Email and phone maintenance

Both our phone company and email provider have coincidently invoked a perfect storm of  maintenance today and both services may be unreliable. If you need help and cannot wait, please use the emergency number 07470 525348.  It’s probably best to assume that any emails and phone messages sent/left today may not arrive as intended.

Company document list

We have added a script to the library that allows you to list all your official company documents and images within Match-IT. Each document can have an arbitrary number of revision records. As well as being generally useful, it is attractive to auditors.

The data comprising the list (not the documents themselves) is stored within the Match-IT database so no ancillary backup procedures are needed. Documents are linked and can be viewed from the list. In reality any file can be added and linked including images and spreadsheets etc.

Get in touch if you would like us to install it for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quite a lot of interest in this. One common request is to add a document class field and a filter on class, which we have now done.

Support ticket emails

It has become apparent that auto-generated emails to support ticket updates have not been delivered to our customers for the last week (ish). We’re not sure exactly when this started, but the problem has now been resolved with our ISP and we have added measures to catch it immediately, should it happen again. If you are waiting on an urgent ticket update, please get in touch so we can bring you up to speed.

DHL Invoice script

We have created a script that creates a CSV file from an invoice in a format required by DHL for Customs. Contact us if you would like it installed on your Match-IT system.

Converting to our SQL back-end.

During the remainder of 2022, we will be converting all customer installations to our SQL back-end, which has many advantages: far more reliable, WiFi friendly, accessible by websites and report generators etc.

We’ll call you to discuss a suitable time to do the conversion and undertake to target evenings/weekends to minimise your downtime.

Call us on 0333 1234 355 if you have any queries.

Changes added for Brexit

1. New OL module defaults available in all paperwork-

Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) number

European Control Classification Number (ECCN)

Government Contract number (GCN)

2. Country Of Origin (COO). Uses the existing country code class. New MC default as the backstop. Then optionally definable on a per supplier part basis. Available on sales dispatch and sales invoice line paperwork. This means that if you buy the same part from suppliers in different countries and resell it, the appropriate COO is pulled through on the dispatch and invoice paperwork.

3. Incoterms. New code class and SD default as the backstop. Then optionally overridden in each sales invoice. Available on Sales invoice paperwork. Default can be customer specific.

4. The NumBoxes and SizeandWeight fields already on sales dispatches have been replicated in sales invoices (and available on paperwork).

These changes will cover most scenarios (with some manual effort needed like invoice gross freight weight) and can be evolved to cover edge cases if needed. Qualifiers can also be added to the invoices and dispatches as needed for custom requirements.

Configuring Virus Checkers

Match-IT is a huge system and the probability of false positives from virus checkers is high.  When this happens it can cause massive delays while it is resolved.  All our files are digitally signed with a “code signing” licence that we have to jump through hoops and pay a high price to obtain; but virus checkers still attack our files with false positives.

When our programs start they rigorously self-check both their digital signatures and verify a pre-computed checksum. Any alteration to a Match-IT file will be detected and Match-IT will refuse to run: It it is safe to exempt our files form your anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-threat software – and recommended for performance reasons.

While we do run our files through two virus checkers (Clamwin and Windows Defender) before uploading to the website, a change to your virus checker signature list (they typically update daily) may then detect new false positives.  We have absolutely no way at all to counter this other than folder exemption.  A good example happened on June 12th 2019 when Windows Defender on some sites (not all and not here) started attacking a file of ours that has not changed since 2015!

The following folders must be exempted in your virus checker(s) and Windows Defender if you allow it to run in parallel with your virus checker (often the case and in our experience often not realised).

Even if you are not getting false positives we highly recommend that you follow the procedure below for performance reasons.

Server

Assuming Match-IT is installed into c:\match_it you need to exempt:-

  • c:\match_it (if you have more than one install, do this for all of them)
  • c:\programdata\match_it

Workstations

Only applicable if you are running Match-IT across the network (i.e. not using terminal services).

It is absolutely essential that workstation exemptions are in place otherwise you will get all workstations checking the same files on the server which can result in data corruptions and performance issues.  You need to exempt:-

  • Any mapped drives that point at or contain Match-IT.  The server will be checking the destination of the mapped drive so having workstations duplicate that effort just negatively affects performance.  e.g. M:
  • The UNC path to Match-IT; e.g. \\myserver\match_it
  • Like the server, you must also exempt the local c:\programdata\match_it

Your IT company usually configure all this remotely with a global policy which means the workstations do not need to be done individually.

If you are unsure if the Match-IT exemptions are in place, please point your IT company at this article and ask them to check.

We also strongly recommend against using mapped drives; as they can be very slow.

Always use a UNC path as the target in the Match-IT shortcut.

Managed anti-virus programs often have alerts that the user has turned off, so all the user will see is a problem with Match-IT.  Typical symptoms are Windows saying that the shortcut target has disappeared and strange access denied errors.  If you see anything  like this, call us but also please point your IT company at this article and ask them to check AV configuration.  Often a new PC can creep in under the radar or it has a free trial AV installed that needs to be removed. Problems can persist after exemption because of the quarantined files and your IT company may need to resolve that as well.

 

How to move Match-IT between servers

Match-IT is self-contained in a single folder on a server.  There is no client-end software. This note assumes the immediate containing folder is called match_it.  It is connected from client workstations using one of three methods:-

  • A simple shortcut to run Match-IT across the network. This is how we leave it after the initial install.  Share the match_it folder on the server and then target match_go.exe using a UNC path.  Avoid using mapped drives(*).  The fields should look like this:-
    • Target: \\server_path\match_it\sys\match_go.exe ini=live.set
    • Start in: \\server_path\match_it
  • An overt RDP login to the server.
  • Some sort of application virtualisation; e.g. a published app.

The latter two are set up by IT and are becoming more popular with the availability of cheap powerful servers.  These also  facilitate use of WiFi which is not possible when running across the network.

To move Match-IT between servers, copy the Match-IT folder from one server to another and then repoint the workstation connection solution to the new location.  Users need full control of the Match-IT folder.

The first time Match-IT is run it needs local admin access to do some housekeeping.  It will let you know if it does not have this privilege.  Usually right-clicking and selecting “run as administrator” will allow Match-IT to do what it needs.  It may need an admin password depending on how IT have set up user profiles.  This only needs doing once.

There is a service that needs to be started on the new server but it’s easiest to call us to do it; for example over Teamviewer. It takes about 5 mins.

Match-IT is a large application and some virus checkers detect false positives.  Also the data files change many times per second which can have negative performance effects if virus checkers are active on them in real-time.  The Match-IT executables have built in checks and will not start if they have been modified.  We strongly recommend that you exempt the whole Match-IT folder on the server and also c:\programdata\match_it which contains a runtime copy.  If starting Match-IT with a simple shortcut we also strongly recommend exempting c:\programdata\match_it on workstations as well.

If the printers used by Match-IT now have different URLs, the Match-IT print queues will need a tweak and again it’s easiest if we do that if you let us know what they are.

(*) Virus checkers include mapped drives by default, which can obviously cause serious problems if the data files are changing frequently on the server.  If you have to use a mapped drive, we strongly recommend exempting it on the workstations.

 

Why has Match-IT slowed down?

Sometimes Match-ITs performance is compromised.  Here are the main reasons we have discovered over time:-

1. A virus/malware checker(s) is checking the Match-IT data files in real-time on the server. It is essential that the Match-IT data folder is exempt because the files changes so frequently (many times per second).  This is perfectly safe because the data files are not executable programs.

2. Use of mapped drives to access Match-IT is not recommended for the same reason. Local virus checkers on PCs check mapped drives to other computers by default, so you have to exempt the mapped drives on each PC and in each virus/malware checker on those PCs. This can usually be done with a global policy by your IT guys. But new PCs can still be a problem because they often come with a free one year AV program installed which starts checking mapped drives. We recommend sharing the Match-IT folder on the server and then connecting to it using UNC paths, but this is only of benefit if the mapped drive used to access Match-IT is also removed from each PC.  This also includes any other mapped drives that happen to include the Match-IT folder.  Either exempt the drive or preferably use UNC paths.

3. Dodgy network cards. Surprisingly frequently, network cards fail and while doing so cause problems. We have no idea how to detect this other than start one PC at a time and see when Match-IT slows down.

4. Slow/degrading server disk. Match-IT makes high demands on the server disk and it’s needs to be super-fast and efficient.

5. Use of WiFi.  If you use a laptop to run Match-IT please make sure that it’s physically plugged into the network.  Absolutely do not rely on WiFi.

6. Use a dedicated server.  Because of the relative cheapness of servers these days and the critical nature of Match-IT to our customers, many choose to have a dedicated Match-IT server; especially if the load from other server software components (like ACT) is high. Access is either by UNC paths (no mapped drives) or a published app so everybody is in fact running Match-IT on the server. Note that the latter has outlook licence and printing implications. We have a UK customer with a Match-IT server in mainland Europe and it is ultra-reliable; they use a  published app for access.

See also this article.

 

Applications needed to build Match-IT

Clarion 10 Enterprise Subscription

https://softvelocity.myshopify.com/collections/ide/products/core-subscription-program-for-enterprise-edition-new-license

Take Command

https://jpsoft.com/products/take-command.html

The build scripts need version 8 which you can download on request after buying the latest version.  At some point the scripts should be tweaked to support the later versions, but it’s never been a priority.

Setup Builder Developer Edition

http://www.lindersoft.com/order_dev.htm

This creates the installation file.

SVN client

We use tortoise command line client.  Free.

https://tortoisesvn.net

Help and Manual Professional Edition

https://www.helpandmanual.com/order.html

Only needed to build the product manual.

 

 

 

 

 

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