Discussion:
Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long
(too old to reply)
David Nasralla
2010-08-03 17:20:12 UTC
Permalink
Hey All,

I spent most of yesterday reviewing information on 4D v11 ports and
Timeouts. It was remarkable how many well established 4D developers
have had to work through issues related to it.
This probably comes down to the fact that if you use the 4D defaults,
your system will probably fail. Developer intervention is required.

I'll summarize here what I've learned (because I'll probably search
the NUG later trying to remember...)

There are two ports you need to be aware of: (I'll skip the SQL port
since it seems to be pretty stateless and, well... I don't do a lot of
SQL.)
- The standard Application port - This is the old style chatty 4D
port. Most 4D commands use it.
- The Application port +1 - This is the new lean DB4D port. 4D
Queries use this port. Not chatty. Gives you multi-processor access.
If 4D Client is not being used (idle) there is probably no traffic on
this port.

Let's look at the one at a time.
The standard Application Port (eg. 19813)
---------------
The timeout is controlled two ways.
- The Preferences -> Client-Server -> Client-Server Connections Timeout slider
- The commands SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout
;minutes) and  SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Server Timeout ;minutes)

Both actually change the 4D Preference file and are permanent (unless
you use a negative value - then temporary).

The change happens across all instances of 4D Server running on a
machine (as of v11.7). So don't fire up a test copy of 4D Server on
the same machine as your production to do timeout testing.
If you do hard code with the SET DATABASE PARAMETER command, any
changes with the slider will be temporary. The next time you start the
server, the prefs will change to reflect what you hard coded. If you
are an OEM, I would hard code it so your users can't muck with it.

For some reason, the slider seems to let you set a timeout less than
one minute (perhaps not). When that happens, it would be nice if the
server threw up a little message saying "Your system will now fail".
Several developers have expressed that 5 minutes seems to work well,
and that unlimited does not.

One old school method was to spawn a process to check the Server time
with a $ServerTime:=Current time(*)  every few minutes.

Side note: I'm not real sure that SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote
Mode Timeout ;minutes) actually does anything. When I did the
following from a Remote Client Session:
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout ;15)
ALERT(STRING(Get Database Parameter(4D Remote Mode Timeout))

You get whatever the server is set to. Seemed like a bug to me so I
reported it - ACI0066750.



The new DB4D Port or Application port +1 (eg. 19814)
---------------
Because this port is less chatty, there can be long periods of time
with no traffic. This causes Firewalls and Routers to kill the
connection. Many Sonicwall Firewalls default to a port killing timeout
of 5 minutes. Our remote offices all connect to the central office
with Sonicwalls. I had our IT guys check the timeouts. They were all
over the place. We set them to about 30 minutes each.

The timeout is controlled two ways.
- The Preferences -> Client-Server -> "Use automatic client reconnect" check box
- SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;seconds) negative
value to effect existing connections.

What the first option does is at best vague, and you should not use it
when using the second. ie. There is really no reason to ever use the
first option, and you need to hard code the second.
Josh pointed me to a nice discussion of the two at:
http://kb.4d.com/search/assetid=76058

Equally valuable is:
http://kb.4d.com/search/assetid=76101

The idea is to have 4D close the port (yet keep it available) before
the firewall kills it. You are idling the port.

Because most 4D commands do not use this command, the old school
method of checking the server time will not work. On the other hand,
you could, in theory, add a benign Query to your "keep alive"
function. This should force communication on the DB4D port.

An example of a failing DB4D port is when you get an error "Request
can not be sent to server..." and you notice that line mentioned is a
query.

Users have reported success with 240 seconds - the important thing is
that it is LESS than the timeouts on your network devices.

Side note: Charles in 4D tech support informed me that calling
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;seconds)
from the server side has no effect, and that it must be called from
the client side.


OK - time to get work done on an overdue Lab system..

d
--
David Nasralla
Clean Air Engineering
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-03 18:03:16 UTC
Permalink
A nice summary of the collective wisdom gained over the last few years.
I wasn't aware that Idle Connections Timeout was only effective from the
client side. Good to know!

Jeff


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David Nasralla
2010-08-03 22:51:16 UTC
Permalink
Hey Jeff,
Post by Jeffrey Kain
I wasn't aware that Idle Connections Timeout was only effective from the
client side. Good to know!
I'm re-thinking that now. I uploaded some changes to our system last
night that included a Idle Connections Timeout only for the client.
It didn't help. I'm still getting failed connections "The Connection
for this process has been disrupted or the connection couldn't be
established. " This is coming from clients on the same subnet as the
server.

I'm going to change the code so it fires for both client and server.

We are having a flurry of network errors being reported by users - it
seems like it happened after moving to v11.7, though I can't be sure.

d
--
David Nasralla
Clean Air Engineering
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Floyd Zink
2010-08-04 17:48:26 UTC
Permalink
David,

We experienced the same thing with the release version of 11.7, we had to
downgrade to 11.7mc1 to resolve the issue. 4D definitely changed something
between MC1 and the release version.

Our IDLE CONNECTIONS TIMEOUT is set to 240,-240.

-------------------------
Floyd Zink
QMed Corporation
-------------------------


From: David Nasralla <dnasralla-***@public.gmane.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 16:51:16 -0600
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

We are having a flurry of network errors being reported by users - it
seems like it happened after moving to v11.7, though I can't be sure.

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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-04 19:58:27 UTC
Permalink
Floyd,

Were you having the problems with 11.7 release version on Mac or
Windows?

-----Original Message-----
From: Floyd Zink
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 1:48 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

David,

We experienced the same thing with the release version of 11.7, we had
to
downgrade to 11.7mc1 to resolve the issue. 4D definitely changed
something
between MC1 and the release version.

Our IDLE CONNECTIONS TIMEOUT is set to 240,-240.

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Floyd Zink
2010-08-05 15:55:14 UTC
Permalink
Jeff,

Mac OS X 10.6.4 for the server and a mix of OS X 10.6.4 and 10.5.8 on the
clients.

-------------------------
Floyd Zink
QMed Corporation
-------------------------

From: Jeffrey Kain <jkain-***@public.gmane.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 15:58:27 -0400
Subject: RE: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

Floyd,

Were you having the problems with 11.7 release version on Mac or
Windows?

-----Original Message-----
From: Floyd Zink
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 1:48 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

David,

We experienced the same thing with the release version of 11.7, we had
to
downgrade to 11.7mc1 to resolve the issue. 4D definitely changed
something
between MC1 and the release version.

Our IDLE CONNECTIONS TIMEOUT is set to 240,-240.

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David Nasralla
2010-08-05 15:33:04 UTC
Permalink
Hey Floyd,
Post by Floyd Zink
We experienced the same thing with the release version of 11.7, we had to
downgrade to 11.7mc1 to resolve the issue. 4D definitely changed something
between MC1 and the release version.
Our IDLE CONNECTIONS TIMEOUT is set to 240,-240.
That agrees with what we experienced here. Unfortunately our company
changed to a new Fiber connection and moved some users from Terminal
Server to a direct connect at the same time as the move from v11.7MC1
to v11.7 - thus confusing troubleshooting.

I knew something basic was wrong when I had a client connection
running on the same machine as the 4D Server timeout. Moving from an
IDLE of 240,-240 to 30,-30 seems to be a work around for v11.7. This
is a Mac Server - Intel 8-Core with OS 10.5.x. Timeouts were happening
for both Mac and Windows clients.

We moved to v11.7 partly because we are still having issues with the
Application port not responding on one of our systems. We have another
system running on the same server with a very similar code base that
has no issues (but has different users).

My current thinking is that it seems it is still possible for a single
'rogue' machine to take down a 4D Server - either having something
corrupt in Windows or the 4D install or a combination of those with
certain user behavior (like sleeping the computer / hibernating /
etc.) It's pernicious, though. We went a month without issue, and then
had like 4 hangs in one week. Recently we only had one in the past two
weeks.

The Timeout issue seems to be resolved for us now - which is good. Now
I can go on vacation next week (offline) with a little more peace...

d
--
David Nasralla
Clean Air Engineering
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Bill Weale
2010-08-05 16:01:55 UTC
Permalink
David, I wonder if way too little attention is paid to latency--and
way too much paid to bandwidth, at least as far as Client/Remote
connections are concerned.

From what I've seen, large bandwidth increases, including changing to
fiber, have very little affect on latency. My guess is that latency is
mostly a function of routing. I have seen quite a bit of list traffic
about connections in 11.7, but in general I'm not seeing anywhere near
the improvement in WAN performance that has been advertised for v11.
And I'm beginning to think it's because I often run a lot of "setup"
code when a user opens a form--that, effectively, I may be adding to
the "chattiness" of remote connections. It doesn't show on sub-
millisecond pings within the LAN, but those forms are unusable above
25-30 ms pings, no matter what the bandwidth.

Is there any way you can go back to Terminal Server long enough to
eliminate that, or not, as a cause for what you're seeing in 11.7?

--Bill
...Unfortunately our company
changed to a new Fiber connection and moved some users from Terminal
Server to a direct connect at the same time as the move from v11.7MC1
to v11.7 - thus confusing troubleshooting.
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David Nasralla
2010-08-05 16:26:35 UTC
Permalink
Hey Bill,
Is there any way you can go back to Terminal Server long enough to eliminate
that, or not, as a cause for what you're seeing in 11.7?
We did go back to TS for one of the systems (all clients on the same
subnet/internal network) and the issue remained. Changing the IDLE
seemed to fix it (-30,30). Changing the IDLE also helped remote users
on the other system. I'm guessing this will change with the next
release. Developers shouldn't need to deal with this if they are on a
local network.
I have seen quite a bit of list traffic about
connections in 11.7, but in general I'm not seeing anywhere near the
improvement in WAN performance that has been advertised for v11. And I'm
beginning to think it's because I often run a lot of "setup" code when a
user opens a form...
I think the improvement is there. Particularly for vanilla databases
that use the standard output forms and input forms without a lot of
background code. I use a lot of background code. Going to Fiber
(something like 10Gbit/sec) from a T1 made a huge difference. One user
connected from France to the US and said it was actually usable.

On our other system, I took (remote) control of a salesman's laptop
who was staying in a motel - setup his VPN to tunnel to the office,
and then started using the 4D system (that's me in Colorado, taking
control of his laptop in Wisconsin, to VPN into our Chicago Office and
use 4D Server). It ran remarkably well.

Latency does matter. That's why we got along with a T1 for so long. We
had far fewer "hops" with a T1 versus something like Comcast cable.
There seems to be a threshold for bandwidth and latency to make a
system 'useable'. Once you reach that threshold life seems OK. Below
that threshold is not a good experience.

As I move forward, I am much more sensitive to coding in a way to
reduce client/server traffic.

Right now, our system that uses a lot of background code (like when
loading a form and I'm filling in a lot of arrays, etc.) uses TS -
though the direct connection seems useable with the right connection
speeds. Oh, and don't forget to have the timeouts set correctly....

d
--
David Nasralla
Clean Air Engineering
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Justin Leavens
2010-08-05 15:17:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Nasralla
We are having a flurry of network errors being reported by users - it
seems like it happened after moving to v11.7, though I can't be sure.
I too seemed to experience a jump in network disconnections when moving to
11.7. However, when I moved from a machine with 1.7gb of RAM to 7gb (this is
Windows), the issue seemed to go away. I think others have seen this
behavior as well.
--
View this message in context: http://4d.1045681.n5.nabble.com/Mastering-4D-Timeouts-a-v11-Rite-of-Passage-long-tp2263166p2265506.html
Sent from the 4D Tech mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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David Nasralla
2010-08-05 15:39:11 UTC
Permalink
Hi Justin,
Post by Justin Leavens
I too seemed to experience a jump in network disconnections when moving to
11.7. However, when I moved from a machine with 1.7gb of RAM to 7gb (this is
Windows), the issue seemed to go away. I think others have seen this
behavior as well.
I don't think it is memory issues for us. This is a 8-core Mac Pro
with 11GB. There are several 4D Servers running on it, but the machine
reports plenty of memory left in the Activity Monitor and each
instance of 4D Server seems to be happy - the memory caches are rarely
half full.

d
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Clean Air Engineering
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Espen Løkken
2010-09-08 11:17:09 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Using versjon 11.6 I only experienced this when working remotely as designer. Typically happened if I left the computer for some time.

Starting with versjon 11.7 this seems to be a much more frequent problem. I have not upgraded the site running 11.6, but at another customer they are using 11.7 and the users gets it numerous times a day - they are frustrated.

We are considering going back to 11.6 at this site.

I have also gotten feedback from another developer here in Norway experiencing the same problem after having upgraded to 11.7...

However, I will still be using 11.7 as client for developement since the checkbox "Shared by host and component" is available in client 11.7 :)

Espen
Post by David Nasralla
Hey Jeff,
Post by Jeffrey Kain
I wasn't aware that Idle Connections Timeout was only effective from the
client side. Good to know!
I'm re-thinking that now. I uploaded some changes to our system last
night that included a Idle Connections Timeout only for the client.
It didn't help. I'm still getting failed connections "The Connection
for this process has been disrupted or the connection couldn't be
established. " This is coming from clients on the same subnet as the
server.
I'm going to change the code so it fires for both client and server.
We are having a flurry of network errors being reported by users - it
seems like it happened after moving to v11.7, though I can't be sure.
d
--
David Nasralla
Clean Air Engineering
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Joshua Fletcher
2010-08-03 18:04:08 UTC
Permalink
Hi David,

Thanks for your thorough posting.

Just a few comments...
-----Original Message-----
This probably comes down to the fact that if you use the 4D defaults,
your system will probably fail. Developer intervention is required.
This would certainly be a point of contention for me. I would say that, in general (based on our Tech Support case volume), the defaults work fine. But definitely the most important point is to understand what each setting does so you can set them appropriately for your deployed environment.
The timeout is controlled two ways.
- The Preferences -> Client-Server -> "Use automatic client reconnect" check box
- SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;seconds) negative
value to effect existing connections.
These two settings are definitely not the same thing. The "Automatic client reconnect" feature is quite old (it existed prior to 4D v11 SQL). On the other hand the Idle Connections Timeout is brand new in 4D v11 SQL (and of course corresponds to the new DB4D connection).

In fact the two settings serve opposite purposes:

-Automatic client reconnect tries to always maintain a connection.
-Idle Connections Timeout allows connections to timeout.

This is why you never want to use both at the same time.
Users have reported success with 240 seconds - the important thing is
that it is LESS than the timeouts on your network devices.
YES! Agreed that is definitely the most important point; there is no "standard" or "recommended" setting for this. It needs to make sense on your network.

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

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http://www.4d.com
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-03 18:07:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joshua Fletcher
These two settings are definitely not the same thing. The
"Automatic client reconnect" feature is quite old (it existed
prior to 4D v11 SQL). On the other hand the Idle Connections
Timeout is brand new in 4D v11 SQL (and of course corresponds
to the new DB4D connection).
-Automatic client reconnect tries to always maintain a connection.
-Idle Connections Timeout allows connections to timeout.
This is why you never want to use both at the same time.
If Automatic Client Reconnect serves port 19813, and Idle Connections
Timeout serves port 19814, then why should it matter if they are used at
the same time or not?

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David Nasralla
2010-08-04 16:05:18 UTC
Permalink
Hey Josh,

Thanks for your reply and additions. I might add I mis-spoke when I
quoted Charles regarding only using the Idle Timeouts on the Client
side. My apologizes to Charles.

As much as I would like to think 4D v11.7 is a mature application, I
think it still has some quirks that Developers / 4D Tech people are
trying a variety of things to get issues ironed out and isolate
issues.

Josh, I'll address this to you (you are sort of a public face of 4D
tech support), but it is really to any of the techs/engineers at 4D.

It could be at the summit or a tech note - but it would be nice to
have more details on what goes on with a 4D Cient that is just idle:
- Does 4D Server poll the clients to see if they are still there
- Does 4D Client ever 'check-in' with the server - if so how often
- What kind of load does Register Client on Startup for Execute put
on the server - now often does the client then check in or vice versa
when this is set
- Should developers write "keep-alive" functions, or does 4D have its
own - and can you control it
- Do I need to be concerned with "keep-alives" on the various ports
- How does this all relate to the Auto Reconnect function and why
can't use use it with IDLE commands (like Jeff said if they are
separate ports.)

This would be very helpful information.

Thanks again for your posts.

dave
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Clean Air Engineering
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Joshua Fletcher
2010-08-05 03:09:49 UTC
Permalink
Hi David,

Most of this has already been covered in past sessions/keynotes...on the other hand it hasn't necessarily been consolidated (hence the increase in the number of Tech Tips on the subject).

Assuming you are heading to the Summit, you might want to post this request on the Ning website:

http://4dsummit2010.ning.com/

(and I encourage others to join the discussion)
-----Original Message-----
- Does 4D Server poll the clients to see if they are still there
Not really. There is some push communication (see below). If there's no response to a push then, of course, the server will start keeping track of whether or not that client still exists (based on timeout settings).
- Does 4D Client ever 'check-in' with the server - if so how often
Yes definitely. How often is not documented and, therefore, not something I would present. It is also not really of value since you have on control over it.
- What kind of load does Register Client on Startup for Execute put
on the server - now often does the client then check in or vice versa
when this is set
Not exactly sure what you mean by "load" but this feature modifies client-server communication so that the server can push EXECUTE ON CLINT requests to the client (whereas in the past the client would poll the server).

However if you don't need the ability to execute code on a client (from a different session) then there is no reason to use this feature.
- Should developers write "keep-alive" functions,
Absolutely not. If this kind of code helps, something else is wrong (i.e. I would consider it a workaround).
or does 4D have its
own - and can you control it
Not really. That was part of the point of the client-server rewrite in 4D v11 SQL, to make the client less "chatty".
- Do I need to be concerned with "keep-alives" on the various ports
You should not.
- How does this all relate to the Auto Reconnect function and why
can't use use it with IDLE commands (like Jeff said if they are
separate ports.)
I explained the reason why as best I can. I'm not sure what you mean by how do they relate. I guess that's another way of saying they don't relate (as I said, it's an old feature).

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

--
Josh Fletcher
Technical Services Team Member
4D, Inc.

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David Dancy
2010-08-03 22:48:14 UTC
Permalink
Nice summary. Thanks for posting your findings.

David Dancy
Sydney, Australia
Post by David Nasralla
Hey All,
I spent most of yesterday reviewing information on 4D v11 ports and
Timeouts. It was remarkable how many well established 4D developers
have had to work through issues related to it.
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Chuck Miller
2010-08-03 23:05:29 UTC
Permalink
Nice post,

Let me add one item and this is from 4d tech support. I have been having similar problems.

I added the following code

Case of `Force closing network connections before remote firewalls
: (Application type=4D Remote Mode )
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout ;2) ` 2 minutes


: (Application type=4D Server )
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Server Timeout ;2) ` 10 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout ;2) ` 10 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;60) ` 60 seconds

End case
Since this was supposed to fix the problem. I had a time out issue and called tech support as I have an existing case since the problem was for PPC clients.

I then made a change as follows:
Case of `Force closing network connections before remote firewalls
: (Application type=4D Remote Mode )
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout ;2) ` 2 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;60) ` 60 seconds
` 2 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;-60) ` 60 seconds

: (Application type=4D Server )
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Server Timeout ;2) ` 10 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(4D Remote Mode Timeout ;2) ` 10 minutes
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;60) ` 60 seconds
SET DATABASE PARAMETER(Idle Connections Timeout ;-60) ` 60 seconds
End case

I have been up and not doing anything on client for about 1.5 hours with no time out issues.

Hope this helps

Chuck

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Miller Voice: (617) 739-0306
Informed Solutions, Inc. Fax: (617) 232-1064
PO Box 1720 mailto:cjmiller-***@public.gmane.org
Brookline, MA 02446 USA Registered 4D Developer
Providers of 4D and Sybase connectivity
http://www.informed-solutions.com
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Chuck Miller
2010-08-03 23:07:53 UTC
Permalink
Sorry forgot two items

1. With this set up make sure that auto client re-connect is NOT checked off

2. I also have a keep alive query running once per minute in the background. If this all works as expected, I will turn this off the next release

Regardas

Chuck
Post by Chuck Miller
Nice post,
Let me add one item and this is from 4d tech support. I have been having similar problems.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Miller Voice: (617) 739-0306
Informed Solutions, Inc. Fax: (617) 232-1064
PO Box 1720 mailto:cjmiller-***@public.gmane.org
Brookline, MA 02446 USA Registered 4D Developer
Providers of 4D and Sybase connectivity
http://www.informed-solutions.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This message and any attached documents contain information which may be confidential, subject to privilege or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. These materials are intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, you are hereby notified that any distribution, disclosure, printing, copying, storage, modification or the taking of any action in reliance upon this transmission is strictly prohibited. Delivery of this message to any person other than the intended recipient shall not compromise or waive such confidentiality, privilege or exemption from disclosure as to this communication.



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Alan Chan
2010-08-04 08:04:41 UTC
Permalink
Regarding to this connection issue, different 4D tech supports might have
contradicted suggestion even on simple thing like where to run Idle
Connection Timeout, Client, Server or both. Interesting, isn't it?

That's why David mentioned "It was remarkable how many well established 4D
developers
have had to work through issues related to it."

Alan Chan
Post by Chuck Miller
Let me add one item and this is from 4d tech support
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John Baughman
2010-08-04 21:21:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Were you having the problems with 11.7 release version on Mac or
Windows?
I have 2 deployed v11 databases on Mac (converted from 2004). One was deployed using v11.7. I had to take it to v11.6hf2 immediately because of timeout issues that made the database unusable.. The other was deployed on 11.6hf2 and after a few weeks of running without any problems was upgraded to 11.7. It too began to exhibit timeout issues, nothing near the frequency of the other one, but to be safe I reverted it as well back to 11.6hf2.. As I understand from 4DTS there are a number of developers reporting problems in this area. I believe, however, that the 4D engineers have gotten a handle on the problem and I think it should be resolved in the next release.

While this thread was most informative, I am left wondering why we should suddenly be worrying about 4D Timeouts. Never had to before, except in the most extreme conditions. Good to know, but I hope with the next version of 4D I can retain what I have learned from this thread in my good to know file.

John
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-04 21:43:31 UTC
Permalink
It's interesting. It seems like the issues are all on Mac with 11.7. The
Windows version of 11.7 seems to be the best one yet...

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: John Baughman
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 5:22 PM
To: 4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Were you having the problems with 11.7 release version on Mac or
Windows?
I have 2 deployed v11 databases on Mac (converted from 2004).
One was deployed using v11.7. I had to take it to v11.6hf2 immediately
because of timeout issues that made the database unusable.. The other
was deployed on 11.6hf2 and after a few weeks of running without any
problems was upgraded to 11.7. It too began to exhibit timeout issues,
nothing near the frequency of the other one, but to be safe I reverted
it as well back to 11.6hf2.. As I understand from 4DTS there are a
number of developers reporting problems in this area. I believe,
however, that the 4D engineers have gotten a handle on the problem and I
think it should be resolved in the next release.

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Salow, John
2010-08-04 22:29:59 UTC
Permalink
Re: best one yet... Unless you try to use the odbc driver to communicate with it....

-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Kain
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 2:44 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: RE: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

It's interesting. It seems like the issues are all on Mac with 11.7. The
Windows version of 11.7 seems to be the best one yet...

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: John Baughman
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 5:22 PM
To: 4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Were you having the problems with 11.7 release version on Mac or
Windows?
I have 2 deployed v11 databases on Mac (converted from 2004).
One was deployed using v11.7. I had to take it to v11.6hf2 immediately
because of timeout issues that made the database unusable.. The other
was deployed on 11.6hf2 and after a few weeks of running without any
problems was upgraded to 11.7. It too began to exhibit timeout issues,
nothing near the frequency of the other one, but to be safe I reverted
it as well back to 11.6hf2.. As I understand from 4DTS there are a
number of developers reporting problems in this area. I believe,
however, that the 4D engineers have gotten a handle on the problem and I
think it should be resolved in the next release.

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Alan Chan
2010-08-05 10:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

Not really. In fact, 11.7 (depends on its build) does solve a hanging
(100% cpu) issue on PPC Mac. I use build 78852.

Alan Chan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
It's interesting. It seems like the issues are all on Mac with 11.7. The
Windows version of 11.7 seems to be the best one yet...
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John Baughman
2010-08-05 16:00:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Nasralla
I don't think it is memory issues for us.
For me with 2gb RAM 2 clients could stay connected without any problems, add a third and the timeouts started. Moved the DB to an 8gb machine and they could connect 6 without a problem, 7 and they started to time out.

John

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David Dancy
2010-08-06 05:09:19 UTC
Permalink
After reading so much about the problems people have had with the
semi-automatic connections in present versions of 4D I've put in a
feature request for a completely developer-controlled connection
instead:

http://forums.4d.fr/Post/EN/4090586/1/4090587#4090587

If you like the idea, please vote for it, or suggest a variation that
makes more sense, but it seems to me that networks are so different
that trying to make an application that will work on all of them is a
bit too ambitious. We as 4D developers can have a much better idea of
the type and characteristics of the networks that our programs will be
running on than 4D possibly could.

David Dancy
Sydney, Australia
Post by David Nasralla
Hey All,
I spent most of yesterday reviewing information on 4D v11 ports and
Timeouts. It was remarkable how many well established 4D developers
have had to work through issues related to it.
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Walt Nelson
2010-08-06 05:42:03 UTC
Permalink
David,

I think you are forgetting that in Version 2004, WE DON'T HAVE THIS ISSUE.
By trying to "optimize" the connection, 4D has created a disease that is far
worse than the cure. All they have to do, IMHO, go back to the
"un-optimized" way that connections were handled in 2004.

Walt Nelson - Philippines
Post by David Dancy
After reading so much about the problems people have had with the
semi-automatic connections in present versions of 4D I've put in a
feature request for a completely developer-controlled connection
instead:

http://forums.4d.fr/Post/EN/4090586/1/4090587#4090587

If you like the idea, please vote for it, or suggest a variation that
makes more sense, but it seems to me that networks are so different
that trying to make an application that will work on all of them is a
bit too ambitious. We as 4D developers can have a much better idea of
the type and characteristics of the networks that our programs will be
running on than 4D possibly could.



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Jack Des Bouillons
2010-08-06 05:54:57 UTC
Permalink
Hmmm...

I thought one of the items at the top of every developer's wish list was
having 4D Client have better performance over a WAN...

If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...

Which would you rather have:

Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or

Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?

NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Joshua Fletcher
David,
I think you are forgetting that in Version 2004, WE DON'T HAVE THIS ISSUE.
By trying to "optimize" the connection, 4D has created a disease that is far
worse than the cure. All they have to do, IMHO, go back to the
"un-optimized" way that connections were handled in 2004.
Walt Nelson - Philippines
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Walt Nelson
2010-08-06 08:23:18 UTC
Permalink
Jack,

One thing to keep in mind is that there are thousands of 4D applications
that are being developed and supported by people who never read this forum.
So if we, who stay on top of every single thing that happens, are having
trouble, imagine what the larger developer community is experiencing!!!

I believe that 4D shot itself in the foot while trying to improve
performance, without doing extensive testing to ferret out the consequences
and ramifications of their changes. As a result, a significant percentage of
the sites that are running Version 11.X seem to be experiencing time-out
problems.

Personally, I would rather have the application work out of the box, even if
it is slower. For me, STABILITY is far more important than speed. I have
never lost a client because of 4D performance, but over the years, many
client relationships have been put in jeopardy because of a lack of
application stability. That's why I am a stickler for application stability
and reliability.

But that's just me...

Walt Nelson - Philippines
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Hmmm...
I thought one of the items at the top of every developer's wish list was
having 4D Client have better performance over a WAN...

If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...

Which would you rather have:

Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or

Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?

NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...

Jack des Bouillons



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Alan Chan
2010-08-06 09:42:17 UTC
Permalink
While I agree with you about stability (this is a must for mission
critical application), it doesn't mean 4D is unable to resolve this
matter. Just give them some time and I believe they're working hard on
this issue.

Killing the problem (back to 4D 2004) would not solve the long term issue
as working over WAN is the trend.

Alan Chan
Post by Walt Nelson
I would rather have the application work out of the box, even if
it is slower. For me, STABILITY is far more important than speed. I have
never lost a client because of 4D performance, but over the years, many
client relationships have been put in jeopardy because of a lack of
application stability. That's why I am a stickler for application stability
and reliability.
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Bill Weale
2010-08-06 11:59:28 UTC
Permalink
Jack, I want both and I don't want to waste my time doing it myself.

And I think it *is* an option or topic for this question/thread. We've
needed a 4D Web/WAN Client for nearly 10 years now. I don't really
care if it uses javascript, ajax, flex, php or motor oil. And I don't
want to have to be an expert in javascript, ajax, flex or motor oil.

Maybe 4D, as it now exists in v11.7, can do all I need. If that's the
case, maybe someone could write a component: one command and one
parameter whose values can be integer, 1-10

Called from remote 4D on startup:

IMA4DWANCLIENT(9)

Only partly kidding...

8-)

Bill
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Hmmm...
I thought one of the items at the top of every developer's wish list was
having 4D Client have better performance over a WAN...
If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...
Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or
Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?
NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...
Jack des Bouillons
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Jay Harper
2010-08-09 15:12:07 UTC
Permalink
It's not either/or.

* Sending some sort of keep-alive ping every 2 minutes is hardly bad
performance.
* Closing unused connections after two minutes and forcing them to
be reopened is not bad performance.

I don't care which solution 4D Inc chooses, but they need to pick
something and fix the problem. We (customers) should never encounter
this type of problem /version after version/. 4D cannot be considered to
"run over the Internet" if it hangs/crashes when you don't use it for 10
minutes. I mean, what are they thinking? Something so fundamental should
not require a developer hack. It's unacceptable.

I'm getting /really/ tired of these "rites of passage" issues in 4D. I'm
pretty furious that they released v12 before giving me a version of v11
that doesn't hang after a few minutes of not being used. [It would also
be nice to have a version of v11 where the index file doesn't get
constantly corrupted under moderate load.]
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Hmmm...
I thought one of the items at the top of every developer's wish list was
having 4D Client have better performance over a WAN...
If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...
Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or
Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?
NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...
Jack des Bouillons
Post by Joshua Fletcher
David,
I think you are forgetting that in Version 2004, WE DON'T HAVE THIS ISSUE.
By trying to "optimize" the connection, 4D has created a disease that is far
worse than the cure. All they have to do, IMHO, go back to the
"un-optimized" way that connections were handled in 2004.
Walt Nelson - Philippines
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David Dancy
2010-08-06 07:10:37 UTC
Permalink
That's true Walt, but as Jack pointed out in 4D v2004 we had a
different issue: jammed up WAN connections because the client-server
aspect is so chatty.

My feeling (hence the feature request) is that the rest of the world
does things the way they do for a reason: i.e. it's better to give the
developer more control when the database vendor can't possibly know
where the eventual program will be run, or under what conditions, and
so on. Giving 4D Remote the ability to connect and disconnect from 4D
Server under program control would solve a good number of these kinds
of problems by enabling the developer to code for them in ways that 4D
SA can't possibly anticipate.

Of course, it would create other issues like the fact that we would
have to cache data locally (e.g. in XML or arrays), and worry about
concurrency conflicts, but these are issues with well-known solutions.
I'm concerned that 4D is trying to do too much here; in this
particular area I'd prefer 4D to back off a bit and give us the tools
we need to solve this issue ourselves, because the solution is likely
to be as individual as the problem. A half-dozen parameters in the
database engine are not likely IMO to fix all the possible faults that
a production database might encounter.

David Dancy
Sydney, Australia
Post by Joshua Fletcher
David,
I think you are forgetting that in Version 2004, WE DON'T HAVE THIS ISSUE.
By trying to "optimize" the connection, 4D has created a disease that is far
worse than the cure. All they have to do, IMHO, go back to the
"un-optimized" way that connections were handled in 2004.
Walt Nelson - Philippines
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-06 12:11:34 UTC
Permalink
I think many of the issues all boil down to the Idle Connections Timeout
setting. I don't think the baby and the bathwater need to go, so to speak,
but rather use the knowledge that 4D doesn't run well on many networks using
the default settings and instead create a new default for 4D, out of the
box.

I'm currently testing this parameter with a value of 30 at a couple of sites
where we're having some odd, possibly network-related issues that are very
sproadic. As I wrote earlier, 240 is our app's default value for this
parameter, but I'm testing 30 at these places now to see if these last
little issues (that most of our customers don't experience) will go away.

Jeff
Post by Walt Nelson
I think you are forgetting that in Version 2004, WE DON'T HAVE THIS ISSUE.
By trying to "optimize" the connection, 4D has created a disease that is far
worse than the cure. All they have to do, IMHO, go back to the
"un-optimized" way that connections were handled in 2004.
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Peter Jakobsson
2010-08-06 08:57:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt Nelson
Walt Nelson - Philippines
Have you moved ?

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Walt Nelson
2010-08-07 00:44:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt Nelson
Walt Nelson - Philippines
Have you moved ?
Peter,

Yes, I have moved to the Philippines. I have set up an outsourcing 4D shop
for a client, and am also considering setting up a shop myself to handle
general 4D projects.

The Philippines has a vast work force. In the Metro Manila area alone, the
population is 11.5 million. The IT people here are well-educated (Computer
Science schools here are very good), and they have a wonderful work ethic.
So I have moved here to assemble the "team." The first three developers have
already been hired, and I am training them to work on my client's
application - which I first developed 24 years ago, and is still running. We
have a huge laundry list of enhancements on the drawing board, including
moving to Version 12 and setting up Replication between the main office and
2 satellite offices.

Walt Nelson - Philippines



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Peter Jakobsson
2010-08-07 21:43:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt Nelson
and am also considering setting up a shop myself to handle
general 4D projects
Hi Walt

Interesting to read your account of your new enterprise.

The fortunes of 4D-based business enterprises appear to run contrary
to the trends of the general economy. When the general economy's going
to the dogs, people appear to start investing in 4D development.

That's been my experience anyway over the last 20 years. I always had
my best years during a recession :)

It's very encouraging to hear that your actually taking people on. 4D
is a high level development environment which means that there are a
lot of one-man band developers (and I'm one of them). It also means
there are also a lot of industry experts who drifted into software
development because 4D made it accessible to them and it doesn't take
an army of programmers to get something done (as it does in, say,
Visual Basic or similar).

Best of luck with your venture !

Regards

Peter

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Peter Jakobsson
2010-08-06 09:29:15 UTC
Permalink
Hi David -
Post by David Dancy
feature request for a completely developer-controlled connection
I can see the motivation behind this but I'm not convinced the feature
could manifest in a way that any of us knew what to do with it.

Presumably it might take the form of a slider control with 'chatty' at
one end and 'reserved' at the other. So what do we do ? - slide the
control more towards the 'chatty' end if we experience 10002's ? How
do we know that that's the cause of the 10002's and not something more
fundamental. How do we know that it's not more advantageous to tweak
the network ?

I don't think that network reliability is a measurable enough quantity
to enable developers to deterministically manage this.

I can see myself being dragged from writing business logic code to
spending my whole time tweaking network settings. I hear the support
calls already ' . . . we got a couple of -10002's yesterday, could you
come over and tweak the network settings again because they don't seem
quite stable yet . . '

Then I go down and spend half a day at the customers's site tweaking
the settings and think I've improved it. Next day ' . . we still got
a couple of errors yesterday'.

Suddenly the whole problem is on my plate. Even if they get a genuine
-10002 for a non-network related reason, there's a lingering question
mark over whether the developer / DB admin person has configured the
network chattiness correctly. What about if you're a Jeff Kain or a
Jody Bevan with hundreds of server sites - what a huge support burden
to take on.

I think that if the workstation polling can't be pacified in it's
optimised form then we simply need to have 2 settings in preferences -
'Classic' and 'Optimised' and that should do. That would be my 2c worth.

Regards

Peter

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Bernd Fröhlich
2010-08-06 07:40:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or
Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?
NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...
I clearly vote for the second option.
Why not simply leave the default values "2004-style" and let the more adventerous types fiddle with the settings if they want to?

(I am using 2004 over WAN and while it is not extremely fast it is fast enough for our needs. And I prefer "fast enough but working" over "very fast and not working".)

Just my 2 Euro-Cent
Bernd Fröhlich
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John Baughman
2010-08-06 16:44:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...
Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or
Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?
I 'd like to have both, but if I can't I, would like to have the option to turn off the optimization. If there were a database parameter that could be set at server startup that made 4D's connection run either optimized or un-optimized. My guess is that most deployed databases are never accessed over a WAN. If you need it, you could turn it on and deal with the complexities. If not turn it off and sleep better at night.

In my tests of 11.x over the Internet, while better, it is still nothing to write home about and almost not worth the effort. To be honest, however, the database used was not optimized in any way for use over a WAN. I understand others are having great success in this area.

Like I said earlier, however, 4D engineers are aware of the problems we are having and appear to have a handle on it. Be patient, I think a fix is on the way.

John


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John Foster
2010-08-06 16:46:15 UTC
Permalink
Hey Jack,

I think, as Walt mentioned, that we want the same stability we had in 4D 2004 and we want better performance over the WAN.

There's no way these timeout issues should be happening based upon all the automatic handling by 4D.

I don't think it needs to be one or the other.

I'm pretty sure that 4D felt, by making the changes they did, that it could be both. So there must be some assumptions built in to the routines that aren't working as expected and 4D just needs to flush them out and fix them. If for some reason their assumptions proved to be incorrect then they go back to what they know works in 4D 2004.

So this discussion is a good thing so that 4D sees it on their radar scope.

JOhn...
Date: August 5, 2010 10:54:57 PM PDT
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long
Hmmm...
I thought one of the items at the top of every developer's wish list was
having 4D Client have better performance over a WAN...
If there is a tradeoff, and I'm not saying there IS such a tradeoff, but IF
there were...
Superior performance over WAN with more time and effort needed to get the
network settings right; or
Not worry about network issues but with poor WAN performance?
NOTE: the best of both worlds is NOT an option, at least for the purposes
of this question...
Jack des Bouillons
--------------------------------------------------------------

John Foster
Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

This e-mail contains confidential & proprietary information intended for the use of the original addressee. If you are not the addressee you are hereby notified that any dissemination or other action in reliance upon this communication could result in legal liability to you and your Organization.

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Tim Nevels
2010-08-06 17:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kain
I think many of the issues all boil down to the Idle Connections Timeout
setting. I don't think the baby and the bathwater need to go, so to speak,
but rather use the knowledge that 4D doesn't run well on many networks using
the default settings and instead create a new default for 4D, out of the
box.
I'm currently testing this parameter with a value of 30 at a couple of sites
where we're having some odd, possibly network-related issues that are very
sproadic. As I wrote earlier, 240 is our app's default value for this
parameter, but I'm testing 30 at these places now to see if these last
little issues (that most of our customers don't experience) will go away.
EVERYONE... Listen to Jeff!!!! He is speaking from a position of real world experience. He is actually dealing with multiple v11 installations at client sites. He is a reasonable guy and I respect his opinion.

OK David Dancy, tell us about your real world v11 experiences. How many v11 installations at client sites do you have now? How long have they been running? How many network timeout related calls do you get from all these v11 installations? Is this a real life crisis for you now, or are you just worrying about the future?

OK Walt Nelson, I ask you the same questions. Are you currently having real life network timeout issues in your v11 projects? How bad is the problem for you?

My v11 real life experience is much more limited than my 2004 experiences. I currently only have 1 client running v11 and they have not experienced any network timeout issues. None. And we are using all the default timeout settings, no adjusting has been needed. It is just working great.

Next month I will be deploying a big 2004 to v11 upgrade. It will involve 13 4D Servers spread out over 11 physical offices on a VPN WAN with over 150 users. Some servers have 3-5 users and some have over 40 users. The databases are used for time tracking, so everyone at each office is connected to the databases all day. Network timeouts and disconnections will be a serious problem.

If I listen to all the talk on the iNUG about this problem -- I should immediately contact my client and tell them the upgrade is cancelled. We can't do it because we MIGHT have network issues. We won't know if we have any issues until we actually try to use the new version. And if we do have problems, there may no way to fix it. We can fiddle with timeout settings, but in the end it will keep happening.

Jeff says his sites are not experiencing serious issues. He has a few issues, but nothing serious. His experience -- not his opinion -- has been good. Is that a fair statement, Jeff?

David, you are respected on the iNUG. When you speak about this issue, is it from personal experience, or is it your opinion.

Walt, you are respected on the iNUG. When you speak about this issue, is it from personal experience, or is it your opinion.

Me, I have to wait for a few more months before I can provide my personal experiences. Right now, I only have an opinion.

Tim

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Tim Nevels
Innovative Solutions
785-749-3444
timnevels-Uj//***@public.gmane.org
********************************************

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Salow, John
2010-08-06 18:13:51 UTC
Permalink
Yah, I'm just watching this thread wondering why I'm so lucky. We have a very heavily used v11 server on windows 2008 64bit with clients on both platforms for several months. No timeout issues whatsoever...

-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Tim Nevels
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 10:35 AM
To: 4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long
Post by Jeffrey Kain
I think many of the issues all boil down to the Idle Connections Timeout
setting. I don't think the baby and the bathwater need to go, so to speak,
but rather use the knowledge that 4D doesn't run well on many networks using
the default settings and instead create a new default for 4D, out of the
box.
I'm currently testing this parameter with a value of 30 at a couple of sites
where we're having some odd, possibly network-related issues that are very
sproadic. As I wrote earlier, 240 is our app's default value for this
parameter, but I'm testing 30 at these places now to see if these last
little issues (that most of our customers don't experience) will go away.
EVERYONE... Listen to Jeff!!!! He is speaking from a position of real world experience. He is actually dealing with multiple v11 installations at client sites. He is a reasonable guy and I respect his opinion.

OK David Dancy, tell us about your real world v11 experiences. How many v11 installations at client sites do you have now? How long have they been running? How many network timeout related calls do you get from all these v11 installations? Is this a real life crisis for you now, or are you just worrying about the future?

OK Walt Nelson, I ask you the same questions. Are you currently having real life network timeout issues in your v11 projects? How bad is the problem for you?

My v11 real life experience is much more limited than my 2004 experiences. I currently only have 1 client running v11 and they have not experienced any network timeout issues. None. And we are using all the default timeout settings, no adjusting has been needed. It is just working great.

Next month I will be deploying a big 2004 to v11 upgrade. It will involve 13 4D Servers spread out over 11 physical offices on a VPN WAN with over 150 users. Some servers have 3-5 users and some have over 40 users. The databases are used for time tracking, so everyone at each office is connected to the databases all day. Network timeouts and disconnections will be a serious problem.

If I listen to all the talk on the iNUG about this problem -- I should immediately contact my client and tell them the upgrade is cancelled. We can't do it because we MIGHT have network issues. We won't know if we have any issues until we actually try to use the new version. And if we do have problems, there may no way to fix it. We can fiddle with timeout settings, but in the end it will keep happening.

Jeff says his sites are not experiencing serious issues. He has a few issues, but nothing serious. His experience -- not his opinion -- has been good. Is that a fair statement, Jeff?

David, you are respected on the iNUG. When you speak about this issue, is it from personal experience, or is it your opinion.

Walt, you are respected on the iNUG. When you speak about this issue, is it from personal experience, or is it your opinion.

Me, I have to wait for a few more months before I can provide my personal experiences. Right now, I only have an opinion.

Tim

********************************************
Tim Nevels
Innovative Solutions
785-749-3444
timnevels-Uj//***@public.gmane.org
********************************************

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Kiernan, Hunter
2010-08-06 18:20:58 UTC
Permalink
When creating a select statement that includes fields with DateTime datatypes I receive the following error ' Year, Month, and Day parameters describe an un-representable DateTime'. I've attempted to use CAST and DATE_TO_CHAR to return a string (text) representation of the value however all attempts have failed. Any help on the matter is greatly appreciated.

Examples of failed attempts.

(Error) Year, Month, and Day parameters describe an un-representable DateTime.
PR_Ordered

(Error) Failed to parse statement
CAST(PR_Ordered AS varchar(30))

(Error) Failed to parse statement
CAST(PR_Ordered AS char(30))

(Error) Failed to parse statement
DATE_TO_CHAR(PR_Ordered;'d')

(Error) Failed to parse statement
DATE_TO_CHAR(PR_Ordered)
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Alan Chan
2010-08-06 18:36:22 UTC
Permalink
We have multiple sites installation on 11.6hf2 with remote sites located
in Hong Kong, Vietnam and various major cities in China. Servers mostly
located in Hong Kong while others in China. All are running over WAN.

We have zero problem on small sites but busy sites. One site have combined
client hangs around 30 to 50 times every day (we logged it - which
machines, who and when). We have been summoned by their senior managment
for a few times about this issue.

We will be installing v11.7 build 78852 for this site next week 4D claims
that this would solve some of the issues. I hope that it's not 4D TS
generic reply. Jeff also told us that they have better experience on v11.7
as well albeit different build.

Alan Chan
Post by Tim Nevels
Next month I will be deploying a big 2004 to v11 upgrade. It will
involve 13 4D Servers spread out over 11 physical offices on a VPN WAN
with over 150 users. Some servers have 3-5 users and some have over 40
users. The databases are used for time tracking, so everyone at each
office is connected to the databases all day. Network timeouts and
disconnections will be a serious problem.
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-06 22:31:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Nevels
EVERYONE... Listen to Jeff!!!!
I've been wrong a bunch of times on this subject. I hate that it's trial and
error, but just today we found a site where 240 definitely did NOT work. We
set Idle Connections Timeout to 30 and as far as I know that cured the
problem (I took the afternoon off, but didn't see anything more on this
issue come through our issue tracking database, so I think it's fine).

Also, what works for one app may not work for another (obviously). We don't
use ODBC, we don't use SQL, we use ALP and list boxes instead of output
forms, etc..
Post by Tim Nevels
My v11 real life experience is much more limited than my 2004 experiences. I
currently only have 1 client running v11 and they have not experienced any
network timeout issues. None. And we are using all the default timeout
settings, no adjusting has been needed. It is just working great.
We never ran into this issues when we tested internally, so our network
works just fine with the default. The same with all of our beta test clients
that never reported problems with 4D's default. But after installing v11 on
100+ networks, I can say that a significant number of them required a
change. 240 works for nearly all, but not all.
Post by Tim Nevels
Jeff says his sites are not experiencing serious issues. He has a few issues,
but nothing serious. His experience -- not his opinion -- has been good. Is
that a fair statement, Jeff?
Yes, things are good with 11.7, except at one site where we are currently
baffled by their slow performance. But that's a different issue than network
timeouts, and I don't want to hijack this thread (plus we're still
troubleshooting - next step is a full export of all data/create a new data
file/import).
Post by Tim Nevels
Me, I have to wait for a few more months before I can provide my personal
experiences. Right now, I only have an opinion.
Looking forward to it. You might want to provide a user interface to some
of the key database parameters so you can easily tweak things on the client
side and on the server side without having to recompile. The ones we've
exposed are 4D Remote Mode Timeout, 4D Server Timeout, Idle Connections
Timeout, Maximum Temporary Memory Size, Server Base Process Stack Size, 4D
Server Log Recording, and TCP_NODELAY).

Jeff

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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 15:28:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Post by Tim Nevels
Jeff says his sites are not experiencing serious issues. He has a few issues,
but nothing serious. His experience -- not his opinion -- has been good. Is
that a fair statement, Jeff?
Yes, things are good with 11.7, except at one site where we are
currently baffled by their slow performance. But that's a different
issue than network timeouts, and I don't want to hijack this thread
(plus we're still troubleshooting - next step is a full export of
all data/create a new data file/import).
Exporting all the records using SEND RECORD, creating a new data file,
and then importing them all again with RECEIVE RECORD seems to have
solved the problem at our one remaining troubled account. Last week, we
had to restart their server seemingly every few hours because the
performance would degrade tremendously, and if you watched the cache
values on the server they would be wildly fluctuating every second.

After the export/import, they've been up for about 22 hours (including
their peak processing hours this morning), speed is excellent, and the
cache is much more stable and not fluctuating like crazy. Obviously
we'll continue to monitor them, but we can tell things are much better
after just 22 hours.

4D Server 11.7 / 68 users / 600+ processes / Windows Server 2003 64-bit,
8 cores / Idle Connections Timeout: 30 sec / Max Temporary Memory Size:
20 MB

Jeff

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Jack Des Bouillons
2010-08-09 15:41:04 UTC
Permalink
Thank you for posting this.

I think the 4D community is in your debt for NOT subscribing to the "Walt
Nelson Theory of Upgrading"...you could still working with 2004...or perhaps
even at 2003!?

To me, the decision to upgrade is one of cost/benefit...you obviously faced
some difficulties in making the move, and I doubt you were indifferent to
the needs of your customers. So what benefit did you see that allowed you
to make the upgrade? What benefits have you found at your sites that have
outweighed the costs of the difficulties you found?

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Tim Nevels
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Post by Tim Nevels
Jeff says his sites are not experiencing serious issues. He has a
few issues,
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Post by Tim Nevels
but nothing serious. His experience -- not his opinion -- has been
good. Is
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Post by Tim Nevels
that a fair statement, Jeff?
Yes, things are good with 11.7, except at one site where we are
currently baffled by their slow performance. But that's a different
issue than network timeouts, and I don't want to hijack this thread
(plus we're still troubleshooting - next step is a full export of
all data/create a new data file/import).
Exporting all the records using SEND RECORD, creating a new data file,
and then importing them all again with RECEIVE RECORD seems to have
solved the problem at our one remaining troubled account. Last week, we
had to restart their server seemingly every few hours because the
performance would degrade tremendously, and if you watched the cache
values on the server they would be wildly fluctuating every second.
After the export/import, they've been up for about 22 hours (including
their peak processing hours this morning), speed is excellent, and the
cache is much more stable and not fluctuating like crazy. Obviously
we'll continue to monitor them, but we can tell things are much better
after just 22 hours.
4D Server 11.7 / 68 users / 600+ processes / Windows Server 2003 64-bit,
20 MB
Jeff
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 17:03:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
To me, the decision to upgrade is one of cost/benefit...
you obviously faced some difficulties in making the move,
and I doubt you were indifferent to the needs of your
customers. So what benefit did you see that allowed you
to make the upgrade? What benefits have you found at
your sites that have outweighed the costs of the diffi-
culties you found?
4D v11 is fast. Really fast. The difference in performance with large
databases and when serving large numbers of users is dramatic. That
being said...

The transition of our application to v11 was hard. Really hard. A lot
of it was because of design decisions we made long ago, like storing
BLOB data in picture fields so we could quickly manipulate this data in
arrays. Also, our application talks to hundreds of medical devices that
speak ASCII and not Unicode, so the new rules for Unicode and v11 made
the transition more difficult. And of course, there have been issues
with 4D (the application).

4D (the company) really stepped up to the plate to help us. Everyone was
very professional and they really did bend over backwards to help us
resolve the problems as quickly as possible. They really do care, and
that's an important thing to know about a vendor/partner. They also
realize that v11 is a huge change in their platform, probably the
biggest one they've ever done. Platform shifts are always hard --
remember OS 9 to OS X?

At the end of all this, assuming we really do have a stable database now
(and I believe that 11.7 is solid), we survived an important platform
shift of our own that took about a year. We had three options: stay with
4D 2004 indefinitely, move to 4D v11 when the .5 release was available
(which we did), or start porting our 17 year old application to a new
database altogether.

We were at the end of the line with 4D 2004. We needed more scalability.
Had we stayed with 4D 2004, we would have lost multiple large customers
who had outgrown 4D 2004's single-CPU architecture, and we would have
spent considerable engineering expense on squeezing every possible ounce
of performance from that aging engine. At the end of that expense, all
we would have to show for it was a very fast application running on an
outdated and unsupported platform. Maybe by then somebody else would
have debugged v11 enough for us to adopt it quickly, but maybe not.

Had we decided to move to a whole new platform (say Oracle), we would
have lost multiple large customers by now since our shipping product
would still be v2004, and we would have spent millions of dollars in
developer salaries and training alone over the course of several years
as we attempted to port a very 4D-ish code base to Oracle and some other
programming language (probabably C#), while significantly reducing the
pace of new features available to our customers (80% of whom are still
OK with v2004). At the conclusion of the engineering and the limited
beta testing we can do with our customer base, we'd then persevere
through another massive shakeout (probably years) as we try to make the
new application run just as well as the old 4D-based application did,
plus spend more money hiring the kind of expertise it takes to support
an Oracle-based system. Oh yeah, and Oracle (and SQL Server) is FAR more
expensive than 4D per server and per seat, even if you qualify for their
volume discounts.

So, we decided to stay with 4D and move to v11. I expected some bumps in
the road, but not quite as many as we ended up facing. I was able to
keep my development staff working on new projects that benefit our
entire user base while I worked with 4D, and now we have an application
that is very fast and quite scalable. While we will still have to fight
the sales battle that our app is based on 4D and not Oracle or
Microsoft, it's now competitive with these larger systems and we get to
avoid a rewrite for yet another period of time. As Debbie (Schilling)
pointed out to me, had we chosen any Microsoft-based platform instead of
4D 17 years ago, we would have rewritten our application several times
by now just to keep up with changes in programming languages and
database platforms (DAL? DAO? ADO? .Net?).

Through the v11 transition, we lost one customer. We also incurred a lot
of expense, but we were facing loss of customers and lots of development
expense no matter which path we chose. But, we have now emerged from the
transition with a much more powerful product that will be competitive
for the foreseeable future. I think we made the right choice for now -
we'd rather focus on new projects and not rewrites while money is
flowing freely into the healthcare IT software markets here in the
United States.

Jeff
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Alan Chan
2010-08-09 19:32:39 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

I second this. I was one of those who found v11 wasn't faster than our
2003 application over WAN during our internal test last year. We only
tested on small data set (less than 20G). I found out later on real
deployment that v11 fly on large data set and doesn't degraded as much on
heavy loading.

Alan Chan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
4D v11 is fast. Really fast. The difference in performance with large
databases and when serving large numbers of users is dramatic. That
being said...
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Alan Chan
2010-08-09 19:47:16 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

It doesn't seem like the connection issue we have been talking about,
isn't it? It sounds like data corruption. Does it exhbiit the same
behavior like client hanging (not server coffee break) like we encountered
in this case?

What is syndrome in this particular case that you decided to re-import the
data, failed in data verification and repair?

Your information would be very helpful.

I am glad that v11.7 resolve all the connection issue. This is a GREAT
NEWS for us. We are more confident to move to v11.7 as upgrading v11.6 to
v11.7 for all machines across different sites cause a lot of noise.

Lastly, if possibile, would you advise which v11.7 build you're deploying.

Alan Chan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Exporting all the records using SEND RECORD, creating a new data file,
and then importing them all again with RECEIVE RECORD seems to have
solved the problem at our one remaining troubled account. Last week, we
had to restart their server seemingly every few hours because the
performance would degrade tremendously, and if you watched the cache
values on the server they would be wildly fluctuating every second.
After the export/import, they've been up for about 22 hours (including
their peak processing hours this morning), speed is excellent, and the
cache is much more stable and not fluctuating like crazy. Obviously
we'll continue to monitor them, but we can tell things are much better
after just 22 hours.
4D Server 11.7 / 68 users / 600+ processes / Windows Server 2003 64-bit,
20 MB
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 20:19:14 UTC
Permalink
Alan,

At this site, the performance would be fine for an hour after restarting the server, but then quickly degrade (this was not at all related to the connection issue - you are correct). After awhile, it would take 15-20 seconds just to open a window that didn't do any database access, and progress bars would appear on the server all the time such as "Performing sequential search of 8 records." Clearly 4D was having some memory issues.

We'd had enough success with 11.7 to know that this wasn't typical. We had also replaced their server with one that we configured and knew was set up correctly, so hardware was ruled out. All that was left was the data file. Even though 4D's MSC reported no damage, an export/import has the advantage of completely rebuilding the record address table.

The site is still running fine. Very very fast.

Jeff

From: Alan Chan [mailto:***@belhk.com]
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 3:47 PM
To: Jeffrey Kain
Cc: ***@lists.4D.com
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long



Hi Jeff,



It doesn't seem like the connection issue we have been talking about, isn't it? It sounds like data corruption. Does it exhbiit the same behavior like client hanging (not server coffee break) like we encountered in this case?



What is syndrome in this particular case that you decided to re-import the data, failed in data verification and repair?



Your information would be very helpful.



I am glad that v11.7 resolve all the connection issue. This is a GREAT NEWS for us. We are more confident to move to v11.7 as upgrading v11.6 to v11.7 for all machines across different sites cause a lot of noise.



Lastly, if possibile, would you advise which v11.7 build you're deploying.
miyako
2010-08-09 20:34:58 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

could this be on Mac OS X?

one customer has reported a 8 core Mac Pro (10.6.4) with 12GB of memory,
1.28GB of which is 4D cache,
10GB is free.

after several hours of running,
this will evolve to 1.38GB to 4D (virtually unchanged)
92MB free,
10.53GB reserved by "others" according to the server admin window.

apparently every disk access (there is a FLUSH BUFFER every 1 minute)
was cached by the disk, as the purge command would free the 10GB.

http://kb.4d.com/search/assetid=75978

miyako
Post by Jeffrey Kain
At this site, the performance would be fine for an hour after restarting the server, but then quickly degrade (this was not at all related to the connection issue - you are correct). After awhile, it would take 15-20 seconds just to open a window that didn't do any database access, and progress bars would appear on the server all the time such as "Performing sequential search of 8 records." Clearly 4D was having some memory issues.
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 20:43:14 UTC
Permalink
Hey Miyako,

No, this was Windows Server 2008R2 (originally), and then Windows Server
2003 64-bit.

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org]
On Behalf Of miyako
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 4:35 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

Hello,

could this be on Mac OS X?

...

apparently every disk access (there is a FLUSH BUFFER every 1 minute)
was cached by the disk, as the purge command would free the 10GB.

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Alan Chan
2010-08-09 20:52:42 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

What particular reason to downgrade 2008R2 to 2003 in this particular
case? Or it's just part of your "exhausted" troubleshooting process?

TIA.

Alan Chan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
No, this was Windows Server 2008R2 (originally), and then Windows Server
2003 64-bit.
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 21:10:15 UTC
Permalink
Alan,

We noticed a lot of setup/configuration issues with their server (the 2008 R2 box) after perusing the Windows event log. They had about 50 Microsoft updates that were not applied, there were 6 network cards in this server and they weren't teamed together and some were missing drivers, and Windows was reporting lots of crashes with the WindowsTrustedInstaller service. We didn't think they were the cause of the performance problems with 4D, but we wanted to rule out hardware right away, so we sent them one of our loaner servers which happened to have Server 2003 64-bit installed.

The 4D performance problems were identical after we swapped in our box, so we knew it wasn't the server hardware.

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Chan
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 4:53 PM
To: ***@lists.4D.com
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

Hi Jeff,

What particular reason to downgrade 2008R2 to 2003 in this particular
case? Or it's just part of your "exhausted" troubleshooting process?

TIA.

Alan Chan
Alan Chan
2010-08-09 21:22:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

Definitely we would do the same thing. The only difference is that we do
not deployed any of our application on servers that are not installed and
configured by our own engineers in the first place.

As usual, your information is helpful as expected:-)

Alan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
We noticed a lot of setup/configuration issues with their server (the
2008 R2 box) after perusing the Windows event log. They had about 50
Microsoft updates that were not applied, there were 6 network cards in
this server and they weren't teamed together and some were missing
drivers, and Windows was reporting lots of crashes with the
WindowsTrustedInstaller service. We didn't think they were the cause of
the performance problems with 4D, but we wanted to rule out hardware
right away, so we sent them one of our loaner servers which happened to
have Server 2003 64-bit installed.
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Alan Chan
2010-08-09 20:57:28 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your information. It's very helpful.

Alan Chan
Post by Jeffrey Kain
At this site, the performance would be fine for an hour after restarting
the server, but then quickly degrade (this was not at all related to the
connection issue - you are correct). After awhile, it would take 15-20
seconds just to open a window that didn't do any database access, and
progress bars would appear on the server all the time such as "Performing
sequential search of 8 records." Clearly 4D was having some memory issues.
We'd had enough success with 11.7 to know that this wasn't typical. We
had also replaced their server with one that we configured and knew was
set up correctly, so hardware was ruled out. All that was left was the
data file. Even though 4D's MSC reported no damage, an export/import has
the advantage of completely rebuilding the record address table.
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miyako
2010-08-09 23:05:52 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

in addition to SEND/RECEIVE RECORD,
there is now the option to,

1. go to v12
2. SQL EXPORT DATABASE (very powerful and useful command!)
3. use the datafile with v11

as discussed in the Forums post below;

http://forums.4d.fr/Post/FR/3948360/2/3956862#3956862

miyako
Post by Jeffrey Kain
After the export/import, they've been up for about 22 hours (including
their peak processing hours this morning), speed is excellent, and the
cache is much more stable and not fluctuating like crazy. Obviously
we'll continue to monitor them, but we can tell things are much better
after just 22 hours.
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-09 23:17:28 UTC
Permalink
Wow, awesome!! Can't wait to dig into this!

I assume this rebuilds the address table (address table fragmentation is
something to consider in v11, since compacting preserves the old address
table now unlike v2004 and earlier)?

Jeff
Post by miyako
Hello,
in addition to SEND/RECEIVE RECORD,
there is now the option to,
1. go to v12
2. SQL EXPORT DATABASE (very powerful and useful command!)
3. use the datafile with v11
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Alan Chan
2010-08-10 17:23:15 UTC
Permalink
Hi Miyako,

Great new feature. Just curious, which approach is faster for
export/import millions of records? I also assume that the new command
won't support old subtables. Please correct me.

Alan Chan
Post by miyako
in addition to SEND/RECEIVE RECORD,
there is now the option to,
1. go to v12
2. SQL EXPORT DATABASE (very powerful and useful command!)
3. use the datafile with v11
as discussed in the Forums post below;
http://forums.4d.fr/Post/FR/3948360/2/3956862#3956862
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-08-10 19:00:17 UTC
Permalink
Miyako...

Also, I was a little unclear about how texts and blobs are handled after reading the documentation. Are these put back into the same table when imported?

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Chan
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 1:23 PM
To: ***@lists.4D.com
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

Hi Miyako,

Great new feature. Just curious, which approach is faster for
export/import millions of records? I also assume that the new command
won't support old subtables. Please correct me.
Walt Nelson
2010-08-09 03:25:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Nevels
OK Walt Nelson, I ask you the same questions. Are you currently having
real life network timeout issues in your v11 projects? How bad is the
problem for you?
Tim,

You are correct; I am not having these issues, because I have not gone live
with V11 or V12 yet. And I will NOT go live until the reports of stability
problems (and I classify this time-out issue as a stability problem) have
slowed to a trickle.

The reason this issue is so widely discussed is that several people have
reported it, and several have reported playing with the settings trying to
resolve it - with mixed results.

This forum is my "canary in the cave" with regard to new versions. I don't
care what the 4D propaganda says; when the reports of stability problems
have quieted down to almost non-existent, then I start to think seriously
about implementing that version. After 26 years as a 4D developer, I have
learned that this is the most prudent approach - and I'm sticking to it.
(smile)

As I stated previously, I will definitely transition to V12; but I don't
want to have ANY cases when I am called on the carpet by a client because a
new version that I installed has created unexpected problems that bring into
question the stability of 4D. Been there, done that, won't do it again.

I hope that clears up my position for you, Tim.

Walt Nelson - Philippines



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David Dancy
2010-08-09 12:52:20 UTC
Permalink
Tim

Let me state at the outset that I have no real-world experience of
installing 4D v11 Client-Server over a WAN (none over a LAN either,
for that matter).

I have been following this thread (and many others prior on the same
subject) with great interest because it's a topic that our company
will end up needing to address. I am not currently in Jeff K's
position where he's installed v11 on lots of sites and has real-world
experience to go with it. At least, not in the 4D world.

I hope everyone feels free to ignore me on this topic as much as on
any others, but despite my lack of real-world experience with 4D I do
think I can still make a contribution to the debate.

Therefore if I have something to say it's based on

* other people's shared observations
* my conclusions from those observations
* experience in other arenas than 4D
* logical analysis of the problem as described

I agree that Jeff K and others who have been installing 4D should be
our primary source of details about what to do with the present
versions of 4D, but what I'm proposing is that 4D should do things
differently, precisely because of the experiences they've been having.
I'm not convinced that the auto-connection capability attempted in
current versions of 4D, when applied to a WAN, is a realistic
expectation. I'd have trouble believing that 4D couldn't manage an
auto-connection on a LAN; I'd have more trouble believing that it
could on a WAN.

As I see it the issue is really about the fact that 4D Remote is
designed to manage the network connection for us. This is fantastic
when it works (and I take my hat off to the engineers at 4D that it
works at all). What's not so fantastic is that when it doesn't work,
the user experience is really poor: basically, there's an error
message and 4D Remote just quits (sometimes crashes, from what I've
read).

Much of my work as a software engineer is about sensible levels of
control. I build libraries of methods to do things, then build other
methods and programs that depend on those libraries. When I do that I
try to make the libraries give as much control as possible/sensible to
the caller by means of both parameters and feedback (i.e. error
messages).

The thing I don't like about this auto-connection on 4D Remote stuff
is that for my program, there's no control at all. It's cocooned off
in a cosy little world where 4D somehow undertakes to guarantee that
it always has a connection to the server. This looks to me like a
promise that 4D Remote can't possibly keep.

This is why I think we need (at least) the following extra capabilities:

1. Allow and/or require the developer code to create and drop
connections to the server.
2. Introduce better error handling and messages so that the program
can identify where a connectivity problem is coming from and (attempt
to) resolve it.

We do both of these a lot in our .NET development work. In fact, since
.NET is just a (very large!) toolkit, it's compulsory for the
developer to handle all connections. When you connect to another
system using the .NET library, if the connection ever drops, you get
an exception that tells you what's happened. At that point you can
either silently handle the problem, or squawk and let the user deal
with it, or crash, or whatever. The point being

* your program gets some information about an error, and
* it has the opportunity to resolve the error condition

The problem for us in 4D is that a 4D program doesn't get either of
these things. Yet the parameters we do have still have to be tweaked,
case-by-case, to try and make everything work. Worse, when it doesn't
work, our programs have no way to either know that there's a problem
or fix it, so the only way to even make the attempt is to allow the
program to crash and then try some different parameters. This must be
one of the hardest kinds of debugging to do, period, and IMO it's not
a great look for my client.

For example, suppose I have a long-running query that runs on the
server and a client sets it going from a remote workstation a couple
of (dozen?) routers away. What happens? Can the routers in the
intervening networks drop the connection? Does the QUERY command have
a keep-alive function so that this can't happen? If 4D Runtime idles
the connection (before the routers kill it) how does 4D Server
communicate back to the Client that the query has completed?

Since there's no documentation about any of this, we're _all_ having
to do lots of trial and error (like Jeff et al) and/or guesswork, aka
logical thinking (like me). If, however, your code had to open a
connection before issuing the QUERY command, you'd reasonably expect
that the 4D Runtime would generate an error when the connection drops,
like it does if you try and open a file that's not where you think it
is. Then your program could either silently handle the problem or
squawk, according to the situation and your preferences. With 4D's
auto-connection management as it now stands, if there's a problem,
it's not even possible to recover, so the user just gets dumped with
no idea what's happened, and your program ends up looking like it
doesn't know what it's doing.

My feature request is trying to hand back control over this very
important area of the database to developer code (where I think it
belongs), rather than leaving it only inside the black box that is the
4D Runtime. Basically, I'm asking for the high-level
connect/disconnect/find server functions that exist in the 4D Runtime
to be exposed as language commands, along with ON ERR CALL error codes
that indicate when something's gone wrong. I understand anyone's
reluctance to get involved in low-level network plumbing, and I share
it. To some extent what we have to do now by tweaking timeout
parameters is quite a bit lower-level than what I'm proposing, and IMO
a lot harder to debug.

For those who have not read the request, or are not members of the 4D
forums, I'm asking for 3 new commands, whose underlying functions
already exist in the 4D Runtime.

CONNECT TO 4D SERVER( ServerAddress ; User ; Password )

DISCONNECT FROM 4D SERVER

FIND 4D SERVERS( ServerAddressList {; TimeoutTicks } )

I also asked for the ON ERR CALL method to be triggered when there's a
connectivity error.

Rob Laveaux pointed out one flaw in this idea, which is that the 4D
Remote only runs a structure file, but the structure file lives on the
Server, so without a structure file, how is 4D Remote going to find a
server? I suggested a couple of solutions that may apply in that
scenario, none of which is a massive change from current behaviour. No
doubt there are other issues that 4D SA would have to address to make
it work, but ultimately I would be much happier with this kind of
control than with the present system where the adjustment of the
parameters in the program requires so much manual (read: expensive)
intervention, with no control in the event of a real problem.

HTH

David Dancy
Sydney, Australia
EVERYONE... Listen to Jeff!!!!  He is speaking from a position of real world experience.  He is actually dealing with multiple v11 installations at client sites. He is a reasonable guy and I respect his opinion.
OK David Dancy, tell us about your real world v11 experiences.  How many v11 installations at client sites do you have now?  How long have they been running?  How many network timeout related calls do you get from all these v11 installations?  Is this a real life crisis for you now, or are you just worrying about the future?
<snip>
David, you are respected on the iNUG.  When you speak about this issue, is it from personal experience, or is it your opinion.
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John Foster
2010-08-09 20:29:00 UTC
Permalink
Hey Jack,

Taken in context, given all the issues we've seen in v11 (still in v11), is it fair to criticize Walt for just trying to give sage advice. I'm not sticking up for him, per se, he can do that all by himself. As to Walt's forcefulness of expression, well he has been called "the Preacher" more than a few times.

But this stability issue really bugs me. Especially as we are well into several years of v11 and now it's it's very close brother v12. I think Jay expressed it sanely and reasonably when he said:

"I don't care which solution 4D Inc chooses, but they need to pick something and fix the problem. We (customers) should never encounter this type of problem /version after version/. 4D cannot be considered to "run over the Internet" if it hangs/crashes when you don't use it for 10 minutes. I mean, what are they thinking? Something so fundamental should not require a developer hack. It's unacceptable."

I agree with you in that if the cost/benefit analysis proves to be beneficial it's a reasonable idea to move forward. As to when to move forward is another issue.

It's understandable why so many 4D developers are staying with 4D 2004. After all it has been, in my mind, one of the most stable versions ever.

All sides have good points. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer. Each developer has their own experiences and their own client needs. In my opinion 4D's job is to provide as stable a 4D environment as possible so that we don;t have to deal with internal database engine issues. The internal db stuff should work and work flawlessly.

And yes I believe that 4D, Inc. is working very hard to address and fix these issues. Let's hope they are priority number one!

IMHO, (OK, maybe not humble)
John...
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Thank you for posting this.
I think the 4D community is in your debt for NOT subscribing to the "Walt
Nelson Theory of Upgrading"...you could still working with 2004...or perhaps
even at 2003!?
To me, the decision to upgrade is one of cost/benefit...you obviously faced
some difficulties in making the move, and I doubt you were indifferent to
the needs of your customers. So what benefit did you see that allowed you
to make the upgrade? What benefits have you found at your sites that have
outweighed the costs of the difficulties you found?
--------------------------------------------------------------

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Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

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Jack Des Bouillons
2010-08-09 20:53:18 UTC
Permalink
Well, that depends upon what you mean by "SAGE" advice..Following this SAGE
advise in Jeff Kain's situation might well have been catastrophic...

To my ear (and I should say to others who have shared comments with me
privately) the tone of Walt's SAGE ADVISE was decidedly holier-than-thou...

Are there situations where it was, and remains, unwise to upgrade from 2004?
Absolutely. Are there situations where upgrading is a NECESSITY? Again
absolutely. Do developers who have upgraded to v11 have less concern for
their clients' business than those who have NOT upgraded? Not in my book.

As always, in my opinion (humble or otherwise).

Jack des Bouillons
Post by John Foster
Taken in context, given all the issues we've seen in v11 (still in v11), is it
fair to criticize Walt for just trying to give sage advice.
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Walt Nelson
2010-08-10 02:10:51 UTC
Permalink
Jack,

I'm not sure why you are making this so personal; I am trying to have a
rational discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of early adoption of
a new version.

My tone has not changed for many years; 15 years ago, in my book "4D for Fun
& Profit," I suggested what I called "Walt's Tried-and-True Rule" for
upgrading. In it, I gave the same advice that I'm giving here: "Give a new
version plenty of time to be flushed out before deploying it to clients."

If you consider that advice "holier than thou," so be it.

Walt Nelson - Guam
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
To my ear (and I should say to others who have shared comments with me
privately) the tone of Walt's SAGE ADVISE was decidedly holier-than-thou...



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John Foster
2010-08-09 23:13:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jack,

{I realized that I've sent you the response privately. So I am posting publicly for continuity sake.}

I understand!
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
To my ear (and I should say to others who have shared comments with me
privately) the tone of Walt's SAGE ADVISE was decidedly holier-than-thou...
Well you know Walt. Why does that surprise you? We all take it in stride because usually accompanying the "attitude" is some good advice. That's all I'm saying. Believe me I understand...
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Are there situations where it was, and remains, unwise to upgrade from 2004?
Absolutely. Are there situations where upgrading is a NECESSITY? Again
absolutely
Well I would quibble with you on the use of the word "necessity". There is nothing, I mean nothing, that is more necessary then database stability. And by that I mean first and foremost data integrity, index integrity, and Server connectivity.

No one could dispute that I think? All the rest of the "necessity", aka, new functionality needed, is built upon the assumption of the former.

Right?

John...
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Well, that depends upon what you mean by "SAGE" advice..Following this SAGE
advise in Jeff Kain's situation might well have been catastrophic...
To my ear (and I should say to others who have shared comments with me
privately) the tone of Walt's SAGE ADVISE was decidedly holier-than-thou...
Are there situations where it was, and remains, unwise to upgrade from 2004?
Absolutely. Are there situations where upgrading is a NECESSITY? Again
absolutely. Do developers who have upgraded to v11 have less concern for
their clients' business than those who have NOT upgraded? Not in my book.
As always, in my opinion (humble or otherwise).
Jack des Bouillons
--------------------------------------------------------------

John Foster
Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

This e-mail contains confidential & proprietary information intended for the use of the original addressee. If you are not the addressee you are hereby notified that any dissemination or other action in reliance upon this communication could result in legal liability to you and your Organization.

--------------------------------------------------------------




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Keith R. White
2010-09-08 16:43:56 UTC
Permalink
Hi

For 4D Server 11.7 Windows:-

Try creating an empty text file called NoSelectIO.txt

And place it in the same folder as 4D Server.exe. I'm not sure where you put it on a Mac Server.

A 4D Server re-start may be necessary, but not totally sure.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards

Keith White
Synergist Express Ltd, UK.**********************************************************************
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Jeffrey Kain
2010-09-08 16:49:55 UTC
Permalink
Keith -

Have you had better luck with that? We experimented with that awhile ago
and found it didn't help anything (we're Windows-only as well).

Just curious...

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith R. White
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 12:44 PM
To: '4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org'
Subject: Re: Mastering 4D Timeouts: a v11 Rite of Passage - long

Hi

For 4D Server 11.7 Windows:-

Try creating an empty text file called NoSelectIO.txt

And place it in the same folder as 4D Server.exe. I'm not sure where
you put it on a Mac Server.

A 4D Server re-start may be necessary, but not totally sure.

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Joshua Fletcher
2010-09-08 18:11:01 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

Please do not use the NoSelectIO.txt without contacting 4D Technical Support. This is a troubleshooting tool, not a solution to timeout issues.

Said another way: NoSelectIO.txt allows us to track down problems in 4D. Once the problem is fixed, NoSelectIO.txt is useless. Furthermore NoSelectIO.txt alters the way 4D communicates and it's not advisable to use it on a permanent bases.

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

--
Josh Fletcher
4D Technical Services Team Member
http://www.4d.com
-----Original Message-----
Try creating an empty text file called NoSelectIO.txt
And place it in the same folder as 4D Server.exe. I'm not sure where you
put it on a Mac Server.
A 4D Server re-start may be necessary, but not totally sure.
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James Rowe
2010-09-08 16:40:14 UTC
Permalink
Smack. As the palm strikes my forehead.

Thanks; works great.

-James
Subject: RE: Scrollable area on variable
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:22:12 +0200
Hi James,
Try changing the "type" of the variable to "text" on the property list for the
object.
Hope that helps,
-Tim
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Keith R. White
2010-09-09 08:22:25 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jeff & Josh

We went from 11.6hf3 to 11.7 and we immediately started getting new
errors/disconnections. We asked 4D UK Tech support and we were told
the workaround was this text file. That sorted this issue. That is to
say, we still get the odd "cannot send request" and the 4D Remote
needs force quitting, but I assumed this would be improved with the
next release.

In answer to Josh, no further investigation was done or any further
information on the problem requested from us. So we took it as a
final solution for this version.

I would be happy to provide whatever is needed to resolve properly and
have 4D 11.7 communicate in the "correct" way once more.

Since it only starts happening to folks who move to 11.7, I would
think more background info on the difference, what to watch out for
etc. would be very useful, rather than dealing with each case
individually. We have 250+ servers out there. Diagnosing each
network separately isn't an option, we just need a configuration that
works.

For us, that is currently 11.6hf3 or 11.7 with the text file. As we
are about to embark on our v11 rollout to the (250+) client base, the
news that this text file is not recommended is concerning to say the
least.

Best Regards

Keith White

Sent from my iPhone

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Guy Algot
2010-09-09 21:24:42 UTC
Permalink
Exactly right.
Post by Keith R. White
Diagnosing each
network separately isn't an option, we just need a configuration that
works.
Later,
Guy

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Edmonton, Alberta
(780) 974-8538

hardware, installation, training, support, programming, internet
specializing in 4th Dimension
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they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their programming."
-- Simon Slavin


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