Learn how to setup your Point of View Web Thin Client in a few short videos.
In this video we'll test the app locally using the PC's Network Interface Card (NIC), then test the app remotely
all using the NTWebServer.
In the previous video we validated the Point of View project by doing a simple loopback with no hardware to get in the way. In this video we’ll add the PC’s Network Interface Card into the loop to verify we can access the project using the local hardware, still using the NTWebServer we used in the last video. Once we have that working, is there any reason we can’t access this Point of View app remotely using the NTWebServer? No, not at all, so we’ll go ahead and do that too… BUT, beware this is only to get us up and running quickly for testing. You DON’T want to use the NTWebServer in your final app because it doesn’t support all of Point of View’s features and most importantly, it is not secure. You would be exposing your system to all kinds of threats. In the last video of this series we’ll show you how to setup the Microsoft IIS server which is recommended for use with Point of View. To do all of this we’ll need to know the IP Address of this PC. We could go to the command prompt, do an IPCONFIG and read the IP address there. But instead, we’re going to use a Point of View function to get that IP address just to show you another one of Point of Views powerul features. If your project is still running from the last video, go ahead and stop it. Open the main screen, add a text box like this and double click to get the properties. Click this button to get the tag database. In here we have the project tags, the system tags and we have the function list. This is a fantastic feature of the Point of View software. There are tons of functions built in for you to use. Math, statistics, date and time, windows control, graphics, etc. We want the System Functions, so I’ll double click on that. In this group you can find the path to your app, cursor location, screen resolution, MAC ID, Computer Name, etc. We want the Computers IP address so we select this one. This doesn’t have to be a tag by itself – it can be an expression. So let’s add some text with an open quote, Computer IP colon, space, end quote and a plus sign – that concatenates the text ad the result returned by the function. Make sure you disable this Input Enabled box. This isn’t a text box that expects user input we’re just displaying a text result. Close that and run the app and sure enough we get the computers IP Address. So take a look at this huge list of functions. There are lots of things there that can make your life more easy. Ok, given the Computers IP address, we only need to do ONE thing: Under the project tab, click on the WEB icon and put that IP address here in place of the loopback address we had before. Everything else should already be set from the previous video, so just hit OK. And remember, any time you do anything in the WEB dialog – we changed the IP address - make sure you go to the home tab and hit VERIFY – it verifies the project, but it also creates all the associations needed to link the new IP address to the HTML files. And of course, since we changed the screen, we need to go to the point of view button, hit publish, save all as html, to update those html files with the changes we made. So all we did was get the computers IP address, and change the IP Address of the server. Well, let’s try it. Make sure the NTWebserver is still running and hit the RUN button. If we bring up Internet Explorer and point it to the new IP address, we get the expected result. We can view and control the app ”remotely” via the browser. Perfect. But we’re still on the local PC. Let’s do the same thing but from a real live remote PC. Before we do that, there’s one thing we need to do on the Remote Client PC before we can point the browser to our app. A lot of the graphics and controls are stored locally on the client PC. That way the Server can simply command the client to display a certain graphic, rather than have to transfer the entire graphic each and every time. That makes the client a lot more responsive. To set that up, you just go to the Point of View installation on the runtime PC and in the BIN folder you’ll find an executable called ThinClientSetup. Get a copy of that and put it on the client PC and run it. Great, we changed the IP address of the Runtime app and we setup the thin client on the remote PC. Now we can point the remote PC’s browser to the app, and uh oh … what happened? We’ll I only have ONE thin client license on this setup, and since I have a client running on the local runtime machine I can’t open another client remotely. So let’s close that local runtime client to free up that license, and refresh the remote client and just like that – we are now monitoring and controlling the app on a true remote PC. So all we really did on this video was to change the IP address of the server and setup the thin client. Easy. In the next video, we’ll setup the Microsoft IIS Server and do it all again. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call AutomationDirect’s free award winning tech support during regular business hours. They will be happy to help you. And don’t forget the forums – there are lots of folks there that love to share their years of experience. Just don’t post any support questions there – AutomationDirect’s support staff doesn’t monitor the forums on a regular basis.