Art & Science

User Guide for Rategate, ASL rates server for Thomson Financial Services 'Vision' system

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3. Operational Procedure

3.1 Loading the software

Create a directory for the RATEGATE eg. 'ratefeed' and copy the release disc into it. This disc contains an example 'INSTMENT.TXT' file, so be careful not to over-write the run-time version if this has been created before receipt of the release disc! The example 'INSTMENT.TXT' file containd five popular instruments and canbe used as a basis for creating the run-time version. To make an icon, drag the executable from the File Manager into a suitable window on the desktop when a red and yellow icon with the name of the program will appear.

If a combined ASL/BTS server is used, there is a BTS setup which must also be performed with a two line edit to the WIN.INI file. Add these lines:-


RateServerName = <IP name of this machine eg rateserver>

3.2 Starting up the system

The Data Vendor feed system should be running first. Start the RATEGATE program before the TFS Vision Terminal (called RATEFEED.EXE) by double-clicking on the icon or hitting <Enter after selecting it.

After the TFS Vision Terminal has been seen to sign on, the Options menu can be used to suppress screen input/output messages. However, if the previous run showed suspect behaviour, open the Log File from the 'File' menu. This will cause all screen messages to be filed, allowing diagnosis of any problems.

3.3 Signing off

If the system is halted by operator action (see below), the Vision Terminal is polled with a sign-off message. All files are closed and the system shuts down.

3.4 Failures

3.4.1 Dialogue Boxes

Any fatal failure of the system will probably cause a dialogue box to appear. If this is produced by Windows, a serious condition has occurred. Report it to ASL. If the RATEGATE produces the box, the user may be able to take action. For example, if the 'INSTMENT.TXT' file is missing, a back-up can be installed. If the problem cannot be solved locally, fax details, including everything on the screen display and the colour it is in to ASL. The colours are significant.

3.4.2 Error messages on screen

These are in Yellow on Red and, unless they echo the dialogue box, are generally not fatal but may indicate a malfunction of the system, such as the unavailability of a VIC, a shortage of memory (which indicates that some VICs will not be reported) or temorary error conditions between the RATEGATE and the data source. If these persist or occur frequently, set the Log File on and send a printed copy of it to ASL.

3.4.3 Seeing what is going on

The screen display can be minimised to the garish ASL icon but if anything goes wrong and the Log display has not been logged to disc, ASL will hike their call-out charge by 30% or, if the problem is covered by manitenance, charge £30 per hour while visiting the site. Log files can become very large & should be disposed of at regular intervals. The option to do so is part of the start-up procedure of newly installed servers. When the user is comfortable with the server, a version without these start-up dialogue boxes can be supplied.

4. RATEGATE operator Interface

The equipment is installed at the user site, ideally where the screen can be accessed by a responsible person. There are three forms of user intervention available to the system. Apart from shutting the system down, either the diagnostics can be varied or error conditions must be solved.

4.1 Display organisation

The display is organised into the four zones of the ASL Standard User Interface. Starting from the top, these are:-

4.1.1 Title

This contains the version number of the system. If any queries or problems need to be reported to Ken Baldry at Art & Science, please quote the version number and also the data displayed on the screen, noting the colour it is displayed in. The principle cause of problems is running obsolete versions of the system.

4.1.2 Log Window

This is used to display information about the progress of the monitoring, which can be varied from the File menu (see below). When reporting problems, this area should be described.

4.1.3 Status Window

This is coloured red. Any conditions or errors requiring user action are reported here. If the errors are fatal, then a request to 'Shut the system down' will also be shown. Otherwise, instructions are shown on the Command Line.

4.1.4 Command Window

This is the top window and is used only for diagnosis by a visiting engineer in RATEGATE.

4.2 Colour in the Information Area

The various messages shown in this area are coloured according to their significance.

Magenta messages are comments generated by the system.

Red on Cyan messages concern the opening and closing of files and ports.

Cyan messages are input from the Dealing 2000 port.

Yellow messages are output to the Dealing 2000.

Black on Cyan messages are input from users.

Black on Green messages show the phasing of start-up and shutdown.

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Contact: Ken Baldry at Art & Science,
17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY
Head office:+44(0)20 7359 6294or e-mail him
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Last revised 24/10/1999

Copyright: Art & Science 1998, 1999 All rights reserved.