5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2016 8:09 AM by Dennis Reffler

    Alert 20964 during card scan at Print Station

    Dennis Reffler Newbie

      My users are getting "balance is offline" message and I'm seeing Alert 20964 (The status of billing plug-in changed to offline, when  it tried to  get balance) when swiping their card on the Print Station. Logging out of Pharos then back in and swiping seems to resolve the issue. Any suggestions as to what may be causing this? This is happening on multiple Print Stations which are at different locations but connecting to one server. We are currently using UniPrint 8.2.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Dennis

        • Re: Alert 20964 during card scan at Print Station
          Steven English Guide

          Dennis Reffler,

           

          Presuming you have an external gateway that funds are debited from, it seems like the gateway plugin may be having trouble talking to your external system.  If you run the batch file test in rapid succession do you get any timeouts or failures that trigger offline mode?  If you do not have an external payment system, perhaps the print server is losing connectivity to your principal pharos database server.

           

          Regards,

          Steven

            • Re: Alert 20964 during card scan at Print Station
              Dennis Reffler Newbie

              Thanks Steven for your response. The Print Server and Pharos Database Server are on the same system and we're using Blackboard gateway. So you're saying there may be an issue with connectivity between the external billing system and the Blackboard gateway?

               

              Thanks,

               

              Dennis

              • Re: Alert 20964 during card scan at Print Station
                Dennis Reffler Newbie

                Hi Steven,

                 

                Looking at the Blackboard log it appears the initial transaction has three attempts at "Sent Data:" then appears to error with the line

                Reply IP Biller:CMD_FAIL[#28]PHAROS_OFFLINE

                 

                The subsequent attempt has one "Sent Data:" followed by "Received:", "Decode:" etc. indicating a completed transaction. I don't know if that error helps pinpoint the issue.

                 

                Thanks,

                 

                Dennis

                  • Re: Alert 20964 during card scan at Print Station
                    Steven English Guide

                    Dennis Reffler,

                     

                    I am suspecting a connectivity issue between the Pharos end of the Blackboard billing gateway and the external side - the Blackboard server side - of the billing gateway.  I am not familiar with Blackboard's logging, but from the Pharos end it appears to be making multiple attempts to talk to Blackboard and then it falls back to offline mode as it should.  You could use Wireshark to verify that the packets are in fact leaving the Pharos server, but would need Wireshark on the other end as well to determine whether the communication attempts are successfully being received by the Blackboard server (which suggests that it is failing to acknowledge or respond properly), or if they are dying somewhere in between on the network.

                     

                    If the issue is relatively intermittent and only occurs during periods of low activity, you could check to see if their is a network appliance of some kind dropping the connection between Pharos and Blackboard.  If that were to happen, Pharos would go into offline mode, then upon a subsequent attempt to pull a user's balance it would know the current connection was down and would try to reestablish a link to Blackboard (which would succeed and pull the user's balance).  You could also try the old school basics of pinging the server and establishing a connection via telnet just to confirm that the Blackboard server port is listening.

                     

                    Regards,

                    Steven