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13. File / Properties Logo

The Properties Menu off the main File Menu allows you to configure a number of application-wide settings, including selection of the CROME server(s) from which your reports will grab data, selection of CROME server Subsystems (e.g., all OMCs, all MSCs, particular OMCs, etc.), default settings for CROME graphs and grids,  settings that define your locale, and some memory-management and cache-management tools.

Server Properties Top

The window below describes the URL server location, the system root path, the database host, server, user, database Names (this is where the data is stored, and system type).  These settings specify the CROME Server plus the types of equipment you wish to report on, and the subset of major system components (each one associated with a “database”).  In general, you will never need to view or change these settings via this feature.  Only advanced users may need to change them.

The “Properties/Servers” menu, described later in this section, provides menu shortcuts to reprogram your application’s Server Properties automatically, based on known settings as specified by the System Administrator.  I.e., if your system is configured with, for example, one Motorola OMC and two Nortel MSCs, then pull-right choices will be available in the Properties/Server menu that, when selected, will automatically change the Server Properties to reflect the desired focus for your reporting.

But, for completeness, the Server Properties Window and its function is described below:

As shown above, this advanced window allows the user to type in Server URL, System Root path, Database Host, Database Server, Database User, and Database Names.  The “System Type” is filled in automatically, based on the other information.

The pull-down choice shown above grants you some flexibility in the case where you may wish to modify this information.  The first choice, “Always use URL Default values” means that:  “This CROME Server (identified by the URL at the top of the screen) has a default set of settings, and we’d like to always stay in sync with those default settings.”  Even if the server settings changes (e.g., the database name changes from tel_01 to tel_02) we want our application to always get the latest values available at the CROME Server (latest values are grabbed when your CROME application starts).

The second choice, “Always use URL + System Root Default values” is slightly different.  Sometimes you’ll have several “system roots” at the same URL.  For example, one URL may manage a set of OMCRs and a set of MSCs.  This choice means “look at the URL at the top of the screen and the system-root path below it and always keep the remaining parameters up to date with respect to that URL and system-root path.

The last choice, “ADVANCED: Always use these local values” means that you do NOT want to stay in sync with any CROME server defaults:  you can set any of the fields on this screen and once saved, the settings will remain until you change them again.

The main reason you can ignore these settings (and indeed this Server Property window) entirely is because of the Properties / Servers choice (see later in this section).

Database Names and Fault Tolerance, Database Fail-over

Typically your CROME system administrator will pre-define this information in the drop down menu "File - Properties - Switch to Server" - thus an end-user would rarely use the below syntax to achieve either faster reporting or high availability via automatic fail-over to alternative servers that mirror the same data.

If you choose the Advanced mode, you can edit the "Database names" field to enter the desired Crome databases.  The names must be a colon (":") separate list of valid databases.  You can also specify multiple database hosts in the case where you are using duplicate databases.  The purpose of a duplicate database is to maintain the exact database on a different host.  This way, if a host should go down (or requires to be brought down for maintenance), the Crome client can continue to run without caring which system is up.

You can specify multiple database hosts in the "Database name" fields using the following special characters:


Place this character after the database name but before one or more server (e.g., db1@server1).  If no "@" is specified, it uses default Database Server as specified on this screen.

 , (comma)

Separates the list of servers in the desired order, (e.g., db1@server1,server2 means to check the databases in this order)

 | (pipe)

Separates the list of servers and instructs Crome to check them in random order (but stick to this order once Crome starts).  This way you can optimize loads between servers.

 % (percent)

Separates the list of servers and instructs Crome to check them in round-robin order, switching servers each time.

CROME caches failures at both the database level and the database server level so as not to spend excessive time checking databases it knows to be down.  For example, if you specify db1@server1,server2 and server1 is found to be down, all further queries for all future reports (in this running instance of CROME) will use "server2" for db1, until/unless it finds server1 to be down in which case it will try server2 again. 

Locale Properties Top

Select File, Properties and the Locale Properties.

In this screen you can select which days will be the weekends.  This defaults to Sunday and Saturday, but some other countries use, for example, Friday and Saturday as their weekend days.

This screen also a checkmark for “Show Memory Stats”.  As noted previously in this document, this features allows you to see local memory usage on the CROME Report Status screen while the report is being built.

Graph Properties Top

Select File, Properties and then Graph Properties.

This feature allows you to adjust some of the default look and feel for a CROME report that you’ll later run.  After the report is run, this same Graph Property window becomes available again to adjust this same information “on-the-fly”.  But this screen allows you to set up the default behavior.

The screen initially appears like:

There are two tabs, “X-axis Settings” and “General”  We will start with the second tab, the General Tab:

General Tab

These items represent general default settings for CROME reports.

Show Title will display the Title of the report on the header of the graph.

Show Graph will display the Graph on the Graph display.

Show Legend will display the reference legend on the right hand side of the graph.

Show informational text displays the informational text on the footer of  the graph display.

Merge migrated elements will display any element that have migrated from under different higher level element across time, or undergone name changes.  (This Migration feature displays as the reports are running).

Grid Settings

Show all Cross Reference Data: displays the value for each Network Element, as well as the x-axis label.  This will display both numeric keys and text translations if available in both the result set and the raw data set.

Lock grid headers:  locks the column and row headers for “Result Set” and “Raw Data” will not scroll off the screen.  Similar to “Freeze Panes” in Excel.

Fit column width to grid: the Headers of each column will determine the size or fit of the column.

Show summary statistics: show a set of summary data at the bottom of the grid - these statistics are a convenience and in some cases do not make statistical set depending on the counters and formulas involved.

Precision (number of digits): specified how many digits (right of the decimal point) to show for numeric values on the grid

Report Settings

Display Pegs as:

This allows you to specify the default means of displaying pegs, if more than one choice is available.  The “database column name” is the default means of displaying a peg name, but some systems have alternative means of identification and this feature allows you to switch between them.  For, example, in a Nortel OMCR system CROME displays either the database column name (i.e. documented counter numbers like c1192_4) or the Standard/Nortel Q3 name (i.e. a CMIP/Q3/MIM name like immediateAssignmentSucccessCause100).

Show full database path to peg:  When this box is checked the CROME client will display the entire path to where a "Raw Peg" or counter is housed starting from a pseudo DB place holder, with the table name, and finally displaying the column name in either the Report Editor or Formula Editor.  If this is unchecked only the name of the "Raw Peg" will be displayed.


Example display in Formula Editor if "Show full database path to peg" is checked (Report Editor is similar when displaying "Raw Pegs"):

Example display in Formula Editor if "Show full database path to peg" is not checked (Report Editor is similar when displaying "Raw Pegs"):

The “Display Pegs As” choice will not be available if the current CROME system type (selected in Properties / Switch to Server) does not contain alternate peg names.

The General tab may also contain a choice on Raw Data Granularity:

If this choice is available, then you have the option of altering the lowest level reporting interval to either half hour or 15 minutes.  Changing this choice will alter the “View by” choice on the main CROME screen such that the appropriate lowest level reporting interval is available.

Some data types report every 15 minutes, most other every 30, and thus the option is available.  This flag can be set to match the granularity, however mismatches are fine as well.  I.e., if data only reports every 30 minutes, and “Raw Data Granularity” is set to 15 minutes, then reports run at the 15 minute level will show blank data for every other 15 minute interval.  If data reports every 15 minutes and “Raw Data Granularity is set to 30 minutes, then reports run at the half-hour level will show data that has been summed for the two reporting 15 minute intervals.

X-axis Settings

Most of the information on this page deals with CROME Reports that are run in a View By Element Mode.  The X-axis in a View By Element report contains the name of the items being reported (e.g., BSC names, EBTS names, etc.)  In some cases, the element name itself is sufficient to identify the element (e.g., an EBTS name uniquely identifies the EBTS).  But in other cases, the element name is not sufficient and the element’s “parent” name is needed (e.g., a Sector is just 1, 2, or 3, and is not unique unless the EBTS name is included).

Using this window, you can configure how each element type (OMC, BSC, EBTS, Sector, etc.) is represented by default on the X-axis.  The types of elements available for configuration change depending on the network for which you are reporting (i.e., if CROME is focused on the OMC tree, then OMC, BSC, EBTS, Sector, etc. are available, but if CROME is focused on the MSC tree, then MSC, TRK, C7LINK, etc. are available).

Thus, depending on the type of network, there is a choice for different types of elements to configure:

Each choice brings up a new page of X-axis settings for this type, which deterims how the X axis will look when viewing by element.  You’ll notice for example that the OMC choice only contains one section of information at the top, whereas some of the other choices contain more (e.g., SECT contains four sections).  This is because, if you run an OMC report, you cannot see information about BSCs, EBTSs, or Sectors.  But if you run a report by Sector, you can see the EBTS name, the BSC name it belongs to, and the OMC name.  So there is more information to potentially configure for SECT-based reports than there is for OMC-based reports.

Therefore, as an example, the OMC page allows you to specify what the X-axis will look like for each OMC on a view-by-element x-axis.  The BSC page allows you to specify what the X-axis will look for a BSC-level view-by-element report, which includes configuring how the BSC name looks AND how, its associated OMC information appears on the graph (if you choose to show that at all).

Similarly, The EBTS page allows you to specify what the X-axis will look for a WBTS-level view-by-element report, which includes configuring how the EBTS name looks AND how, its associated BSC information and the BSC’s associated OMC appears on the graph.  So as you can see, each element allows you to configure how it will look in a View By Element report and how its parents will be represented as well (if at all).

For each possible network level to configure, this page allows you to specify:

1.        Show this level:  Whether not you are showing this or not.  E.g., for EBTS-based reports you may choose to check OFF the BSC and OMC levels, because the EBTS name is sufficient.  But for SECT-based reports, you may choose to check ON the EBTS name to help identify the which EBTS the Sector 1, 2, or 3 belongs to.

2.        Show <element> value:  show the textual value associated with the element.  If Show this Level is checked ON, then the display requires that you either check Show <element> value, show <element number>, or show network_id,.

3.        Show <element> number:  show the integer value associated with this element, if any (some element types, like SECT, have both a value (ESMR CELL ID) and number (Sector number).

4.        Show network_id:  If configuring at top-level (e.g., if configuring the Sector information on a Sector properties page) then Object ID is available and represents the internal database object identifier

5.        Precede with <element name>:  A checkbox to indicate whether or not you want the element title on the graph, e.g., in a Sector screen if you click “Precede with SECTOR” then the x-axis of the view-by-element report will show “SECTOR 1” “SECTOR 2”, etc. whereas if you did not check it the graph would only show “1”, “2”, etc.

6.        Precede with Additional text: (see below, 'Follow with Additional text')

7.        Follow with Additional text: (e.g., if Precede with SECTOR is checked ON, and “text to precede” is set to a left parenthesis “(“, and “text to follow with” is set to a right parenthesis “)”, then the x-axis on the view-by-element reports will show SECTOR (1), SECTOR (2), etc.

8.        Show Grid Columns:  Separate from the X-axis on the graph, this allows you to turn on/off specific Grid columns when viewing the CROME Report in a grid mode

Save and Cancel buttons are located at the very bottom of this screen.

Properties / Environment (Memory and Cache Management) Top

Re-init All

Performs the all of the following four features shown below it on the menu, and described separately below:

Reload Current Server Properties

This feature is only useful if you think your application is out-of-sync with the server in terms of available system reports, formulas, groups, etc.  By choosing this item, CROME will re-read the available reports, formulas, and groups and refresh the main CROME screen.   Quitting CROME and restarting it will have the same effect.

Typically client sessions last only a few hours and server changes occur infrequently (i.e. about monthly) this option will rarely do anything.

Flush Cross-Ref Caches

To help make CROME reporting as fast as possible, the CROME application caches cross-reference information in memory.  This information consists of human-readable names for things like BSCs, EBTS, TRK groups, etc., and their association to numeric identifiers used in the PM data.  By caching this data in memory as needed, reports are generated very quickly.

You should never need to flush these caches, but if some reason you feel the need to free up memory in the application or feel that the application is out of sync with the server’s cross reference information, you can choose this option.  It will have no major ill effect – it simply means that the next time you run a report that would have used this data in the cache, it will run slower as it goes out to the server to recollect the cross-ref data.

Quitting CROME and restarting it will have the same effect.

Flush Table/Peg Caches

This is similar to flushing Cross-Ref Caches (see above), although this data concerns the database table and peg organization for a given system for a given month.  As with flushing cross-ref caches, flishing the table/peg cache will have no major ill effect except to require that CROME recollect this information on the next report run (or report edit) which will make it slower to do so.

Quitting CROME and restarting it will have the same effect.

Delete Local Disk Caches

CROME caches some information on the user’s local hard disk.  This improves the speed of reporting dramatically by caching some local static information.  If the information is ever updated on the server, the CROME client detects this and re-caches the information onto the local disk.  Unlike the Cross-ref and Table/Peg cache, this information is not just in local memory, so it does retain itself between instantiations of the CROME client software.  Quitting CROME and restarting it will NOT flush the local disk cache.

There is no reason to flush your local disk cache, short of freeing up disk space.  The only major ill effect of flushing the local disk cache is that reports will initially run slower as the CROME client starts to build up the local disk cache again.

Servers Top

As previously mentioned, this is the primary method that an end user will use to switch between system types or system views. As both data and operations on such data are currently constrained to separate areas, CROME currently will display and manipulate only one (1) system view at a time. Thus if CROME is deployed in a mixed environment of say, Motorola OMCs, DAPs, and MDGs, as well as Nortel MSCs and iHLRs, the end user can switch between the two available system views as shown below:

Select File, Properties, Servers:

The " Servers" menu action will allow you to toggle in and out of the different equipment suites. This process will take several seconds to complete.  When the main screen finishes update to reflect the different equipment, the change is complete.

Remember when building or running reports/formula you need to select the appropriate System view.  Note, there are many possible sets of servers to switches we have just shown one possibility.

The "Servers" menu action is a convenience that is the same as adjusting the Server Properties by hand (see “Server Properties” earlier in this section).

Your CROME system administrator can set up convenience menus to quickly select individual switches or sets of switches from the pool of available databases.

Note, not only can you specify which equipment suite to report on, but also choose equipment subsets of the major component in the suite.  I.e., in an “MSC” suite the major component is the MSC (as opposed to lower components just as TRK and C7LINK.  So if you have, for example, two MSCs in your network, you can choose to report on all MSCs or one or more particular MSCs:

The advantage of isolating the client to only report on one component (as opposed to all) is speed of reporting.  If you know you are only interested in one MSC, for example, you may find that reporting is faster if you are not “dialed in” to all MSCs.  In general, however, users should always pick “All MSCs” (or All OMCs, .etc.) to be sure the desired components are found.  Given CROME’s fast reporting capabilities, it is usually not an issue to always report on all components in the network.

Note that whenever you switch servers, CROME displays the servers in use at the bottom of the main CROME screen:

Also note that whenever you switch to a Server, the settings on the main screen (i.e., selected Report Name, date/times, etc.) will change to reflect the last report run on that Server type (i.e., if you switch to any MSC server, then main screen will change to reflect the dates/times etc. of the last MSC report successfully run on your PC).  This is different than Properties / Scenarios (below), which allows you to not only switch Servers, but switch to a known set of complete main screen settings.

Scenarios Top

A CROME “Scenario” is a snapshot of the settings on the CROME main screen that you can save and use at any time.

Like the “Servers” menu described above, “switching” to a Scenario will reprogram your main screen to reflect the desired equipment suite for reporting.  Switching “Servers” will return the settings on the main screen to the last settings of the last report run on this Server type.   Switching Scenarios allows you to switch to a saved set of main screen settings.

Save Current Settings as Local Scenario

When you choose Save Current Settings as Local Scenario, CROME will remember all the settings on the main CROME screen.  This includes the View By and Plot By settings, whether or not to include holidays or certain days of the week, the Date and Time values, the selected report, the selected Network Level or Group, and the selected Summary By information.  You will be prompted for a name/location to save this Scenario on your local PC.  This saving process is similar to saving a local Report or Formula:

Once the Scenario has been saved, it becomes available in the pull-right menu under Local Scenarios

Switch to Local Scenario

Continuing the above example, after you save a new Scenario, it appears in the pull-right menu:

Choosing this item will reprogram the CROME main screen to reflect the settings as they were at the time you saved the scenario.

Note that, unlike CROME reports and formulas, scenarios are not organized based upon the system type.  For example, when you switch to the MSC tree, you can only view MSC reports and MSC formulas (because the OMC/OMCR/etc. reports would not make sense in an MSC view).  However, all scenarios are always available to “switch” to, no matter what your current view.  This is because scenarios contain information about the system type (as well as the report name, dates/times, etc.) and you can, for example, be viewing MSC information on the CROME main screen and then “switch” to an OMC scenario.

Saving scenarios and then switching to them provide a powerful means to have CROME “remember”, for example, your 10 favorite reports across different technologies in your network.

Tip on Scenarios – Relative Dates

Even more powerful is to save Scenarios with relative dates.  For example, as noted above you can save Scenarios for your 10 favorite reports.  But wouldn’t it be nice if you can just Switch to Local Scenario and not only dial in your favorite report, but also pre-set the dates to, for example, “yesterday”?  This way, each morning you can Switch to Local Scenarios and quickly run data for yesterday, i.e., for a “relative” date instead of a fixed date.

This can be accomplished by first typing in a relative date into the Date “From” and/or “To” fields before saving the local scenario.  I.e., if you type in the word “yesterday” in both the From and To date fields on the Main Screen before you save the local scenario, then the scenario will be saved with a relative date, such that whenever you switch to that scenario it will report on the day before the current day.  NOTE that, since the CROME main screen automatically replaces “yesterday” with yesterday’s actual date as soon as you exit the “From” or “To” box, you’ll need to type (or copy/paste) the word (e.g., “yesterday”) a second time into each box for it to stick, before you save the local scenario.

Many other relative words besides “yesterday” are available.  See the Relative Dates subsection of the Calendar Picker section for more info.

Delete a Local Scenaio

Any local scenario, and any folders containing local scenarios, can be deleted vial this pull-right feature from the File/Properties menu.  Once you choose this item, you will see a window asking you which local scenario to delete:

Switch to System Scenario

The CROME System Administrator can configured System Scenarios that become available to all CROME Users.  Like System Reports and System Formulas, these scenarios cannot be changed the user.  They work just the same as Switch to Local Scenario, as described above.

Auto Reports Top

Auto reports are files on the local disk OR on the server that instruct the CROME Client how to automate the process of running a CROME Report or several CROME Reports.  The ensuing report can remain on the screen, or optionally have the output of the report go to a file and then have the report screen go away.

Auto Reporting is an advanced feature, and CROME does not provide a GUI to create Auto Reports files.  However, Auto Reporting files are simply text files that can be created via standard PC text editors such as Notepad.  Once placed in the proper location on your PC, they are automatically available for use in the CROME Client.  In addition, the System Administrator can create server Auto Reports (text files on the CROME Server) that are available to all CROME Users.

To start an Auto Report, choose it from the pull-right menu:

This action will reprogram the CROME main screen, possibly changing system views (e.g., from MSC to OMC, etc.) and then launch the desired report or set of reports.  It may also launch GeoMaps or save data to files.  The Auto Report will complete on its own, or it may be configured to continue bringing up reports over and over continuously (desirable if giving a CROME demonstration).  While an Auto Report is running, you cannot run other CROME reports or run another Auto Report.  To stop the active Auto Report, choose Stop Auto Reports from the pull-right menus:

For more information on creating and using Auto Report Files, refer to a separate document, “CROME Auto Reporting Guide”.


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Copyright © 1997-2005 Quantum Systems Integrators Last modified: 30 Jun 2005 00:19
Authored by qmanual