This guide's intended audience is for people who need to be able to work with Splice on an operational level without the need to do low level configuration settings. This is also the first document that should be read by those intending to do more advanced configurations of Splice. It will give the reader a broad overview of Splice's capabilities and give instructions on how to control Splice and its support software.
What is Splice?
Splice is essentially software that creates a junction between two or more entities. The entities can be entire computer systems, databases, networks, appliances - virtually anything! They are usually incompatible with one another at some level, but that certainly is not required. Splice connects with and acts as the liaison between these entities. Because this is such a difficult task, Splice must be able to operate in a completely automated capacity. It has been designed from the ground up to operate in this manner and because of this, may take a little getting used to.
How does it work?
Each entity is connected with Splice by something called a TransportModule, which transports data to and from the entity. Because the entities are connected separately from one another, they can all use completely different means of communication and still successfully transfer data to one another if they use Splice. There are also two other kinds of modules that Splice uses. The first is called a ConversionModule, which can manipulate the data being passed between entities. The other kind of module is called an AddOnModule, which allows for all kinds of extra functionality, the most predominant of which is external application control. Since Splice runs automatically, it often becomes necessary to have it start and stop other programs. That's what the external application controller or AppController is all about.
The User Interface:
The main window of Splice contains a list of all the currently
running modules. Each one has a small icon that shows what type of module it is, its name,
and two columns of descriptive text. One gives reported information back from the module
and the other describes the current state of the module. Each running module also has its
own menu entry. At the very least, the menu entry will show you the current settings for
that module, but most of them have several other utilities listed as well.
If you right-click a running module you will get a small popup menu that allows you to kill, suspend, or resume the module. Suspending a module simply freezes it in its current position until you resume or kill it. This may not be appreciated by the entity it is connected to and, therefore, should only be used if the effect of the suspension on the entity is known.
|The first menu entry is Control, which is always visible regardless of how many modules are loaded. It will always be the first menu entry. It is one of the ways that you can create or start previously created modules and configure any automated settings.|
|The 'History' menu item brings up a second menu that contains the most recently created modules as items. Simply select any one of these in order to manually start a module. After a module is created and killed once, it will appear in this menu. Once a module has been selected from this menu it will appear grayed out until it is killed.|
|The 'New' menu item will bring up a dialog box which lets you create a new module. First fill in a case-sensitive name for your module that describes its utility. Then, select the module type and check or uncheck FileLogging (this is usually selected). Then in the last field, place the name and location of the configuration file for the module. If you don't already have a configuration file created for you, you'll have to create one. The settings for configuration files are described in the Reference Manual and are considered out of the scope of this document. Please refer to it for more information on creating configuration files. You may also click the Browse button to find the configuration file. When done, just click OK and the module will be created.|
|The 'Manage Events' menu entry will start the Event Manager, which is where you can control the automation of Splice. An event is a task that must be performed automatically by Splice on a single module. It can be a one time only event, or it can be a recurring event with many different kinds of cycles. The events are grouped into two different pairs: Create/Kill, and Suspend/Resume. Each event must be enabled before it will run automatically. The EventManager allows events to be enabled one at a time, by the module, or all at once. This is done by placing check marks next to each level in the tree of events. If an event has a check next to it, but its parent module is disabled, then the event will also be disabled. In order to simplify the understanding of which events are enabled and which aren't, there is an icon next to each item in the tree, showing if it is enabled (green) or not (red). If it's disabled, but has a check next to it, just go up the tree one level and look at the module. If its red, but has a check go up one more level to the Gateway. This allows a fairly simple view of a rather complex system.|
|Each event is simply described making it very easy to see exactly what an event does. You can change what an event does or create a new one by choosing 'Properties' or 'New' from the Control menu respectively. Once this is done, you will see a dialog box displayed that allows you to configure the event. Any changes you make will be displayed in the window at the top of the dialog in plain English. Only Modules that appear in the History list will be in the possible choices for an event. Because of this, you must make sure it's in the History list. If not, you must create it and kill it once inside of Splice. You can select the frequency of the task under the 'Perform Task' combo box. Any specific settings related to that frequency will be displayed in the Options section of the dialog as the selection is changed. The Advanced button allows you to set a more specific StartTime and enable the killing or resuming of the module.|
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