ConferenceXP Venue Service

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In this guide, you’ll learn how to use the features in ConferenceXP Venue Service. Please note that most end users of ConferenceXP should not need to install the venue service. These instructions are intended mainly for system administrators at sites where it is desired to manage a set of custom venues.

Installing the ConferenceXP Venue Service

The steps are: 1) Install and activate IIS; 2) Install and activate Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET; 3) Install the Venue Service MSI; 4) Miscellaneous post-processing steps. The precise set of steps differs for XP versus Vista and for the various IIS versions.

Please refer to the ConferenceXP 5 Installation Notes for complete information about Venue Service installation.

Using the ConferenceXP Venue Service

With ConferenceXP Venue Service, you can create and manage venues, which are virtual spaces where users can participate in synchronous collaborative and learning activities. The Venue Service Administration tool enables you to add, edit, and delete venues and participants.

Open Venue Service Manager

In Windows, click Start > All Programs > ConferenceXP > Services > Venue Service Manager.

Re-sort the list of venue or participants

In ConferenceXP Venue Service Manager, click the column header you want to sort by.

To change the sort order, click the column header again.

Close Venue Service Manager

In ConferenceXP Venue Service Manager, click Close.

Managing venues

In the Managing Venues area, you can view the venues currently available on your venue server. You can also create a new venue, edit a venue, and delete a venue.

When you create a new venue, anyone can view that venue, by default. You can specify who can see a venue, which prevents others from seeing that venue.

Add a venue

1. Under Manage Venues, click New.

2. In the Owner box, type the e-mail address of the owner.

3. In the Name box, type the venue name.

4. In the IP Address box, type the multicast IP address you want to use.

Tip: To receive a globally scoped multicast address, that is an address that is useable wherever multicast is supported, contact your network administrator. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicast_address for details.

5. In the Port box, type the port you want to use.

6. If you want to specify a different picture for the venue's icon, do the following:

  • Click Choose Picture.
  • In the Open dialog box, select the bitmap image file (for example, .gif, .tif, .png, .jpg, .bmp) you want to use
  • Click Open.

7. If you want to specify who can see the venue, do the following:

  • Click Advanced.
  • In the Identifier expression box, do one of the following:
    • To add an individual participant, type the identifier for the participant you want to add by using a regular expression. For example: [C|c]hris@[C|c]ontoso\.[C|c]om
    • To add a group participant, type the identifier of the group you want to add by using a regular expression. For example: .*@[F|f]ineartschool\.[E|e]du
  • Click Add, and then click OK.
  • Click OK.

8. If you want to specify a password for the venue, do the following:

  • Click Set Password
  • Type the password twice to confirm.
  • If you want to force clients in the venue to encrypt all streams, set the 'use encryption' checkbox. Note that if encryption is enabled, archive playback is not supported.
  • Click Confirm to set the password

Tip: For more information about regular expressions, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_expression

Edit a venue

1. Under Manage Venues, click the name of the venue you want to edit.

2. Click Edit.

3. In the Edit Venue dialog box, make the changes you want, and then click OK.

Specify who can see a venue

1. Under Manage Venues, click the venue you want, and then click Edit.

2. In the Edit Venue dialog box, click Advanced.

3. Do one or more of the following:

  • Specify an individual participant: In the Identifier expression box, type the identifier for the participant you want to add by using a regular expression, for example: [C|c]hris@[C|c]ontoso\.[C|c]om, and then click Add.
  • Specify a group participant: In the Identifier expression box, type the identifier of the group you want to add by using a regular expression, for example: .*@[F|f]ineartschool\.[E|e]du, and then click Add.
  • Change a participant in the list: In the Show venue to participants matching these expressions box, click the one you want. In the Identifier expression box, make the changes you want, and then click Replace.
  • Remove a participant from the list: In the Show venue to participants matching these expressions box, click the identifier you want, and then click Delete.
  • Click Add.

Tip: For more information about regular expressions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_expression

Delete a venue

Under Manage Venues, click the name of the venue you want, and then click Delete.

Managing participants

In the Managing Participants area, you can view the participants who have joined at least one venue on your venue server. You can also edit a participant and delete a participant.

Edit a participant

1. Under Manage Participants, click the name of the participant you want.

2. Click Edit.

3. In the Edit Participant dialog box, make the changes you want, and then click OK.

Update list of participants

Under Manage Participants, click Refresh.

Delete a participant

Under Manage Participants, click the name of the participant you want, and click Delete.

Changing the default Venue Service for ConferenceXP Clients

You can use ConferenceXP Venue Service to host local venues for ConferenceXP clients. For example, you might want to do this is if you do not have Internet2 connectivity and therefore cannot use the default Venue Service.

Configure ConferenceXP Clients to use a different Venue Service

1. Open the CXPClient.exe.config file, located in the \Program Files\Microsoft Research\ConferenceXP\CXPClient folder, in a text editor, such as Notepad.

2. Locate the MSR.LST.ConferenceXP.VenueService key, and then change its value to the following:

http://myserver/venueservice/venueservice.asmx

where “myserver” is the name of your venue server.

Tips and Troubleshooting

Choosing a multicast IP address

The range of Multicast IP addresses is 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255. Some addresses, as specified in the table below, are reserved for specific purposes. When specifying a multicast IP address for a ConferenceXP venue, you’ll need to make sure the address you specify is not a reserved, well-known address. If the venue is for an internal-only network, select a multicast IP address in the limited scoped range. If the venue is for a network that supports external addresses, select a multicast IP address in the globally scoped range.

Multicast IP Address Range and Description:

  • 224.0.0.0 – 224.0.0.255: Reserved for "well-known" multicast IP addresses
  • 224.0.1.0 – 238.255.255.255: Globally scoped addresses (that is, Internet or external) multicast IP addresses
  • 239.0.0.0 – 239.255.255.255: Limited scoped (that is, internal or local) multicast IP addresses

For more information about multicast addresses, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicast_address


Client Timeout on first access

If your venue service does not receive very many hits, the IIS application pool process my reach the idle timeout (default 20 minutes). In this case, the response to the next hit may be delayed long enought that the CXP Client will timeout (default 10 seconds), and the client will show only the Local Venue.

To prevent the application pool thread timeout in IIS:

  • Run IIS Manger, open the Application Pools node
  • Right-click DefaultAppPool, select Properties
  • Select Performance Tab; Set the Idle Timeout to greater than maximum time between hits.