CMS Pro Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Note: Unless otherwise noted, the FAQ information provided in this document applies to CMS Pro for ToolBook 6.5 and ToolBook 7.1 (both Assistant and Instructor).

Can I manage non-ToolBook courseware in CMS Pro?
The CMS product line is designed to work hand in glove with courses developed using ToolBook. When the ToolBook courses are running, they are directly linked to CMS to gain operational benefits. As a result, the scoring and recording of evaluations and detail logging are seamless, as are course assignment and results tracking.

The CMS Pro product does have the capability to manage both ToolBook and non-ToolBook courses and course modules. For example, you may have a course of several modules and some of the modules are ToolBook-based and the others are in other file formats such as PowerPoint, Word, PDF, or HTML. CMS Pro will guide students through those various modules, launching the application associated with the file when necessary and recording that the file was or was not completed. This is a powerful feature for increasing the flexibility the trainer has for material presentation.

The one limitation is that there is no built in way to gather evaluation results from non-ToolBook modules to post to the student records in CMS. This is because the integration that exists between CMS Pro and ToolBook course modules does not exist for other types of course modules.

Does CMS Pro itself consist of ToolBook books?
Yes. Most functionality in CMS Pro is provided by ToolBook books, written with the OpenScript programming language. The exception is the reporting system, which is provided by a third-party product named R&R Report Writer.

How many users can simultaneously run CMS Pro?
CMS Pro is designed to handle approximately 30 students who are actively using the Student Access application. We do not recommend extensive use of the Administration application while several students are logging in and taking courses as performance may be adversely effected. A dBase IV ODBC driver manages read/write access to the database files. CMS Pro adds addition functionality in its OpenScript code to help with performance and minimize network conflicts.

How many users (students) can I manage in CMS Pro?
Although we have not imposed a fixed limit to the number of users you can add to the CMS Pro database, the upper limit depends on your system and network performance. Most CMS Pro customers successfully manage up to 2000 users.

Note: The CMS Pro CS version has much higher capacity and higher speed. This version uses Microsoft SQL Server or PostGreSQL as the back-end database and Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) as the client-side data query mechanism. This combination will provide you with the ability to maintain over 100,000 users. Please see the Product Comparison sheet for more details.

What kind of support is provided/available? Are there any additional costs involved?
Included in the price for CMS Pro is 90-days of email-based technical support. We typically respond to inquiries within one business day. After 90 days, contact us to extend this support period for an additional fee. We also provide custom development and consulting upon request.

Does CMS Pro run on Windows 95/98? Windows 2000 & XP?
Your client machines and database server (which can also be a client machine on a peer-to-peer network) can be any combination of these versions of Windows. In addition, since ToolBook is still essentially a 16-bit application and CMS Pro is written in ToolBook, you can also run CMS Pro under Windows 3.1.

Note: If you have read on the click2learn.com (Asymetrix) Web site about a problem with the CMS running on a version of Windows, that information pertains to CMS Plus only. CMS Plus (an earlier version of the CMS product, which is still available for single-user and peer-to-peer LANs) does not work properly under some Windows configurations. The reason is due to the use of the Paradox Engine. CMS Pro, on the other hand, uses ODBC to read/write to dBase IV database files and thus does not share the limitations of CMS Plus.

If I have special course management needs where I require custom programming, is Vision Infosystems available to help?
Yes. In addition to producing and enhancing the CMS product line, we also provide custom development services. Examples of custom programming we've provided for other clients include addition of database columns, data import and conversion utilities, and changes to the user interface.

Is the OpenScript source code available for CMS Pro?
Yes. Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining the fully scripted version of the product. There is an additional cost for the source code and you must agree to a special distribution license.

How does CMS Pro provide data and screen access security?
First, each user of the Administration and Student applications must provide a login and a password to gain access. The exception to this is for users of the Student application who login as a "Guest"; the system allows guest users to launch only courses designated as open-enrollment.

When you first build the CMS Pro database files, a "superuser" account is provided. Once logged-in, this superuser is able to create other users and students. For each user added, the superuser can establish privileges for the user. See the CMS User Guide for more information about the privilege levels.

What database file format does CMS Pro use to maintain records?
CMS Pro uses the dBase IV database file format. This file format provides the capability for multiple users to simultaneously read from and write to the database files. dBase data is accessible with several third-party applications, such as Microsoft Access. However, you do not need a separate database management product to use CMS Pro.

If you are upgrading from CMS Plus (which uses the Paradox file format) then you will want to use the conversion program that we provide (Plus2Pro.tbk)that converts the database format from Paradox to dBase IV.

Can I create my own reports? What product is needed?
CMS Pro uses R&R Report Writer (SQL Edition, version 6.5) from Liveware Publishing, Inc. You may purchase this R&R from the manufacturer or third-party software outlets and create your own reports or modify the reports we provide. Once you have created or modified reports, you can make the reports available from one or more screens within CMS Pro.

Is there a version of CMS Pro that uses Microsoft SQL Server in place of dBase or Paradox for database management?
In 2000, we released a version of CMS Pro (called CMS Pro CS) that uses Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 or later, or PostGreSQL as the server database. This version of the CMS is designed for ToolBook 7.2, 8.1 and 8.5/8.6 since it utilizes the OLE Automation capabilities in these versions of ToolBook. Please see the Product Comparison sheet for more details.

What is the basic process for creating courses and assigning courses to students?
- Start a new ToolBook book or open an existing course book.
- At Author level, open the CMS Pro Catalog (cmspro.wbk) and add necessary objects to your course book. For example, you can add buttons to navigate to the next and previous module in a multi-book course. You might also want to add the "Return to CMS" and "Mark as Completed" buttons on the last page of the last course module. See the CMS Pro User Guide for more information regarding the CMS Pro Catalog objects.
- Open the CMS Pro Administration application (admin.exe).
- Select Courses from the main menu and proceed to add the course and its modules to New Course screen.
- Return to the main menu and choose Assignments. Proceed to assign the course to one or more students or student groups.

How can I make a backup of my database file? How do I restore a backup?
The CMS Pro database consists of several individual files, which typically reside in a directory accessible on a network. You should make a backup of all files in the directory. All connections to the database files must be terminated before a successful backup can be performed. To be sure no users are connected to the database files, be sure users shut-down the admin.exe and student.exe applications. To restore a backup, copy all backup files to the same directory where they were backed-up.

For dBase: The files use the following extensions: dbf, dbt, and mdx.

For Paradox: The files use extensions such as db, mb, px, x01, y01, and others.

Does CMS Pro support books running under the Neuron runtime version of ToolBook? How about books exported as HTML or DHTML?
Neuron provides the ability to run native ToolBook applications in a browser over the Web. However, books running under Neuron cannot write to remote file locations, and thus cannot communicate with CMS Pro to read from or update the database files.

Likewise, books exported from ToolBook as HTML or DHTML do not provide the necessary mechanisms to connect to external Windows libraries (DLLs) and therefore will not work with CMS Pro.

Why are the scripts unavailable in the Administration module in CMS Pro?
We offer a separate, fully-scripted, version of CMS Pro for those customers who wish to modify the source code in the Administration application. For most customers, CMS Pro provides the capabilities needed to manage their courseware distribution and tracking. Also, CMS Pro utilizes a third-party grid control (Spread20.vbx from FarPoint Technologies) to display various information in rows and columns with the Administration module. Thus, a customer who wishes to modify the source code in the Administration module must have a separate license to save changes to a modified version of the admin.exe file.

While authoring a course book, I select the "Mark as Completed (Conditional)" button, but the Extended Properties button does not become enabled. How can I get it to enable?
The Mark as Completed (Conditional) button, which is located in the CMS Pro Catalog (cmspro.wbk) requires that a file named cmscomp.spb be in the same directory as cmspro.wbk. In addition, we recommend that you copy all of the catalog-related files provided in CMS Pro to the same directory where the ToolBook catalog files reside. Otherwise, ToolBook may lose track of where the cmscomp.spb file resides and will be unable to enable the Extended Properties button. The reason for this is that ToolBook assumes that all of your catalog-related files are in one directory. Thus, when you open a catalog, it writes the catalog directory to an .ini file and expects to find the .spb files in that same directory. As a result, if you add an object from the CMS Pro catalog to your book and then add open a different catalog in a different directory, the .ini entry is now set to a directory that is different than the one where cmscomp.spb resides. That explains why the Extended Properties button does not become enabled when you highlight the Mark as Completed (Conditional) button -- because ToolBook no longer knows where to locate the file.

Which question "widgets" can I use in my course modules to maintain compatibility with CMS Pro?
CMS Pro supports all of the question widgets in the ToolBook catalog, including multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in, match items, and all others. The only requirement is that you enable scoring (using the ToolBook Extended Properties editor for the questions) for the questions you wish to be tallied in the score and maximum score that is sent to CMS Pro.

Can I administer CMS Pro from a remote site, from a system not directly connected to the network?
Yes. Through the use of Symantec's PC Anywhere or similar product, you can connect to any client machine where the CMS Pro Administration application is installed, launch the program, and perform administration duties from your remote location. This allows you, for instance, to manage several CMS Pro databases (each of which requires a separate licence) to distribute courses, collect activity data, etc.

What happened to tb60c.sbk? My courseware requires this system book but I can't find it.
Tb60c.sbk is a ToolBook system book that is required by CMS Plus, but not CMS Pro. In CMS Pro, we moved all functionality provided in tb60c.sbk to a new system book named cmspro.sbk. All functionality in the original system book is now in cmspro.sbk. However, some customers wrote special code in their course books to determine whether the book was running in the CMS by checking the sysBooks property for the existence of tb60c.sbk. Our recommendation is to create a blank tb60c.sbk and bind it to cmspro.sbk. This will make tb60c.sbk available if cmspro.sbk is loaded, which is the case when a user launches a course book from the Student Access application.

I'm upgrading from CMS Plus to CMS Pro. How do I convert my data to the new database format?
Download Plus2Pro.tbk from the Downloads section of this site, open it in ToolBook, and fill-in the necessary details about the source and destination database files. When the utility complete the conversion, your data will be accessible with CMS Pro.

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