Re: [Emerald] Emerald 2.5 RC1 Now Available

Jeff Tuttle ( (no email) )
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 09:09:57 -0600

What does "Release Candidate" mean?

Is it for real or post beta and almost really ready for prime time or what?


> From: Support <>
> To:;
> Subject: [Emerald] Emerald 2.5 RC1 Now Available
> Date: Thursday, November 26, 1998 11:26 PM
> Emerald 2.5 Release Candidate 1 is now available to all registered
> Emerald customers. It may be downloaded from the IEA Software website
> at Following are the release notes for Emerald
> 2.5.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Emerald Release Notes Emerald Management Suite
> Version 2.5 IEA Software, Inc.
> November 25, 1998
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 1. Overview
> Welcome to the Emerald 2.5 release. Please take a moment to read the
> entire release notes before upgrading or installing Emerald 2.5.
> These release notes are broken down into three sections. The first two
> sections describe what is new and what has changed since Emerald 2.1.
> The last section talks about how to upgrade an Emerald 2.1 database to
> Emerald 2.5.
> Documentation Updates
> Emerald 2.5 includes a brand new set of documentation split out into
> specific areas. The following list summarizes the full documentation
> set.
> Emerald User's Guide
> The Emerald User's guide has been re-written to include more details,
> examples and references for the basic operations of using the Emerald
> client.
> Emerald Administrator's
> The Emerald Administrator's Guide is brand new and includes in-depth
> detail of installing, maintaining, and administering Emerald. This also
> include a full explanation and breakdown of all tables and fields in the
> Emerald database, which is an invaluable resource for writing reports or
> interfacing an external application to Emerald.
> RadiusNT User's Guide
> The RadiusNT User's guide has been updated to include in depth details
> concerning installing and using RadiusNT with Emerald. All of the
> advanced Enterprise features of RadiusNT, which is included with an
> Emerald license, are also explained in detail.
> Emerald Billing Guide
> The Emerald Billing guide is new to Emerald 2.5 and specifically focused
> towards the billing aspects of Emerald. It is designed as a step-by-step
> guide to quickly and easily walk you through configuring the billing
> portions of Emerald and billing your customers.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 2. New Features
> MDI Window Layout
> Emerald now has a multi-document interface, so that all windows and
> screens are contained in one application. Multiple child windows can be
> opened at the same time to allow for easier and faster access to the
> areas of Emerald used the most. Web Browser
> A web browser is now included in the Emerald Client and Admin to allow
> for convenient access to web sites and local HTML documents. Several
> menu options are also defined for one-click access the Emerald
> documentation and IEA Software web site search engine. In order for the
> web browser to work, you must have Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 or
> higher installed on the machine. If IE is not installed on the machine,
> the installer will disable the built in browser. Advanced Searching of
> Users
> More search options for users are now available. These include a simple
> search, a more flexible search for MBR and Services, as well as advanced
> searching. The advanced searching included options like open incidents,
> expired accounts, free services/MBRs, inactive services/MBRs, custom
> billing, and serviceless MBRs. More CC Batch formats
> Emerald 2.5 now supports 10 different Credit Card processing systems for
> batch processing of credit cards.
> System Name Batch Support AVS Support
> --------------- -------------------- -----------
> Soft Deposit Batch Out/Batch In
> MAPP-PC Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> MAPP-PC 9.x Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> Card Soft Batch Out/Batch In
> TelePC Batch Out/Batch In
> PTC Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> PC-Batch Batch Out/Batch In
> IC Verify Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> CyberCash Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> PC Authorize Batch Out/Batch In AVS
> Domain POS Batch Out AVS
> PC Transact_IT Batch Out
> Emerald also supports a new generic format for those systems where you
> can define the import and export formats.
> Group specific items
> You can now specify where an item can be globally available to all
> groups or only available to a specific group. In order to Emerald to
> work properly, you must have at least one global item in each type, or
> have a group specific item for each group. Group specific items are
> available for the following areas: AccountTypes, ChargeTypes,
> InvoiceTypes, Regions, Discounts, PayMethods, and PayPeriods.
> Display/sort order added for most items
> When Emerald displays a selection list or drop down box, it will now
> sort the items based on the sort order value for each item. The items
> are sorted from lowest to highest. This replaces the old behavior of
> alphabetical order. Payments now include a user selectable type and
> comment
> When a payment is now made, you can select one of the definable payment
> types as well as making a comment about the payment (usually the check
> number). Charge Types
> There is now a new section to define Charge Types. A Charge type may be
> manually applied to an MBR at any time while editing the MBR. You can
> also associate a charge type to be the setup charge for a service type.
> Tax Support
> The tax support for Emerald 2.5 has been completely re-written to handle
> taxes from single, dual, and piggyback. You are allowed to define any
> number of tax entries needed, which include the type and percentages of
> the tax. Then you can associate those tax entries to Charges and
> Services. These tax entries will show up in detail on the invoices. All
> tax items are track by their original type for easy reporting. Billing
> Cycles
> You can define Billing Cycles, which are a set of rules on how and when
> to bill a user. This includes whether the user is a balance forward or
> renewal, and how far in advance to bill the customer based on whether
> they are paying via an electronic method or are being invoiced. Billing
> cycles are the base of the new Auto batch feature. Balance Forward
> Support
> Each MBR now has a running balance. When the billing cycle for the MBR
> is configured for Balance forward, the user is automatically billed
> unless their balance is greater than the defined limit of the MBR. The
> previous balance is listed on the invoice along with any previous
> payments and new charges. A new field, BilledThru, is also available to
> show when the MBR has been billed up to, since the expiration date is
> not used for billing in balance forward. Auto Batch
> Since Emerald now knows how and when to bill each user, a new feature is
> available called Auto Batch. This feature will find any users that need
> to be billed (based on their Billing cycle information) and
> automatically run a batch for those users. Unique group logins
> Each group can be configured to allow logins to be unique for that group
> or for the logins to be globally unique (can not match a login in
> another group). This allows installations where full logins are used to
> have the same login in different groups. Groups can have their own
> invoice for printing and emailing
> Each group can have their own specific invoice for printing and
> emailing. If a group specific invoice is not defined, the system-defined
> invoices will be used. Payments are now shown on the next invoice
> When a payment is entered in Emerald, it will show up on the user's next
> invoice or renewal notice. Incident Types, Actions, E-Mailing
> Incident Types can now be defined in the Emerald Admin. When an Incident
> is created, the Operator can pick a type for that incident. Each
> incident type can have a default e-mail address associated to it as
> well. When the incident is saved, a copy of the Incident will be mailed
> to the e-mail address. Incident Actions are now supported as well. This
> allows for operators to add additional or follow-up information about an
> incident. This is also commonly used to document the steps for service
> turn-ups. The actions can be e-mailed like the original incident was as
> well.
> Directory Limit Size per account type
> You can specify a Home Directory limit per service. This is used by
> EmerAuth to enforce mailbox and FTP directory limits. Default FTP
> directory per Group
> Each Group can have its own default FTP directory. If the group's FTP
> directory is blank, the system default FTP directory will be used.
> Definable interval per rate for billing
> Rates are no longer based on per-hour usage. You can now define the
> interval for each rate, in seconds. This allows you to charge per
> second, per minute, per hour, or whatever other interval you want to
> bill. You should check your rates after the update to verify they are
> correct. If you change the interval, you must also change the charges to
> reflect the new changes.
> Definable Sales Persons List
> You can now define a list of Sales Persons in the Emerald Admin that
> will be available in the drop down list.
> Definable Referred By List
> You can now define a list of Sales Persons in the Emerald Admin that
> will be available in the drop down list.
> Database Maintenance
> The Emerald Admin now includes a Database Maintenance section. This
> allows you to check your database, upgrade your database and perform
> operations such as deleting old call records and expired accounts.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 3. Changes License Policy
> The license policy for determining the number of Master Billing Records
> has been changed from counting each MBR to only counting those MBRs that
> are active License Overflow Handling
> If Emerald finds the number of MBRs are more than the number of MBRs you
> are licensed for, it will allow you to manage the current accounts, but
> not add new accounts for run billing. Case sensitive database support
> Emerald has been modified to support case sensitive databases. This
> includes changes not only to the executables, but also to the database
> creation scripts and procedures.
> Pay Methods Consolidated to a smaller set
> The Pay Methods have been consolidated to allow for simpler and faster
> processing. This includes changing all of the Credit Card types from
> their respective names to just "Credit Card". The type of the credit
> card type is not required for CC processing. Other changes include
> removing the spaces from before the other pay methods. E-Mail invoices
> are now based on Crystal Reports
> Email invoices are now based on Crystal Reports. This allows you to
> completely customize (including making it HTML) the invoices that are
> emailed. A new Email client has been written for Emerald to send the
> emails with that is significantly faster than the only method. Each
> invoice line item now has its own quantity amount
> A quantity field on each line item has replaced the invoice months
> field. This resolves total calculations that could have been incorrect
> in previous versions. Blank Login, shell or Email fields are now stored
> as NULL
> The login, shell and email fields are now correctly set to NULL when
> they are left blank in the client. The old clients set them to a single
> space, which caused a potential security issue. Crystal Reports 6.0
> Print Engine
> The Crystal Reports 6.0 print engine is now included in the Emerald
> distribution. If you install a previous version of Crystal Reports on
> your computer, you may need to re-install Emerald for printing to work
> again. All of the reports distributed with Emerald are also version 6.0
> reports. New Security Model
> The security model has been completely changed from the Emerald remote
> layout. The new model allows for each operator to be in an Operator
> Group, and then for you to specify permissions per operator group. This
> is based on a new set of views to increase security.
> Create Database Enhanced
> The Create Database section has been greatly enhanced to check the
> validity of the information entered before starting. This includes
> making sure the information entered does not conflict with a current
> object in the database.
> Calls Table Modifications
> The calls table has been modified to include three new fields, ServerID
> (matches ServerID in the Servers table), AccountID (matched AccountID in
> the SubAccounts table), and Status (set to NULL initially, and 99 when
> the record has been processed by the consolidation procedure).
> Scheduled Tasks
> Several scheduled tasks are now included in the insttask.sql script.
> This script is not installed by default or by the update procedure. When
> creating the Emerald database, you can check the "Install Tasks" to have
> the tasks installed (only if the database name is "Emerald").
> Two of the main functions of the scheduled tasks are to update the new
> ServerID and AccountID fields in the Calls table. These are scheduled
> for the night. If you calls table has a lot of records, you may want to
> manually command in those tasks before scheduling them. Other tasks
> include a weekly Check Database, and two tasks to delete start records
> from the Calls table and trim out old records from your RadLogs table.
> Consolidation Procedure
> The Consolidation procedure has changed completely. Rather than trying
> to do all the users in one query (which required a large tempdb), the
> consolidation does one user at a time. The consolidation does not delete
> the records anymore either. It simply marks them as already been
> processed. You can use the new database maintenance feature to delete
> the records at a later time.
> While the consolidation is running, you will see a progress bar, status
> information about the current user being consolidated, the total number
> of users to be consolidated, and the number of call records processed so
> far. There is also a stop button to stop the consolidation. Stopping the
> consolidation will not cause any problems, since it marks the processed
> records as it goes (allowing the next run to pick up where it left off
> from). Running the consolidation should not cause any problems with
> RadiusNT either (authentication or accounting).
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 4. RadiusNT
> Emerald 2.5 fully supports all features of RadiusNT 2.5. If you have
> RadiusNT 2.5.124 already installed, there should be no problems
> encountered after the upgrade.
> A new version of RadiusNT (2.5.200) is included in the Emerald 2.5
> archive that adds several new features, which are listed in the next
> section. If you encounter any problems with RadiusNT 2.5.200, please
> revert back to using RadiusNT 2.2.124.
> RADIUS Vendor Specific Attribute Support for RadiusNT
> Vendor Specific Attribute (VSA) support has been added to the Emerald
> Admin to add Vendors, VSAs, and VSAs to the Service Type Defaults and
> user specific attributes. Caller-ID and ConnectInfo now shows in Calls
> Online
> The Calls Online view will now include the Caller-ID and ConnectInfo
> RADIUS attributes, if the NAS sends those attributes in Accounting
> requests. Defaults for several RadiusNT Fields
> Defaults have been added to several of the Calls table fields to support
> those clients that do not send the required fields in Accounting
> requests. One example of this is Lucent ComOS 3.8, which sends admin
> Accounting requests without a NAS-Port attribute. SNMP Support for
> RadiusNT
> When editing a Server and Server Port you can specify optional SNMP
> settings. RadiusNT uses these for SNMP concurrency checking. DNIS call
> restrictions per Account Types
> You can define a DNIS group, which includes a set of DNIS numbers. If
> you specify a DNIS group for an Account Type, any service of that
> Account Type can only call from one of those DNIS numbers. Server and
> SNMP Type tracked per RADIUS server
> The server type for each RADIUS server is now tracked. These are used
> for re-porting the server and allowing RadiusNT to properly handle the
> SNMP concurrency control.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 5. RadiusNT 2.5.200 Features
> RadiusNT 2.2.200 includes several new features to improve performance.
> Not all of these features have been fully regression tested, so please
> test this new version carefully before putting it into production. Smart
> Caching
> Smart Caching allows RadiusNT to cache information from the database so
> that it does not have to do a lookup each time. This can greatly improve
> the authentication performance of RadiusNT while lightening the burden
> on SQL Server as well. Accounting Queuing
> When RadiusNT is receiving a large number of accounting requests in a
> short amount of time, it may queue the accounting requests to improve
> speed. It will then send all of the accounting requests to the database
> when it either reaches the maximum number of records allowed to queue,
> or when the requests slow down.
> RadLogs CallerID
> If CallerID is sent to RadiusNT in the Authentication request and the
> Authentication Request fails, RadiusNT will include the CallerID in the
> RadLogs entry. The RadLogs table must have the CallerID field whether
> the NAS sends CallerID or not.
> Multiple ODBC DSNs Supported
> RadiusNT can now use multiple ODBC connections, in a fail over
> configuration. Although this is not a supported configuration by the
> RadiusNT Admin, you can specify multiple ODBC DSNs in the ODBCDataSource
> registry entry, space delimited. The preference of use is indicated by
> the order of the entries. The first one will always be used unless it is
> not available. Otherwise RadiusNT will try the next one until a good
> connection is found.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 6. Upgrading Overview
> Emerald 2.5 is backward compatible with 2.1/2.2 in the sense that 2.1
> clients should still function. However, they will NOT be able to take
> advantage of the additional billing options. Once you have started
> billing with 2.5, we do not guarantee that you can go back to billing
> with pre 2.5. There are several new fields that need to be taken into
> account which pre 2.5 does not know about.
> You should also carefully look at your customer configuration if you
> change your billing from renewal to balance forward. The main problem is
> with the balance field. This field usually is not correct and will cause
> errant invoices for customers the first time you billing with Emerald
> 2.5.
> Database Upgrade Assistance Service
> IEA Software is offering a database upgrade assistance service for those
> customers who do not feel comfortable with upgrading their database or
> want help. If you are interested in this service, please contact IEA
> Software sales to arrange a time for this. The service is available for
> a nominal fee.
> Copying your database
> Before doing anything, create a copy of your database to test against.
> Do not just try and upgrade your production database without first
> testing the upgrade on a copy. You should always have a backup of your
> Emerald database as well.
> The following procedure is the same whether you are creating a second
> database on the same SQL Server or on another SQL Server. The only
> difference is that during the transfer stage you will pick the second
> SQL server rather than the same one.
> 1. Run SQL Enterprise manager and Connect to your SQL Server.
> 2. Select Manager...Database Devices from the pull down menu and click
> the new database device button (the first one on the tool bar).
> 3. For the name of the new Database device, call it Emerald25. The
> location should be where you typically store your SQL database device
> files (like d:\mssql\data or where ever you have enough disk space).
> Remember this, because when you eventually delete the database and
> device, you will have to remove the file itself manually.
> The size of the database device should be larger than the size of the
> currently used portion of your Emerald database, although it doesn't
> have to be the same size of what is allocated for the database. You can
> find this out by double-clicking your emerald database and subtracting
> the used from the total size). Give yourself a few extra megabytes for
> breathing room.
> 4. Once the device is created, close the database device box, and select
> "Manage...Databases" from the pull down menu and click the new Database
> button (the first one on the toolbar).
> 5. For the name enter Emerald25. For the database device, select the
> Emerald25 database device you create in step 3. The size should be the
> full amount of the database device.
> 6. Click the "create now" button. Once the database is created, double
> click the bar of the database to bring up the edit database window. On
> the options tab, check Select/Into bulk copy, no checkpoint on recovery,
> and truncate log on checkpoint and click ok.
> 7. Now that you have your test database created, you need to copy your
> production database to it. Close the Manage Database window, and choose
> the Tools...Database/Object transfer option.
> 8. When the transfer window opens, make sure the source server is your
> current SQL Server and the source database is your current Emerald
> database. The destination server should be your current SQL Server also,
> unless you are transferring to another server (in which case it should
> be the new server). If the other server isn't listed, click the new
> destination button and register it. The Destination database should be
> the database you created above.
> 9. Once you have the settings correct, select the "Start Transfer"
> button. You will see the progress of the transfer. When the transfer is
> completed, you may receive a message noting there were errors. If so,
> you can click the View Logs button to see the errors. Most likely the
> errors are with the ServerAccess table, which is not real problem
> (remember above we recommended dropping it).
> Upgrading your Database
> The Emerald Admin includes a new feature to automatically upgrade your
> database. This is basically just an automated version of the manual
> steps listed below. The Emerald Admin includes a new section in the
> Database pull down menu called maintenance. This is where you can run a
> check on your database, update your database, or clear out old records.
> The first thing you should do after making a backup of your database,
> and before doing any of the upgrade steps, is to run the check database
> option in the Emerald Admin. This will run the SQL Server Database
> Consistency Checker to make sure there are no problems with your
> database before the upgrade.
> Once you have run the Check Database option, you can run the upgrade
> option. You should make sure that no one else is accessing the database
> when the upgrade is running. The upgrade can takes from several minutes
> on small systems to over an hour on larger systems.
> Manually Upgrading your Database
> These steps outline what is necessary to update your database, if you do
> not use the update option in the Emerald Admin. If you have done custom
> modifications to your database, you should look through the dropold.sql
> and updttabs.sql scripts very carefully.
> 1. Drop the tables listed at the top of the dropold.sql script. These
> include a couple of tables that are no longer used and several others
> that have either been replaced or had problems.
> 2. Drop your Consolidation and DeleteCalls stores procedures. Both have
> changed (even from the original 2.5 scripts sent to people) and needs to
> be updated or consolidation will fail.
> 3. Run the insttabs.sql, updttabs.sql, codetabs.sql, instproc.sql and
> instview.sql scripts in isql_w (or the SQL EM query tool). See below for
> a description of the changes in these scripts. All of the scripts have
> been enhanced to only change the database as needed.
> 4. You will need to apply permissions to the new objects. If you have a
> generic setup, run the instperm.sql script. Otherwise use SQL EM and
> edit the group permissions for the different groups. Several new groups
> have been added in the instperm.sql script for the new security model as
> well.
> Upgrade Scripts
> The main portion of the upgrade is handled via the same scripts that
> create the Emerald database. The scripts have been heavily modified to
> prevent most problems that might occur with running them against 2.1,
> 2.2 or beta 2.5 database.
> insttabs.sql
> This is the normal script that comes with Emerald to create the tables
> in the database. Running this script on an earlier database will cause
> any missing tables to be added.
> Before running this script, you should check several tables. If these
> tables exist, drop them. They are old and have been replaced:
> - RadRoams - RadRoamServers
> There is a secondary script (not part of the main update) for updating
> the RadiusNT tables from Emerald 2.2 and lower to work with RadiusNT
> 2.5's Vendor Specific Attribute support. If you will not be using VSA
> support, you do not need to run the additional script.
> The ServerAccess Table has changed, with a new primary key. It is
> strongly recommended that you drop your current ServerAccess table and
> allow this script to re-create it.
> When this script is run, you may receive errors concerning "object
> already exists in the database". Those can be safely ignored. Any other
> error needs to be noted and corrected, as it will cause problems in
> other steps. The scripts must be ran in the order listed, or they will
> not work correctly.
> updttabs.sql
> This is the update script to add missing fields to existing tables. You
> MUST run insttabs.sql first, since some fields that will be added are
> dependent upon new tables to be added first.
> This script will also update data in a couple of tables to correct
> database consistency issues. You should look over this script before
> running it if you have made any changes to your database structure
> outside of Emerald.
> codetabs.sql
> This is the update script that populates all the tables in the database
> with default information. It will not re-populate tables that already
> have data in them.
> instproc.sql
> This is the normal script that comes with Emerald to create the stored
> procedures. Running this script on an earlier database will cause any
> missing tables to be added.
> You must drop your Consolidation and DeleteCalls procedure so that the
> new one in this script can be installed. The Consolidation script for
> 2.2 and lower is not compatible with Emerald 2.5.
> instview.sql
> This is the normal script that comes with Emerald to create the security
> views. Running this script on an earlier database will cause any missing
> views to be added.
> instperm.sql
> This is the normal script that comes with Emerald to set permissions on
> the objects. Since new tables and procedures where added to your
> database, you should re-run this script to set permissions correctly. If
> you have changed permissions on your database to be other than the
> default layout (Emerald group) you may need to manually update the
> permissions.
> insttrig.sql
> This is the normal script that comes with Emerald to add a trigger to
> the calls table. It is recommended that you drop the trigger on your
> calls table and re-create it with the one in this file.
> For more information about this list, including removal,
> please see