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polling_explained

POLLING EXPLAINED

Windward Software

This Wiki is meant as a simple overview to explain the basic process of how Polling works, and what is required for an FTP connection.

In a Polling environment, the Head Office computer and the Remote computer(s) can’t see one another. Very much like two people in different cities would not be able to see one another. So, for information to pass back and forth between two locations there must be an intermediary. For human beings that can take the form of a post office. Let’s look at the Post Office scenario.

Joe and Pete live in different cities but need to communicate with one another.

Joe is waiting on some invoices from Pete, so he goes to the Post Office to see if anything has arrived. Nothing is there, but Joe puts some updated information into a package and leaves it there for Pete.

Now Pete goes to the Post Office. He checks to see if Joe has sent him any new packages, then puts all his invoices in a single package and leaves his package for Joe.

Joe then goes to the Post Office to see if he has received any packages, picks up any packages that are there, and sends a new package back to Pete

Pete then returns to the Post Office and the cycle repeats over and over.

If you think of the FTP as the Post Office and follow this scenario, the purpose of the FTP makes a little more sense.

The process that happens at each Polling site is the same.

Main Location (Head Office)
1 - Imports all changed information from Remotes through the FTP.
2 - Exports all changed information for the remotes to the FTP (inventory, inventory quantities, customers etc.)
Remote Locations
1 - Imports all changed information from Head Office through the FTP.
2 - Exports all changed information for Head Office to the FTP (inventory, inventory quantities, customers etc.)

Usually on a Polling installation you would schedule an update at each location at least twice a day. The number of times information is sent and received is dependent on how up to date you need both datasets to be. The frequency can not exceed once per hour. The minimum would be twice a day. Once at the end of the business day, and another before the start of the day. This would ensure that all information in all locations is accurate at the start of the day.

The FTP

The FTP is a critical piece of the Polling setup and must be configured by your IT person or IT company. It isn’t something that a Windward Software support person can set up.

It is the responsibility of your IT person to configure this FTP to be accessible from the internet. Ideally the FTP should be configured across a VPN, but at a minimum it should be a Static (non changing) IP Address. If the IP Address changes, the polling application (S5Poll.exe) will not be able to find the FTP. A Hosted FTP is another alternative, because the hosted FTP will always resolve to a web domain such as wws5.com. This solves the problem of a changing IP address, because the domain name will always point to the correct or current IP Address.

It must be a standard (Active or Passive) FTP . It cannot be Secure or SFTP. This doesn’t mean that the FTP is accessible to everyone. Standard and Secure only relates to the protocols that software programs use to access the FTP. A standard FTP setup will allow a software program to send non-encrypted information back and forth between multiple locations. Secure or SFTP requires information to be encrypted and decrypted in both directions, and S5Poll.exe cannot communicate using that secure FTP protocol.

The Windward S5Poll.exe program that is used for Polling, does not encrypt the data going back and forth between the FTP, Main Dataset and Remote Locations. Instead, The S5Poll.exe application breaks the data up into xml files before it sends them to the FTP, and then when it is receiving the new information, receives the xml files, and converts the XML files back into useable information (invoices, inventory quantities, customer and supplier information) at each location.

OTHER LINKS

Settings You Should Never Change in a Polling Environment

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=polling_s5poll_never_do

Gift Cards in Polling Data Sets

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=gift_cards_with_polling_standalone_wan_wear

Things That Do Not Poll

UNDER CONSTRUCTION http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=things_that_do_not_poll

Polling Checklist

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=polling_check_list

Updating or Upgrading a Polling Dataset

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=upgrading_polling

Batch Number Tip for Polling Dataset Recreation (Employee Only)

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=employee:batch_number_tip_for_polling_wear

Uninstalling Polling (Windward Employees Only)

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=employee:uninstalling_polling

Auto Login (Windward Employees Only)

Allows S5Poll.exe to automatically log in in a Polling or WEAR environment

loginfile shortcut argument

Creating a Local FTP on your PC for WEAR / Polling Testing (Employee Only)

Troubleshooting

After creating the datasets and attempting to log into s5poll.exe, you get an error saying “no active server found” or “no active server setup”. Could be that MSXML isn't installed.

Log In Issues

•Red Terminals

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=polling_-_can_t_log_in_with_a_specific_user_-_other_users_can_log_in_fine

•S5Poll Appears in Windows Tray and Then Disappears

http://wiki.wws5.com/doku.php?id=polling_-_double-click_polling_application_does_not_start_polling


Created by Steve Wind February 20 2018

Updated May 28 2019

polling_explained.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/28 15:40 (16 months ago) by swind