General information on management of M-Switch products can be found on other pages covering M-Switch Operational Management and Configuration Management for M-Switch X.400 and M-Switch SMTP. On this page you'll find information on management of M-Switch ACP127 capabilities using the MConsole management GUI. Specific management capabilities relevant to ACP127 deployments include:

  • Error Handling: Operator Correction
  • Error Handling: ACP127 Repair
  • ACP127 Circuit Monitoring & Control

Error Handling: Operator Correction

M-Switch supports a model of operation where selected or all errors are handled by a local operator. This is particularly important in support of "fire and forget" operation where message senders expect any errors to be handled by operators.

Where a message is syntactically valid, but fails a policy check (e.g., message too large; missing SIC; invalid recipient address) it may be handled by M-Switch message correction which is a Web interface that allows easy message correction. Operators can:

  • Correct message recipients.
  • Remove message attachments.
  • Add or remove SICs.
  • Add or modify Security Label.

Error Handling: ACP127 Repair

ACP127 is sometimes used over links where data errors occurs, and this gives rise to a class of error not generally seen with modern messaging protocols. Such errors may lead to inbound ACP127 messages failing to parse. M-Switch has two options for addressing this:

  1. Send the message with parse error as "garble" in an SMTP message to an operator. This will allow the operator to take appropriate action. This is a useful option in systems where such errors are very rare.
  2. Send the message to an operator Message Repair View in MConsole. This will allow a skilled operator to repair a damaged message and then pass back to M-Switch.

ACP127 Circuit Monitoring & Control

Operational monitoring and control of ACP127 circuits is provided by the ACP127 View. Operator control is by circuit, and each managed circuit is given a tab in the view. This approach enables a system with multiple operators to assign management of groups of circuits to individual operators.

Each circuit tab is divided into a number of sub-tabs to provide a variety of functions to the ACP 127 operator. The primary sub-tab shown below provides a circuit monitoring view. This shows the queue of messages to be transmitted with information on each message and expected finish time.

There is also a screen showing inbound and/or outbound traffic on the link. This traffic window may be "popped out" into a separate window. This is to support a mode of operation where operators have many small windows looking at traffic on multiple links.

The monitoring view shows current traffic on the link. There are also sub-tabs to access historical traffic stored in a file for each day. This allows the operator to look at data that is not in the active monitor.

There are also sub-tabs to give easy access to messages sent and received on the circuit, with default display of messages for the current day. This gives easy per-circuit access to messages handled. There are four specialized sub-tabs that may be configured on a per-circuit basis for circuits that receive messages:

  • Display of duplicate messages. This is primarily for broadcast receive circuits where messages may be sent multiple times. This gives the operator control over onward sending of the messages.
  • CODRESS (encrypted) messages. This allows the operator to manually handle CODRESS messages and pass them using files to an offline device.
  • Repair. This is the interface described above for operator repair of damaged ACP 127 messages.
  • Intercept. This is a capability primarily of interest to broadcast receivers. It allows the operator to view inbound messages that are not routed automatically. It allows the operator to intercept messages of local interest that are being sent to other destinations.

Outbound queues have three modes:

  1. Automatic. Here messages are sent automatically by M-Switch.
  2. Manual. Here messages are sent under operator control.
  3. Mixed. Here a circuit can be changed between modes. This is most commonly used for circuits which are usually automatic, but are sometimes taken under manual control.

There is operator control available for automatic circuits, which is particularly important for slow links which have high levels of traffic:

  • Delete message from queue.
  • Hold message. This allows an operator to hold a queued message for a selected time while other messages are processed. The operator may delete a held message or return to automatic processing ("let pass").
  • Process Next. This allows an operator to select the message to be processed next, after the current message has finished.
  • Abort. The message being transferred may be aborted, and then either deleted or returned to the queue. This can be helpful for a large message that is taking a long time to transmit. Note that if a FLASH message arrives, pre-emtion will lead to automatic abort of the message currently being transmitted.

There is also special handling of message that expire while in the queue, controlled by the ZPW OPSIG that specified this time. Such messages may be automatically expired or always transmitted. It is also possible to give operator control of ZPW handling on a per-message basis.

Manual control is needed for older unreliable circuits. In manual mode, the operator is presented with a list of the queued messages in priority order. The operator can choose to send messages as many times as desired and the transmission count is recorded. When the operator has determined that a message has been received (e.g, by phone call, ACP127 service message, or FAB (broadcast), the operator can mark that a message has been received. This allows reliable manual sending of messages.

The operator may also send ACP127 service messages and MConsole provides easy selection of common OPSIGs needed for such messages. This capability is likely to be most useful for operator to operator communication over manual links.

The ACP127 view also allows communication of templated messages over the link. This can be used to easily send standard test messages, which MConsole provides as default templates. MConsole also allows creation of custom templates and the ability to send arbitrary data. This can be useful when initializing ACP126 communication or following RATT procedures.