM, most are idle at any time, but they obviously erach have an overhead. Attached image shows the CPU on the host with all processors sharing activitgy, so I must assume that Alpha is running on more than one core/thread.Capture.PNG

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