FAQ

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Technical and Installation FAQs

How do I install the software?

The Trac software will be available for download after purchase has been made. Contact Support@Go-Redrock.com for the link to download the latest release of the software. The download link will provide a complete installation package, including the web server and database. On a Windows server, the download will be a self-extracting exe file that will install the Trac application on the C: drive.

What are the Server Requirements?

The server requirements to run your Trac application are very minimal. It is not required to have server-class hardware or operating system, and a very capable server can be found for under $1000.

At minimum you want a P4 2.6GHz processor, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB Hard Disk space.

What is the required server operating system?

The Trac system can be installed on any Windows OS 2000 and newer.

Can the server be assigned a DHCP IP Address?

No, the Trac application requires a static server IP Address. The IP Address is used to check your installation code and also to access your Trac application web interface.

Can I install the Trac application on multiple computers?

No, your Trac application will only be installed on a single computer. This computer will be the server (even if it is not 'server' hardware). The users can access your Trac application from any web-enabled device on the network. As a web-based application, there is no need to install the software on any other computer.

Can I install the Trac application on a virtual machine?

Yes, the Trac application runs fine on virtual servers.

Why does the Trac application quit whenever it is started?

Windows Server 2003 and newer operating systems utilize a software technology called Data Execution Prevention (DEP) that performs additional checks on memory to help prevent malicious code from running on a system. The primary benefit of DEP is to help prevent code execution from data pages. Your Trac system utilizes this memory for some execution of scripts and will need to be set up as an exception in your Windows DEP settings.

Can the Trac application use the campus LDAP or Active Directory to log in users?

Yes, the Trac application is LDAP and Active Directory compatible. The authentication would be customized by Redrock Software. Redrock Software would need the LDAP/AD Server Address, Base DN, and a valid username & password to create, test, and implement the LDAP/AD Authentication script.

Can the Trac application be integrated with our campus Portal, Single Sign-On (SSO), CAS, WebAuth, or other?

Yes, the Trac application can integrate with Portals, SSO, CAS, or WebAuth. This integration is customized by Redrock Software. Redrock Software would work with your campus IT Dept to fully integrate the Trac application.

How can our Trac website be secured?

Redrock Software recommends utilizing a 3rd party application named Stunnel to encrypt the data between the web server and the users' web browsers. Stunnel is a free, open-source SSL wrapper that is installed on the server with the Trac application. The Trac application connects with Stunnel without encryption on the local server. Then Stunnel encrypts the data and connects with the users' browsers across the network.

Can we use an SQL database for the Trac application?

No, the Trac application utilizes a 4th Dimension database (http://www.4d.com). The web server front end is developed specifically for use with this integrated database. A future version (no ETA) of the Trac application will utilize a mySQL database.

Can we run our Trac site from an IIS web server?

No, the Trac application utilizes a custom web server developed by Redrock Software. The web server was developed to integrate fully with the built-in 4th Dimension database.

Can we run our Trac site from an Apache web server?

No, the Trac application utilizes a custom web server developed by Redrock Software. The web server was developed to integrate fully with the built-in 4th Dimension database.

Can our Student Information System integrate with our Trac application?

The Trac application can import data from any source as long as it is provided in the correct format. The data needs to be provided in a flat file format. .TXT, .CSV, .DAT, .LIS, and .XML are examples of valid file formats. The Trac application will not import data from Excel files. The data must be saved in a flat format. The order and delimiter of the fields is completely up to your preference, however, the format, order, and delimiter of the fields must remain consistent with every import. Redrock Software recommends that the student demographic data be imported with the students' course registrations and course instructors.

Can the Trac application run as a service on the server?

Yes, the Trac application can be run as a service so a user is not required to remain logged on to the server for the Trac application to run. The Trac application is installed as a service by utilizing a small application named Winserv. See the article, Install the Trac Application as a Service, for more detail to install the service with the Winserv utility.

User FAQs

What is a Profile?

Center Profiles were introduced in version 4.0. A Center Profile allows you to set up users, consultants, groups, and centers that share preferences and settings. The Groups will establish group privileges and settings for users and consultants. While the individual centers share the global profile settings, the groups and users can be restricted to accessing information by to each center.

Why would I need another Profile?

Another Profile would be needed when multiple centers cannot agree on the settings within the same Profile. There are three key areas of settings in which centers might have a conflict: Log In/Out, Appointment Scheduling, and Email Settings.

Can I add a Profile to my existing Trac system?

Yes, a Profile may be added to an existing system at any time. A Profile has an additional cost. You need to contact Redrock Support for assistance in purchasing and activating a new Profile.

How do I set up another Profile?

First, you need to purchase a Profile License by contacting Sales@Go-Redrock.com. Second, you need to choose Center Profiles from your Trac Navigation Search Glass. From the Center Profile Listing, choose Create New from the List Options menu. Third, you need to name your Center Profile and save it. When you save your Profile, your Profile is assigned a Sequence number. Finally, email that Sequence number to Redrock Support<Support@Go-Redrock.com>. Redrock Support will generate a unique Activation Code for your Profile and you can enter that code to activate your Center Profile.

How do I set up multiple centers?

A Centers tab appears at the top of your Profile Entry screen. This tab gives access to the unique Centers that are set up for the Profile. A Center in the Trac application is a unit that has unique Consultants, Schedules, Visits, and Reports. The Centers will most often be setup according to unique departments, however, you may set up your Centers according to any convention that fits your needs.

What is a Sequence Number/ID and why is it important?

Sequence IDs are numbers that are assigned to a variety of different elements within the Trac Software. These numbers are automatically assigned and remain static so that when other information that is associated with the element (i.e. name, spelling, etc.) changes, there is no confusion as to which records are associated with each other. One example would be if a Subcenter named: “The Writing Center” were to change their name to “The Reading and Writing Center” the Sequence ID would remain the same thus allowing previous visit data to remain attached to it.

How do I set our school logo?

The Trac system provides a place for a logo image to appear as a banner in the upper-right corner of your Trac system web pages. The banner is a GIF image file named SchoolBanner.gif and is placed on the Trac server in the Webfolder/TracWeb40 folder of your Trac application installation directory. Redrock Software recommends an image height no greater than 75 pixels for your banner. Consider the users' screen resolutions when considering the width of the banner image. A Trac System Administrator can upload the banner image through the Trac system via the Utilities & Prefs.

How do I change the Trac colors?

A Trac System Administrator can set up the default colors of the titles and title bars on the Trac system windows. The Trac System Administrator can set these colors from the System Preferences found in the Utilities & Prefs. The campusColorData preference provides a setup utility to select and test colors before implementing the colors for your Trac system.

How do I change the login instructions?

Any user that logs into your Trac system will log in through the same screen, so the login instructions are global to your Trac system. The instructions are found in the System Prefs. The name of the pref is MsgsAll. The instructions can be formatted with HTML to customize your fonts, colors, and sizes or add links and images.

How do I set up a nice URL or website to access the Trac system?

Your Trac application serves the Trac system web pages from the IP Address of the server. Your Trac system will be accessible via web browser by entering the IP Address as the URL. You can set up a domain name for that IP Address through your network administrator. When your site has a domain name, you will be able to access your Trac system by a recognizable address like trac.college.edu.

How do I load student data to my Trac system?

Your Trac system can import student information from an ASCII flat file. You obtain that file from your student information system. Provide a sample of the file to Redrock Support and you will receive a script that imports the data from the flat file to your Trac system database. So long as your file format remains the same, you will be able to continue to import updated student data to your Trac system. The entire process can be automated so you do not even need to do anything.

How do I load course data to my Trac system?

Your Trac system can import course registration information from an ASCII flat file. You obtain that file from your student information system. Provide a sample of the file to Redrock Support and you will receive a script that imports the data from the flat file to your Trac system database. So long as your file format remains the same, you will be able to continue to import updated course registrations to your Trac system. The entire process can be automated so you do not even need to do anything.

How do I activate courses for a new term/semester?

Activating new courses is a multistage process. Once the new courses are imported, you must adjust the term code within your System Prefs, activate the courses for each Subcenter, and transfer the Section Specialties for your consultants. Click on the Link for detailed instructions.

Why can't I see any of the utilities/main menu items?

If you have recently set up an account and notice that your screen looks incredibly bare, you’ll need to save your personal preferences within the MyPrefs settings. Click on the TracMan Icon, scroll down and select MyPrefs. You will notice that many prefs are already checked, but they do not take effect until the ‘Save Prefs’ button is clicked. Make any adjustments that you’d like and click ‘Save Prefs’. Once you click ‘Save Prefs’, go back to the Main Menu and refresh the screen to see the utilities.

How do I notify instructors when their students are visiting?

The Trac system has a couple of standard functions in place to allow you to contact the faculty when their students visit your center(s) for assistance. You can ask the students to check a box to email their instructor as they sign out of a visit. You can ask the tutors to enter their session notes and then click a button to email the visit information and notes to the instructor. You can even automate a process to run nightly or weekly and email the faculty a list of all of their students that have visited. Redrock Support will assist you in setting up these options.

How do I set up emails from my Trac system?

The Trac system has a global setting to store a value for an SMTP Mail Server. The setting is found in the System Preferences. The preference name is MAILSERVER. It can be entered with a domain name or an IP Address. The mail server needs to allow anonymous mail relay from the Trac server IP Address. An incorrectly entered mail server can cause your Trac system to operate very slowly as it attempts to connect to a non-existent mail server when scheduling or cancelling appointments.

How do I send an email to a group of students?

The Trac Navigation allows you to search students very quickly. When you have searched and found a selection of students, you can choose to send an email to this entire group at once. You can do so by choosing to Send Note from the List Options menu. Enter your email subject and message and then choose if it is an email or just a note within your Trac system. Click Send Message to complete the message and send it to the group of students.

How do I email students a reminder of their appointments?

Each Center Profile has its own unique preferences and settings. The Email tab in the Center Profile Prefs allows you to set up and format email reminders for appointments. Reminders may be sent to students, consultants, or both. The reminder message is formatted differently for the students and consultants. A student can receive a reminder for each appointment that they have scheduled the next day. A consultant can receive one email that details all of their scheduled appointments for the next day.

Additionally, the Trac system has a global setting that controls when email reminders are sent. The Automated Events tab in the Utilities and Prefs contains the timing settings and activation of the Email Reminders.

How do I email consultants a reminder of their appointments?

Each Center Profile has its own unique preferences and settings. The Email tab in the Center Profile Prefs allows you to set up and format email reminders for appointments. Reminders may be sent to students, consultants, or both. The reminder message is formatted differently for the students and consultants. A student can receive a reminder for each appointment that they have scheduled the next day. A consultant can receive one email that details all of their scheduled appointments for the next day.

Additionally, the Trac system has a global setting that controls when email reminders are sent. The Automated Events tab in the Utilities and Prefs contains the timing settings and activation of the Email Reminders.

How do I receive a copy of the emails that are sent to students?

Each Center Profile has its own unique preferences and settings. The Email tab in the Center Profile Prefs allows you to configure email settings. You can configure a Center email address that will be used to send email confirmations and reminders to the students. There are checkbox settings to allow this same email address receive a copy of the appointment confirmations, reminders, and cancellations.

Can I watch/follow lists that I have created within the Trac Application?

Yes. It is possible to watch/track lists with the Watch List Indicator. The Watch List Indicator allows you to assign a colored dot to the list of your choosing which shows up next to the name of the students on your list. You can set who can see the indicator as well as where it shows up. When the indicator is hovered over, it will give you a the name of the list associated with it. Students can be members of multiple lists and the Watchlist indicator can follow up to 9 different groups.

What is an availability?

An availability is an appointed time that a consultant offers for student appointments or drop-in visits.

What is an appointment?

Record that a student reserved a time to meet with a consultant. An appointment may be assigned a status to identify the outcome of the reserved time.

What is a visit?

Record that a student utilized the services offered at your center(s). Visits may be logged in real time by asking the student to sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave or they may be recorded after the fact.

What is the difference between a visit and an appointment?

An appointment is a reserved time for a student to meet with a consultant, while a visit is the actual act of a student coming in to a center and receiving services. If an appointment is made and a student attends, this is considered a visit; however, if there is no appointment scheduled and a student comes in for a drop in, than this is also a visit. Therefore, if appointments and drop-ins are available it is likely that when reports are run, there will be more visits than appointments.

Can I book my appointments in Outlook?

When an appointment is scheduled the Trac application can send a confirmation email. Included in the email is an iCal attachment. This attachment will display appointments in your Outlook calendar as meeting invitations.

How do Trac appointments integrate with Outlook?

When an appointment is scheduled the Trac application can send a confirmation email. Included in the email is an iCal attachment. This attachment will display appointments in your Outlook calendar as meeting invitations.

Why do I need to specify when I am available?

Creating an availability is important in allowing others to book appointments for you. If you do not create an availability, appointments might be placed in a schedule at random times, allowing for errors such as double booking to occur. With an availability, session times can be grouped together and managed as they are booked. If you offer drop-in tutoring, this will allow for other staff, students and/or faculty to identify when services are available.

Can I block times from my schedule?

Yes. Blocking times can be done in two ways. First an individual consultant can create an availability block by creating an availability and then un-checking the "is availability" checkbox in the top right corner of the availability creation window prior to saving. The second method is creating a block for an entire center which can only be done by administrators in the Center Profile> Centers tab.

How do I block times that my school/center is closed?

To create a center block you must have admin privileges to the Center Profile. In the Center Profile you will go to the Centers tab and click on the ID number of the center you would like to create the block for. Click on the "new" button in the center of the page and enter the details of the block. Note: if you would like to create a block for all center you will need to choose the Center Profile and check the box "is Global to all Subcenters?" located above the description field.

How do I move an appointment from one consultant to another?

Moving an appointment can be done by identifying the appointment you would like to move and accessing the "Move to" feature. This will allow you to the move the appointment to another consultant, day, or time.

What do I do when a consultant calls in sick?

If a consultant calls in sick, you can move the appointments to an available consultant with the 'Move To' feature within the appointments entry window.

Why is the schedule showing up in one browser, but not in another?

Occasionally you’ll come across the situation where the schedule will appear in one browser (i.e. Firefox) and not in another. This issue is not necessarily an issue with the Trac Application, it is usually associated with the actual browser and/or network settings. The schedule itself uses JavaScript to function. Make sure that your browser is running the most current version of Java. It is also a good idea to clear all of the “cookies” and the “cache’ from the browser.

Can I delete or change a large group of visits all at once?

Yes. Use the visit search to identify the visits you would like to delete/change. Once you have run the search, keep the visits listing open with the records visible. Verify that the number of records you should be obtaining are correct. From here, click on the TracMan Icon and select ‘Utilities and Prefs’. You will see three additional tabs open (Change Value, Delete, and Batch Script). You can use the first and second tab to either change a field or delete a visit. Remember: these are both destructive operations that cannot be undone and must be thought carefully about prior to executing.

How do I survey a group of students?

Surveying a group of students is simple if you have SurveyTrac. SurveyTrac affords you the ability to create an unlimited number of surveys with an unlimited number of questions that can be given on student entry, exit, or sent out within an email. Students can be emailed surveys individually or you can pull up a specific group of students and email the survey all at once. For more information on SurveyTrac, contact us to set up a demo.

Why isn’t a consultant showing up on the schedule?

In order for a consultant to show up on the schedule, there are two settings that must be in place. First, the consultant must be assigned to the Center Profile in which the Center resides and second, within the Consultant Profile under the Subcenters tab make sure to select the Subcenter that should have the Consultant on the schedule. Consultants can reside on multiple schedules and within multiple Center Profiles if you choose.

Why can't a consultant/user view the schedule?

There are a couple of permissions and settings that need to be in place to enable a conusltant/user to see the schedule. These permissions can be found in the Center Profiles under the user group settings.

Should I delete past consultants that are no longer working with us?

No. There is no safe way to delete a consultant. What we recommend is marking the consultants that you wish to remove as ‘Inactive’. This will allow previous records to remain attached to that consultant and make for the most accurate reporting possible. To ‘Deactivate’ a consultant, simply navigate to the Consultants (tutors, advisors, counselors, etc.) tab within your Center Profiles and un-check the box next to their name.

Should I delete Subcenters that we no longer use?

No. There is no safe way to delete a Subcenter. We recommend marking the Subcenters that you wish to remove as ‘Inactive’. This will allow previous records to remain attached to that Subcenter and make for the most accurate reporting possible. To ‘Deactivate’ a Subcenter, simply navigate to the ‘Centers’ tab within your Center Profiles and un-check the box in the middle of the frame under the term ‘Active’.

How do I use SurveyMonkey with my Trac system?

A survey produced with SurveyMonkey is assigned a link for participants to click on that will take them to the website where they can answer the survey questions. This link can be placed within an email and sent out to students through the messaging features of the Trac Applications. Unlike SurveyTrac, SurveyMonkey is unable to provide the options for surveys to be present within the Trac Application login or logout process.

What is SurveyTrac?

The SurveyTrac module is an additional module one can purchase to be used within the Trac Systems. SurveyTrac allows you to create an unlimited number of surveys with an unlimited number of questions. In addition to being presented when students log in or out, surveys can also be automatically emailed to students after their visit or manually emailed to groups of students. This module allows you to gather more detailed and comprehensive feedback from students about their experience.

Do I need SurveyTrac?

SurveyTrac is an additional module that is available for purchase. It is not required and whether or not it is a necessity for you is completely based on whether or not you would like for your Trac System to provide surveys to its users before, during, or after their visits.

What is Whiteboard?

Whiteboard is a an additional module that can be purchased and used within the Trac Systems. This module provides an online consulting option for campuses that provide online tutoring or advising. Whiteboard consists of a virtual room in which students can chat, draw on a virtual whiteboard and even share documents. Its features make it easy to receive assistance in a variety of areas including math and science.

Do I need Whiteboard?

Whiteboard is an additional module that is available for purchase. It is not required; and whether or not it is a necessity for you, is completely based on whether or not you would like for students to be able to interact with consultants and each other within a virtual room wherein they can chat, draw on a virtual whiteboard, or share documents.

What is SAGE?

SAGE is an additional module that can be purchased and used within the Trac Systems. It allows a course instructor, administrator, or an advisor to be proactive in referring at-risk students to tutoring or advising services. These referrals are completely customizable with the purpose of identifying which students need help while informing the proper personnel to provide help. Once a referral is saved, SAGE will send an email to the appropriate parties (i.e. student, tutoring department, dean, academic advisor, etc.) so that the process of providing assistance can begin.

Do I need SAGE?

SAGE is an additional module that is available for purchase. It is not required and whether or not it is a necessity for you is completely based on whether or not you would like for administrators or staff members to be able to create referrals for students that could benefit from being seen by a consultant.

Reporting FAQs

Can reports be run automatically?

Yes, reports can be run automatically with our automated reports feature. Reports can be run in a variety of increments and can be delivered via email to an individual or a group.

How do I run a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Report?

Running an SI Report is an extremely efficient way to identify the usefulness of your SI Program. Running the report is simple. Follow the link for instructions.

What are the differences between the “Students/Visits by??”, “Visits/Students by??”, and “Appointments/Students by??” reports?

The primary difference is what the report is using as its logic to run the report. The “Students/Visits by??” report will provide the total number of students and visits grouped in a variety of ways; the “Visits/Students by??” report provides visit data through a variety of fields; while the “Appointments/Students by??” displays appointment data for your subcenter(s).