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#198521 - 2010-04-30 09:00 PM messaging/alert client app
Radimus Moderator Offline
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I need to develop a app that in some manner reads/displays a message

Sort of like a broadcast netsend

I have about 1500-2000 machines in 10 different sites, both XP and win7

This is to alert staff when things like the mailserver goes off-line or we need to send an immediate message to all staff.

I was considering a client app that monitored a network folder waiting for a file containing a message to appear. The client would read the file and popup a kixform displaying the message.

The problem as I see it is the traffic of having all these PCs monitoring that folder.

The second method I thought of was to copy that file to every PC that is online, and the client app monitors a local folder for a message file to appear.. but that could take quite a while sending a file across the WAN to every PC.

A 3rd method was a distributed sort of thing where each IP subnet monitored a folder in their subnet, and the message sender would copy to the folder in every subnet (instead of every PC)

Any better ideas?
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#198522 - 2010-04-30 09:21 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Radimus]
Allen Administrator Online   shocked
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Not sure if you know about msg.exe, but it looks like it replaces net send without the need for the messenger service. Just an idea.

http://www.petri.co.il/msg-exe-net-send-vista.htm

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#198540 - 2010-05-04 02:27 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Allen]
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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I don't think that MSG.EXE will broadcast - you would need to send to each machine.

You could code something really smart using multicasting with repeaters at each of your sites, but that's a *lot* of work and means getting into socket level network coding.

If you can't find anything ready-rolled I'd suggest a web based solution. You could maybe leverage RSS feed technology, or simply check the modified-since attributes of a page and pop it up in a browser if it has changed. That way staff would get older news items that had occured while they were logged off.

If your check interval is say every 10 minutes the load shouldn't be too bad.

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#198541 - 2010-05-04 02:50 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Richard H.]
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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Some good introduction to MS oriented messaging here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms711472(v=VS.85).aspx
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#198606 - 2010-05-13 10:46 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Richard H.]
Björn Offline
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I only see problems with sending messages or having something polling for a file - the first will take time and not everyone would prolly get it - second solution smells like you need to create something that polls the "file" in question.

Doesn't it sound easier to create something that monitors the servers in question and manage it the same way you manage other programs? So, if there's an update, you simply deploy a new ini/xml/config for what to poll - or just manage the main program that way, and lets it get the config by itself?
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#198620 - 2010-05-14 10:48 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Björn]
Schuliebug Offline
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Just use a KiX32 app as a service on a central server and a KiX32 app as client for every user/workstation. It can be done using the KiXforms Socket (in the KiXforms 2.46 dll, yeah i know, why not use the kiXforms.net).

I've created a few 'client-server' KiX32 apps, and they work fine. There are a few issues to address:
- which client data to keep track of in the service process (the more data to keep track of, the more mem is used)?
- Should this also be logged to disk in case of restart, crash etc?
- security (who can sent messages) and should this be logged and where?
- how to popup messages (client poll or service push)?
- maintain old messages on client side?

I've got some small sample code which simulates service and client (both with simple GUI) if someone is interested. If you don't want to script is, take a look at Bopup from B-Labs Software.
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#198621 - 2010-05-14 11:14 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Schuliebug]
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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Have a look at the messaging coding link that I posted earlier.

It really simplifies messaging, so (for example) you can do something like:
  • On the "server" side push a new mesage onto a queue and set an expiry time - for example 24 hours for a reason-for-outage message, 1 week for an alert about planned downtime, 10 minutes for notice that fire alarms will be tested in 10 minutes time.
  • On the client side, poll the queues that you are subscribed to and display any new messages
  • Use different queues for different roles - you may have an IT engineers queue, a local building queue and a corporate queue

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#198627 - 2010-05-14 04:33 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Schuliebug]
Radimus Moderator Offline
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Schuliebug, I'd love to see your app. I've not programmed any sockets code or the tcplistener stuff. Any assistance would be greatlt appreciated
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#198665 - 2010-05-19 04:45 PM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Radimus]
Schuliebug Offline
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Radimus, this could be a nice project \:\) Where can i share or sent the code to? If complete, it will be posted on KiXtart.org, off course!
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#198718 - 2010-05-26 05:59 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Schuliebug]
Jack Lothian Offline
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Where I work (Statistics Canada), all our central IT section ever uses is an e-mail notice for communicating with users like me. I get that doesn't work when the problem is the e-mail system but in about 20 years of working here I have never found that to be a problem. Problems with the e-mail server are generally infrequent & short-lived. We have close to 8,000 machines & a dual internal & external network for security reasons & our e-mail system seems to be extremely rugged (we only seem get a two or three down periods of a very short duration each year - hours or minutes).

Of course, we are conservative as hell, we are moving every single machine in the bureau from XP to Vista in a month because Vista has finally passed 2 years of testing. Despite the fact everyone else has jumped on Win7, we will probably move to 7 in about 3 to 4 years. Yet everything does work & real system-wide crashes or disruptions are almost unheard off.

So my question is do you really need something else besides e-mail notices?
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#198722 - 2010-05-26 09:57 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Jack Lothian]
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Jack
So my question is do you really need something else besides e-mail notices?


Does "because it will be a challenge and fun to code it" count?

No? I'll get my coat...

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#198724 - 2010-05-26 10:41 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: Richard H.]
NTDOC Administrator Offline
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Not to hijack the post, but hello Jack - long time since last I saw you post.
Glad you're still KiXing around.

Back to the post... Glenn Barnas should be able to assist as well he has some really great KiXforms stuff - SIT being one of them that a couple of us worked on together for a while but then got busy and never finished. I think Glenn did finish it on his own after a while though.

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#198727 - 2010-05-27 04:17 AM Re: messaging/alert client app [Re: NTDOC]
Jack Lothian Offline
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Registered: 1999-10-22
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Hi guys,

I still have this site on my favourites list & I drop by every few months - mostly late at night. Nice to see this board is still motoring & all the oldies still contributing. Not many sites like this last as long as this one. Amazing!

I still semi-work in programming but it is all math programming. No need for Kixtart though - I just come by for old times sake - nice people here & I like to easdrop on the good conversation.
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Jack

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