Knowledgebase : Technical, Configuration and Devices > Hardware and Network

The Specialist Practice Manager (SPM) and Private Hospital Manager (PHM) applications require a Microsoft Windows platform to work on.  This means that the applications will work on Apple computers but only if they have a virtual partition that has Microsoft Windows installed on it.

The following document has general information relating to the minimum and reasonable specifications and configurations that are required to run Incisive applications on your network.  New hardware and technologies are always emerging so you should adjust the recommendations in the following document to allow for them.

Call the Incisive Helpdesk if you have any specific queries. 

Hardware recommendation for SPM/PHM

Because of the targeting of healthcare systems and the need to further protect the Incisive inCLOUD servers from unwanted intrusion, we have applied a restriction that requires your ISP to use the NZ range of IP addresses.  

If you are connecting from outside of NZ or are using an ISP that is providing you with a non-NZ IP address, you will either need to get the ISP to provide you with a static IP (which we will add to the white-list) of use a VPN with a server based in New Zealand.

The VPN we recommend is NordVPN.

  1. Go to https://nordvpn.com and choose the 'Get NordVPN' option


  2. Choose your plan


  3. Uncheck the optional extras (if you want to)


  4. Make payment and create your account
    You will be emailed your account connection details.

  5. Log in to your Dashboard and download the NordVPN client for the operating system you are using.


  6. When the NordVPN has installed and starts up, select New Zealand as the server location.

    You will see a new icon in your taskbar.


  7. When the VPN has connected, start the Incisive inCLOUD connection as usual.

Occasionally a message may appear when you go to start SPM saying that the database could not be found, or there is no database connection or perhaps even the message just says timeout-expired.

There are a number of problems that can cause this to occur.

  1. It is possible after a restart of a server, especially after a Windows update, that one of the SQL Server services has failed to restart and so cannot provide a connection to the Incisive application.

    Follow these steps
    a. On the server/computer where the SQL server is installed, open the SQL Configuration Manager application and check that the SQL Server Engine is running correctly.  If it has stopped you will need to use the option to Start the service.

    b. If you are using SQL Browser to allow the workstations to connect to the SQL Server database you will need to check that this service is running.

    We have seen that a service can become disabled and therefore will not start from within the SQL Server Configuration management tool.  If this is the case you will need to start up the Services snap-in (run services.msc) and set them to start Automatically.

    If you do not have a IT technician who is able to manage this please call the Incisive Helpdesk.

  2. The workstation may not be finding the DNS server and therefore can't resolve the Server\Instance name of the SQL database.  

    Change the DSN (ODBC) setting to use the IP & Port address of the SQL server.  Using a Port address will negate the need to use the Instance name.  Don't use IP\Instance name.

  3. If used, the SQL Browser service on the server may of stopped. 

    Use Services.msc on the server to restart the SQL Browser service.
    If this fails to start, configure the SQL Configuration on the server and also the local DSN settings to use a Port number e.g. 1433.  Configure Firewalls to allow port access

  4. Firewall on the server may be blocking port access.

    Turn off the Firewall on the server,  Test - if connection is successful enable access to Port 1433 TCP and Port 1434 UDP - retest after turning on the firewall.

  5. It's possible to have Classic SPM running ok, but Integrated SPM comes up with a connection error when trying to start.
    The ODBC settings can be correct, and a re-install of the application will not resolve the problem.

    Possible solution - Disable IPv6 in the Network settings of the workstation.

All path entered into Setup - System - File Locations must be either a UNC format (\\server\...) or a physical drive (C:\...)

You are not able to use a Mapped Drive (S:\...) as it is too dependant on the Operators network login also having the same mapped drive settings.

Many clients are experiencing issues with their function keys when trying to work remotely.  In most instances this is because there is an Fn key on the keyboard and this needs to be used in conjunction with the Function keys.
Below is a short article on what this key is, where to find it, and what it does.
Fn
 
Short for Function, Fn is a key found on most laptop keyboards and some desktop computer keyboards. The Fn key performs special functions, such as adjusting the screen's brightness and speaker volume.
Where is the Fn key found on the keyboard?
Laptop computers
On laptop computers, the Fn key is often located on the bottom-left side of the keyboard, next to the Ctrl key.
Apple desktop keyboards
 On full-sized Apple desktop computer keyboards, the Fn key is found to the right of the delete key, as seen in the picture. It is often labeled as fn, with a lowercase "f."
Other desktop computers
Most other full-sized desktop computers do not have an Fn key. For those desktop computer keyboards that do have an Fn key, it is often found around the spacebar.
How do I use the Fn key?
With most computer keyboards, the Fn key is used like other modifier keys (e.g., the Shift key). By pressing and holding the Fn key in conjunction with another key that has an Fn function, that function is performed.
Tip
On desktop computer keyboards with an Fn key that lights up when enabled, you need to make sure the key is enabled (illuminated) before pressing the corresponding function key. Once the key is illuminated, it no longer needs to be pressed, and each function is performed until the Fn key is disabled.
Why does the Fn key not work?
For the Fn key and the function key to work, it must be supported by the computer and device. For example, pressing the Fn key and the brightness key increases the brightness on the laptop screen and not an external monitor connected to a laptop. The same goes for special functions, such as opening a browser window, printer, and audio controls.

Tip
On desktop computer keyboards with an Fn key that lights up when enabled, you need to make sure the key is enabled (illuminated) before pressing the corresponding function key.
If the Fn key function worked in the past but no longer works now, there may be a problem with the computer drivers or hardware.  You will need to contact your IT technician to assist you with this.
Note, the Apple MacOS has an option to allow you to always use the Fn keys as standard Function keys.  Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > General and check on the option at the bottom.

If you are experiencing drop-offs or losing connections to your remote server there are several things you can try.

  1. If you are using a wireless connection try using an ethernet cable
  2. Turn off the power-down option on the wireless or ethernet card
  3. Change the connection details on the rdp connection

The following information relates to editing the rdp file.

There is a setting in the .rdp file that can improve the latency of the connection.  If you edit the rdp file with Notepad, find the line saying "ConnectionType" and change the value to a  3  so that the line will look like "ConnectionType:i:3". 

This value effectively tells the rdp connection to be more forgiving (better latency) if there is no response from your router or the remote server and to have more retries.

The RPC server is unavailable error means your Windows computer is having a problem with communication with other devices or machines through the network you use.

We suggest that your contact your hardware technician to get them to troubleshoot the issue.

Test

To test and produce a technical report of your Wireless network (wLAN) run the following command at an administrative COmmand Prompt: netsh wlan show wlanreport

Optimise

Use the article in the following article to check that the wi-fi connection from your laptop or device is optimally configured for the router you are connecting to.

It also has recommendations for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android & iOS systems

https://pixelprivacy.com/resources/best-wi-fi-channel

For Windows laptops, download and install 'WiFi Analyser' from Microsoft Store

For Mac laptops, press the Options key and click on the WiFi symbol in the top Titlebar then select 'Open WiFi Diagnostics'.

You can use Powershell command to check that you are able to get a connection to a server and a port.  Telnet can also be used but the Telnet Client is no longer installed by default.

This test is useful to determine whether a workstation is able to connect to a remote SQL Server and Port.  It can't test the port if you are using the SQL Browser application to browse Dynamic ports.

1. Start Powershell
2. Enter the following command:
           Test-NetConnection <URL, IP or server name> -port <port>
    e.g. Test-NetConnection  172.27.196.24  -port 1433