Communications Configuration

Client/Server Network Configuration

Client programs connect to Merchant Central Server via TCP or HTTP. When the client computer was initially set up, the InitDRSetup.exe program was used to specify the initial connection details. This contained details like how to connect (TCP Mixed/TCP Stateful/TCP Stateless/HTTP), addresses and ports. If this was all you did to configure the client's connection to Merchant Central Server, you would have a working system. However, Merchant Central has the ability to control those connections centrally which gives much greater flexibility when trying to load balance your clients and Merchant Central Servers. Additionally, multiple connections can be specified to allow for a level of client fault tolerance.

Communication Configurations

A communication configuration contains details about how to connect, timeout length, the addresses/ports to connect to and whether or not compression from the client to the server should be done. (Server to client compression is configured separately as part of Merchant Central Server. See Merchant Central Server Settings. You can use as many configurations as you want using the Communications Configuration function. If you had a cluster of three Merchant Central Servers running, you would set up a configuration for each one.

Using The Communication Configurations

Once you have the configurations defined, you can edit each Location. On the Communications tab you can specify up to three communication configurations to be used by that location. When Main Menu is run at the client, it will download the details of those configurations and store them locally in the DYNAMIC.INI. These are the same type of details as set up by InitDRSSetup.exe when the client was first configured. The location that Main Menu will download the configurations for, is the location of the user that logs in.

Similarly, you can edit each Till to also have up to three communication configurations. These will be used by DynaPOSTouch to connect to the Merchant Central Server.

Fault Tolerance

As described above, a location or till can have up to three communication configurations. The reason there are three is to provide fault tolerance on the client. When a client program is running it will attempt to connect to Merchant Central Server using the first configuration. If a communications failure occurs, for example the Merchant Central Server is not running or the network is broken, the client will attempt to connect using the second configuration. If that fails, the client will attempt to connect using the third configuration. If that one fails, the client will then raise an error saying that no connection was available.

From the user's perspective, there will only be a slight delay while the client changes from one Merchant Central Server to the next.

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