First-run configuration dialog disables VisualCron service - VisualCron - Forum

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Mike99
2011-02-03T01:44:42Z
Hi,

We use VisualCron to kick off a load of overnight payment processes for a large online retailer via VisualCron SQL Stored Procedure jobs. On two separate occasions now, new admin staff launched VisualCron for the first time from the server's desktop, at which point they get a first-run dialog which helps them configure the application settings (color scheme, etc). This all works fine.

However, one of the choices is something like this (I forget the exact wording):

"What components do you want to run?"

Choice A: Server and Client
Choice B: Client-only

If the user selects Choice B, the first-run dialog silently *STOPS AND DISABLES* the VisualCron scheduling service so that no jobs run on the server. This seems like a very wrong thing to do. On both occassions that it's happened it's taken us a fair while to work out why the payment prcesses weren't running, and why the service was disabled.

The "what components" question would make much more sense if it were asked during the installation process and removed from the first-run wizard. At the moment what happens instead is that every new user is given the opportunity to accidentally disable all scheduled tasks on the server.

This is unfortunately a ticking time-bomb for us as we have a high turnover of staff at the outsourced company we use for support, so I know *someone* is going to disable the service again at some point because of this.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated. This is in version 5.6.9, for reference.

Thanks,

Mike
Support
2011-02-03T11:42:37Z
Hi Mike,

I find it quite strange because when you first install the server it should install the client for all users.

I assume you are talking about installing VisualCron again on the same server? Because a client installation on another server does not affect the running server.
Henrik
Support
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Mike99
2011-02-03T15:52:59Z
Hi Henrik,

The problem is in the "Get Started" dialog that all users see when they launch VisualCron for the first time on a particular computer. (Mayeb there's something up with our installation, but as far as I can tell, all users get this wizard, not just the first person after installing the VisualCron).

The second page of the wizard has two options:

o Client and Server
o Client only

If you select "Client only" while logged on to a computer running VisualCron it will stop and disable the VisualCron scheduling service. This has caught us out twice where new users have logged on to the desktop on our server that runs VisualCron, started the client and selected "Client only". In both cases the services were disabled, but we didn't find out until later when jobs missed their scheduled time.

In my opinion, this step should be removed from the "Get Started" wizard and placed in the installation program instead, so that only the person installing VisualCron decides whether to install the server service or not. Other users don't need to be asked this question as you can leave the VisualCron Windows Service in whatever state it's currently in, and just initialise the client program.

You would still be able to stop or start the service using the "Server 🔛 / server [off]" button on the toolbar, and you'd remove a big source of confusion for new users working in a multi-user environment.

This all happens in version 5.6.9 - I don't know if this has changed in 5.7.0.

Cheers,

Mike
Support
2011-02-03T22:12:55Z
Still I just want to confirm. Is this a problem when installing on Client computer or if you try to install for a new user on the Server?
Henrik
Support
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Mike99
2011-02-04T14:15:23Z
Hi Henrik,

To clarify, the sequence of events was as follows:

+ I logged on to a remote desktop session on the Windows server and installed VisualCron client and server components. I then launched the VisualCron client for the first time on that Windows server and got the Get Started wizard, where I selected "Server and Client".

+ I then configured some jobs, and the VisualCron server worked as expected.

+ A few weeks later a new user logged on to the server using remote desktop and launched the VisualCron client from the Start Menu icon. They were then shown the Get Started wizard, which they selected "Client only" from. This then disabled the VisualCron Windows service.

I was the only one who ran the VisualCron installer, which was when I first installed the VisualCron client and server applications on our Windows server.

Strictly speaking, the problem is that the new user misunderstood what the "Client only" selection was going to do, and selected the wrong option (they should have selected "Server and Client".

This has happened twice now with different users at our site so I think it may be a usability issue - the user assumes that because they're only interested in configuring the client then that's the option they should use. They don't realise that selecting "Client only" will actually disable the server components.

Cheers,

M
viper8
2011-02-04T20:52:03Z
I can say that this has happened to us as well with version 5.6.0. A new user logs on, runs the client, is presented with a first time run window, chooses client, the service stops. So I had to go in and restart the service. Not a huge problem, but it could have been had I not had monitoring in place for that service.

Thanks.
ErikC
2011-02-07T10:12:34Z
I'm also aware of this. I always tell my users to select server and client.
It is a bit scarry though.

Regards
Erik
Uses Visualcron since 2006.
Support
2011-02-07T14:18:52Z
We have added a warning in this dialog for next version.
Henrik
Support
http://www.visualcron.com 
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rprastein
2011-02-23T23:45:15Z
I noticed this too, but since there are only three of us and I'm the only one who really uses VisualCron, it was easy to track down the problem since it coincided in time with setting up one of my two colleagues. I just re-enabled and restarted the service and was done with it.

Rebeccah
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