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Connecting to servers



Initial setup: configuring connections
Types of connections
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
We assume that your connection is already set up and working properly. We only discuss how to tell FirstClass about your connection. If you don't know what connection type to use after reading this help, contact your administrator.
These are the ways you can connect to a FirstClass server:


local network
Your computer is plugged into a high-performance local area network (LAN) that allows you to communicate with any other computer within the network.
This is the most common method for people connecting from medium- to large-sized businesses. You may also hear the term TCP/IP applied to this type of connection.
Internet
Your computer connects to the server through the Internet. There are several levels of Internet connections:
high-speed Internet
An Internet connection that is fast and causes few problems.
Internet
A basic Internet connection that is not always reliable (you get errors and disconnects).
dialup Internet
A connection that dials up to connect to the Internet.

Where connection information is saved
Depending on your connection type, when you configure a connection, you supply information on one or two forms:


Service Setup
Contains information such as the server address. This information is stored in your settings file.
Configure Connection
Contains information about your connection protocol (how your computer connects to the server). This information is stored in the appropriate .fcp file.
There is one .fcp file for each connection protocol. Normally, all settings files that use the same connection protocol obtain their connection information from the same .fcp file. The .fcp files are located in the FirstClass FCP folder.

Local network connections
Local network connections use the TCP/IP protocol.
Information you must supply
To configure a local network connection, you need the following information:
•       whether you are connecting directly to the server or through a proxy server (your company may use a proxy server if your internal network is protected by a firewall)
•       the server's IP address or domain name
•       the port number of the server
•       the proxy server's IP address and port number (if you are connecting through a proxy server).
If you do not have all of this information, contact your administrator.
To configure your connection
1       Open the FirstClass FirstClass Login form.
If FirstClass is already running, choose Collaborate > Connect.
2       Make sure the settings file you want to configure is selected at "Address".
If the settings file for the server is not listed here, do one of the following:
•       click Browse to find and select it
•       update home.fc
•       create a new settings file for the server.
To create a new settings file, type the name you want to give the settings file at "Address". If you're using Windows, make sure the name ends with .fc.
3       Click Setup.
4       Update the Service Setup form.
5       Click Configure.
6       Update the Settings tab of the Configure Connection form.
High-speed Internet connections
High-speed Internet connections use the TCP/IP protocol.
Information you must supply
To configure a high-speed Internet connection, you need the following information:
•       whether you are connecting directly to the server or through a proxy server (your company may use a proxy server if your internal network is protected by a firewall)
•       the server's IP address or domain name
•       the port number of the server
•       the proxy server's IP address and port number (if you are connecting through a proxy server).
If you do not have all of this information, contact your administrator.
To configure your connection
1       Open the FirstClass FirstClass Login form.
If FirstClass is already running, choose Collaborate > Connect.
2       Make sure the settings file you want to configure is selected at "Address".
If the settings file for the server is not listed here, do one of the following:
•       click Browse to find and select it
•       update home.fc
•       create a new settings file for the server.
To create a new settings file, type the name you want to give the settings file at "Address".  If you're using Windows, make sure the name ends with .fc.
3       Click Setup.
4       Update the Service Setup form.
5       Click Configure.
6       Update the Settings tab of the Configure Connection form.
Basic Internet connections
Basic Internet connections use the UDP/IP protocol.
Information you must supply
To configure a basic Internet connection, you need the following information:
•       whether you are connecting directly to the server or through a proxy server (your company may use a proxy server if your internal network is protected by a firewall)
•       the server's IP address or domain name
•       the port number of the server
•       the proxy server's IP address and port number (if you are connecting through a proxy server).
If you do not have all of this information, contact your administrator.
To configure your connection
1       Open the FirstClass FirstClass Login form.
If FirstClass is already running, choose Collaborate > Connect.
2       Make sure the settings file you want to configure is selected at "Address".
If the settings file for the server is not listed here, do one of the following:
•       click Browse to find and select it
•       update home.fc
•       create a new settings file for the server.
To create a new settings file, type the name you want to give the settings file at "Address".  If you're using Windows, make sure the name ends with .fc.
3       Click Setup.
4       Update the Service Setup form.
5       Click Configure.
6       Update the Settings tab of the Configure Connection form.
Dialup Internet connections
Dialup Internet connections use a UDP/IP protocol that has been tuned for slower throughput (smaller packet and sliding window sizes) than the standard UDP/IP protocol. This results in faster message delivery than would be the case with regular UDP/IP on a dialup connection.
Information you must supply
To configure a dialup Internet connection, you need the following information:
•       whether you are connecting directly to the server or through a proxy server (your company may use a proxy server if your internal network is protected by a firewall)
•       the server's IP address or domain name
•       the port number of the server
•       the proxy server's IP address and port number (if you are connecting through a proxy server).
If you do not have all of this information, contact your administrator.
To configure your connection
1       Open the FirstClass FirstClass Login form.
If FirstClass is already running, choose Collaborate > Connect.
2       Make sure the settings file you want to configure is selected at "Address".
If the settings file for the server is not listed here, do one of the following:
•       click Browse to find and select it
•       update home.fc
•       create a new settings file for the server.
To create a new settings file, type the name you want to give the settings file at "Address".  If you're using Windows, make sure the name ends with .fc.
3       Click Setup.
4       Update the Service Setup form.
5       Click Configure.
6       Update the Settings tab of the Configure Connection form.
TCP/IP and UDP/IP protocols
About TCP/IP
TCP/IP is a "guaranteed-delivery" protocol that maintains and manages its own connections.
TCP/IP is best for connections that are relatively error free, and where there is high throughput on the connections (so that the TCP/IP buffer is flushed quickly).
About UDP/IP
We use the FCP delivery protocol to deliver reliable connections over UDP/IP. This lets FCP control when to disconnect in the event of an error.
FCP can deal better with errors that would cause TCP/IP to immediately disconnect you, because it has been adjusted to better cope with an unreliable environment. These adjustments involve such things as timeouts waiting for packets before attempting retries, and packet and sliding window sizes.
UDP/IP is best for error-prone or slower connections (where it may take some time to flush the large buffers that are often found in TCP/IP connections). It is optimized to provide faster interactive response to your requests in this environment.
Because the total data size is less than the TCP/IP buffers, you should notice quicker response times for an activity such as opening the first item in a filling container (over a fast, reliable connection, TCP/IP still outperforms UDP/IP in this regard).
UDP/IP connections and firewalls
If you can't connect using UDP/IP, it may be because the client is behind a firewall that doesn't support remembering UDP/IP connections. In this case, try TCP/IP.
If you can't connect, and it's not because of the situation described above, try opening port 810 on your firewall.
Advanced configuration
Very rarely, you may need to configure things such as window and packet size, or turn on tracing. In normal circumstances, you never need to do this.
To configure advanced connection information:
1       Open the FirstClass Login form.
If FirstClass is already running, choose Collaborate > Connect.
2       Make sure the settings file you want to configure is selected at "Address".
If the settings file is not listed, click Browse to search for it.
3       Click Setup.
4       Click Configure on the Service Setup form.
5       Update the Advanced tab of the Configure Connection form.
Enabling different behaviors for the same protocol
When you configure a connection, you are updating the .fcp file that is used for all connections using this protocol (for example, all high-speed Internet connections).
If you want to make a change that only applies to one settings file, and not to others that use the same .fcp file, you can create a new .fcp file. To do this, create a duplicate of the applicable .fcp file in the FirstClass FCP folder, then name the duplicate, using the extension .fcp.
Example
You have a local network connection for which you want the speaker on for some systems, but off for others. You copy Local Network.FCP and rename the duplicate Quiet.FCP to accommodate turning the speaker off. Then you can create a new settings file that uses Quiet.FCP, or just change the selection as necessary when you log in.



Logging in
About logging in
Depending on how your administrator set up the server and your user account, you may be able to connect (log in) to a server as:


a registered user
Your administrator provided you with a personal user ID and password.
a user who can autoregister
Your administrator set up the server to allow autoregistration.
When you autoregister, you supply the user ID and password that you want to use for future connections. The next time you log in, you do so as a registered user.
a guest user
You do not require a user ID or password. Guests are generally more limited in what they can do than registered users.

Logging in as a registered user
To log in as a registered user:
1       Double-click the FirstClass icon.
2       Update the FirstClass Login form.
3       Click the Login button to open your FirstClass Desktop.
Logging in as a guest user
To log in as a guest user:
1       Double-click the FirstClass icon.
2       Update the FirstClass Login form.
3       Click the Login button to open the guest account's FirstClass Desktop.
Logging in using an IMAP client
If you have a client that supports the IMAP4rev1 standard (Netscape IMAP client, or a Microsoft IMAP client such as Outlook Express), you can use this client to connect to a FirstClass server.
For instructions, see your client documentation.
Autoregistering
To autoregister:
1       Double-click the FirstClass icon.
2       Ensure that "Registered user" is selected on the FirstClass Login form.
Don't fill in any other fields.
3       Click the Login button.
4       Update the Autoregistration form.
5       Click Register.
6       Record your user ID and password from the confirmation form for future use.
7       Click one of the following:

OK
Opens your FirstClass Desktop.
Save
Opens your FirstClass Desktop and saves your user ID and password in the settings file.
If you click Save, your user ID and password will be displayed on the FirstClass Login form the next time you choose this server. If you don't want this information displayed automatically for security reasons, click OK instead.
Connecting to multiple servers
If you have access to multiple servers, you can connect to more than one at the same time. You will see a Desktop for each server to which you are connected.
To connect to multiple servers:
1       Log in as you normally do, choosing the settings file for the first server at "Address" on the FirstClass Login form.
2       Choose Collaborate > Connect to reopen the FirstClass Login form.
3       Log in as you normally do, choosing the settings file for the second server at "Address".
4       Repeat as many times as required.
Logging in with multiple user IDs
If you have multiple user IDs, or can autoregister, you can open multiple connections to the same server with different user IDs. You will see a Desktop for each user ID.
To log in with multiple user IDs:
1       Log into the server as you normally do, using the first user ID and password with which you want to connect.
2       Choose Collaborate > Connect to reopen the FirstClass Login form.
3       Log in using the second user ID and password with which you want to connect.
4       Repeat as many times as required.
Logging in from multiple computers
Your administrator may allow you to log into the same server using the same user ID and password from multiple computers.
If you are connected multiple times using the same user ID, and your administrator has limited the length of time you can connect per day, be aware that the time spent by all connections is added together and counted against your daily time allotment.
7202010_20004_0.png        Example
If your first connection has been active for 30 minutes, and your second connection has been active for 15 minutes, you are considered to have used up 45 minutes of your daily time allotment.
To log in from multiple computers, simply log in as you normally do from each one.
Checking your connections
To see a list of all servers to which your computer is connected, and all user IDs used for these connections, choose Collaborate > List Connections.
The Connections List shows this information:


whether the connection is encrypted
If the connection is encrypted, you will see a lock icon like the one below; otherwise, this column is blank:
2162004_52111_2.png
Site Name
the server to which you are connected
User ID
the user ID with which you are connected to this server
Connect Time
the length of time you have been connected, in hh:mm:ss format
Time Left
the length of time you have left before you will be automatically logged off
Your administrator may have defined a maximum time that you can be connected per day. If no time shows here, you do not have a daily connection time limit for this server and user ID.
Items
the number of objects open for this connection

To bring all windows for a particular connection to the foreground, in the order they were opened, double-click the connection in the list.
Disconnecting from a server


To
Do this
end a particular connection but leave the client running
Choose Collaborate > Disconnect from a window that is using this connection.
or
Close all open windows for this connection.
or
Choose Collaborate > List Connections, select the connection, then click Disconnect Selected.
end all connections but leave the client running
Choose Collaborate > List Connections, then click Disconnect All.
end all connections and quit the FirstClass client
Choose File > Exit (Windows) or FirstClass > Quit FirstClass (Mac).
or
Select "Quit on disconnect" in your preferences, then disconnect from any connection.
572004_44255_0.pngCaution
The client will quit whenever you disconnect from any connection, even if you are still connected to another server or with another user account. In addition, notification will no longer work.

Connecting automatically
You can connect to a server as soon as you start FirstClass, without having to update the FirstClass Login form. To do this, you must use a settings file configured for automatic login to start FirstClass.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
For security reasons, we recommend that you do this only in an environment where other users can't access your computer.
To configure the settings file:
1       Start FirstClass.
2       Choose the settings file at "Address" on the FirstClass Login form, or type the name for a new settings file.
3       Click Setup.
4       Update the "User ID" and "Password" fields on the Service Setup form, if these are blank.
If this is a new settings file, also update the fields required for your connection.
5       Select "Automatically" at "Login".
To use this settings file to connect automatically, double-click it or drag it over your FirstClass application.
You can disable automatic connection by pressing Control (Windows) or Option (Mac) while you open the settings file.



Settings files: Working with your stored connection information
About settings files
FirstClass stores the information needed to connect to a server in a settings file. Settings files can also store resources used by FirstClass, such as forms, pictures, and sounds. Settings files always end in .fc.
FirstClass includes a home.fc settings file. If you downloaded FirstClass from your server and followed the instructions there, this settings file already knows your server's name.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
If you just use home.fc to connect to your server, and this connection works well the first time you click the Login button, you will not need to configure your connection. You only need to read the information about configuring if you must change connection information for home.fc or you want to configure a connection to another server.
Your administrator may have provided you with a settings file that contains the necessary information for logging into your server. If this is the case, put this file in the FirstClass Settings folder.
Clearing settings files from the FirstClass Login form
As you select and create various settings files, the list of files grows at "Address" on the FirstClass Login form. If this list becomes unwieldy, you can clear files from it. Cleared settings files remain in FirstClass' Settings folder, so you can still browse to select them.
To clear the settings file displayed at "Address", open the context menu from it, then choose Clear.
Sharing home.fc on multiuser computers
By default, all settings files created by a user are placed in the FirstClass Settings folder that is located in that user's personal user space. This includes the home.fc settings file that is automatically created when the user first runs the client.
If FirstClass is running on a computer with multiple users, the computer administrator (the person who logs into the computer as Administrator, not your FirstClass administrator) can create a home.fc settings file for use by all users of that computer.
To do this, the computer administrator must be the first to run the FirstClass client. This will place home.fc in the administrator's personal user space. The administrator saves connection information, but not a user ID or password. After home.fc has been created, the administrator can drag it into the FirstClass Settings folder that is located in the shared applications area.
This settings file will now be used by subsequent users on the computer. If a user updates home.fc, a copy containing the updates will be placed in that user's personal user area. The shared settings file won't be changed.



Security and FirstClass connections
Changing your password
If your administrator gave you a user ID and password, we recommend that you change the password to something only you know, for security reasons.
Make your password difficult to guess. Consider mixing numbers and letters. Don't use your own name or user ID, or any other easily guessed value, such as your birth date or the name of a family member or pet.
Passwords are case sensitive. If you use a capital letter in your new password, you must always make that letter a capital to log in.
7202010_20004_0.png        Limitations
Depending on how FirstClass was set up, you may have to enter a minimum number of characters, or use a mixture of numbers and letters. Or you may not need to enter a password at all. Check with your administrator for any restrictions before you decide on your password.
To change your password:
1       Log into the server for which you want to change your password.
2       Choose Collaborate > Change Password.
3       Update the Change Password form.
About connection security
When you connect to your FirstClass server, your connection's security is affected by:
•       the level of encryption used on all data that is exchanged between your client (the commands you give FirstClass) and the server (FirstClass' responses to your commands)
•       the method used to authenticate you (check that you are a valid user) when you log in.
Changing the encryption level
To change the default level of data encryption for all of your connections that use the same connection protocol:
1       Open the Configure Connection form.
2       Choose the security level you want at "Encrypt" on the Advanced tab.
You can override this default for a particular connection by updating "Encryption" on the Service Setup form.
If you choose an encrypted connection (Secure or CAST-128), you'll see a lock icon in the status bar after you connect.
If your connection is CAST-128
If you log into a server using a CAST-128 connection, you may see a message about a public key the first time you connect to that server. This is part of the security mechanism. It identifies the server to your client. If you know what the public key should be, check that the displayed key is correct. If you don't know what the public key should be, just accept the value you see.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
If FirstClass notifies you that the server can't support CAST-128 connections, change your security level to Secure.
Changing the authentication method
Your administrator decides how logins will be authenticated. They may be authenticated only by the FirstClass server (called FirstClass secure authentication), by a remote server, or by a combination of the two.
If you never want your logins for a particular connection authenticated by a remote server, select "FirstClass secure authentication only" on the Service Setup form.



Troubleshooting problems with connections
Why you may not be able to connect


Possible cause
Additional information
your settings file is incorrectly configured
For example, the server domain name is wrong.
the appropriate .fcp file is missing from FirstClass's FCP folder
the server isn't running
all sessions on the server are in use
The server is set up to handle a limited number of simultaneous connections. Try again later.
your network interface card (NIC) is configured incorrectly, or it or the cable is defective
For information on configuring your NIC, see the documentation provided with it.

Recording connection information
You can log trace information that tells you how the connection between your FirstClass client and a server is operating. You can use this information to help you solve your problem on your own, or with the help of your administrator. Trace information can be logged for various connection events. This information is added to the standard logging information in the FirstClass client log file.
Specifying the trace information to log
1       Open the FirstClass Login form.
2       Make sure a settings file is selected at "Address" that uses the type of connection (for example, Local Network) for which you want to log trace information.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Trace information will be logged for every settings file that uses this type of connection.
3       Click Setup to open the Service Setup form.
You can verify that you are configuring the correct connection type by looking at the value in "Connect via". For example, to log trace information for a high-speed Internet connection, this field should say High-Speed Internet.FCP.
4       Click Configure.
5       Click the Advanced tab on the Configure Connection form.
6       Select the events for which you want trace information at "Trace options".
Generating the log
Windows
To generate the log file, add the following line in the [FCSetup] section of the FCIC.ini file in your Windows folder:
debug=1
The log file is called FCIC.log, and is located in the FirstClass application folder. The file is saved with an extension of .old the next time you start FirstClass (if debug=1 is still set). If you need to save several log files, rename each one with a unique name before you next start FirstClass.
Mac
To generate the log file, press Command Option as you start FirstClass. You will see a console window, which is an online version of the log that is being generated.
The log file is called FirstClass.log, and is located in ~/Library/FirstClass. The file is overwritten each time you start the client using Command Option. To save log information permanently, rename the log file before you next start FirstClass.