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PCAnyWhere Alternative ?

Posted on 2004-10-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-10
Hello guys,
I have an application (Point of sale) that is installed in over 30 locations.
those locations "connect" to the main office via pcanywhere (auto-transfer) to transfer over
their data and get the updates from the main office
the data being transfered from the pos to the main office is around 1.mb and from the main office
to the pos about 2 mb.

problems:
1-for some reason , the aut-transfer from time to time fail to run properly (only 1 part of it runs)
and troubleshooting this issue many times has not led me into a solution.the only way was to
delete the auto-xref and re-create it. don't ask I dont know why !

2- for some other obscure reason , sometimes the auto-transfer re-transfers files that are already been transfered
(even though the speedsend check box is marked...)

so I have come to a point where I am really considering another product for that.
any help ?
I have been using pcanwhere versions 8, 9-2, and 10-5
(pos machines are almost all win95 & win98)
any recommendation ?
thanks.
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Question by:pammoun
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10 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:methabhaya
ID: 12440819
pammoun,
 What you need is a file transfer setup. the simplest way to do this is to install an FTP server at each of the POS locations then install a file transfer program at the server(http://www.deskshare.com/afm.aspx )

For the server part use WarFTP (http://support.jgaa.com/index.php?cmd=ShowCurrVer&ID=3) this is freeware.

Here's the steps

1. Install FTP sever at POS locations.
2. Configure user accounts and directories for each location
3. Install client FTP (auto FTP software) at server (http://www.simtel.net/product.php[id]71232[cid]162[SiteID]simtel.net)
4. Now setup the auto transfer FTP client at HQ location to push files back and forth from and to the server.

That way you will be sure that the files are good. Also little maintenance is required. Since all software is Free you can download and install and use them.

This should get you started in the right direction. I did not see a need for PC anywhere as that would mean more work and it's sort of clunky.

You can now automate your file transfer solution.  :)
 
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Grisk
ID: 12441652
Hi
I would suggest you to go for windows 2000 Terminal server

Terminal server can reduse your lot of problem and the aditional benifit of mantaining your software and data in centralised location (main office )

other benifits is all your 30 location will directly access your software (Point of sale) from your main office .

all you have to do is install win2k on a local machine configure terminal server and install (Point of sale) on this machine

then you need to install a small connectivity software (remote access desktop client) on your 30 locations which then will be able to access application form main office

Best of all is ,all 30 machines can connect to one machine for sharing data and application

Hope it helps and incase you require any clarification do write
Regards
Grisk
0
 

Author Comment

by:pammoun
ID: 12441840
thanks for the replies but..
1- concerning terminal services , this means that the connection between the pos and the hq is always on. which is not doable.
because it it phone based connection.

now concerning the ftp solution ,can I reverse the situation...?
meaning the server part in the office and the client part being in the pos ?
because the poses open at different times and this means a lot of overhead at the hq , which wouldn't be the case
if we allow the pos to connect whenever they want to send their data to the hq ?

can ftp be done via phone line without using the internet ?
if I set up an ftp server in a windows 2000 server at the hq , the can i use a dial up connection to dial the hq and
let every pos connect and send & receive its specific data ?
thanks.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:methabhaya
ID: 12441972
Q. now concerning the ftp solution ,can I reverse the situation...?
meaning the server part in the office and the client part being in the pos ?
because the poses open at different times and this means a lot of overhead at the hq , which wouldn't be the case
if we allow the pos to connect whenever they want to send their data to the hq ?

Ans: Yes. but you may need to have another program to download/upload as the one I suggested is only upload.
The reason I said using server at the POS site's is because of you can upload and download from the HQ as everything is initiated from the HQ.
That way when a POS opens they can get the required files automatically as you would have programmed the HQ file uploader to try every couple of hours or at a specific time. you can also setup another program to download files.

Q. can ftp be done via phone line without using the internet ?
if I set up an ftp server in a windows 2000 server at the hq , the can i use a dial up connection to dial the hq and
let every pos connect and send & receive its specific data ?

ans: This poses an interesting problem. if your POS uses dialup that means the IP that they get will change everytime they dialup. So you will NEED to have the server on the HQ. Now that means you will need a Automatic FTP program on the POS end. So when they open the POS this program automatiically get's the new files and uploads the required files. you will nee a commercial program here. I have not been able to find any freeware that does this.
Of course if you can have the person manning the POS just open an FTP client and upload and download files then that would save you money.

No problem in using dialup except it will be a bit slow.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:methabhaya
ID: 12442012
I also would like to mention that you can download many FREEWARE ftp client programs from http://www.simtel.net/category.php[action]browse&i=0&id=162&f=|2|||&s=product.date_released|DESC

Another thing I may have overlooked is that you may be having POS locations dial directly to you. if this is the case then things are a bit easy for you to setup as IP addresses at POS locations do not change. If they change you have to setup different userID/password on the FTP server to correctly identify the appropriate POS location.
0
 

Author Comment

by:pammoun
ID: 12442396
I am getting a lit bit confused here , please let me re-phrase the pb.
here is my actual setup.

on the HQ I have a pc on which pc anywhere is waiting (listening to incoming connection -Phone line connection-)
on this same machine , I have 2 folders one called TOSEND and another called TORECEIVE.

now on the poses , I have set up an auto transfer connection (pcanywhere ) that does the following...
1-get from the HQ PC the folder TOSEND and put it in a folder called \POS
2-send to the folder TORECEIVE\POSNAME\ all the files that have the mask TR*.DBF


The problems are that PCAnywhere does not do the job quite well...

So according to ur recommendation : I should :

1- Switch the PC in the HQ to windows 2000 server and set it up as an FTP Server.
Then I would install a FTP client on the poses (incoming connection VPN ??? ) that will allow the client to connect
via phone to transfer those files....

Is this what u recommend ???
Please advise.
I need something that does not require much maintenance ....


 
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:methabhaya
ID: 12443355
pammoun ,

Ok I can now clearly see your requirement and setup.

For the solution I was suggesting it does require you to have windows 2000 server or at least NT4 for incoming connectons. then once connected you use the FTP program to transfer the files.

This solution would require you to change your current setup. That should be your last option.
So What I suggest is this :
Since you already have the auto-transfer setup using PC anywhere you need to trouble-shoot that because it worked properly before.  

Do you have the latest version of PC-anywhere? if not If you have support call their support line and get them to have a look at why the program is not working.

I tested your current solution with V.10 and it was good. I did not run into any problems.  

Check the modem that the POS's have for problems. One more thing I can see here is that you have 30 locations. that means each location would be dialing into your PC-anywhere machine at different times. It could mean that at a particular location the file transfer procedure takes too long due to low speed connection to you. That means when the next location dials, your PC-anywhere cannot connect and so on. Also check PC-anywhere setting for dropping a broken line and keep-alive settings.




0
 

Author Comment

by:pammoun
ID: 12443596
The problem with Pcanywhere is that for no reason , it stops to work properly.
When I get complaints for couple of days that it is not working , I go the the POS in question and all I do is just delete the settings and re-doing it again,
then it works....
but sometimes , I need to un-install pcanywhere and re-install it from scratch...
this is killing me because I have no clue whatsoever about what is happening.
I think that I am done using pcanywhere and I would like to go for other option (FTP ? ) even though it requires some initial time-setup , but then I know that It
will work for some time......

With PCAnywhere , It is been like 2 years now , I get 1 or 2 failures per week (on around 30 pos) which is too much......

thanks for the help
0
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
cooledit earned 1500 total points
ID: 12451693
try look for netophost
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Author Comment

by:pammoun
ID: 12513517
Hello ????
anyhelp ?????????????????????????
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