Troubleshooting connectivity for CS Professional Suite applications

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Connectivity relates to the process of associating the different parts of a network to one another, often through the use of routers, switches, and gateways. This can be an internal connection in a network, such as a workstation computer that communicates with a server machine, or an external connection, such as a computer connecting to a website or another outside service through an Internet connection.

As CS Professional Suite applications are often run on a network and use services that rely on an Internet connection, having a stable connection is critical to the integrity and performance of our applications.

Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the setup or maintenance of your network or Internet connection. Please consult with your qualified IT professional or solution vendor for any of your connectivity concerns.

Types of Connections

Listed below are the types of connections that affect the CS Professional Suite.

Firewall

A firewall, which can be software or hardware, controls the traffic flow of information in and out of your network. Due to the unique ports and executables used, this can affect CS Professional Suite applications running locally on your network, as well some of our services that require an Internet connection.

For more information, see Firewall guidelines for CS Professional Suite applications.

Internet Connection

Listed below are CS Professional Suite applications and services that require an Internet connection. Each utilizes your Internet connection in a different way, but any issues with your Internet can potentially cause performance issues.

Note: CS Professional Suite applications require a broadband, persistent, high-speed Internet connection to utilize the available Internet-related features. As other requirements and recommendations may be available depending on which application you are using, see CS Professional Suite System Requirements for more information.

Network Connection

Unless you are using your CS applications on a standalone machine, you will be running it on a network (either peer-to-peer or server based).  As the data and the install of the applications will reside on a machine that all of the other workstations have to communicate with, your network connection plays a large role in the performance of the software.

Besides issues with routers/switches that can cause slowness in network reliant applications, DNS also plays a large role in your network connection.  DNS (Domain Name System), is the naming system for computers and other resources that are connected to your private network. Machines on your network are each assigned a numerical identifier (e.g. an IP address ###.###.#.#), and DNS is the system that translates each machine's given name (e.g. Server1) to that number, and vice versa.

In many CS Professional Suite applications (especially SQL-based ones), configurable files are set up to reference the machine's name so that the applications know where to look for data. If there is an issue with your network's DNS not resolving properly where it is not consistently translating to the IP address, it can cause issues with the applications not being able to connect properly.

Troubleshooting

Command Prompt

If you cannot access certain Thomson Reuters websites (e.g. www.netlinksolution.com, CS.ThomsonReuters.com, your Web Builder CS website) or are experiencing other issues related to other CS Professional Suite applications dependent on your Internet connection, there are a couple quick tests you can run through the Command Prompt on your computer to determine if it is connection related. The Command Prompt is the command-line interface on Windows OS machines that is used to execute an array of different commands. Below are some commands that may be helpful when troubleshooting connection issues:

Ping - A ping is a small packet of data, often used in connection troubleshooting, that can verify whether one machine can communicate with a website, IP address or another machine's DNS name. Through the ping test in Command Prompt, it will send four packets by default and determine how many of them the destination received and sent back, and how long it took.

To run a ping:

  1. Open the Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 7, click on the Start menu, and search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 8, click the Windows key + S to bring up the Search field, then search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 10, type in Command Prompt in the Search field on the taskbar. 
  2. Type in the command Ping <domain/URL, IP address, or machine name> (e.g. ping www.netlinksolution.com, ping ###.###.#.#, or ping Server1), then press the Enter key.
  3. After a few seconds, the Command Prompt will update with the results of the ping with information on packets sent/received, how much time it took, and if it failed, the reason why.

Look for any packet loss, high roundtrip times (which should be comfortably under 100ms for a typical high-speed Internet connection), any errors, or other unexpected results. If you are experiencing an issue with connectivity but the ping is successful, it may imply that the issue was temporary and sporadic or that there is an issue with the application.

Trace Route - Whereas a ping sends multiple packets and gives information on whether they got there or not, a trace route provides information on the path a packet travels to reach the destination. To reach a destination, a packet does not travel directly to it without any stops, but instead goes from server to server (known as a "hop") to get there. A trace route can be helpful in determining if there is a specific server along the way that could be attributing to any issues.

To run a trace route:

  1. Open the Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 7, click on the Start menu, and search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 8, type the Windows key + S to bring up the Search field, and then search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 10, type in Command Prompt in the Search field on the taskbar.
  2. Type in the command tracert <domain/URL, IP address or machine name> (e.g. tracert www.netlinksolution.com, tracert ###.###.#.#, or tracert Server1) and then press the Enter key.
  3. This will slowly begin to populate the different hops the packet is taking and will respond with "Trace complete" when the process is finished.

If this test is unable to reach the destination address at all or times out during the process, you should see a message to that effect. Additionally, look for any hops where the milliseconds are higher than the rest. Even if the trace route was successful, if there are servers that are taking longer to respond, it can cause more significant issues outside of the command prompt.

DNS Flush - Most computers and network routers will cache IP addresses and DNS information for websites and other hosts that you visit. By storing this information, your machine does not have to look it up and can often open it up faster and more efficiently. Occasionally, bad results will get cached, or the information will become outdated, and this can cause issues with your network connecting to that host. If this occurs, this cache will need to get cleared out, which is known as a DNS flush.

To run a DNS flush:

  1. Open up the Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 7, click on the Start menu, and search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 8, type the Windows key + S to bring up the Search field, and then search for Command Prompt.
    • In Windows 10, type in Command Prompt in the Search field on the taskbar.
  2. Type in the command ipconfig /flushdns and then press the Enter key.
  3. When complete, you should receive the message "Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache."

Once the DNS flush is complete, attempt to duplicate the issue you were experiencing before.

CS Connect Connection Test

If you are having trouble connecting to our servers through CS Connect, you may test the connection using the following steps:

  1. Open the CS Professional Suite application.
  2. Open the CS Connect dialog by clicking the CS Connect icon  on the toolbar.
  3. In the CS Connect dialog, click on the Communications button under the Setup section.
  4. In this new window, click on the Test Connection button in the bottom left corner to begin the test.

All tests must pass for CS Connect to operate correctly. The Online Status dialog lists each test as it is performed and notes whether the test passed or failed. Each failure message is followed by a description of why the test failed.

ODBC

If you are experiencing issues with a SQL-based application (e.g. Practice CS or Accounting CS) and believe it may be related to network connectivity, you can test it out by running an ODBC connection test from a workstation to the SQL instance and the server. This will determine if a simple connection can be made between the two machines without going through any other applications. While a successful test does not guarantee that a problem does not exist, a failed test most likely means there is a connectivity issue, or possibly significant interference from another application or security solution.

For more information on ODBC connection tests and how to run one, see How to Create an ODBC Connection to a Database.

Ping Plotter

Ping Plotter is a popular third-party utility that combines two different connection tests (pinging and trace routes) in order to provide helpful information regarding the reliability of your connection to a specific destination. It consists of charts and graphs that can be helpful to determine the cause of any intermittent or sustained issues that appear to be affecting the performance of Internet-dependent CS Professional Suite services like Virtual Office, GoFileRoom, and CS Connect.

For more information, see PingPlotter Installation and usage.

Other Troubleshooting Tips

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