Setting up BatchQ - Server based reporting#

Powerforce has the ability to run reports off-line (not on your workstation). This document will outline its use, and how to set the environment up.

In order to release your workstation from running long (or any) reports, we have functionality allowing you to deploy a batched process on your server.

When you run any report, Powerforce will prompt you if you'd like to run this report on the server. If you respond 'Yes', the report will run on the server, releasing your workstation immediately for your use, rather than a lengthy delay waiting for a report to complete.

Enabling Batch reporting#

To enable the batch functionality, you need to configure the option in the 'Administration' menus 'x'

Check this entry as shown, and your users will start to be prompted to use the BatchQ for reporting.

Additionally, you must ensure that your users have their 'User' login record configured with their email details, so that the BatchQ process can email the report to them when completed.

Configuring Email processing#

Reports run on behalf of users will be emailed to the user via your internal / external email systems.

To ensure that your BatchQ environment can be independant of your internal Powerforce email environment, you have a 'X' tab on the 'email configuration admin' screen, as shown below

  1. Setup your email options (there are a few), this example is showing gmail setup.
  2. This example is setting an email address for default email receipt
  3. The above only takes effect if (3) is checked. You would use this option whilst testing and setup.

If you click the "Test batch Reporting" button, a blank email will be sent to the address in (2) to confirm that your Reporting mail server configuration is working.

Once you have verified that the email details are correct, you must encheck (3), otherwise that email address will receive all the reports irrespective of whom submitted it.

Monitoring the Server BatchQ#

When a user submits a report to be run in the BatchQ, an entry similar to this will appear onto the BatchQ

Once, the report has been emailed, the display will be similar to the following, showing some further status details, including the file on disk where the report is stored.

Configuration on the Server-Side#

The first thing you must do is to setup a batchQ specific login (suggestion only), eg: 'batchq'.
Your server admin can set this up, and provide you with the password. This is required so that you can be in control of your own environment, and not be dependant on eith our support or your internal IT.

The BatchQ process is the same Powerforce as you run on your desktop, only running one process, rather than the whole of Powerforce as you do on your own workstation.

Server-Side Configuration Requirements#

  1. Create a login (eg: batchq)
  2. The login has to have the same generic access rights to Powerforce as all user workstations
  3. The login will be via remote desktop onto your own server, so that no other resources are used / required.
  4. The login must be setup with a default printer, with the page size set as 'A4'. To create reports Powerforce requires a printer connection. (that's why it cannot be run as a Windows Service.)

  5. Place a copy of the command file StartBatchQ.cmd onto the user desktop. (details of the .cmd file are below)

  6. Place a copy of the command file pfbatch.cmd into the working directory of Powerforce. The above file calls this file, passing in the database to run the BatchQ against.

This then allows the user to start the BatchQ(s) as simply as double-clicking the shortcut.

Once started the BatchQ will run and pick up any jobs that have been submitted for running.

StartBatchQs.cmd#

The command file 'StartBatchQs.cmd'

// start p:\oi94\srpsyncserver /s pushd p:\oi94 start pfbatch.cmd scgs (this runs 1 Q for the Database 'scgs', replace this with your own Database id) start pfbatch.cmd scgs (this is running a 2nd instance of the BatchQ for the same DB. Comment this out, if you only want 1 copy to run) exit

The supporting .cmd file 'pfbatch.cmd'#

!# mode=/batch echo %1% start oinsight /ap=mms /un=mms /dv=0 /CA=REPORT_BATCHQ /pfuserid=batchq /entity=%1% /window=batch_reporting_monitor /mode=batch exit