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Modem Pool for Terminal Server User's Guide

MPTS version 1.10

 

In this document, SpartaCom Modem Pooling for Terminal Server is
referred to as MPTS.


--------------------------------------------------------


1 - FEATURES
SpartaCom Modem Pooling Software for Microsoft Windows NT4/2000,
Terminal Server Edition is an add-on software product for the
Microsoft multiuser environment.
Microsoft Windows Terminal Server allows several applications to
run in Virtual Machines on the same NT server (similar to a UNIX
based multiuser system). Each application is unaware of the other
applications.
In this environment, several users can start a communication
application using the same COM port or the same modem.
However, COM Ports and modems do not support concurrent users.

SpartaCom MPTS allows the communication application to use a "virtual"
modem (for TAPI aware apps) or a "virtual" COM port (for other non TAPI
applications).
When the modem or COM port is referenced, SpartaCom MPTS allocates the
first available modem in the administrator's defined modem pool.

NOTE: We have tested MPTS on Windows 2000 Server starting from
version RC2 (Build 2128). MPTS has not been tested or certified on

Windows Server 2003.


2 - SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
+ Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
- Intel version with or without Citrix MetaFrame -
  or Microsoft Windows 2000 Server (any Intel version) with Terminal
  Services or Citrix MetaFrame.
+ One or more serial multi-port boards
+ Modems


3 - PRIOR TO MPTS INSTALLATION
Be sure that the standard COM ports and multiport board COM ports are
configured in such a way that the COM port to be used by the
communication applications is available for use by MPTS.
Note: Standard COM ports can be assigned any name by using
Control panel, Ports icon.

Example: The server machine has standard COM1 and COM2 ports
and a multiport board with 8 additional ports. The communication
applications will use COM1.

a. Open Control Panel, double click on the Ports icon
b. Create a COM3 using the same settings (IRQ and I/O) as COM1
c. Delete COM1
d. Install your multiport board starting with COM4
(The 8 ports will be COM4 to COM11)
e. Restart Terminal Server
f. Proceed with installation and configure COM1 as a pool of ports


4 - MPTS INSTALLATION
a. Log on at the Terminal Server console as Administrator
b. Run Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel
c. In the command line for installation, enter the path to the MPTS
SETUP.EXE program and click Next
d. Choose "All users begin with common application settings" and
click Next
e. The MPTS Setup will now run, follow the prompts


5 - MPTS CONFIGURATION
During installation, the 'SpartaCom MPTS' program group was created.
Double click on the 'MPTS Configuration' icon located in the
'SpartaCom MPTS' program group to setup a MPTS pool.

Click on the Add button (to create a new MPTS pool)
a. Assign a COM Port number to the MPTS pool (Suggestion = COM1)
b. Select an available port
c. Click on 'Select ->' to add a port to the MPTS pool
d. Repeat steps b & c for each port to be included in the MPTS pool
e. Click on OK
f. Click on Close

TO COMPLETE THE CONFIGURATION, STOP AND RESTART THE MPTS SERVICE.
USE THE START AND STOP ICONS IN THE 'SPARTACOM MPTS' PROGRAM GROUP.

Note: The ports which have been assigned to a MPTS pool can still
be used by other applications with some restrictions.
Note: The pooled modems should be the same brand and model (or 100%
compatible)

To change a MPTS pool:
a. Select the name of the pool and click on the Settings button
b. To add a port to the pool, select an available port to be added
and click on 'Select ->'
c. To delete a port from the pool, select the port to be
deleted and click on '<- Unselect'
d. Click on OK
e. Click on Close

To Delete a MPTS pool:
a. Select the name of the pool to be deleted
b. Click on Delete
c. Click on Close


6 - MPTS MODEM CONFIGURATION
Microsoft introduced TAPI/Unimodem with version 4 of Windows NT.
Unimodem (Universal Modem Driver) provides TAPI services for data/fax
modems and voice so that users do not have to learn or maintain
difficult modem "AT" commands to dial, answer, and configure modems.
You should create an MPTS modem if you intend to use the new 32 bit
applications developed for TAPI/Unimodem. For a list of tested
TAPI/Unimodem applications please see §7.

You do not need to create an MPTS modem if your application directly
interfaces COM ports.

An MPTS modem can be used by several applications at the same time.
This chapter will explain how to create an MPTS modem which will use
your MPTS pool of ports (see §5). You should first make sure that you
know the manufacturer and the model of your modems connected to your
MPTS pool of COM ports, keeping in mind that they should be the same
manufacturer and model (or 100% compatible).

Double click on the 'MPTS Modem Properties' icon located in the
'SpartaCom MPTS' program group.

Click on the Add button.

The system will then read all modem description files on your computer.
THIS CAN TAKE A WHILE ON SLOW COMPUTERS.
a. Select a Manufacturer from the Manufacturers list
b. Select a Model from the Models list
c. Click on Next

If your model is not listed and you have a manufacturer diskette
with the description file:
a. Insert your manufacturer diskette in the drive
b. Click on the Browse button
c. Follow the instructions on the next screens

Assign your modem to the MPTS pool of ports you created in §5.

Click on Finish.

WARNING: Microsoft TAPI/Unimodem architecture has limitations which
prevent MPTS from keeping track, in a multiuser environment such as
Terminal Server, of each user modem parameters (line speed, data bits,
parity, ...). Default values have been set during installation but
THEY MAY NOT SUIT YOUR APPLICATION.

Therefore you MUST CHECK THE PROPERTIES of your MPTS modem to ensure
that they match those required by your application or user.

Click on the Properties button and set the parameters as required.

If you have several applications requiring different modem settings
you will have to create several MPTS modems on the same MPTS pool.
For example you could create two MPTS modems (same manufacturer and model)
but with two different data bits and parity profiles to be used by two
different applications with different modem configuration requirements.

7 - TAPI COMPATIBILITY LIST
SpartaCom has successfully tested this version of MPTS with:
-SmartTerm 32bit Edition from Persoft
-Reflection from WRQ
-Hyperterminal (*)

*Note on Microsoft HyperTerminal (using TAPI Unimodem)
HyperTerminal does not currently support more than one call on the
same modem. Microsoft will release a fix for this problem with
Service Pack 4 for Windows NT4.

A patch for Hyperterminal (HYPERTRM.DLL) is included on disk2 of the
MPTS Software. This patch has not been fully certified
by Microsoft or SpartaCom and should only be used if you are
experiencing difficulties when making multiple opens of an
MPTS modem with HyperTerminal. To apply the fix, you should
rename the existing HYPERTRM.DLL in your \WINNT\SYSTEM32
directory (eg. HYPERTRM.OLD) and copy to the same location
the DLL supplied with the MPTS software.


*Note on Microsoft DUN
Due to the way in which default gateways are handled by the TCP/IP
interface, it is not practical to use Dial Up Networking on Microsoft
Terminal Server thin clients. This is not a limitation of the MPTS
software.

*Note on TAPI Applications
Because of differences in their TAPI implementation, not all TAPI
applications will work correctly with MPTS. If you are experiencing
problems with your application, please forward an e-mail to
SpartaCom tech support with details of the application name, version
number and publisher. You should also refer to the following Microsoft
Web page to ensure that your application has been tested for
compatibility with Microsoft Windows Terminal Server:-

http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/partners/findoffering/serversolutions/showcase/spartacomreport.asp


8 - SHARING PORTS WITH OTHER APPLICATIONS
Assigning ports to an MPTS pool does not dedicate those ports to MPTS.
They can still be shared with other applications as long as those
applications do not permanently open the COM ports, which is probably
the case if they are waiting for incoming calls. You can also share
COM ports opened by Microsoft RAS Server or by Equisys'ZetaFax fax Server
for inbound communications. When MPTS finds that a port is currently open
by RAS or Zetafax it will ask them to release the port. If there is no
active call at that time on the opened port, RAS or Zetafax will then
give the port to MPTS. Once your application has finished using the
port, MPTS will return it to RAS or Zetafax.

Server applications using Microsoft Dial Up Networking (DUN), Microsoft
Proxy Server for example, cannot use MPTS virtual ports. A dedicated
modem has to be setup for that type of application.


9- SHARING MODEM POOLS ON A NETWORK
If you are running communication applications on several Terminal
Servers, using for example Citrix MetaFrame load balancing features,
you may then want to install your modems on a single computer rather
than spread them on several servers.
SpartaCom SAPS modem sharing software provides an easy solution by
redirecting ports from the Terminal Servers to another computer on
the LAN.

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