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Working offline with FirstClass Personal



About FirstClass Personal
2102006_35208_0.png You can only use FirstClass Personal if you are classed as a Regular User. If you are classed as a Remote User, you can't use this application. If you are unsure whether you can use FirstClass Personal, contact your administrator. Also note that the final version of FirstClass Personal was released with FirstClass 10, so although we will try to keep it compatible with more recent releases, you may not be able to use it with FirstClass features added after version 10.
Normally, you must be connected to a server to work with the objects on your Desktop. Over expensive communication links such as long-distance telephone connections, this can become costly. For this reason, we provide a FirstClass Personal application that lets you do many of the things you normally do while working offline (that is, without being connected to a server full time).
FirstClass Personal creates copies of the following in a personal store on your computer:
•       your Mailbox
•       your personal calendar
•       your Contacts folder
•       your Documents folder
•       your Bookmarks folder
•       conferences and public calendars that you want to see offline
•       the Directory information you want to see offline.
FirstClass Personal connects to your server at the times you specify. When connected, this application replicates new information for offline conferences and calendars, and Directory information. It synchronizes all information for your Mailbox, personal calendar, and Contacts, Documents, and Bookmarks folders.
81203_42935_18.png        Tips
If you have an expensive connection, check your FirstClass Personal configuration to make sure you will not connect more frequently than you want.
If you want to free up some of your disk quota space online, you can copy the objects you want to delete to your own computer using FirstClass Personal. This keeps the objects in a FirstClass environment. To do this, copy the objects to a container that will be synchronized. Once the objects are in your offline environment, you can delete them online. Move the offline objects to a container that won't be synchronized, so they don't reappear online. If you ever need one of these objects, simply move it back to a container that will be synchronized.



Your offline Desktop
Your offline Desktop looks much like your online Desktop. It may contain offline versions of your Mailbox and personal calendar, Contacts folder, Documents folder, Bookmarks folder, plus an Offline Conferences folder containing copies of the conferences and public calendars you set up for offline work.



What you can do with FirstClass Personal
These are the things you can do with FirstClass Personal:
•       create messages, using the normal message forms
•       read messages and other conference items
•       attach files to messages, and save files attached to messages
•       search your offline Mailbox or conferences
•       send and retrieve messages
•       use calendaring
•       use your Contacts folder
•       use your Documents folder
•       use your Bookmarks folder
•       copy files directly to offline conferences and to your offline Desktop
•       set up mail rules for automatic handling of mail replicated to your personal store.
These rules are separate from any rules you set up online, and do not affect the online copies of mail.
These are things you can't do with FirstClass Personal:
•       participate in instant messages
•       upload files directly to folders on the server
•       create personal conferences.



Installing FirstClass Personal
2102006_35208_0.png You must have the FirstClass client installed before you install FirstClass Personal.
FirstClass Personal is not installed by default with the client. If you do not have FirstClass Personal installed, you can download the FirstClass Personal installer from the Downloads section of our website, or contact your administrator for a copy. When the installer is on your machine, run it and follow the prompts.
Configuring FirstClass Personal
FirstClass Personal installs with default settings that control:
•       connection information
•       when to connect to the server
•       what to replicate
•       how long to keep offline messages
•       how to handle addresses for mail you send.
To change FirstClass Personal defaults:
1       Go to your offline Desktop.
2       Choose Collaborate > Work Offline > Configure Offline.
3       Update the FirstClass Personal Settings form.
If your password changes
If your password changes on the server, you must update the password on FirstClass Personal, or you will not be able to connect to the server using FirstClass Personal.
To update your password on FirstClass Personal, connect offline with your old password, then type the new password at "Host password" on the Connection tab of the FirstClass Personal Settings form.



Starting FirstClass Personal
If you are currently connected to a server
To start FirstClass Personal:
1       Choose Collaborate > Work Offline > Connect Offline.
2       Supply the settings file, user ID, and password that you want to use to connect to the server when working offline.
3       Click Login.
If you aren't currently connected to a server
To start FirstClass Personal:
1       Start FirstClass to open the FirstClass Login form.
2       Supply the settings file, user ID, and password that you want to use to connect to the server when working offline.
3       Click Work Offline.
If this is the first time you have used FirstClass Personal
The Registration form opens when you start FirstClass Personal, showing the settings file and user ID with which you logged in. Ensure that this is how you want to connect to the server when working offline, then type your password.
The first time you work offline, FirstClass Personal replicates your Directory information. Replication and synchronizing of everything else will only occur as specified by the scheduling information you supplied on the FirstClass Personal Settings form.
This gives you time to set up any conferences that you want to replicate offline, and to select other containers, such as your calendar.
For greater control, you can synchronize/replicate containers gradually, to make sure that each one synchronizes as you would expect, before synchronizing the next one. You can also turn on logging to capture details of the synchronization.



Setting up your offline conferences
To save disk space, FirstClass Personal does not automatically show all the conferences to which you have access when you are connected to your server. You must tell FirstClass Personal which conferences you want to work with offline. You will have the same permissions for a conference offline as you do online; if you are not allowed to post to a conference online, you will not be able to do so offline.
After you have specified your offline conferences, FirstClass Personal replicates any unread messages that are in these conferences, based on your FirstClass Personal configuration (either at scheduled times or when you specifically ask for replication by clicking Connect Now).
Within the offline version of your Offline Conferences folder, you will only see those conferences that contain unread mail. FirstClass Personal only creates these conferences offline when they contain unread mail.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
You can set up offline public calendars just as you do conferences.
To tell FirstClass which conferences to show offline:
1       Log into your server.
2       Choose Collaborate > Work Offline > Open Offline Conferences, if you have not yet started FirstClass Personal.
The Offline Conferences window opens, and the Offline Conferences folder is placed on your Desktop, if it is not already there.
3       Select a conference that you want to access offline.
4       Press Shift and drag the conference to the Offline Conferences folder to make a link to it.
5       Continue Shift-dragging conferences to your Offline Conferences folder until you have specified all the conferences you want to work with offline.
If you no longer want to access a conference offline, delete it from both the offline and online versions of your Offline Conferences folder.



Working with messages offline
You can read, save, print, forward, or reply to messages offline just as you would when working online.
7202010_20004_0.png        Notes
When you read a message using FirstClass Personal, that message's history just indicates that the message was routed to you.
Once you have read a message either offline or online, turning the unread flag back on at either end won't make the message look unread after synchronization.
Messages in your Mailbox
When FirstClass Personal connects to your server, the contents of your online and offline Mailboxes synchronize.
This means that if you read a message in either your offline or online Mailbox, that message will show as read in the other Mailbox after the next synchronization. If you delete a message from either Mailbox, that message will disappear from the other Mailbox after the next synchronization.
Messages in replicated containers
When FirstClass Personal connects to your server, unread messages are replicated to your offline containers. After replication, the online copies of these messages are no longer flagged as unread.
Deleting a message from an offline container doesn't affect the online copy of that message.
Sending messages when offline
You can send messages offline just as you would when you work online. When you are addressing messages to users rather than to conferences, you can use your offline Directory as an aid.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Names that appear local when you work online look remote when you work offline. For example, Lou Kosta becomes Lou Kosta,HuskyPlanes in your offline Directory.
Your new messages are sent when FirstClass Personal connects to your server. To deliver a message immediately, choose Collaborate > Work Offline > Replicate Now.



Your personal store
All your offline information is contained in the personal store folder. This folder is called ppo.
It is important that you not make any changes directly to this folder or its contents, or FirstClass Personal may stop running. In this case, you might have to reinstall FirstClass Personal.
Do not:
•       rename the folder
•       move the folder, unless you also move the FirstClass folder to the same location
•       change, delete, or move anything within the folder
•       add files to any subfolders within the folder, unless instructed to by your administrator.
Backing up your personal store
Be sure you back up your personal store on a regular basis. We recommend at least once a week. This is a safeguard against losing your messages and offline Directory information in the event of hardware failure or data corruption.
The easiest way to back up your personal store is to copy the ppo folder to a diskette.



FirstClass Personal logging
FirstClass Personal creates a log that records your offline activity. There are two versions of this log:
•       an online log that appears in the FirstClass Personal console
2102006_15909_0.png Only applies to Windows.
•       a plain text file.
To record more detail in the log, choose one of the following from the console:
•       Personal > Trace Connection Activity
Records detailed information about connection activity.
•       Personal > Enable Replication Log.
Records detailed information about replication.
To record details of synchronization from the server to your offline account in this log, select "Log synchronization" on the Replication tab of the FirstClass Personal Settings form. This also generates a separate synchronization log that records details of synchronization in the other direction, from your offline account to the server.
To view the Windows console log, click the FirstClass Personal icon on the taskbar:
9142006_25432_0.png



The plain text file version of the log is located in your user space on your computer. It is called fcspra.log.
The synchronization log is mailed to your offline Mailbox. You will only see this log if you selected "Log synchronization".



Troubleshooting FirstClass Personal problems
If an error occurs while you are working offline, FirstClass Personal reports the error in a message sent to your offline Mailbox. For more information on a specific error, contact your administrator.
Here are some of the more common problems:


Problem
Details
You can't work offline.
Make sure that FirstClass Personal has been installed correctly. Both the FirstClass Personal application and your ppo folder must be in the same folder in your user space.
FirstClass Personal doesn't connect to the server.
Possible reasons:
•       your settings file isn't configured correctly
•       FirstClass Personal isn't configured correctly
Make sure the user ID and password are correct in FirstClass Personal's settings.
•       a connection failed.
No matching names were found in the Directory when you addressed a message.
Possible reasons:
•       you entered the name incorrectly
•       you don't have an offline copy of the Directory, or it's out of date.
If you specified that you didn't want to replicate Directory information offline, you must configure FirstClass Personal to accept unknown names.
You can't access a conference.
Possible reasons:
•       conference replication is not set up correctly
Remember to create a copy in the online version of your Offline Conferences folder for every conference you want to access using FirstClass Personal.
•       automatic conference replication is disabled
Either reconfigure FirstClass Personal to specify that you want conferences to replicate on each connection, or connect manually.
•       you were never granted access to the conference
Contact the conference owner to verify whether you have access to this conference.
•       you don't have permission to see the conference.
You have the same access permissions offline as you do online. If you can't view a conference online, you can't view it using FirstClass Personal.
You get an error when FirstClass Personal tries to replicate.
Check with your administrator to make sure that you are allowed to work offline.
You see duplicate items.
For those objects that FirstClass Personal synchronizes, it's possible to get duplicate items after a synchronization.
This happens when an item has been updated both online and offline between synchronizations. In this case, FirstClass creates a copy of both versions.
To solve this problem, make sure one version contains what you want, then delete the other version. You can do this either offline or online.
You are missing items at one end.
If you move an item out of a container that is synchronized, that item will be deleted from the corresponding container at the other end after the next synchronization. Depending on where you moved the item, it may no longer be accessible at the other end.
For example, if you move an item from your online Mailbox to an online conference for which you don't have an offline equivalent, that item will disappear from your offline Mailbox, and you won't have access to it offline.