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Configure Connect Path to Eliminate Connection Issues

Friday, January 14, 2005

When setting the Advantage application's connect path, application developers should consider specifying the server's IP address (or DNS name) and port. Examples include:

Windows server:

<\\myserver:6262\share\data>
<\\1.2.3.4:6262\share\data>
<\\www.myserver.com:6262\share\data>

NetWare server:

<\\myserver:6262\volume\data>
<\\1.2.3.4:6262\volume\data>
<\\www.myserver.com:6262\volume\data>

Linux server with Samba: (note: samba shared dir must be directly off of the root dir)

<\\myserver:6262\SambaSharename>
<\\1.2.3.4:6262\SambaSharename>
<\\www.myserver.com:6262\SambaSharename>

Linux server without Samba: (note: data dir must be directly off of the root dir)

<\\myserver:6262\data>
<\\1.2.3.4:6262\data>
<\\www.myserver.com:6262\data>

Traditionally, application developers have specified a UNC path (<\\server\share\data> or <\\server\volume\data)> or a drive letter path (x:\data) in their client applications. This is the AdsConnection.ConnectPath property for Delphi, or the connection string's data source property for ADO and .NET.

Although these connect paths are still acceptable, this method relies on the Advantage discovery process to determine the IP address of the server referenced in the UNC path or that is mapped to the given drive letter. This discovery process is susceptible to failure due to faulty networks (e.g., name resolution issues and discovery packets blocked by routers). Common errors include 6420: Unable to discover the Advantage Database Server and 6060 Advantage Database Server not started/loaded on specified server. Additionally, the discovery process sends a multi-cast packet that may be detected by anti-virus (spy-ware detection) software; prompting users that a remote system is attempting to access their computer.

If the IP address (or server name) and port are included in the path, the discovery process is skipped and the client connects directly to the database server with the given IP address. This is faster and avoids potential connection issues. Also, specifying a publicly available IP address or a published DNS name will allow for remote internet connections. For applications that rely on drive letters, the full path that includes the IP address and port can be included in the ADS.INI file so that the discovery process can still be bypassed. The Advantage Database Server IP port can be configured in the ADS Configuration Utility. By default, the IP port is 6262.