Below are general definitions of some of the terms used within this help file;
Message Control File
The Ticker Tape "Message Control File" is the mechanism by which the Administrator software controls the activities of the Agent workstations. Each Ticker Tape Site has its own Message Control File, accessible to all the Agent workstations in that Site and often stored in a location local to the Agent workstations.
Workstations installed with the Agent software periodically poll their Message Control File (the location of which is configured during the Agent's initial install) looking for new instructions from the Administrator software which updates the Sites' Message Control File when new messages or other commands are sent out to the Site from the Administrator interface. For more in-depth information about Message Control Files see one of;
The Administrator software is used to control the Ticker Tape Agents on up to 42 different Ticker Tape Sites, each of which may contain virtually any number of physical workstations.
The Administrator software is normally installed on a single computer and allows the operator to send both predefined and one-off messages of differing styles to one or more Sites; typically these messages are used to provide status updates to users of a service within the chosen Site(s) - for instance, a 'red' message regarding the failure of the corporate email or Intranet systems, followed by, once fixed, a 'green' message informing users that the email or Intranet system is once again available.
Ticker Tape "Agent"
The Ticker Tape Agent is a light-weight piece of software installed on each workstation within a Ticker Tape Site and is used to display the message sent out by the Administrator software. The Agent uses very few resources where it is installed and is carefully designed not to interfere with the normal functioning of the workstation or other applications.
MSI - Windows Installer
Both the Ticker Tape Administrator and Agent software are supplied as industry standard Microsoft '.MSI' files - these files are installed on Windows platforms via the in-built Windows O/S software, MSIExec. The MSIExec software provides, amongst other functions, a standard means to install or uninstall a MSI-based product and is very widely used for such purposes. For detailed information about Windows Installer and 'MSIs' see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Installer
Ticker Tape "Site"
A Ticker Tape "Site" is defined as a group of workstations running the Ticker Tape Agent software that are all configured to pick up messages from the same Message Control File. The workstations making up are particular Ticker Tape Site are often located in the same physical location (but don't have to be) - virtually any number of workstations in any number of locations can be configured to be part of the same Site - for more in-depth information about Sites, refer to the Frequently asked questions / What's a Ticker Tape Site? topic
DMZ - Demilitarized
A DMZ, also known as a perimeter network, is typically a collection of closely controlled and monitored 'security hardened' servers and other infrastructure that provide external access, usually from the Internet, to an organisation's services. Most commonly, a DMZ is used to host an organisations externally facing Web presence or VPN connectivity gateways. In the context of Ticker Tape, a DMZ hosted server may be used as the location for a FTP or HTTP-based Message Control File for Ticker Tape Agents that are not highly-connected to the corporate infrastructure. For additional information about Site types, see the topic Deploying Ticker Tape / Deciding upon Site type(s)
UNC Path - Uniform (or Universal) Naming
A UNC Path is a common way to represent the location of a resource on a server. In the context of Ticker Tape it's used by the UNC-based Ticker Tape Sites in order to specify exactly where the Message Control File for the Site should be written by the Administrator and, similarly, where the Agent should read the Message Control File from. The UNC path that Ticker Tape uses can represent either a Windows Share name, such as \\USBOSFILE\TickerShare, or a full path such as \\USBOSFILE\C$\Apps\TickerTape\BostonMCF
LAN - Local Area Network
A LAN is essentially a collection of computers connected within a small geographical area, such as a single office, normally without the use of leased communications links. Typically, the cabling infrastructure connecting the computers in a LAN will be very reliable and high speed (at least 100Mbit and very frequently 1Gb/sec) In the context of Ticker Tape, a Site is frequently based upon the confines of an office's LAN; e.g. the 'Boston' Ticker Tape Site is comprised of a Message Control File hosted on a file server in the Boston office and the Site's Agents are all the workstations physically located within the Boston office... on the Boston LAN.
WAN - Wide Area Network
A WAN is normally characterised as interconnecting computers over a wider geographical area, be it a town, city, nation or continent, often using leased connections of some form that typically transfer data at speeds lower than those available within a LAN (often from a few MBits/s upwards.) Frequently, a WAN is used to interconnect a companies LANs together allowing, for example, computers in the 'Chicago' satellite office to communicate directly with the servers in the 'Boston' head-quarters. In the context of Ticker Tape, a Site's Message Control File can be hosted on a server that is a considerable distance - and potentially across multiple LAN and WAN links - from all or some of the Agents configured to use it; these Agents may be located in different geographical areas on different LANs.
Help file v1.5.1a © Copyright 2008-2014 Ambersoftware.co.uk