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Requirements, Specifications, Do’s & Don'ts. APTC Best Practices. January 2008. Introduction. The APTC Site installation, as such, is quite simple. However, it requires some precautions to avoid unnecessary actions afterwards, as well as lengthy calls to the HD.

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requirements specifications do s don ts
Requirements, Specifications, Do’s & Don'ts

APTC

Best Practices

January 2008

introduction
Introduction

The APTC Site installation, as such, is quite simple.

However, it requires some precautions to avoid unnecessary actions afterwards, as well as lengthy calls to the HD.

If the basics are diligently covered, the full APTC Site setup requires no longer than a couple of hours.

The following slides will cover the overall process and will focus on the most “time-saving” items.

It’s important to inform the Sites about all possible “tips & tricks” to get them to the “Status 10” mark with the less possible effort and waste of time.

requirements server
Requirements (Server)
  • IBM PC or compatible
  • Pentium III, 1 GHz CPU or faster
  • 512 MB RAM or more (strongly advised)
  • Min. 4 GB available free space on the HDD after install (8 GB advised)
  • Monitor
  • CD-ROM (min. 8x speed)
  • Network Interface Card (100 Mbit full-duplex)
  • Windows 2000 (Advanced) Server (sp4) or Windows 2003 (Standard Edition) Server (sp2). Novell Netware (5 or 6) is not supported for new sites. Old sites using it, are invited to migrate a.s.a.p.
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0
  • Fast Ethernet 100Mbit/s Local Area Network
  • Internet connection
  • Virus detection software
requirements clients level 3 machines
Requirements (Clients) – Level 3 Machines
  • IBM PC or compatible
  • Pentium III, 1 GHz CPU or faster
  • 512 MB (unshared) RAM or more
  • Min. 4 GB available free space on the HDD after install
  • SVGA 17 inch Monitor
  • Video card capable of 1024x768 @ 32-bit color resolutions
  • CD-ROM (min. 8x speed)
  • Microsoft compatible keyboard and mouse
  • Network Interface Card (100 Mbit full-duplex)
  • Windows 2000 Professional (sp4) or Windows XP Professional (sp2)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0
  • Fast Ethernet 100Mbit/s Local Area Network
  • Internet connection
  • Virus detection software
requirements printer
Requirements (Printer)
  • The printer must be dedicated
  • Ink-jet printers are NOT supported
  • Laser-jet, must be capable of a minimum resolution of at least 600 dpi
  • The printer must be installed on the server (or Admin station) as Network printer and shared on the network
  • Install the printer on ALL machines used for APTC
  • The installed printer must be the Default one on ALL machines
  • USB printers are supported, but their set-up as Network Printer can pose some serious challenges. LPT or IP printers are preferred
  • Virtual printers or “print to file” printers are NOT supported
  • Avoid the use of a printer server
  • Do NOT use printers that are connected to another server or Domain Controller than the APTC server
best practices for the network preparation
Best Practices for the Network Preparation
  • The APTC Network requires a Domain topology
  • Workgroups are NOT supported
  • The APTC Domain must be a separated Domain (no Sub-Domain, Child-Domain, Shadow-Domain or any other equivalent is supported)
  • The APTC server must be the (P)DC of a separate Domain
  • All APTC clients must be joined to the APTC Domain
  • Install MDAC 2.8 preferably before starting any APTC software installation
  • Install MSXML 4.0 (sp2) parser preferably before starting any APTC software installation
  • To ensure correct Pulse/Polaris communications, the ports 443, 11001, and 11002 must be open bi-directionally for all traffic (IP/UDP)
  • (continued)
best practices for the network preparation continued
Best Practices for the Network Preparation (continued)
  • If the Site uses a firewall/proxy for their internet connections, bypass the Proxy for the following URLs:
    • www.2test.com
    • www.polaris.prometric.com
    • www.pulse.prometric.com
  • Do not filter files (firewall/proxy) based on size, name, extension, etc.
  • Even though the use of a separate Admin workstation is technically not necessary, it is strongly advised to use one. This has become a requirement for new installed Sites starting Q3 2007
installation workflow
Installation Workflow

Sites without Admin Workstation.

Support stopped in Q3 2007

Sites with Admin Workstation.

do s don ts
Do’s & Don'ts
  • Install the Server as (P)DC and follow the instructions: there will be no need to create/configure any users (DTS2, DTSISO)
  • Use unmanaged switches for your APTC network. They offer good speed and low maintenance. Do not clog the (APTC) network with unnecessary hardware and software
  • Whenever possible, do not share Internet resources with the rest of the Company, unless you have lots of bandwidth to waste
  • Don’t use Virtual Machine software. It’s not supported
  • Don’t run Pulse/Polaris using a remote connection. It will eventually corrupt the installation and it is furthermore not supported. Set up a separate Admin workstation instead.
  • Log on to the APTC server always using the (Domain) Administrator account.
  • Install the APTC software on the server always using the (Domain) Administrator account
do s don ts1
Do’s & Don'ts
  • Install the APTC software on the clients (Admin + Seats) using always the DTS2 (Domain) account
  • Log on to the clients (Admin + Seats) using always the DTS2 (Domain) account
  • Avoid using Pulse and Polaris at the same time. They share the same database and one application may lock its access for the other one
  • Do not install/run Pulse and Polaris on different machines. Use the Admin workstation only
  • Ensure the Server and Admin workstation are left ON overnight to allow Pulse automated tasks to run. The Seats can be switched OFF overnight
  • Remember to reboot the APTC server at least once a week
  • Remember to have all the APTC machines with Regional Options set to English US
  • Ensure that the short date format is always MM/dd/yyyy on all APTC machines
do s don ts2
Do’s & Don'ts
  • All machines used for APTC testing must be dedicated. The server and Seats should not have any other software installed than the OS + APTC and the anti-virus software and should be solely used for the Prometric Testing System
  • The Admin workstation, though preferably dedicated, can be also used for other purposes, as long as all other APTC requirements for install are still met
  • Avoid the use of “special characters” in all APTC activities (Site’s address, candidate’s profiles, etc.). This caused more than 5000 calls to the HD in the last 1.5 year
  • Wireless LAN is not supported
  • VirtualLAN (aka V-LAN) is not supported
  • Never run the TCM (Seat software) on the server. It’s a security breach and will make the APTC server become unusable (files auto-deletion)
final advise
Final Advise:

Ancient Confucian truth:

KEEP IT SIMPLE

AND IT WILL WORK