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Thread: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

  1. #1
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    Anita Headley
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    Default Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    I have an upload using an UX component loading into a SQLServer database. When the upload is used by a staff member in our building, it works fine. She is accessing the application thru the same website that our remote users do. When the upload is used by remote users, it times out in less than 2 minutes. They also do not get the session timeout warning that I included. The staff member does get the timeout warning after about 15 minutes and is able to extend the session.


    Are there any log files that I could examine or has anyone run into this situation before?

    I am using Alpha Anywhere v4.6.1.2 Build 6012 with System Addin Build 5338 .

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Are they truly timing out or are they getting kicked out. I think they are losing connection for some reason.

    I am not sure, exactly, what you mean by remote users to a website. Is this a VPN setup? Are you using Remote access of some sort?

    A little more information on your setup might help us help you.

    Also, you are talking about an upload - is that the only function this serves? Are there other UX components that do not have this issue?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    They are only having a problem with the Upload. The other reporting features of the application are not having a problem. By remote users, I mean users not in our office building. The upload is a UX that uploads the data in a CSV file and processes it into the appropriate tables. There is xbasic code and a SQLServer stored procedure involved in the processing. The users are getting a "Connection Timed Out" message. They are not getting the session timeout warning popup, which is set at 2 minutes. As stated before, users in our office building are accessing the application in the same manner, being a link on our web page. They are not having the same issues with timing out. They get the warning popup after about 15 minutes and sometimes have to extend the session in order to load a 400kb file.

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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Have you personally tested this from outside your office? A look at the console may reveal stuff. A 400kb file should load almost instantly. If it's still loading after 1 minute you know there's a problem.

    http? https?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    You may be having a security issue of some type.

    Users in your office are connected directly to the server while users outside the office are connecting through some kind of security device/firewall, yes?

    But I also agree that a file of 400kb or even 400MB should upload very quickly - you have some kind of network latency issue you also need to address.

    What you don't mention is whether the disconnected session every completes either partially or completely. Do uploads from outside the office actually happen, even though the get disconnected or no?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    I have not been able to test it personally from outside my office. https. I don't believe it is the actual loading of the file that takes time, but the processing. My puzzlement comes from why it would act differently for users outside the office vs users in the office when they are both accessing it through the web page link. Our remote users loading small files (~50kb) are not having problems. We have decided to move all post-upload processing to the database using a stored procedure rather that a combination of xbasic and stored procedure. I hope this will help.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    That's the first thing you should do... duplicate what your users are seeing. Check the console... see what's actually going on. Processing, loading, whatever on a 400kb file should be seconds.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    I will take a file home tonight and try running the load from my home computer, but I'm not sure what 'console' you are talking about. I know how to run the debug from my alpha development system, but I can't do that from my home computer.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    P.S. this was all working fine 3 months ago before I installed the latest build of Alpha Anywhere.

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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    In chrome, use Control Shift I. It will turn on the java console so you can see if there are any JavaScript errors.

    And if an upgrade to Alpha is the culprit, try going back a version (or to whatever you were at before) to see if it fixes the issue.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita Headley View Post
    P.S. this was all working fine 3 months ago before I installed the latest build of Alpha Anywhere.
    Shocking !

    Browser console... Control+Shift+J will open the Console Panel. The console tab will show Javascript, HTML, loading errors. The Network tab is required when trying to figure out problems like the one you're having. Learn how to use these tools... indispensable. Without duplicating what your users are doing it's all just guessing.

  12. #12
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    Sean OKelly
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Sounds to me like a firewall rules issue. Whomever manages your company firewall system should be able to easily see if it's being rejected by the firewall. If it is, then it's usually an easy adjustment to the rules policy. If that isn't it, then something in the app build. I would rule out the firewall issue first.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Uploads fine from my home computer. Problem must be at other end. Different agency, so I don't know yet what we are going to do.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Does the different agency have a different server or are they all going to the same server?

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    Daniel Binns
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Is it a browser issue? Do you know what they are using, are there session cookies they aren't accepting as part of their agency security policy?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    The different agency is logging on to our application server thru the web browser. I don't know what web browser they are using or what network/browser controls they have. One of our people is going up to Bellingham (where they are located) to work with the user and their IT people to see if the problem can be solved. We have not had complaints about time outs from our other users since I moved the validation logic from Alpha to a SQLServer stored procedure on Saturday.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    This is my only web/Alpha application. What is best practice for running long processes? Is there a way to run them in a background process?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Yes, but it depends on the process. I don't think, for instance, that you could move an upload process to the background because it relies on getting the document from the user's computer. After the file is fully uploaded, you could probably process the file in a background process though.

    What are you trying to offload?

    Have you used Alpha Desktop at all?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    I have not used Alpha Desktop. All my desktop/client-server applications are in PowerBuilder. We only introduced Alpha because we needed a Web application that had to be translated out of Oracle HTML because we were getting rid of Oracle and moving to SQLServer.

    This question was initially because we have users uploading data into a central database. The validation processing after the upload is extensive. At this point, I have moved all of the validation processing to a SQLServer stored procedure, but since the call to the stored procedure is at the end of the file load, it still ties up the user's computer. I also thought of what would be happening if the user were running a very large query or report.

    30 years of programming experience, but this is my first and only Web project. Different way of looking at things.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    Does the user need to work on the uploaded data immediately after the upload or can they wait? Because normally a background process would run at intervals. So depending on when the upload completed you would have to wait not only for the processing to complete, but also until the next processing cycle as well as maybe wait behind other uploads that happened before yours.

    Also, do you need to notify the user when the processing is completed or are they hands-off after the upload?

    And yes, web projects are very different from desktop projects.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    The user can wait to work on the uploaded data. The user would prefer to be notified once the upload is complete, before the validation processing, but the only way I have figured out how to do that included the user having to 'click ANOTHER button' which they did not want. So now they have a file upload that puts the data into a pre-processing table and immediately calls the stored procedure to do the validation processing. By moving the validation to a stored procedure, I reduced the time from 15-20 minutes to ~2 minutes for a 500MB file. This has made the users much happier. It did solve the 'timing out' issue. I read what I could find about using a separate thread to call the stored procedure, but most of it seemed to pertain to 'Desktop only' and when I tried it, it debugged as successful, but did not actually run the stored procedure. I'm not sure why my boss thinks a background thread is a good idea, since the user can't work with the data until the validation processing is complete anyway. I could see the point if it was a long running report, where the user could go do something else within the program while the report was processing. I've also never developed a multi-threaded application.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Problem with remote user timing out on uploads

    If you want to try out a background process, here is the quick and dirty method:

    Create a UX with an ontimer event of 15 minutes (or whatever is appropriate).

    The event will fire an xbasic procedure (from a JavaScript action) that does the following:

    Check to see if there is any new work to process - if there is, then do the work.

    You can have the xbasic function fire the stored procedure and then send an email when it's done.

    You put that onto an a5w page and you run the a5w page directly on the Alpha server. Just leaving it running 24/7. (Note: You could technically run the a5w page on any machine, it doesn't matter - I do mine from the server.)

    The problem with doing that is that if Alpha ever crashes or if the server reboots, then you have to manually reload the page.

    BUT - this will let you know if this is a path you want to pursue further.

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