Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Nesstar Server

Nesstar WebView

Nesstar Publisher

General

Nesstar Server

What are the software/hardware installation requirements?

The minimum software/hardware requirements that a machine must have are the following:

Does Nesstar 4.0 support 64 bit operating systems?

Yes, Nesstar 4.0.x does run on 64 bit.  From Nesstar 4.0.8 version the bundled java and mysql versions in the windows installer version are 64 bit. Hence, you can install latest Nesstar only on 64-bit windows.  The Linux version however, can be run on both 32-but and 64-bit versions.

Which Linux distros are supported by Nesstar4.0?

Nesstar4.0 has been tested on Ubuntu10.4 and officially supports it. Other distros might work fine but are not tested and supported. There have been reports of issues on SUSE.

What can't I access the User Management Tool?

The User Mangement Tool requires taht you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x. If you continue to encounter difficulties please check the security, privacy and advanced settings in your browser.

Why do I get an error that I am not authorised to administer NT services?

If you receive this error message check that you have full administrative rights on the computer and the directories on which you will be working.

If you do not have administrative rights, contact an administrator to gain these rights.

If you do have administrative rights then this could be a problem with the error message itself. Try ignoring the message and click on 'apply settings' (in the Configuration Tool) until it allows you to proceed.

Why can’t I connect to the Nesstar Server through a proxy?

To connect to the Nesstar Server through a proxy you must specify your proxy settings in the ‘advanced mode’ of the Configuration Tool. To publish to a proxy server you need to enter your configuration details in the Nesstar Publisher – go to File | Preferences | Proxy Settings.

Can I run a Nesstar Server from behind a firewall?

If you are behind a firewall, this needs to be configured to allow access to ports that the Nesstar Server requires. Restrictions on access to these ports can affect normal usage. Please contact your network administrator if you encounter difficulties. Please contact nesstar-support@nesstar.com if you require further assistance.

How do I delete a study or a cube?

Either use the publisher to delete the object via Manage Server or delete the relevant xml file from the data directory of the Nesstar Server.

Where do I add additional documentation?

The directory structure of the Nesstar Server has been modified. You now need to place any additional documentation in the directory <nesstar-server> /jboss/server/default/deploy/root.war.

How do I stop MySQL running as a service?

There are two ways to shut down your MySql server:

Please note that Start will only start an integrated MySQL Server. Restart and Stop do not control the selected database server at all. This is also true of short-cuts and server bin batch files.

Is it possible to run two Nesstar Servers at the same time?

It is possible to run two Nesstar-servers on the same box, but due to often unpredictable port-behaviours (Nesstar uses a lot of ports for internal communications), we recommend the following setup if you're running several Nesstar Servers on one box:

  1. Configure the box itself with multiple IP-addresses (on the OS level). This is usually quite straightforward for ICT personell to do.
  2. Use different IP-addresses when configuring the different Nesstar instances
  3. NB! Note that MySQL is connected via "localhost" (i.e. no IP-address), so be careful to use different MySQL ports when you set up
    multiple Nesstar Servers on one box, even if they have different IP-addresses.

To do so:

Install the initial server and then each additional server in a different directory. When you click Apply Settings in the Configuration Tool a message will appear stating that there is a conflict in the service names and/or in the ports used by the new server. The tool will propose different names/ports to solve the problem.

Note: If you install more then one server of the same version on the same machine, the start up folder which is accessed by clicking on Start | All Programs, will be overwritten by the most recent installation. Therefore, you can specify a different name, for the Start Menu link, during the server installation.n.

Can I change the name of my Nesstar Server?

The Nesstar Server name must be set during the installation process and cannot be changed later. You should be aware that the name of the server is used for the name of the default catalogue within WebView

How do I configure an external database to work with my Nesstar Server?

See the online database configuration guide

Why has the Nesstar service become disabled? I am running the Nesstar Server under Windows 2000.

Under Windows 2000 sometimes the Nesstar service may be disabled if the service is selected in the services control panel and you either uninstall the service using the bin\uninstall.bat or you switch the server to 'debug mode' in the Configuration Tool.
To resolve this issue you need to go to the registry (run regedit) and delete the service named HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Nesstar-Server-3. Then start your Nesstar Server as normal.

Why am I not able to download data in SPSS (.sav) format? I am running the Nesstar Server under Linux.

The component Nesstar uses to create SPSS .sav files is only available for Windows. For this reason users won't be able to export data into .sav-files on the Linux version. SPSS portable files (.por) will still be supported. 

What is the recommended configuration?

We state that Nesstar is designed to work best with just the basic configurations. You can refer to the basic configuration guide for more details.

Can Nesstar 3.5 and Nesstar 4.0 run on the same server box?

It is possible to run two Nesstar-servers on the same box, but due to  often unpredictable port-behaviours (Nesstar uses a lot of ports for internal communications), we recommend the following setup if you're
running several Nesstar Servers on one box:

  1. Configure the box itself with multiple IP-addresses (on the OS level). This is usually quite straightforward for ICT personell to do.
  2. Use different IP-addresses when configuring the different Nesstar  instances
  3. NB! Note that MySQL is connected via "localhost" (i.e. no IP-address), so be careful to use different MySQL ports when you set up multiple Nesstar Servers on one box, even if they have different IP-addresses.

How do I increase the memory used by Nesstar?

To increase memory on the Nesstar-Server,

  1. Open the Nesstar Servers' Configuration Tool
  2. Click on "Display advanced server configuration details"
  3. Scroll down (almost to the bottom) to find "Java Memory Settings"
  4. Change the (Xmx-)value from:

    -Xms64M -Xmx1024M -XX:PermSize=128M -XX:MaxPermSize=256M -server

    ...into eg...

    -Xms64M -Xmx2048M -XX:PermSize=128M -XX:MaxPermSize=256M -server
  5. Click Apply Settings
  6. If the server doesn't come up, that means that it's not able to
    allocate 2G. In that case you'll have to reduce the Xmx-value a bit

    Note:
    When Nesstar starts up, it (the Java VM) will attempt to allocate the amount of memory specified in the Xmx-setting. If the OS cannot spare the specified amount of memory at the time, the JVM (and hence Nesstar) will fail to start.

    The OS does itself consume much memory, so there's often a need to experiment a bit to find the sweet spot.

              Starting from Nesstar 4.0.8 the windows version supports 64-bit OS and the benefits of a 64 bit OS can be utilized.

The 'Automatic Study  Deployer' does work when I copy xml ddi files into /data folder in Nesstar 4.0?

The automatic study deployer has been removed as it is not compatible with the multilingual capabilitites.

In version 4 there needs to be one DDI-file pr. language, and it turned out to be very hard to make the automatic study deployer understand this new multifile system.

We acknowledge the need to be able to upload metadata (and data) to Nesstar without using Nesstar Publisher, and for that reason we are developing a tool called Nesstar Auto Publisher, which will work pretty
much like the old study deployer, just that it can run outside the Nesstar-server itself, and also it provides better error-handling than the "dumb" study deployer.

It is planned to be released in March/April 2011. Until then, you have to import the DDI-files into Nesstar Publisher and "publish metadata" from the Publishing-menu.

 

Can I copy *.properties file from my older nesstar server 3.5 to my nesstar 4.0?

No, copying *.properties files form older nesstar3.5 server to newer nesstar4.0 server does not work.

There are lots of differences between the properties files for 3.5 and 4.0, and we have no tool to automatically handle the migration.
Hence, if you have already copied these files over then you will face issues. We recommend the following :

  1. Delete the files from <server>/config/ folder and reopen the config tool. The server will copy the default .properties files from <server>/config/instadata/ folder back into  <server>/config/ folder and you can continue manual configurations.
  2. If (1) fails then, we request you to do a fresh install and configure the server manually using the config tool.

  

What are the permissions needed for a user account to act as administrator of Nesstar Server?

 Required permissions for a user (or power user) to act as Nesstar Server Administrator are:

  1.  Installation permission : Access to install the server on the system
  2. Permission to start, stop and delete a windows service as nesstar server and the mysql are run as a windows services.

Please note that if the configuration tool is started without the admin rights it will show up as below and no action such as start, stop, restart, import server, etc can be performed.

config-tool-no-admin-rights

To resolve this follow the below steps:

  1. Close the config tool
  2. Right-click on the config-tool icon (shortcut)
  3. Select " Run as Administrator" option
  4. Enter credentials if prompted.

Why is Nesstar server object browser not working? Is it still available in Nesstar 4.0?

 Server object browser is indeed still supported and available.However, for security reasons it is available only when the debugging is enabled. You can enable debugging through server configuration tool, advanced options.

 

Why do I get error when I publish studies using Publisher 3.5x to Nesstar Server 4.0.x?

 The nesstar 4.0.x server accepts .Nesstar file format where-as the old Nesstar Publisher 3.5 creates .NSDstat file format. Hence, you will encounter error when using Publisher 3.5x against Nesstar Server 4.0.x. However, you simply have to open the .NSDstat file via Publisher4.0.x and the Publisher will convert the .NSDstat to newer .Nesstar format . And when you publish the study via Publisher4.0.x to a Nesstar server 4.0.x it will work fine. If you are working with cubes then please refer to the step-by-step guide regarding publishing cubes using old NSDstat file.

 

Nesstar WebView

What software do I need to use WebView?

The latest stable versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome are the preferred web browsers that should support all features of WebView.

Why can’t I open my STATA download with my version of STATA?

The STATA download from WebView is in Stata8 format - this is not compatible with previous versions of STATA. You need to ensure that you have the latest STATA package.

How do I add additional catalogues to WebView?

You can create multiple and nested catalogues by using the Nesstar Publisher.

manage-server

 

 New-catalog

How do I customize webview welcome page?

The welcome page that is displayed on the webview can be customized through 'manage server' menu option in Nesstar Publisher as follows:

welcome-page

Why do I not get any results when I search for variables?

You need to specify 'Search for variables' in the 'Return what?' section.

How do disable / and / or hide the download button from webview?

Nesstar uses/has "challenge-based" authentication and authorisation.
Therefore the system doesn't "know" whether or not you're entitled to
perform a certain operation until you try to perform it.

The auth/auth checks are only run when an attempt is made to download
something. There's therefore no way of selectively disable the download
icon/option for certain users.

Nesstar Publisher

What are the software/hardware installation requirements?

A minimum of 1GB of hard disk space is recommended for installation and local data storage, and that you have 2 GB or more of free hard disk space on the disk where the TEMP directory is located. More space may be required for very large datasets.

1 GHz or faster processor, and 512 MB memory or more is recommended.  Large datasets may require more memory.

Minimum 1024x768 resolution, 1280x1024 or higher recommended.

OS: Windows XP/2000/Vista/Win 7

Will I be able to use publisher in Linux?

There are no immediate plans to develop/release Linux version of Nesstar Publisher.

But, we have had reports that Nesstar Publisher has been run successfully under Wine on Linux. Note that this has not been tested by us, and that running Nesstar Publisher under Wine will not be supported by us (due to the many versions of Wine and distros running Wine).

Which version of the DDI Nesstar Version 4 supports?

Nesstar Publisher v4.0 supports DDI 1.2.2 with some support for DDI 2.1. We are working on adding DDI 2.5 to later versions of Nesstar Publisher.

Why do I get the error message ‘corrupt installation detected’ ?

Make sure you have administrative rights to the machine on which you are trying to install the Nesstar Publisher.

Why can I add a Nesstar Server but not publish to it?

Any user of the server can access the ‘Manage Server’ component. Only admin and publisher users (users with administrative rights) can publish.

How do I publish to a secure server?

Please consult the latest version of the general 'Getting Started Guide' and 'Publisher User Guide' for information on publishing to a secure server. You can download the guides from our publisher help site.

Where is the File Description part of the DDI in the Publisher?

Some of the fields from the File Description section of the DDI are not relevant for NSDstat format files, and cannot be found within Publisher. Others are automatically generated from the dataset itself and can therefore not be edited, but others can be added to a Publisher Template in the usual way. Please refer to the Publisher User Guide for further information.

How do I add documentation such as .pdf or .doc files in the Nesstar Publisher?

Documents can be added to a Nesstar Server and then linked to from Publisher by:

1. Copying the file into the directory \Nesstar-Server-xx\jboss\deploy\server\default\root.war\

2. Then adding a link to this file in within Publisher by using just the document name in the following format: /document_name.doc

Why does it occasionally take a long time to import a small file ?

The following are possible causes of this:

1. Lack of  space on your hard drive. The data are best imported into Publisher from the hard disk of your PC or from a network drive to which you are allowed to save files.

2. Lack of temporary space or no permission to write to a drive. As soon as a file is being imported, Publisher will create a tempory copy of itself, and you will need space and permission to write to this area.  To specify where temp files are stored see File | Preferences in Publisher.

3. Problems with your network connection. It is also possible that the problem occurred because of a temporary loss in connection to your network, if the file is on a network drive.

4. Your dataset contains a large number of alphanumeric variables. Importing a file that contains alphanumeric (string) variables longer than 8 characters may slow the import process.

Does the Publisher support non-English characters?

To avoid any problems the Nesstar Server and Publisher machines should use the same character set. When downloading the datasets the same character set that was used when the NSDstat file was created should also be used.

If no short string variables have been used in any datasets, or if the short string variables only contain ASCII characters, then the datasets can be used on all machines without regard to character set.

Are the variables that are longer than 8 characters shortened to 8 characters when exported from Nesstar4.0 into SAS variables?

  In Nesstar4.0, the variables that are longer than 8 characters are no longer shortened when exported into SAS variables.

Where can I find the Nesstar Exporter Excel Macro mentioned in section 10 of the Publisher User Guide "Nesstar Cubes:"?

The Nesstar Exporter Excel Macro can be downloaded from the publisher help site.


How do I publish cubes using old NSDstat file?

              Please refer to the step-by-step guide regarding publishing cubes using old NSDstat file.

 

 Do I need to update my templates created in earlier editions of Nesstar Publisher to make them compatible with Nesstar Publisher 4.0?

One has to export the templates from Publisher 3.5 as per the following steps
  1. Go to menu option [Documentation | Template ]
  2. Select the custom template.
  3. Click on Export option.
To import the custom templates into Nesstar Publisher 4.0 using the below steps
  1. Goto [Documentation | Template ]
  2. Click on Import option
  3. Browse to and select the custom template file.
  4. The Publisher 4.0 will create 4.0 compatible multilingual templates.

 What is .missRecode file?

When writing Statistica, all missing values, user- or system-missing, must be recoded into a new value. The reason is that Statistica has only this representation of missing values. Hence when exporting datasets into STATA-8 ( *.dta) or Statistica ( *.sta) categories being defined as missing in source file will not have the category definition transferred into the Statistica file. A  *.missRecode file is created, this file documents the missing value recodings done by the publisher.

Note: Whenever a .dta is shared with other users the .missrecode file also needs to be shared if it is more than 1KB in size. The .missRecode file can be opened using a text editor ( eg. notepad).

 How do I import certificates in Nesstar Publisher

If your Nesstar Server uses a certificate signed by someone the Nesstar Publisher does not know about (typically this happens when using a self-signed certificate, but the same procedure applies in other situations too), you will need to import the certificate into the Nesstar Publisher's keystore to be able to use SSL.

Included in the Nesstar Publisher distribution there is a batch file called importcerts.bat. Simply copy any certificate(s) you want imported in .cer or .pem format to the Nesstar Publisher root folder and then run this bat file. You will need to restart the Nesstar Publisher after having imported new keys for the changes to take effect.

If the Nesstar Server you are trying to connect to uses a self-signed certificate, you will need to get the .pem file from the server. If you have access to the server, you can copy it from config/ssl/ in the installed server. It will be named after the server name, and should be the only .pem file in that folder. If you do not have access to the server yourself, ask the server administrator to get it for you.

If the Nesstar server does not use a self signed certificate, and you still have problems with SSL, this most likely means that the certificate is signed by a certificate signing authorithy that was too new or to obscure to be included in the default keystore that ships with the Nesstar Publisher. In this case, ask your Nesstar server adminsistrator to send you the root certificate in .pem or .cer format and follow the procedure described above to import it into the Publisher keystore.

 

General

How to enable third party usage statistics logging in Nesstar?

The steps below describes the process required for enabling third party usage statistics logging in Nesstar.

The example shows how to enable logging via Google Analytics, but the pattern is generic and should work for other services like e.g. Yahoo! Web Analytics.

  1. Create an account with Google Analytics (if you don't already have one)
  2. Create a "profile" for the Nesstar Server. Specify the URL of the Nesstar Server
  3. You will now receive a Javascript-snippet from Google. This snippet will contain the ID of the profile you just created
  4. Copy the Javascript-snippet from 3) above, and paste it into the following file on your installed Nesstar Server: {server-home}/jboss/server/default/deploy/webview.war/static/stats.html
  5. Restart the Nesstar Server
  6. Visit Nesstar WebView on the Nesstar Server, and use the Google Analytics dashboard to verify that it receives traffic from your Nesstar Server

Which version of the DDI does Nesstar 4.0 support ?

Nesstar Publisher v4.0 supports DDI 1.2.2 with some support for DDI 2.1. We are working on adding DDI 2.5 to later versions of Nesstar Publisher.

Will Nesstar in the future be supporting DDI 3?

Nesstar's short term goal is to support the upcoming DDI2-version DDI 2.5. This is the first version that attempts to bridge the gap between DDI's 2.x- and 3.x-branches (now unofficially labeled "DDI-C (codebook)" and "DDI-L (lifecycle)").

It is likely, though not finally decided, that Nesstar will follow the upgrades on the DDI-C-branch. This may or may not end up in DDI-3.x-support ultimately, but as DDI-3.x itself is in flux and a moving target (with two version upgrades planned pr. year), it is hard for us to promise DDI3.x-support at this stage.