VXLS - Installation instructions

1. Audience 

2. Prerequisites
3. What is VinceExcel Background-Service?
4. Installation
5. Configuration
6. Encryption of configurations – best practice
7. Finding log-information

Audience

This document is a guide for technical people that will install the Background-Service on a server or on their own pc, and people that will configure VinceExcel-functions on the server after the product has been installed.

Prerequisites

The person installing the Background-Service is assumed to have detailed knowledge abouth Windows Services and how to interface to your mail-server.The person configuring the VE-functions for the Background-Service is assumed to have detailed knowledge about VinceExcel-configurations.

What is VinceExcel Background-Service?

VE Background-Service is installed on a computer as a Windows Service.It can run VE-functions the same way as the normal VE-client does, except that it does not have a user-interface.You drop a spreadsheet in the defined Input-folder (or one of its subfolders), the Background-Service will pick up the spreadsheet, run the defined function and send you an email with the result when it is finished.(The result is also archived in an archive-folder).

Installation

The Background-Service may be installed on any Windows-computer with network-access to M3 (typically it is installed on a server, but it can also be used on a laptop for a super-user).
Run the VinceExcelService.msi.
Press Next until you get a question about login-information for the user.
Specify userid on the format Computername\Userid for a user that is allowed to run services on this computer:

Press OK and you will get a configuration-screen where you specify the input-folder where the Service will look for spreadsheets to process.
Specify a root-folder (e.g. C:\VinceExcelService) where the Background-Service will look for configurations and spreadsheets to process.
The Service will automatically create 4 subfolders in the folder you specified:

  • Configuration – Create one subfolder for each VE-function where you store the XML-configuration for that function.
  • Input – Create one corresponding subfolder for each VE-function where you drop Spreadsheets to be processed.
  • Processing – The Service will temporarily move the spreadsheets to this folder while processing
  • Archive – After processing, the result of the spreadsheet will be stored here.


Configuration – Service-part of the VE-XML

We are assuming that you already know how to configure a VinceExcel-function, so we will here only discuss the parts specific to the VE Background-Service.
M3-Server
The Background-Service will choose the default environment from the XML-configuration (or the Server-definition if no Environment-section exists).
Right after the Environment-section, you should define a <ServiceConfig>-section where you specify parameters specifically for the Background-Service:

Logging
Optional information (the example above shows the default-settings if you do not specify anything).
See chapter on finding log-information below for more information.
MailServerSpecify settings to connect to your email-server (the example connects to GMail).
Values for Host, Port, EnableSSL, UseDefaultCredentials and Timeout are optional (the example above shows the default values).
MailTemplate
Here you specify From, To, Subject and Body for the mail.The mail will automatically include the Spreadsheet-result as an attachment.

Encryption of configurations – best practice

Since the server-configuration needs logon-info to the M3-server, it is recommended to encrypt the XML-configurations. This is easy to do with the VinceExcelEncrypt-utility. Recommended process is then:

  1. Keep a separate copy in a safe place of the "source" XML-files for the functions you run.These XML-files should be stored without any password-information.
  2. When you need to deploy a new function (or modify an existing), add password-info to the XML, create a .VEC file with the VinceExcelEncrypt-utility and place the .VEC file in the Configuration-folder.
  3. Remove password-information from the source XML-file and store it safely.


Finding log-information

All messages (according to the settings in the XML-configuration of the function) are sent to the Windows EventLog on the machine the BackGround-Service is running on.
Tip: For easier access, create your own view in the eventlog where you filter all messages sent by the VinceExcel Service: