Multi-user and Networking

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        Multi-user and Networking

Implementation in BUSY

 Concept of Multi-user and Networking

1.1 Multi-user

Multi-user concept refers to computer network that supports two or more simultaneous users or computer systems.Computer system includes not only the computer but also the peripheral devices such as Printers and software such as MS Word that are necessary to make the computer function.

In a Multi-user scenario, data sharing is an important concept. Data sharing is when more than one Node (computer systems) accesses the same data. Let us understand data sharing with the help of an example. There is a network comprising of a Server and two Nodes, Node 1 and Node 2. If both Node1 and Node2 share data on the Server then it is a case of data sharing. In a Multi-user scenario both Node 1 and Node 2 share the resources of the Server.

There is a common misconception regarding the concept of data sharing. Let us understand with the help of the above example. If Node 1 access data of Node 2 while Node 2 does not access the same data then this is not a case of data sharing.

To reiterate, data sharing is when more than one Node accesses the same data set. Given here is a diagrammatic representation for a Multi-user scenario

1.2 Networking

The term Network refers to a group of two or more computers linked together or we can say interconnected with the ability to communicate with each other.

Networks can be classified as:

  •   Domain

  •  Work group

Domain

One of the examples of a Domain network is Client/Server architecture. In Client/Server architecture, only a single computer is Server and all other computers are clients. In this architecture, Server is the computer that allocates resources for the network comprising of all other computers on the network while the computers that use the resources provided by the Server are called Nodes or Clients. Server is a computer that is dedicated to some tasks such as managing disk, network traffic and so on. Clients or Nodes are the computers that run the application and depend on the Server for resources such as files, devices and so on. In Client/Server architecture the Server has all the rights related to security, data administration and so on.

Let us understand Client/Server architecture with the help of an example.

Accounting Solutions Limited, a Chartered Accountancy firm dealing with different companies, has a computer network of three Nodes, Node 1, Node 2 and Node 3. In the firm Node 1 is designated as the Server and the rest are designated as Clients and the Server allocates different resources that are shared by Client 2 and Client 3.

 

work group

Generally speaking, a work group is a group of people working together on same task. In computer terminology, Work Group network is when all computers are connected together for sharing data and other resources.

An example of a Work group Network is Peer-to-Peer architecture. In Peer-to-Peer architecture all the computers are connected to each other and all the computers have equal capabilities and responsibilities. In Peer-to-Peer architecture each computer works independently. Each Node can access the data of another Node or can share its data with other Node depending on the access rights given to the Nodes.

2.Implementation of BUSY in a Multi-user scenario

BUSY in a Multi-user scenario can be implemented in either of the two types of networks i.e. Client/Server and Peer-to-Peer. Irrespective of the type of network that is present in any organization, the same steps are followed to implement BUSY. Implementation of BUSY in a Multi-user is a simple two-step process. The two steps are:

2.1 Install BUSY

2.2 Share data between the Nodes

Let us discuss these steps in detail.

2.1 Install BUSY

Installation of BUSY is a simple process that includes installing BUSY application on a Node. An application is a program designed for users to accomplish a task.

To install BUSY application in a Multi-user scenario we have to install BUSY on all the Nodes because BUSY does not allow application sharing.

Note: Application sharing means that an application is placed on single Node and all other Nodes use that application from that one Node. For example, MS Word is an application. Now application sharing means that we have installed MS Word on a single Node and all other Nodes are accessing and using the application from that one Node.

Let us understand the installation process with the help of Accounting Solution Limited case scenario. The company wants to install BUSY application in their local computer network. For this purpose, it has to install BUSY application on all the Nodes that include Node 1, Node 2, and Node 3.

2.2 Share data between the Nodes

Sharing data means that data is stored at one Node and all other Nodes are accessing that data. BUSY allows data sharing only and no application sharing is allowed. It means that data is created and maintained on a single Node but the application has to be installed on each Node individually.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution Ltd case scenario. Node 1, Node 2 and Node 3 have installed BUSY application. Now the firm sets the data directory on Node 1. On Node 1 the data directory is set on a local folder, the path for which is C:BusyWinData. In case of BUSY, the Node on which data is created and maintained becomes a Server for all the other clients. Thus, Node 1 is designated as Server for both Node 2 and Node 3 and it will store and maintain all the data fed by Node 2 and Node 3. Node 2 and Node 3 have to give path \Node1CBusyWinData to work on the data directory.

Now as Node 1 has become Server it has to give full access to all the Nodes that need to access the Server data directory.

To give access to different Nodes, perform the following steps:

  •  Right-click the Data Directory folder stored on the Server (Node 1)
  •  Select Properties Option. On clicking Properties Option, a Window appears
  •   Click the Sharing Tab à Select Shared As Option
  •   Click the Add Button. (The Add button appears if you are using Window 98 operating System)

On clicking the Add button a Window appears

  •   Select the appropriate Node à click Full Access button.
  •    Repeat the above step for all the Nodes on which BUSY application is installed
  •   Click the OK button.

Now Node 2 and Node 3 have to set the data directory by giving the path of the data directory stored on the Server (Node 1). The path for setting data directory will then be: \Node1CBusyWinData.

You can share data in BUSY in two ways depending on the data access requirement of the Nodes. The two ways are:

  •   Set Data Directory (Accessing single Data Directory)
  •   Create separate icons for BUSY (Accessing Multiple Data Directories)

Set Data Directory (Accessing single Data Directory)

If you want to access a single data directory then you can use the Set data Directory option. Accessing a single data directory means that data is stored at one path. This option is useful when a Node in the network wants to store data at a single location.

To set the data directory perform the following steps:

  •  Click the Company menu à Set Data Directory Option. On clicking the Set Data Directory option, a Set Data Directory Window appears.

  Enter the data directory path in the Data Directory Text Box.

  •  You can specify the path by writing the full path name or by clicking the Browse button and selecting the       desired path.
  •  Click the OK button to save the details.
  •  Now BUSY will store all your work at the path specified.

Note: In a Multi-user scenario, set the data directory path with the Server address for all the Nodes.

Create separate Icons for BUSY (Accessing Multiple Data Directories)

If you want to access multiple data directories, then this option comes into use. Accessing multiple data directories means that data is stored at different locations and is accessed by a single user. For accessing multiple data directories the user does not have to install the BUSY application on the Node again. He has to simply create another icon of BUSY application.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. Node 2 has set a path for storing the data using the Set Data Directory option. Now the user at Node 2 wants to store data at some other location also. To store the data at two different paths, the user has to create two different icons of BUSY.

To create different icons of BUSY, perform the following steps:

  •  Right-click the BUSY icon on the desktop.

Note: Generally when you install BUSY application, an icon of BUSY appears on the Desktop. If the icon does not appear on the Desktop, perform the following steps:

  •   Double Click My Computer icon
  • Double Click C: drive à Double click BusyWin icon  Right Click BusyWin.exe
  •  Select Send To à Desktop (Create Shortcut) option
  • An icon of BUSY application will now appear on your Desktop
  •  Select Send To à Desktop (Create Shortcut) Option
  •  On clicking the Desktop option, another BUSY icon appears on the Desktop. You can rename the new BUSY icon as per your requirement.
  • For Renaming à Right-click the new BUSY icon à Select Rename option à Specify new name for the icon

After you have created two different icons of BUSY you need to set the data directory for both the icons at different paths.

To set data directory for different icons you have to fix the path for data directory for the icons. If you fix the path then the data directory cannot be changed using the Set Data Directory option.

To fix the Data Directory path, perform the following steps:

  •   Right-click the desired BUSY icon
  •   Select the Properties Option
  •  Click the Shortcut Tab and then specify the path in the Target data field.

Note: If you create two icons of BUSY and set different data directory using the Set Data Directory option then BUSY will always save the work at the path specified in first used BUSY icon.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. The user at Node 2 has created two icons of BUSY application and wants to store data at two different locations. Now he wants to store first data on the local machine and second data on the Server. To store data at local machine, he right clicks the first icon of BUSY and fix the data directory of local machine by giving the path C:BusyWinData. Now to store data at Server, he right clicks the second icon of BUSY and fix the data directory by giving the path \Node1 (Server)CBusyWinData.

 Security check by BUSY in Multi-user scenario

Generally speaking security check is a process of screening that allows access to authorized users only.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. The firm issues Identity card to its employees. Now persons holding a valid Identity card will be allowed to enter the office premises and all other persons will be restricted to the reception area. Similar, is the case with security check in BUSY wherein registered users are allowed to use the software while unregistered users are denied access.

3.1 Implementing Security Check

Detecting the dongle

After you run the BUSY application, certain steps are performed for detecting the dongle. These are:

  • BUSY checks for the dongle on the local Node
  • If dongle is not found on the local Node then it will search for it on the Server on which data directory is marked.
  • If the dongle is detected then a Security Checked Window appears.
  • Click the OK button to close the Security Checked Window.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. In the network, the dongle is installed on the Server (Node 1) i.e. where the data directory is stored. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application wherein BUSY checks for the dongle on Node 3 itself. Since the dongle is not found on Node 3, BUSY checks on other Nodes and Server in the network. On detecting the dongle, BUSY application proceeds to the next step in security check.

Note: When other Nodes want to run the BUSY application, it is mandatory that the Node on which dongle is installed should be switched on/started with BUSY application running at the time.

Marking Data Directory

Data Directory means the directory or the location where data is stored. Marking of data directory means that a Node having access to dongle has accessed the data directory. Data directory gets marked only after the dongle is detected.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. In the network, the dongle is installed on the Node 2 and the data directory is stored on the Server (Node1). Server and Node 2 are running the BUSY application. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application wherein BUSY checks for the dongle first on Node 3 itself. Since the dongle is not found on Node 3 thus BUSY checks on other Nodes and Server in the network. On detecting the dongle on Node 2, BUSY application on Node 3 will proceed to access the marked data directory on the Server.

 

3.2 Handling Common cases

When you run BUSY application, it checks for the dongle and after detecting the dongle, it marks the data directory.

The process of marking the data directory differs depending on whether the dongle and data directory are on the same Node. Primarily there are two cases for the dongle and data directory placement. These are:

  •   Dongle and Data Directory are on same Node
  •   Dongle and data directory are on different Nodes

Let us discuss these cases in details.

Dongle and Data Directory are on same Node

When dongle and data directory are on same Node then on running the BUSY application from the Server, the following steps are performed:

  • BUSY detects the dongle on the Server
  • Marks the data directory at the specified path on the Server
  • Starts the BUSY application

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. In the network, the dongle is installed on the Server i.e. where the data directory is stored. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application wherein BUSY on Node 3 checks for the dongle locally on Node 3 itself. Since the dongle is not found on Node 3 thus BUSY checks on other Nodes and Server in the network. On finding the dongle BUSY application proceeds further and marks the data directory.

Note: BUSY application should be running on the server at the time when Node 3 wants to run the BUSY application.

Dongle and Data Directory are on separate Nodes

The second case is that dongle is installed on a Node other than the Server. In this case when we run the BUSY application from local Node where dongle is installed, then BUSY will checks for the dongle on the local Node and when dongle is detected, it will mark the data directory on the Server.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. In the network dongle is installed on Node 2. Node 1 and Node 2 are running BUSY application. Node 2 has detected the dongle and marked the data directory. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application wherein BUSY checks for the dongle first on Node 3 itself. Since the dongle is not found on Node 3 thus BUSY checks for it on other Nodes and Server in the network. When BUSY detects the dongle on Node 2 then BUSY application will proceed further and access the marked data directory on the Server.

Note: when Node 3 wants to run the BUSY application and access the data directory then at that time Node 1 and Node 2 should be running the BUSY application.

  1. Special cases

While working on BUSY in a Multi-user scenario, there are some special cases where you may encounter certain problems.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario, the different cases where a problem can occur. In the scenario we have assumed that dongle is installed on Node 2 and data directory is set on Server (Node 1). The cases are:

  •  Server is switched off/not started
  •   Node on which dongle is installed is switched off/not started
  •   No full access to Data Folder
  •   Changing Data Directory while BUSY is open

Let us discuss these cases in detail.

4.1 Server is switched off / not started

Node 2 wants to run the BUSY application, but Server (Node 1) is not switched on/started at that time. Now as the data folder is on the Server and Server is not started, then Node 2 will not be able to mark the data directory and a message will appear that BUSY could not locate the data directory.

4.2 Node on which dongle is installed is switched off /not started

Node 3 now wants to run the BUSY application but Node 2 is not switched on/started, then the dongle will not be detected and data directory will not be marked to run the BUSY application. In such a case when Node 3 runs BUSY application, a Security Checked Message Box will appear with the message ‘could not find a valid security device. Program will start in Demo mode’.

4.3 No full access to Data Folder

Let us suppose Server has not given full access of data folder to Node 3. By full access we mean that it has not given the permission to perform all the operations that include Read, Write and Execute. Now since Node 3 has to perform some Read/Write operation when it accesses data directory but it will not be able to access the data directory because full access is not given to it. Thus it is necessary for Server to give full access of data folder to Node 3.

4.4 Changing Data Directory while BUSY is open

Let us suppose that Node 2 on which dongle is installed and Server (Node 1) on which data directory is set are running the BUSY application and Node 3 is currently not running the BUSY application. User at Server (Node 1) changes the data directory for the network so as to store the data at some other path. As Node 1 and Node 2 have not restarted the BUSY application, the new data directory has not been marked. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application and starts working. The data of Node 3 continues to get stored at the old data directory. Hence to change the data directory for the network it is mandatory to restart the BUSY application on the Node on which dongle is installed and the Node on which data directory is set.

Note: It is necessary to restart BUSY application on  both Node 1 and Node 2 because to mark the new data directory, Node 1 has to restart the process of detecting dongle and marking the data directory.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario. In the network dongle is installed on Node 2. Node 1 and Node 2 are running BUSY application. Node 2 has detected the dongle and marked the data directory. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application wherein BUSY checks for the dongle first on Node 3 itself. Since the dongle is not found on Node 3 thus BUSY checks for it on other Nodes and Server in the network. When BUSY detects the dongle on Node 2 then BUSY application will proceed further and access the marked data directory on the Server.

Note: when Node 3 wants to run the BUSY application and access the data directory then at that time Node 1 and Node 2 should be running the BUSY application.

  1. Special cases

While working on BUSY in a Multi-user scenario, there are some special cases where you may encounter certain problems.

Let us understand with the help of Accounting Solution case scenario, the different cases where a problem can occur. In the scenario we have assumed that dongle is installed on Node 2 and data directory is set on Server (Node 1). The cases are:

  •   Server is switched off/not started
  •   Node on which dongle is installed is switched off/not started
  •  No full access to Data Folder
  • Changing Data Directory while BUSY is open

Let us discuss these cases in detail.

4.1 Server is switched off / not started

Node 2 wants to run the BUSY application, but Server (Node 1) is not switched on/started at that time. Now as the data folder is on the Server and Server is not started, then Node 2 will not be able to mark the data directory and a message will appear that BUSY could not locate the data directory.

4.2 Node on which dongle is installed is switched off /not started

Node 3 now wants to run the BUSY application but Node 2 is not switched on/started, then the dongle will not be detected and data directory will not be marked to run the BUSY application. In such a case when Node 3 runs BUSY application, a Security Checked Message Box will appear with the message ‘could not find a valid security device. Program will start in Demo mode’.

4.3 No full access to Data Folder

Let us suppose Server has not given full access of data folder to Node 3. By full access we mean that it has not given the permission to perform all the operations that include Read, Write and Execute. Now since Node 3 has to perform some Read/Write operation when it accesses data directory but it will not be able to access the data directory because full access is not given to it. Thus it is necessary for Server to give full access of data folder to Node 3.

4.4 Changing Data Directory while BUSY is open

Let us suppose that Node 2 on which dongle is installed and Server (Node 1) on which data directory is set are running the BUSY application and Node 3 is currently not running the BUSY application. User at Server (Node 1) changes the data directory for the network so as to store the data at some other path. As Node 1 and Node 2 have not restarted the BUSY application, the new data directory has not been marked. Now Node 3 runs the BUSY application and starts working. The data of Node 3 continues to get stored at the old data directory. Hence to change the data directory for the network it is mandatory to restart the BUSY application on the Node on which dongle is installed and the Node on which data directory is set.

Note

It is necessary to restart BUSY application on  both Node 1 and Node 2 because to mark the new data directory, Node 1 has to restart the process of detecting dongle and marking the data directory.

 

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