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Last modified on 2/17/2015 10:19 AM by User.

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Technology Overview

Overview

This article identifies OASIS technologies and is useful for system administrators to:

  • Plan hardware and software platform changes
  • Prepare for changes in OASIS as the technology evolves
  • Diagnose system failures
  • Understand potential security risks.

Some of the technologies in this document are required. That is, OASIS will not operate without the technology enabled. Other technologies are optional and may not even be active at a given site.

Technologies:

  • OASIS Database
  • Java
  • Version Check
  • OASIS “Open Tickets”
  • OASIS Updates (V2.7 and later)
  • OASIS Web
  • Manufacturer Connectivity
  • WebEx for Support and Training
  • FogBugz Screen Shot for support

Ingen Software Privacy Policy

Ingen Software has a very strict data use policy. For more information, click here.

 

OASIS Database

Required: YES
Security Notes: USERS SHOULD NOT ROUTE TCP/IP PORT # 2638 FROM THE INTERNET TO THEIR SERVER.

Although OASIS is capable of running with other database implementations, Sybase’s Adaptive Server Anywhere (ASA) is included in the OASIS installer and is part of the standard licensing for OASIS. ASA is a full relational database – for more information see Sybase’s website:  http://www.sybase.com/ianywhere

OASIS is a “fat client” client/server application where the business logic is contained on the user’s workstation and the server manages the data:

NOTES:

  1. Workstation firewalls are a common problem. Please ensure an exception exists for OASIS to connect to the server on port # 2638.
  2. The database engine (ASA) is often run as a service under Windows, an init process under UNIX, and a nlm for Novell. If the database engine stops for any reason, the users will receive a number of socket related errors (host not found, connection refused, etc.).
  3. Database size may be an issue for some backup solutions. Users that utilize the document management system (attachments) in OASIS will have larger databases. PLEASE REGULARLY MONITOR THE BACKUP TO ENSURE IT IS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY. We do recommend performing a recovery from backup periodically to ensure the backups are working properly. Call if you have any questions on backups.
  4. Database size may be an issue for some servers. FAT32 SHOULD NEVER BE USED! Monitor the size of the database regularly to ensure the hard drive containing the database will not run out of space unexpectedly. Database corruption in this case is theoretically possible.
  5. DO NOT DELETE LOG FILES. The backup process recommended for OASIS will generate a lot of .log files in the database directory. If one becomes concerned about the number and size of these logs, we recommend the following process (Call if you have any questions):
  • Use the OASIS GUI to truncate the log file
  • Stop the database engine (ASA).
  • Copy ALL files in the database directory to a low cost USB hard drive.
  • CONSIDER SECURING THE HARD DRIVE IN A SAFE DEPOSIT BOX!!!
  • Delete all files in the database directory EXCEPT: oasis.db and oasis.log.

Java

OASIS is written in Java. The following Java and OASIS versions are supported:

  1. OASIS Version 2.6.3 is implemented with Java version 1.4 and 1.5.
  2. OASIS Version 2.7 is implemented with Java version 1.6

NOTES:

  1. Virus and firewall programs may activate asking to allow java to have access to the network when first connecting to the server. The user should allow this access or OASIS will not operate.

Version Check

Required: No
Security Notes: None (may be blocked by a firewall w/o negative consequences).
NOTE: This service may be replaced as the V2.7 auto update process will likely make the service obsolete.

All versions of OASIS perform a version check the first time OASIS is started and for each user that starts the application – regardless of security. The purpose of the version check is to allow Ingen Software to notify individual users if they are operating a version of the system that should be upgraded (likely due to a security or data integrity issue). The idea is to prevent data issues created by users operating a version with a critical bug or security risk.

Service Details:

Protocol: SOAP base URL http://support.OasisSalesSoftware.com:8080
Data Sent:

  • User Name
  • PC identity
  • Unique OASIS Database Identifier (license number)
  • Operating System and Version
  • OASIS Version, release and “plug ins”
  • Java VM Version

Data Received:

  • Typically “Version is current”, but may be a strongly worded message to update their workstation.

OASIS “Open Tickets”

Required: No
Security Notes: None (may be blocked by a firewall w/o negative consequences).

All versions of OASIS have the ability to open a support ticket directly with Ingen Software from within the application. There are two types of support tickets:

  1. Stack Trace only – no data is sent to Ingen Software. Only information about OASIS is sent
  2. Data only – selected transactions are sent directly to Ingen Software

When OASIS detects an internal problem, a window is displayed with an error message. The window also contains a button with the words “Open Ticket”. If the button is pushed, then a Stack Trace only ticket is registered with Ingen Software. If the window is dismissed in any other way, no message is sent to Ingen Software.

Users may elect to send the transaction (quote, order, invoice, etc.) they are viewing to Ingen Software by selecting “Open Ticket” from within the help menu. The transaction is copied from their system and sent via FTP to Ingen Software and a support ticket is opened. It is common for our support staff to ask for a copy of the transaction when helping users with complicated support questions.

Support Response Policy: Tickets opened from within OASIS may not be responded to immediately. The policy is to respond within 24 hours. However, some tickets may be ignored, such as duplicates. Users should always phone OASIS support if a problem is preventing work from being completed.

 

Stack Trace Only Service Details:

Protocol: SOAP base URL http://support.OasisSalesSoftware.com:8080
Data Sent:

  • User Name
  • PC identity
  • Unique OASIS Database Identifier (license number)
  • Operating System and Version
  • OASIS Version, release and “plug ins”
  • Java VM Version
  • The error message viewed by the user
  • NO TRANSACTION DATA IS SENT!

Data Received:

  • A case number is received which is displayed for the user.

 

Data Only Service Details: (Two protocols used to complete the task)

Protocol 1: SOAP base URL http://support.OasisSalesSoftware.com:8080
Data Sent:

  • User Name
  • PC identity
  • Unique OASIS Database Identifier (license number)
  • Operating System and Version
  • OASIS Version, release and “plug ins”
  • Java VM Version
  • User contact information keyed by user
  • Subject and message keyed by user

Data Received:

  • A case number is received which is displayed for the user.

 

Protocol 2: FTP to support.OasisSalesSoftware.com
Data Sent:

  • A copy of the transaction selected by the user

Data Received:

  • A case number is received which is displayed for the user.

OASIS Updates (V2.7 and later)

Required: Currently, Yes
Security Notes: None (may be blocked in the future by a firewall w/o negative consequences).

One of the difficulties of the older versions of OASIS is deploying updates to the system. Updating and ensuring every PC desktop is up-to-date is a time consuming process that is complicated by a number of technical issues. Additionally, Windows Vista all but makes the process impossible.

For V2.7, an auto update process has been implemented and consists of two different phases:

  1. Downloading updates from Ingen Software to the local database;
  2. Updating the local PC.

 

Downloading Updates

The software download is automatic. However, the download will only be initiated if user with admin rights to the “Software” security token logs into OASIS. The download occurs in the background, allowing the user to perform other tasks.

If the user is up-to-date, no software download is initiated. However, if a new version of OASIS is found, the update is downloaded and the user will be asked whether or not to “activate” the new version. The new version will not be deployed unless it is activated by an admin user.

All recent versions of the system are retained within the OASIS database. This allows admin users to “roll back” to an earlier version of the software at any time. (Users will have to log out and back into the system for the new version to activate.)

 

Updating the Local PC

Each time a user starts OASIS, a connection is established with the database engine. A query is made to compare the version of the client software on the local PC to the version of the OASIS software stored within the database. If the versions are different, the software is downloaded from the database server to the local PC before OASIS starts. This ensures the client software on the PC is current and “in sync” with the database version.

Since the release of Windows Vista (and various UNIX variants), updating software dynamically and by a user is not possible. Additionally, Windows Terminal Services and Citrix users must have the ability to deploy updates without forcing all users to log out (no scheduled “down time”). For this reason, the Java “jar” files comprising OASIS are stored by user in their personal files directory. For vista users the update is stored and executed from the “lib” folder shown below:

 

NOTES:

  1. If a user is unable to start OASIS, try deleting their .oasis folder. This will force a fresh software update from the database server.

 

OASIS Software Update Service Details: (Two protocols used to complete the task)

Protocol 1: SOAP base URL http://support.OasisSalesSoftware.com:8080
Data Sent:

  • User Name
  • PC identity
  • Unique OASIS Database Identifier (license number)
  • Operating System and Version
  • OASIS Version, release and “plug ins”
  • Java VM Version
  • User contact information keyed by user
  • Subject and message keyed by user

Data Received:

  • Unique path name to update containing any custom software for the OASIS user.

 

Protocol 2: HTTP base url varies but ends with *.OasisSalesSoftware.com
Data Sent:

  • URL

Data Received:

  • Software update

OASIS Web

Required: No – optional product sold separately
Security Notes: Risk is minimal assuming a good firewall implementation.

The OASIS web product was designed for the sole purpose of publishing shipping information for Distributors and Contractors to view w/o calling the company publishing the information. Since the data must first be recorded in OASIS before being made available to the customers, one of two implementations are possible:

  1. Locally Hosted
  2. Hosted by Ingen Software

(Ingen Software will NOT support external hosting companies.)

Information supplied to the user is based on login. Direct access to orders and quotes is not possible.

Locally Hosted

This is the most risky implementation of OASIS. However, the risk is minimal as long as firewalls are managed properly.

The OASIS Web Product is implemented as a Java “Web Application” and is shipped as a WAR file in a self extracting zip file. Java 2 Enterprise Edition servers (we recommend Apache Tomcat at the link below) should have little problem running the software.

The web application runs in a web server which typically responds to requests on port 8080. The application will then connect to the database server as a standard user resulting in a network topology below:

For more information on how web application servers work, see the Apache Tomcat website:  http://tomcat.apache.org/

Hosted by Ingen Software

If the website is hosted by Ingen Software, then the user will be given instructions on how to upload data over a secure connection to one of our servers. Like other connections, the data is pushed from the user’s database to the Ingen Software server. The result is a copy of the data on the Ingen Software servers. The data is not complete, but does contain quote, order, and shipping information. Some pricing information is copied, but not all.

The disadvantage of hosting the website remotely is a delay in publishing the information. The user must key the data into OASIS locally, then a process is used to copy all the changes to the Ingen Software server.

 

Manufacturer Connectivity

Required: Yes for some manufacturers
Security Notes: Risk is minimal, most transactions are logged.

Connectivity with manufacturers varies greatly and may use any combination of FTP, HTTP, SOAP or other Internet protocols. Ingen Software will not implement connectivity that does not conform to the following criteria without notifying the affected users:

  1. ABSOLUTELY NO PUSH TECHNOLOGY
  2. ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTIONS INITIATED EXTERNALLY (except OASIS Web)
  3. All connections initiated from the user’s workstation or a batch (service) process on a server.
  4. OASIS IS REQUIRED TO LOG ALL OUTGOING DATA AS AN ATTACHMENT OF THE RELATED TRANSACTION IN THE FORMAT BEING SENT (e.g. XML, EDI, etc) – NO EXCEPTIONS!
  5. Most incoming data is also logged in the native format that it was received
  6. Almost all connections to the manufacturer require a user and password (or other authentication information). Please make sure these credentials are safeguarded.

Items #4 and #5 allow Ingen Software support staff to verify transmissions and diagnose issues reported by the user or the manufacturer.

NOTES:

  1. Firewalls on the user’s PC may cause issues from time to time. Please contact Ingen Software or the related manufacturer if any questions arise over which ports and servers should be allowed.
  2. DNS lookup failures may result in connection errors (e.g. unknown host errors). In many cases, the OASIS setup may be modified to contain an IP address instead.

WebEx for Support and Training

Ingen Software does make use of the Web Ex service. The service requires an installation of an Active X component on Windows computers allowing support staff to view the user’s computer remotely. The view is temporary and only active during the meeting. Ingen Software does pay by the minute for this service. For more information about the WebEx service see their website:  http://www.webex.com/

FogBugz Screen Shot

This new service is being tested now. The advantage is to allow a user to quickly take a screen shot of OASIS (or other applications) and open a ticket with Ingen Software. This service will likely be utilized only by BETA users as emailing issues to support@OasisSalesSoftware.com has the same effect.