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Administration Settings

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2020 12:31


Administration Settings

 /admin

The Administration settings are high-level preferences intended for network administrators, IT support departments, or operators with administrator-level permissions. In other words, they're advanced settings used to configure your main Data Station once and then be forgotten.

While every operator with the proper security permissions can access the Administration module, it contains settings that most operators won't be able to configure without help. An operator's access to these settings is governed by their security preferences. Your library's administrator can manage these settings in Preferences > Security.

Navigation 

Status

These settings allow you to perform maintenance on your library catalog and update your Alexandria program.

Web

These settings allow Alexandria and Textbook Tracker to communicate online.

Database

These settings allow you to set up automatic archives and database maintenance.

Email

These settings allow you to designate an SMTP server to use for sending emails, such as Item Overdue Notices, to patrons and/or staff.



Actions Menu 

This menu appears on each interface of the administrative settings in the upper left corner. These options allow you to update to latest version, send your library data to COMPanion, log out of the program or quit the data station remotely. 

Check for Updates

If there are any updates available, it will be listed here. You simply click on the version number to initiate the upgrade.

Send Data to COMPanion

If a Customer Support Representative needs your library data for troubleshooting you can easily send it to us by selecting this option and entering the Authorization Code you are provided.

Log Out

This button will log you out of Alexandria, despite if you have multiple windows open.

Quit Alexandria

This option will stop the Data Station from running and log out any active operators.

Status

/admin > Status

This is where you can access your registration information, perform database maintenance, run or restore from archives, and update to the latest version.

Options

Restore From Archive

Use this option to replace your current data folder with a previously created archive. This is useful if you need to undo a completed process such as imports or utilities.

 Steps to restore from an archive.
  1. Click Restore From Archive, this will trigger a roll-down menu.
  2. From the list of Available Archives, select the archive date/time you would like to restore to; dates/times are listed as yyyy/mm/dd 24:00

  3. Click the Restore button to proceed. If you no longer want to restore simply click Cancel to abort the process. By clicking Restore your current data will be replaced by that contained in the selected archive folder. 
  4. Check the Delete the archived data after restoring box to remove the selected archive from your archive directory upon successful restoration. (optional)

Archive

Selecting this button performs an immediate, manual archive of your database. An archive is a complete copy of your library data file. However, archives are not backups. The difference between a backup and an archive is that backups are made on removable media and physically stored offsite or in cloud-based storage. Archives are entirely useless in the event of a hard drive failure hence keeping an offsite or cloud backup is highly recommended. While the archive is running all services on the data station are temporarily disabled. We recommend running an archive before making any large-scale changes to your database, such as imports, updates, utilities, or machine upgrades.

Restart

Selecting this button will restart the Data Station remotely. During the restart duration, Alexandria services and modules will be unavailable to all operators.

Database Maintenance

Selecting this button will examine your database files and perform patron, item, and circulation verification routines. If database damage is detected, it's automatically fixed. While maintenance is being performed the Data Station will be inaccessible. We recommend performing this maintenance at least once a month to keep your data in good, working order.

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Web Settings

/admin > Web

Self-Hosted customers will need to configure these setting before using the web modules of the program. For a Centralized and Distributed catalogs, these settings apply to all sitesA Cloud-Hosted customer doesn't have the web settings interface in the administration module because their data is hosted on a designated COMPanion server.

Alexandria uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for secure web communications. These settings allow you to configure the certificates, ports, and server domain names that Alexandria uses to communicate with web browsers. When you save changes to this window, the Data Station will apply your new settings and restart web services.

Settings

Alexandria uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for secure web communications.

When it comes to TLS certificates, “file specifications” stand for the correct (and required) directory location, file name, and file extension (e.g. C:\Program Data\Alexandria Support\SSL\*.pem) of your keys/certificates on the Data Station. Accurate file specifications must be provided in order for the key/certificates to be accessed.

Server Domain Name

Enter the domain name or IP address that connects to your Data Station.

Port ID

Enter the port number that Alexandria uses to access the web service. This is typically port 80 or 8080.

Allow Non-Secure Connections

Uncheck this box if you want to maintain secure web communications. (optional)

Secure Port ID

Enter the port number used for the secure web interface. The default is 443.

Private Key

Enter the private key password, if required. (optional)

Verify Private Key Password

Enter the private password again to verify it. (optional)

Path to Private Key

Enter the file name and location of the Data Station’s private key.  (optional)

    • The file name and location may be entered or changed manually on a connected Web or Librarian Workstation, but it must follow the correct file specifications.

    • Only certificates in PEM format are recognized. (optional)

Path to Certificate

Enter the file name and location of the Data Station’s public certificate. 

    • The file name and location may be entered or changed manually on a connected Web or Librarian Workstation, but it must follow the correct file specifications.

    • Only certificates in PEM format are recognized. (optional)

Path to Chain

Enter the file name and location of the Data Station’s chain file.

    • The file name and location may be entered or changed manually on a connected Web or Librarian Workstation, but it must follow the correct file specifications.
    • Only certificates in PEM format are recognized. (optional)

SIP2 Port ID

Enter the port number used for the SIP2 communications. The default is 6001.

Use Secure SIP2 Connection

Enable this setting if you're using a Secure SIP2 Connection

PEM Format

The PEM format (Privacy Enhanced Mail), an early standard for securing electronic email; the PEM format is not widely adopted as an internet mail standard.

Generate Certificates

Create Temporary Certificate

This creates a temporary private key and public certificate from Alexandria’s registration information then saved to to the SSL folder in the Alexandria Support folder, even if the Path to Certificate that you entered is different than the SSL folder. They expire 365 days after creation.

Generate Certificate Signing Request

This creates a request for a certificate. This request can be sent to a certificate authority.


Important

The Microsoft Certificate Server is not supported. You will need to use a code signing authority such as GoDaddy™, Comodo ©, or VeriSign™.

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Database

/admin > Database

Scheduled Archives and Database Maintenance are allocated in Database settings. These settings allow you to specify if and when automatic archives and/or database maintenance is performed. You are also able to configure the location where local archives are stored. For a Centralized or Distributed catalog these settings will apply to all sites. Cloud-Hosted customers don't have the database settings in the administration module because their hosted subscription includes automatic nightly archives and regular database maintenance.

Related Link: Archive Your Data

Settings

Archive Directory

We've recently simplified Archives to be the same for all Alexandria configurations, which eliminated an unnecessary archive directory path. We no longer support separate folder paths for Controller/Administration archives and Data Station/User archives. The settings are still there, but the archives themselves are stored in the same place.


By default, archives are stored in folder within the Alexandria Support folder. However, we highly recommend that you change the location to a one outside of the Alexandria Support folder, preferably on a separate drive. You can set a custom location for your Archive Directory in Administration > Database. If you enter an invalid folder, or if it becomes invalid for any reason (such as disconnecting the drive it's on), it will automatically be replaced with the default folder.

We control the folder structure within your Archive Directory. Within the Archive folder is a subfolder for each of your database serial numbers, in which individual archives are stored. Archives are titled by the date and time in the YYYYMMDD HHMMSS format. Daily archives include "DAILY" in the title; Snapshot archives do not.

Archives > Serial Number > Archive YYYYMMDD HHMMSS

Archives > 8888001 > Archive 20180720 110704 DAILY

Storage Limits

Here, you can choose how many Daily Archives and Snapshot Archives to store at a time, up to 14 of each. Just make sure you have enough free space for them all! If you begin to run out of space, or if you're already storing more than the number you specified, the oldest archive of the type being run will be removed.

We strongly advise you to review these settings regularly to ensure that your archive directory is up to date and the number of archives stored is properly configured based on your needs and available disk space.

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Email Preferences

Preferences > Setup > Email
(warning) SYSTEM Preference
 SHARED with Textbook Tracker

For emails to work, you will also need to...

To send email reminders, such as the Overdue Items Notice, you will need to configure how Alexandria communicates with your library's email server. Alexandria's email system is designed to potentially cope with hundreds of emails being sent (or resent) over many machines at the same time. 

What happens if an email fails to send?

If a send fails, the next resend time is generated by adding a random value between 3 and 9 minutes, spreading out the resend times so all the undelivered email still in the “short range” period isn't sent at the same time. If a send hasn't succeeded by the end of the “short range” period, the program will generate new send times using random values between 60 and 90 minutes. If a send still hasn't succeeded after 100 hours the email is discarded and a “return-to-sender” email will be sent.

Settings

SMTP Server 1 and 2.

This is the TCP/IP or DNS address of your library's outbound mail server, which is usually mail.yourdomain.com. The Server 1 and Server 2 sections are used for outbound email. Server 1 is the primary server and Server 2 can function as a back up server should server 1 fail. You only need one SMTP server to use the email functionality.

Port

Enter the port number used by the outgoing mail server. Common ports for outgoing mail include 25, 465, and 587.

Allow Non-Secure Connections

Alexandria uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for secure web communications. When this setting is enabled, the system will use non-TLS connections if it cannot make an TLS connection.

Some mail servers, including Office365, do not allow you to use non-secure connections.

Login

Enter the login for your email server.

Password

Enter the password for your email server.

Test Server

Test the SMTP Server settings by sending a test email. This email is sent to the email address listed in Sites Management.

Last Tested On

This field displays the last date/time that the server test was performed.

Last Test Results

This field displays whether the test was successful or not. If the test is unsuccessful, check your SMTP server address and try using a different port.


Use Gmail As Your SMTP Server

A Gmail account can be used as a portable SMTP server if your library's network does not already have one. Before you configure Alexandria to use Gmail, you need to set your Gmail preferences to Allow Less Secure Apps.

  1. Go to /admin > Email.
  2. Enter the following settings for Server 1:
    • SMTP Server Address: smtp.gmail.com
    • Port: 587
    • Login: Enter the username for your email server.
    • Password: Enter the password for your email server.
  3. Click Save in the upper-right corner of the window.
  4. Click Test Server, to ensure the Gmail account is acting as a server. 
  5. Repeat for Server 2 (optional).

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