If we look up the meaning of the term CLIENT/SERVER on the Internet, we will find out that this term is quite used in the IT field and describes the type of connection of two or more computers, in which one of them (SERVER) allows the others (CLIENTS) to use data or programs it contains.
In simple words, it is as if in a classroom the teacher (SERVER) is the only one who has a calculator and her pupils (CLIENTS) ask her to calculate for them the result of some math operations.
It’s the teacher who performs the calculations and tell her pupils the result in exactly the order in which she received the requests, regardless of their complexity.
Unlike the classroom, we don’t have to do with a teacher, but with computers: when we talk about “calculating machines” (computers) we mean high-performance systems, able to execute millions of operations per second, with infinitesimal reaction time and, if we want it, to be active 24/7.
Other advantages you could have using this kind of architecture with Lechler MAP
- All computers have only one formula database; it means that, independently of the number of computers connected, you just need to keep the formulas updated in the SERVER computer, so that they can be automatically available also in the other MAP PCs.
- All productions, weighed with a scale or sent to an automatic dispenser, are memorised only in one JOB REGISTRY, accessible from all MAP PCs of the network and usable to produce colours already realised in the past, or from other workstations.
- You can realise JOBS REPORTS from any MAP PC of the network, with the possibility to filter the results even by the specific workstation where they were carried out.
If you want to obtain even more details, enabling the OPERATORS MANAGEMENT function (optional even when you use the CLIENT/SERVER configuration) you can display what paints have been realised by every OPERATOR and from which WORKSTATION of the network.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Do you think it isn’t a big advantage, but only a complication?
First of all, just consider that this mode of operation is “optional”, namely, you aren’t obliged to use it, above all if you are both the owner and the painter of the bodyshop where you work, or if you have one workstation for all jobs...
But if yours is a medium-sized bodyshop, with almost two painters and one owner who, at the end of the week – or of the day – wants to know exactly without leaving the office what you did, then a CLIENT/SERVER solution could simplify your life a lot.
What do you need to work in CLIENT/SERVER mode with Lechler MAP?
- First of all, your body shop must have an internal network (intranet) and your MAP PCs must be correctly connected to it; otherwise, you can’t share your data with different workstations or connect the computers, because this option does not appear in the configuration menu.
- All computers connected to your intranet must be visible: there must not be any firewall or other software installed that can block the data transfer.
- In every computer there must be a copy of Lechler Map with a licence/business correctly activated. (how to activate Lechler MAP license)
PLEASE NOTE: it doesn’t matter if the connection is realised through standard wires or WIRELESS adapters (WI-FI). Since it is a data transfer that is “internal” to your company, the performances of both technologies are practically equivalent. Did you know that is it possible to create an intranet using your standard mains wall plugs?
Above you can see an example of CLIENT/SERVER configuration you can realise, where we connected a “SERVER” MAP PC with “CLIENT” MAP PCs of different typology:
- Only to consult data of the job registry and realise REPORTS about the activity carried out (it could be one of the computers in the office)
- For the ASSISTED DOSING with one of the electronic scales compatible with Lechler MAP
- To realise a paint through an AUTOMATIC DISPENSER
YES! YOU GOT A GOOD LOOK AT IT!
CLIENTS MAP PCs can work with different licences/businesses (Refinish and Industry in the example above) thanks to the ability of Lechler Map to manage multiple businesses/fields (five in our case) with only one installation. (have a look at "10 things you may not know about Lechler MAP - Multibusiness")
If you need to operate in this way, we suggest you to activate the SERVER PC with a licence including all businesses used on the CLIENT PCs. So, the update of Lechler formulations will be easier to do (just once from the SERVER) and you could dedicate each workstation to a specific business (only Refinish, only Industry…)
NOTE: the “SERVER” MAP PC could also be an “operative” workstation, for example, it could be connected to a scale. In this case, you should check whether it has good hardware features that allows to manage at the same time the CLIENTS’ and its own weighings.
Another important feature the SERVER must have is the constant availability every time you need to realise a colour (or an activity report), so, it has to be the first computer to be turned on and the first one to be turned off at the end of the activity.
The activation of the CLIENT/SERVER configuration is extremely easy and it requires a few steps. Let’s see them together.
SERVER PC CONFIGURATION
After the connection to the network of the MAP PC that works as SERVER, sharing the data with the remote workstations, you have to:
- open the CONFIGURATION panel,
- open the CLIENT/SERVER page and among the options, choose to configure the MAP PC as SERVER
- click on START SERVICE, then
- click on SAVE to confirm the new settings
- as last step, you have to restart Lechler MAP to make the new settings effective
Don’t forget to take note of the SERVER NAME (typically, it is also the computer name), because you have to insert it manually when you configure the CLIENTS.
CLIENT PC CONFIGURATION
Also in this case, you have to follow just a few steps and if you were careful during the SERVER PC configuration, maybe you already know you have to:
- open the CONFIGURATION panel,
- open the CLIENT/SERVER page and among the options,
- choose to configure the MAP PC as CLIENT
- insert the SERVER NAME in the dedicated box
- click on TEST CONNECTION, then
- click on SAVE to confirm the new settings
- as last step, you should restart Lechler MAP to make the new settings effective.
Follow the configuration order: first the SERVER and then the CLIENTS and it should be fine.
Please remember that from this day forward all colour formulas you consult, create or weigh will be memorised on the SERVER (the first computer to be turned on in the mornings and the last one to be turned off in the evenings).
If you encounter any problems by starting the SERVER SERVICE or connecting the CLIENTS, the most appropriate person to get in touch with is your IT manager, or who else realised for you the intranet to which you are connected.
The IT manager is the only one who knows how your network was configured, if there are systems that block the data sharing between computers and, if necessary, how to deactivate them.
That’s all for today!
We hope this information was useful, but if you still have some doubts or would like to ask a specific question or simply leave a comment, you can do it after your registration on LECHLER PORTAL from here.
With the next article, we will see that enabling the OPERATORS MANAGEMENT you can create a list of people authorised to use Lechler MAP (OPERATORS) to whom you can associate an username and a password, specific authorisation levels and interface languages, as well as jobs included in a specific job sheet.