Captools/net Documentation

Program Structure

Program Structure

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Program Structure

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As noted in the Introduction chapter, Captools/net employs "client/server" software technology.  This technology uses more than one software program, which typically (except for single user versions of Captools/net) run on more than one computer, to facilitate support of multiple users.  In the case of Captools/net, the following programs, identified by computer on which they operate, produce Captools/net's functionality (please refer to diagram below):



User's Desktop Computer        


Captools/net Desktop - An MS-Windows based application, running on the end user's computer, which enables each user to view and edit Captools/net data which belongs to him or her, and to access and initiate various Captools/net functions such as reporting, data downloads and imports.  The Captools/net program file is "CaptoolsNet.exe".  For brevity we may refer to this program as "CT/net"


Web Browser - This is used to provide an end-user interface for all Captools/net functions which do not require the Captools/net desktop program.  The browser is used simply as a user interface, all of the functions initiated from the browser actually are performed by the servers applications.  The browser will be launched from the Captools/net Desktop application in response to user selection of menu commands which require browser support.  The browser can also be launched by a user independent from the desktop program and be used to log into the Captools/net homepage from which many Captools/net functions can be controlled. We have designed Captools/net to work with the MS Internet Explorer browser since it is available on MS Windows based computers.


Color - Both the "Captools/net Desktop" and "Web Browser" user interfaces employ a lot of color in their design, in contrast with some applications which stick to various shades of gray.  We feel that the color can give the user a visual cue as to where they are in the program. The color also is useful in providing support to  users, by permitting reference to various parts of the program by color.


Server Computer


Captools/net Server - This ".exe" service application acts as the "middleware" between the Captools/net SQL database and the Captools/net Desktop program.  CTserver maintains a communications link with each instance of an end user running the Captools/net desktop.  CTserver responds to the CTnet desktop requests for data by fetching the data from the database and sending it on to the CTnet desktop program.  It also receives data back from the CTnet desktop that has been changed by the user and updates the database.  CTServer is a multi-threaded application, permitting multiple instances of tasks to run simultaneously.  CTServer is a "Service" application which is launched whenever the MS-Windows operating system starts up, and should run continuously unless the server computer is shut down.


Captools/net Tasker - This ".exe" service application executes various Captools/net functions such as quote downloads, imports, valuations and reports, depending upon the level of Captools/net that you are operating.  Many of these tasks can be either scheduled tasks which perform automatically at the scheduled time, or they can be "on-demand" task, meaning that an end user has requested the task be performed immediately.  CTTasker also employs "multi-threaded" technology.  CTTasker is also a "Service" application which is launched whenever the MS-Windows operating system starts up, and should run continuously unless the server computer is shut down.

Captools/net Server Control Panel - This ".exe" application runs on the Captools/net Server computer, and acts as a "Control Panel" for the system data administrator.  It is used to perform high level, but infrequently occurring server tasks, such as data conversion, or set infrequently modified parameters such as backup and update parameters.  It is also used to install Captools/net licensing key codes and can be used to monitor currently logged in users from the server computer.


Captools/net "Browser Based" Applications - The Captools/net server holds a number of "DLL" applications which are triggered by end users' web browser requests.  These DLL applications serve up the HTML pages which act as the end-user's web browser based user interface (see above) for controlling many of the Captools/net functions performed by the CTTasker and CTServer applications.  These interfaces are collectively accessible via a single HTML page which we call the Captools/net "Home" page.


Microsoft SQL Database Engine - Depending upon program level, this is either the MS SQL Server Express Engine or higher level MS_SQL Server residing upon your Captools/net server computer (higher level versions of MS SQL Server require a licensing fee with Microsoft).


Optional Additions - For installations in which the Captools/net Desktop will use the internet (as opposed to local area network or VPN) to access the Captools/net Server, you will need a Server SSL Certificate assigned  to the Server (and optionally a registered domain name) and a fixed IP address assigned to the internet modem with appropriate modem configurations (please see the topic Remote Desktop Access).  Users who intend to leave the Captools/net Desktop on the Server and access the Captools/net Server via Windows Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) will need to get a Microsoft Windows Terminal Server license covering the number of users who will be accessing the server.  We recommend that a qualified network specialist be consulted regarding security if you intend to access your Captools/net Server via the internet.