Occasional Syncing Problem in b26

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are experiencing “occasional” syncing problems. We have struggled with this for more than a week, but have not been able to replicate the problem with any reliability. I wanted to be able to replicate the problem before making this post, but thought that someone else may have some ideas. A brief description: We discover that a client is out of sync. In the last instance which occurred this morning, a date on a specific record was older on a client compared to the same record on my computer. After the client synchronized, the date was still wrong. However, when the client downloaded all data from the server, the date on the client was corrected. After performing the download data command, the computers remained in sync through various changes and subsequent syncing on both computers. We will continue to see if we can solve this.

I see this behavior all the time. Also, clients are reporting that sometimes when they enter data, it disappears. When they tell me about specific instances, sometimes downloading data will bring it back; sometimes it doesn’t.

A moment ago I made a change in a database. Another client synchronized the database but did not get the change. The client then quit Panorama and restarted. Again he did not receive the change. Finally he downloaded all data, and was then able to finally see the change.

As I described in the classes in 2021, Panorama X has extensive logging that can be enabled to help diagnose what is going on inside Panorama. On the server, enabling just three checkboxes would record detailed information about the problem you are describing:

  • Data Synchronization
  • Add, Modify & Delete Records
  • Individual Record Detail

Here is a screenshot showing these options enabled:

Please review the video courses Panorama X Server Deep Dive Parts 1 & 2 where I demonstrate editing and synchronization, and show exactly what the logs look like for these operations. The log will provide a history of each individual record as it is added, modified and synchronized. If any step in the process is failing, hopefully this detailed history can provide a clue as to exactly where in the process the problem is occurring. You would need to run the logging all the time, then if you think there is a problem as described above, review the logs to find where the record was modified, and then where it was synchronized.

If the server logs seem to indicate that the server is properly synchronizing the record in question, then the problem must be on the client end. In that case, it’s possible to enable logging of the internal operation of synchronization using the Instrumentation preference panel on the client:

Of course there is more to setting this up that just a single checkbox, please watch the Debug Instrumentation video, or consult the documentation:

I’m sorry you need to do this extra work. Unfortunately, using beta software doesn’t just mean you get to use software earlier than you otherwise would, there is also the possibility of encountering teething problems and needing to assist in tracking those down. Beta testing isn’t for everyone. Panorama X Server is extremely complex so the beta period has been extensive. The beta period of Panorama 5.5 Server was also quite lengthly. With your assistance hopefully we will overcome the remaining issues with this new client/server software.

Thanks Jim. I’m grateful to you for making the beta software available. One of my clients is moving their entire operation and the ability to get their files converted, shared and tested has literally saved their bacon. I haven been too busy just getting all of this going so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to track down all these anomalies. I thought it would be helpful to let you know the kind of problems people are encountering.

Jim, much thanks for the feedback and help tips. We also appreciate the opportunity to be a beta tester. The big advantage of me being a beta tester is that we are using Panorama in a real world environment, albeit with only four users, where Panorama is stretched and stressed almost to it limits or at least the limits of its users. On the other hand, a big disadvantage of me being a beta tester is that we are extremely limited in time as we are trying to keep our business going from one hour to the next. That being said, we have made good money over the years using Panorama as a critical component of our business, and we look forward to more success in the future. We will do our best to implement your suggestions as soon as we can and will report back with any progress and positive feedback. We also appreciate quick feedback from you and others as problems are solved.