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Help Desk


Common Questions & Answers

Chat Server 2.0: Frequently Asked Questions

Server Configuration
Settings Configuration
Chat Customization
Runtime Errors and How to Solve Them

Server Configuration

  1. What is Active Server Pages (ASP)?
  2. Does my hosting company support ASP?
  3. Which platforms support ASP?
  4. Does Unix support ASP?
  5. What is Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)?
  6. Can I use Microsoft Personal Web Server instead of IIS?
  7. Can I use Netscape Enterprise Server 3.5.1 or any other server besides Microsoft IIS?
  8. Why do I need to configure an application in IIS after installing the chat program?
  9. How do I configure an application in IIS?
  10. Why did I get a MapPath() error while configuring the chat?

Settings Configuration

  1. Which chat settings are configurable?
  2. Where do I configure the chat settings?
  3. Which settings do I need to configure?
  4. Where do I configure the time in minutes before idle users are removed from the chat?
  5. Can visitors use HTML code to enhance their messages?
  6. Where do I assign Administrator permissions (username and password)?
  7. Do I need to create a chat transcript file or a user log file?

Chat Customization

  1. Where do I customize the chat looks?
  2. Can I change the chat background color?
  3. Can I change font types, font size and font colors?
  4. Can I add images and graphics to the chat?
  5. Can I add banners to the conversation frame of the chat?
  6. Can I use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to customize the chat looks?
  7. Can I customize the chat looks using the Microsoft Front Page editor?
  8. What kind of browser do chat visitors need to use?
  9. Is it possible for private messages to be displayed in the main central screen instead of in a different column?
  10. Would the chat allow authentication of users with information stored in a relational database. In this regard, can Adventia Chat be customized using VB Script?
  11. Can I translate the chat program into any language?
  12. Does Adventia Chat Server support database connectivity?

Runtime Errors and How to Solve Them

  1. Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0046'

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Server Configuration

1. What is Active Server Pages (ASP)?
Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side execution environment which allows you to run components and scripts in Microsoft web servers Microsoft introduced ASP with Internet Information Server (IIS) version 3. In brief, ASP allows developers to mix HTML and a scripting language, such as VBScript and JavaScript in a single file. For more information on ASP, please visit the Microsoft Active Server Pages F.A.Q. page.

2. Does my web hosting company support ASP?
Ask your web hosting company if it supports ASP. If it doesn't, you can check our Review Section for ASP Enabled Hosting Companies at http://www.adventia.com/review.htm . The review page presents features information, rates, setup fees, etc. for several hosting companies summarized in comparison tables and catalogued according to monthly rates.

3. Which platforms support ASP?
ASP runs on NT Server 4.0, NT Workstation 4.0 with Peer Web Services, and Windows 95/98 with Personal Web Server.

4. Does Unix support ASP?
ASP runs on certain flavors of Unix. For more information please check the Chilisoft homepage.

5. What is Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)?
Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) is an application server included with the Microsoft Windows NT Server operating system. IIS can be used as a stand-alone Web server, or with compatible technologies to set up Internet commerce, to access and manipulate data from a variety of data sources, and to build Web applications that take advantage of server script and component code to deliver client-server functionality. For more information please check the IIS Web site.

6. Can I use Microsoft Personal Web Server instead of IIS?
You can also use ASP with Personal Web Server for Windows 95/98, and Peer Web Server for Windows NT Workstation.

7. Can I use Netscape Enterprise Server 3.5.1 or any other server besides Microsoft IIS?
The chat server is an Active Server Page (ASP) application. ASP is a technology developed by Microsoft for its web server,  Internet Information Server (IIS). The web server you use has to support ASP, and apparently only Microsoft IIS does. A company named ChiliSoft offers a product, Chilisoft ASP (http://www.chilisoft.com/products/default.asp), that allows ASP applications to run on web servers other than Microsoft IIS 4.0.

Note though, that we don't provide support for Adventia Chat running on Chilisoft ASP or any other server besides Microsoft IIS 4.0.

8. Why do I need to configure an application after installing the chat program?
If you do not configure an application it is likely that you will get a "MapPath( )" error because the settings you entered in global.asa are not being read. If you cannot configure a virtual directory (you do not have access) you can include the settings in the login.asp file.

9. How do I configure an application in IIS?
You can configure an application via the IIS Internet Service Manager. Please consult the IIS documentation for details.

10. Why did I get a MapPath() error while configuring the chat?
A MapPath() error is returned when the settings specified in the global.asa file are not being read by the chat script. To make sure that the global.asa settings are read, you must create a web application via the IIS Internet Service Manager. If you don't have access to the IIS Internet Service Manager, you may include the chat settings at the beginning of the login.asp script.


Settings Configuration

1. Which chat settings are configurable?
You may configure the following chat settings by editing the global.asa file:   

'Name of the virtual directory where all scripts reside
Application("ScriptPath")="/scripts/adventia/chat"

'Relative path to the chat users log file
Application("PhysicalPath") = "\chat_users.log"

'Relative path to the chat conversation log file
Application("SessionFilePath")="\chat_log.htm"

'Time in minutes before idle users are removed from the chat
Application("TimeLimit")=15

'Rate, in seconds, at which the chat screen is automatically refreshed
Application("RefreshRate")=8

'Set to True/False to keep/not keep a transcript of the session
Application("LogSession")=False

'Set to True/False to moderate/not moderate the chat room
Application("moderated")=False

'Set to True/False to allow/prevent the use of html, images, etc. in the chat
Application("AllowHTML")=True

'Maximum length(in characters) of the conversation text displayed at any one time
Application("MaxBufferLength") = 2000

'Username for chat room administrator
Application("administrator")="admin"

'Password for chat room administrator
Application("admin_password")="admin"

'Set to True/False to allow/prevent private conversations between users
Application("AllowPrivate")=True

2. Where do I configure the chat settings?
You configure the chat settings in the global.asa file or alternatively in the login.asp file if you cannot create an IIS application.

3. Which settings do I need to configure?
The only setting that you must configure for the chat server to run is Application("ScriptPath"). This setting must match the virtual directory where you installed the chat server files. For example, if you installed the chat server in a virtual directory called aspchat, the corresponding setting must read:

Application("ScriptPath")="/aspchat"

Don't forget to configure this setting. Otherwise the chat won't work. The remaining settings can be left unmodified.

4. Where do I configure the time in minutes before idle users are removed from the chat?
In the global.asa file look for the following instruction:

'Time in minutes before idle users are removed from the chat
Application("TimeLimit")=15

In this example we set the timeout to 15 minutes. You can set it to the time length you consider appropriate.

5. Can visitors use HTML code to enhance their messages?
Absolutely. If you want to offer this option to your visitors, you must set the Application("AllowHTML") setting equal to True in the global.asa file, as seen in the following example:

'Set to True/False to allow/prevent the use of html in the chat
Application("AllowHTML")=True

6. Where do I assign Administrator permissions (username and password)?
To assign an administrator username, search for the Application("administrator")="admin" setting in the global.asa file and write your defined username inside the quotation marks. In this case we use admin as the username. Similarly, to assign an administrator password, search for the Application("admin_password")="admin" setting and write the password you chose inside the quotation marks. In this case we used admin as the password.

7. Do I need to create a chat transcript file or a user log file?
You don't need to create those. The program will do it for you. The chat program will create the chat_log.htm file which keeps a transcript of all conversations and the chat_users.log file which keeps a log of all chat users.


Chat Customization

1. Where do I customize the chat looks?
To customize the chat looks you need to make changes in the HTML code in the login.asp, logoff.asp, display_frame.asp and input_frame.asp files. All changes should be made inside the HTML tags as shown in the following example:

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Adventia Chat Login Page</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgcolor="#FFFFFF" link="#004B97" vlink="#356A6A" alink="#0073AA">
<font face="Arial" size="3" color="#004B97">
<B>Welcome to Adventia Chat 2.0 </B>
</font>
<BR>

..................
..................
</FONT>
</BODY>
</HTML>

..................
..................
</FONT>
</BODY>
</HTML>

No changes should be made to the code inside the <% %> tags. For more information on HTML, you can visit the Webmonkey's HTML page.

2. Can I change the chat background color?
Sure you can. just look for the <BODY> tag in the HTML code and set bgcolor equal to the color you chose. You can also change the link, visited link (vlink) and active link (alink) colors, as seen in the following example:

   <BODY bgcolor="#FFFFFF" link="#004B97" vlink="#356A6A" alink="#0073AA">

For color names and codes you can check the  HYPE's Color Specifier page.

3. Can I change font types, font size and font colors?

Yes, you can. Just look for the <font> tag and make the respective changes. See the example below:

<font face="Arial" size="3" color="#004B97">

4. Can I add images and graphics to the chat?
You can add images and graphics. The common formats are GIF and JPEG. To add images to the chat pages look for the <img> tag and set the image's source equal to its file name as shown in the following example:

<img src="logo.gif" WIDTH="208" HEIGHT="49">

In this example the name of the image we used was logo.gif. If you image is located in another directory, you should specify the relative path to the image file as well.

5. Can I add banners to the conversation frame of the chat?
Sure. To add a banner edit mainframe.asp and add a new frame wherever you like. For example, if you want to display a banner across the top of the browser screen your code should look like the following:

<Frameset rows="10%,70%,20%">
      <frame src="http://www.adventia.com/">
      <frame src="display_frame.asp">
      <frame src="input_frame.asp">
</Frameset>

6. Can I use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to customize the chat looks? Yes, you can. Once again only inside the HTML tags. To learn more about how CSS work you can visit the Webmonkey's CSS Tutorial page.

7. Can I customize the chat looks using the Microsoft Front Page editor?
We do not recommend it. If you open any of the .asp files with the Front Page editor, your code might be lost or changed. Therefore, the chat program won't work as it is supposed to.

8. What kind of browser do chat visitors need to use?
The best thing about Adventia Chat is that visitors can use any browser, as long as it supports frames. Visitors do not need to worry about downloading Java applets or ActiveX controls. This means that the chat can be used by almost any one, including the least technological advanced user.

9. Is it possible for private messages to be displayed in the main central screen instead of in a different column?
Private messages can only be displayed on a different column. It is not possible to display them in the main window.

10. Would the chat allow authentication of users with information stored in a relational database. In this regard, can Adventia Chat be customised using VB Script?
You will have complete access to the source therefore, you can easily customize the chat program to validate users against a database. You can use VB Script.

11. Can I translate the chat program into any language?
Yes. The chat program can be translated into any language.

12. Does Adventia Chat Server support database connectivity.
No. The current version of Adventia Chat does not support database connectivity.


Runtime Errors and How to Solve Them

1. Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0046'
If you got this error:

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0046'
Permission denied
/aspchat/main_frame.asp, line 27

the program is trying to create the log file in the directory where the other chat scripts reside, but apparently it does not have a permission to do so. Your directory probably has READ and EXECUTE permissions but not WRITE permission.

To solve the problem please follow two steps:

1. In main_frame.asp look for the code line

LogFile = Server.MapPath (application("ScriptPath")) & application("PhysicalPath")

near line 26 and change it to

LogFile = "c:\chat_log.htm"

2. In admin.asp look for the same code line

LogFile = Server.MapPath (application("ScriptPath")) & application("PhysicalPath")

near line 54 and change it to

LogFile = "c:\chat_log.htm"

 


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