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MIS Systems Thread, eportal not working after may Census upgrade in Technical; I'm having some trouble's with CMIS e-portal after the latest may 09 census upgrade earlier this week. Logging onto e-portal ...
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    jamin100's Avatar
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    eportal not working after may Census upgrade

    I'm having some trouble's with CMIS e-portal after the latest may 09 census upgrade earlier this week.

    Logging onto e-portal is really slow and often fails.
    When teachers can get on it takes ages for them to do the register and most of the time IE hangs before than can submit it.

    Were running XP SP3 with IE7.

    So far i've tried:

    Updating to IE8 - same problem
    Updating Java to the latest build - Helps a bit
    Restarted Facility services on the server
    Restarted the server

    Nothing's changed on the network apart from the facility / eportal upgrade.

    Are any other schools seeing any of these issues??

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    update:

    I think this is a browser issue. IE 7 & 8 just hang at various places. Firefox on the other hand works fine on the same machine.

    I dont really want to give teachers firefox because i know they'll load it up with their favorite extensions etc, so i've tried mozilla prism 0.8 and it seems to be ok.

    Are there any issues i need to be aware of with using prism for e-portal?

    BTW: Link2ICT recommended that I used IE6
    Last edited by jamin100; 22nd May 2009 at 10:04 AM.

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    We ran the upgrade on Monday, we've had a few issues with the noticeboard bitlet. Overall performance is in-line with 8.2, although that was fairly poor.

    We're not seeing the symptoms you describe, using ie6 & ie7 around the site.

    Not sure if it's any help, but when we had a set of problems on Monday i was recommended to do a clean install of EPortal, start services to build it clean, then re-apply any customisations. Server had to be rebooted before the Tomcat service was happy.

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    We have the same issue. The first thing support say is "does it work in Firefox?". One the techs I spoke to even had the nerve of saying that we should give everyone Firefox as a temporary solution. I'm sorry but rolling out a new browser to 200 PCs and 100 laptops plus the time that would be needed to lock it down with security policies and the time needed to train some of our staff just to use a new browser....I'm sorry but it aint going to happen. Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of schools. This is due to the fact that it doesn't need to be rolled out as a peice of software and group policies to set it up and lock it down are part of the server OS.

    The answer to Serco is to stop breaking your software for IE users everytime you attempt to upgrade it.

    We also use Single Sign On which Serco also broke for IE users. We upgraded 3 times and each time had to roll back. They have finally botched a fix together for us which is so insecure, I was amazed when they told us to do it. We now have a plain text file within the web directory which has the domain administrator username and password.

    We are very quickly losing patience with this product but really don't think their competitors are any better.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Doesn't seem to have given us any problems like this - and cover is much improved now, so I'm told

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    No problems here either runs fine for eportal. Tested on ie7 and 8.

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    I've installed Prism and it works fine through that.
    Not a solution but at least its a work around.

    And because you can only use it for 1 website you don't have to lock it down

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    john's Avatar
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    I did the upgrade the week after launch and don't have these problems your refering to. Cover is greatly improved and E-Portal is working very well Have you tried re-creating your eportal from scratch to see if this helps you at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    Logging onto e-portal is really slow and often fails.
    When teachers can get on it takes ages for them to do the register and most of the time IE hangs before than can submit it.
    I know that Policy Central is causing issues with ePortal for a few schools.

  10. #10
    coquet636
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    We had a few problems like this.

    I stopped the server and eportal services then I made a backup of the "ePortal\webapps\eportal " directory (there will already be an eportal_bak in the webapps directory, so called the new on bak2)

    Then deleted the whole eportal directory, restarted the services which then created a new eportal folder with all the relevant data.

    Then i copied my settings file back into the correct directory, and it works alot better now. The facility server services seems to fail alot more now though (solve one prob cause another, oh you gotta love it) so i have a scheduled task that does this every night and now we seem to have a functioning eportal...

    BRING ON THE NEXT RELEASE I AM READY FOR YA!!!!!

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    I've not seen any of the issues you describe either. Link2ICT actually recommend IE7 or later as IE6 is getting quite old now. E-portal also works fine with IE8.

    I presume you restarted the server fully (as per instructions) to complete the May '09 upgrade?

    What version of SQL Server are you using? SQL 2000 is supported but not tested as such anymore, with SQL 2005 being the recommended version. When using SQL 2005, there is a small but annoying glitch which stops e-portal working correctly after a server reboot.

    The symptoms are that e-portal loads/displays correctly in IE6, IE7 or IE8, but does not process logons correctly (even if the credentials are correct). The solution to this is either to manually (or using a script), stop and start Facility Data and Facility E-portal services.

    In discussion with Link2ICT we both agree that it is some form of timing issue, as SQL 2005 has a larger footprint than SQL 2000 and this additional delay creates the problem of e-portal working correctly. Hopefully it'll get fixed properly in the not too distant future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    I'm having some trouble's with CMIS e-portal after the latest may 09 census upgrade earlier this week.

    Logging onto e-portal is really slow and often fails.
    When teachers can get on it takes ages for them to do the register and most of the time IE hangs before than can submit it.

    Were running XP SP3 with IE7.

    So far i've tried:

    Updating to IE8 - same problem
    Updating Java to the latest build - Helps a bit
    Restarted Facility services on the server
    Restarted the server

    Nothing's changed on the network apart from the facility / eportal upgrade.

    Are any other schools seeing any of these issues??
    Ahh this is very interesting, as we have had issues with general internet and email access being slow, hanging at times and the only way to resolve is end task in task manager.

    I also understand that link2ict is reporting internet issues for Birmingham schools, Can other Bham schools confirm this? are you having the same problems as reported on this thread?

    Our eportal actually seems to be ok, it has broken a few things since the upgrade though but it seems to be running ok, our problems are intermittent internet and accessing OWA in school.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I also understand that link2ict is reporting internet issues for Birmingham schools, Can other Bham schools confirm this? are you having the same problems as reported on this thread?
    Yes - internet connectivity is experiencing real technical difficulties at schools I support. I haven't seen IE crash and this could be more to do with excessive clicking of pupils for example. The symptoms I have seen are that pages load but do not display correctly and require to be refreshed multiple times. It looks like a potential DNS problem, but it's difficult to tell for sure as BGFL lock down everything and all I can ping is bgfl.org or my local DNS server.

    E-portal shouldn't be affected by this as it's hosted internally at each site and is pointing to a local DNS location. Unless of course you have internal DNS problems too? I'm sure you'd know about it. And you can't traceroute through a proxy and guess what, all Birmingham schools have proxies. They really are dependant on BGFL getting it right.

    I've also highlight the on-going problems with logging into BGFL e-mail too. "Cookies are disabled", "Session has ended" in red writing are error messages I receive everyday. I reported this problem about 4 months ago. BGFL are not directly responsible for these two specific errors, (it's more to do with the VLE software itself) but the level of support is becoming poor with regards to fixing these bugs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I've not seen any of the issues you describe either. Link2ICT actually recommend IE7 or later as IE6 is getting quite old now. E-portal also works fine with IE8.

    I presume you restarted the server fully (as per instructions) to complete the May '09 upgrade?

    What version of SQL Server are you using? SQL 2000 is supported but not tested as such anymore, with SQL 2005 being the recommended version. When using SQL 2005, there is a small but annoying glitch which stops e-portal working correctly after a server reboot.

    The symptoms are that e-portal loads/displays correctly in IE6, IE7 or IE8, but does not process logons correctly (even if the credentials are correct). The solution to this is either to manually (or using a script), stop and start Facility Data and Facility E-portal services.

    In discussion with Link2ICT we both agree that it is some form of timing issue, as SQL 2005 has a larger footprint than SQL 2000 and this additional delay creates the problem of e-portal working correctly. Hopefully it'll get fixed properly in the not too distant future.

    If we had google wave this reply would be easier....

    ePortal (last time i checked) doesn't work fine with IE8 which is why it isn't supported yet.
    I can't remember off the top of my head (and i'm in a hotel so i've got a vanilla rubbish connection and cant check) why it isn't but i know there is a problem with some code in it not working correctly, that does work in IE7. IE 6 is quite old, and MS have said it has security issues, so whilst we do support it i'd say upgrade if you can.
    We also support Firefox 2 and 3.

    SQL 2000 is not supported and we know there is an issue with ePortal performance with it. All schools must upgrade to 2005 or 2008 as soon as possible. These are the two supported versions. If performance issues are encountered and you're on 2000, we will be unable to help as, quite rightly said, we don't test on it any more and we do know there are issues. We stopped supporting it long before this issue arose.

    I can explain the rebooting issue.
    When the ePortal services (Facility Data Server and Facility ePortal) start, they need SQL to be successfully started in order to build the login name table and the cache.
    There is no dependancy on the service that requires this. So if Facility Data Server (especially) starts before SQL is up and running they will start but not do anything.
    Restarting the Facility Data server will fix the issue.

    This is annoying at best, i can understand. So there are a couple of ways of sorting this out.
    One is to add a dependancy to ensure that the SQL service is started.
    We can't do this at install. The reason is depending on the name of the SQL instance will depend on the name of the service. The name of the service needs to be put in the registry and so if we put at install "SQL Server" any school with a named SQL service wouldn't be able to start the services every time they upgrade and would have to change the registry. Hence why we don't include this in install.
    You can specifiy dependancies in the registry, and you can google that really easily.

    The other option is, services start in groups.
    Some groups are predefined.
    It works, again, in the registry, and you basically have to find a key, create a group, find another key and list the service in that group then find another key to specify the order that the groups start in.
    One group will not start until the last one has finished.

    If you want more information on that PM me. (I'll need to figure it out again). If enough people PM me i'll write a document and get it on FirstLine and on here.

    Not many schools have the problem, though. I think the reason is, obviously it depends how long it takes the service to start. This will depend on the spec of the server, and also on the size of the database - starting the service loads as much as possible of the database into the memory. So make sure the database isn't unecessarily huge (inc. log file).

    Hope this helps.
    Mic
    Tech Team
    Serco

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    I followed the may 09 upgrade instructions to the letter. I have restarted the physical server many times and also restarted both the facility Data server and E-portal services.

    Were running SQL2005 which was upgraded last year way before this issue crept up.

    I've tried IE7 & 8 and have disabled all phising scanners, addons, etc.

    If i use firefox it works! I've currently deployed google prism and its now working better than ever !?

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