In a typical Quasar setup you would have a server computer and one or more workstation computers. You could also have a separate database server. For single users or small stores though, you may want to run the database, server, and client all on one computer. The setup of each of these is described below and even though they are described separately, you may run them all on a single computer if you wish.
Much of the setup of Quasar can be accessed via this quasar_admin tool or the Server Admin option of the file menu in the Quasar Client. This dialog is used for both setup and for administration tasks. You use it to setup the database drivers so Quasar can use your databases, for creating and deleting companies, for updating company databases to a new version, and for doing backups and restores of companies. If you attempt to modify any values or perform any actions, you will be prompted for the ``Server Password''. The default password is ``admin''.
The server is the computer that runs the quasar server and is the main point that all clients connect to in order to get a list of companies you have created. It also makes connections to the database for the clients. When you installed the ``server'' Quasar package (or installed from source), the xinetd daemon was set up so that the quasard program is run when any users try to connect to the server to talk to Quasar. The quasard program is used as a centralized data service to the Quasar clients. It performs all database duties on behalf of the clients, handling data selection, inserts, updates, and deletes. It also gives lists of data such as company definitions, report definitions, etc. to the clients and allows the client to get the data from the server. This provides one central repository for Quasar reports so if you need to add a new report you can just install it on the server and it will show up on all the client systems.
The Quasar configuration files are stored in /opt/quasar/config. They are XML files and can be edited manually or through the Server Admin dialog. Usually all you will need to do with a new Quasar installation is setup the database driver and then create a new company. Once you get to that point, you can refer to the Users Guide to find out how to set up the new company for use.The Quasar server configuration is stored in the server.cfg file and you can set the values from the Server tab in the Server Admin dialog.
This read-only field shows which version of the Quasar server you have installed. The server, the client and the point-of-sale, all have to be the same version. Quasar Mobile can be set to match the appropriate version.
This read-only field shows which operating system the server is running.
This read-only field shows the number of clients currently connected to the server.
This read-only field shows the number of companies managed by the server.
Click on the "configure" button to configure the server settings.
Address to bind to. If left blank, the Quasar server will bind to all addresses. This can be used to bind the Quasar server to just one ethernet card in a system with multiple ethernet cards.
Port to run the Quasar server on. If left blank or set to 0, the Quasar server will run on its default port, 3599.
Sets the no-delay option for the socket connections to clients. This speeds up data transmission when small packets are sent and should normally be checked.
Set the keep-alive option for the socket connections to clients. This will send a packet to the client periodically to ensure that the network connection is still up. The exact timing of these packets is controlled by the following fields.
This is how long to wait to send a keep-alive packet after the last packet we received from the client. It is in seconds and it should not be set too low since this will create a lot of extra traffic on your network.
This is the count of how many packets further to send after we fail to get a reply from the client. This is used so that a single lost packet will not bring down the network connection but typically this value can be fairly low. 2 or 3 is a good value.
This is how long to wait before sending another keep-alive packet after we failed to get a response. This is in seconds and all the above values give a total time before a lost connection will be noticed by the server. The total time is the idle + (count * interval).
Directory that the Quasar server data files are found. There will be sub-directories in this directory for companies, reports, labels, etc.
You can specify a log file path. If left blank, the Quasar server will try to write its log file to /var/log/quasar.
Maximum number of objects to keep in the memory object cache. The objects in the memory cache are kept in least recently used order so if the cache gets filled, the least recently used objects will be removed first. A value of zero means there is no limit. This can cause the cache to continue to grow without bounds. The value to use here depends on how many objects you have in your database as well as how much memory your server has. Typically a value of 20,000 will work well.
This is the other way to control the growth of the memory cache of objects. It sets the longest time an object will remain in the cache without being used. It is in seconds and a zero value means there is no limit. Setting this value also impacts the amount of memory used by the server. We have found a value of 432,000 (5 days) is a good choice.
Time in seconds after the last client disconnects from a company database before the database is set to stopped. Stopping a database will stop the posting thread which means that there will no longer be any connections to the database. This will also clear the memory object cache for the company. A value of 30 or 60 seconds will allow time for a client to reconnect if they are just restarting without losing all the cached objects.
Size of the stack for each thread created in the Quasar server to handle a client connection. A value of 0 will use the system default stack size which is 8MB but at this size the Quasar server will be limited to handling around 350 clients. If the stack size is set lower, the Quasar server can handle many more clients.
Click on the "Change Password" button to change the server password.
Enter your new password.
Enter your new password again.
Click on the "Clear Cache" button to clear the cache.
Click on the "Shutdown" button to shut down the server for maintenance.
The Companies tab allows you to create a new company, back up or restore a database, import data into an existing company, or validate or delete a company. You can also update a company created with an older version of Quasar.
Click on the "New Company" button to create a new Quasar company.
If you have an existing backup that you wish to restore, you can click on the ``Restore Backup'' button. This will create a new company and restore all of the data. Quasar permits you to choose a different database driver when restoring the data if you wish. If you are unhappy with your choice of database servers, you may use this functionality to change your mind.
Click on the "Import" button to import data into the highlighted company. It is advisable to have a current backup of your database prior to importing data.
Good backup procedures are a key part of any business. Quasar allows you to back up a company database. Highlight the company that you wish to back up and click on the ``Backup'' button. This process may take a substantial amount of time depending on the size of your database. While the backup is proceeding, users will not be allowed to create or update data. You will also want to consult your database server's manual for information on how to perform regular backups.
Click on the "Update" button to update your Quasar version to the current version. We strongly urge backing up your database prior to updating it.
Click on the "Validate" button to validate the database. This checks every object (customers, invoices, employees, tender transfers, etc.) to ensure there are no invalid object. This is unnecessary unless you have updated your company from an old version.
Click on the "Delete" button to delete an obsolete company. Take extreme caution not to accidently delete a current company. This action is permanent
This tab shows the Quasar clients currently connected to the server and allows you to disconnect any of them. It lists the client's address, which company it is connected to, and the username used for the connection. .
Click on the "Disconnect" button to disconnect a current client.
The ``Drivers'' tab provides database configuration.
Click on the "Configure" button to configure the highlighted database.
The hostname should be the IP address or hostname of the computer that is running the PostgreSQL server. This allows you to run the database on a different computer than the Quasar server if desired, though for most people, running the database server on the same computer as the Quasar server will be fine. If you leave the hostname blank, PostgreSQL will use a unix-socket connection rather than a TCP/IP socket which will be faster for local connections. If you specify ``localhost'' or use another hostname, the PostgreSQL server must be configured to allow TCP/IP connections as mentioned earlier.
The port is the socket port to use for the server connection. The default and normal port that PostgreSQL's server runs on is 5432 and this will be used if the port in the postgresql.cfg is blank or zero. You should not need to change this.
The library is the full file path of the libpq.so library supplied by PostgreSQL for clients to access the database. If it is blank, Quasar will try to make a best guess, checking for likely names in /usr/lib, but it is best to specify the filename.
Enter the username you picked for DBA access.
Enter the password you gave to the DBA user.
Enter the username you picked for non-DBA access.
Enter the password you gave to the non-DBA user.
Enter the character set you want used when you create company databases. The default is UNICODE which should work with any type of text in the world but there is a small speed penalty to be paid for this and you may decide to instead use ISO8859_1 or some other character set that is a more exact match for your needs.
Now that the config files are setup, you should be able to use Quasar to create companies using PostgreSQL as the database type. If creating the company fails, the first thing to test is whether you can use the ``quasar\_dba'' user you created by using the ``psql'' command as follows:
If you have left the hostname blank in the postgresql.cfg file then leave off the ``-h localhost'' above. If you are using a different hostname than localhost, specify that in the above command using the ``-p portnumber'' option. You should be prompted for a password and once you enter in the password you used for ``quasar_dba'', you should get a prompt like ``template1=# ``. If this does not work then there is something wrong with your PostgreSQL setup or your password for ``quasar_dba''. If it does work then you should verify the password you placed in postgresql.cfg is correct and that you specified the ``-d'' options to createuser when you created the ``quasar_dba'' user.
If you are having any problems with PostgreSQL, use the ``Test'' button in the configuration screen. It will try to verify that all your configuration options work and will give you messages suggesting what may be wrong if something fails. Once you have created a company in Quasar, you should be able to access it unless you have made a mistake with the non-DBA username and password.