Technical Tips

Real Time eXecutives, Inc.

Technical Tips


Optimizing Performance for Dial-up Users

There are two main areas which can be optimized for dialup users.

Loading the description files
Loading client applications

Optimizing performance for dialup users involves copying files from the server to the dialup user's PC or Laptop, so that the dialup user loads these files from the local system rather than trying to load the files across the dialup connection. If the dialup user is using single seat licensing, they will always have the applications locally, so only loading the description files need to be optimized.
Note: if either of these optimization techniques is utilized, you need to remember and update the dialup users files whenever any of the file server files are updated, which were originally copied to the dialup user's system.

Loading the description files

Description files always come in pairs. These are the and HS_DESC.NDX files. There may be separate description file sets each of your databases, or you may have only one set of description files for all of your databases, or some combination. Each time you browse a list of tags in a client application, the description file set will be loaded into the application, for the database you are working with. If the description files are located on the file server (as is normally the case), then the description files are loaded across the network. When the network is a dialup line, this can be very slow. To overcome this, you can locate a copy of the description files on the local system and modify the local system configuration to use these local description files instead of the files located on the file server. However, if the file server description files are updated (as a result of tag list maintenance), the dialup user's local description files will be out of date.

  1. Locate your primary Data Base Configuration file, "HDB_DATA.CNF". This is normally located on your HDB data server in the share call RTXDatabases (the name \\RtxDataServer\RTXDatabases\Hdb_data.CNF is used in this example.) If you are unsure exactly where this file resides, find the RTX.INI file in your Windows or WinNT directory. In the [RTX] section in this file there is a keyword "HDBDir=\\RtxDataServer\RTXDatabases". This is the location of your starting HDB_DATA.CNF. Find this file. If it contains lines starting with the '@' sign, then it chains together one or more HDB_DATA.CNF files in a tree type structure. By following this tree to the end of its branches, you will eventually see the databases normally displayed in the client applications.
    The Data Base Configuration file, assigns names to the data bases and indicates the location of the Root directory and Index files. These usually use relative notation where 'PATH = .' indicates the same directory as the configuration file, and 'ROOT = HOUR' indicates in a directory HOUR which is located off of the directory containing the configuration file.
    The following example shows the contents of an HDB_DATA.CNF file which defines three databases, HOUR, SHIFT and DAY:
SECTION:
NAME = HOUR
TYPE = 0
ROOT = HOUR
PATH = .
SECTION:
NAME = SHIFT
TYPE = 0
ROOT = SHIFT
PATH = .
SECTION:
NAME = DAY
TYPE = 0
ROOT = DAY
PATH = .
  1. Make a copy of this file on the dialup user's PC (e.g. in the C:\RTX directory.) Then modify this file to point the ROOT entries to the network as follows:
SECTION:
NAME = HOUR
TYPE = 0
ROOT = \\RtxDataServer\RTXDatabases\HOUR
PATH = .
SECTION:
NAME = SHIFT
TYPE = 0
ROOT = \\RtxDataServer\RTXDatabases\SHIFT
PATH = .
SECTION:
NAME = DAY
TYPE = 0
ROOT = \\RtxDataServer\RTXDatabases\DAY
PATH = .
  1. Now copy the Description files (HS_DESC.DBF and HS_DESC.NDX) from the network to the same location as this file. If any relative directories were specified for the 'PATH =" statement, you must create a similar directory tree on the dialup user's PC, off of the directory containing the new HDB_DATA.CNF file, and copy the HS_DESC files from the corresponding locations on the network to the new local locations.
  1. Lastly, modify the user's RTX.INI file in his Windows or WinNT directory, so that the HDBDir entry in the [RTX] section now points to the new file. Do not modify any of the other settings in this section.
[RTX]
HDBDir=c:\rtx

Use HDBVIEW32.exe to examine the new configuration.  It should show the same databases that were previously shown, however when you select a database, and click DB Info you should now see that the location of the INDEX FILE has changed and is now on the local system. Check this for all databases.

Loading client applications

There are two methods for installing client applications on a dialup user's system.

If the file server application files are updated (as a result of bug fixes/maintenance upgrades), the dialup user's application files will be out of date.


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