News and updates for Synergy/DE Developers :: April 15, 2010

Synergy/DE 9.3.1a patch is available

Synergy/DE 9.3 is released

SPC 2010 is coming to Sacramento October 4-8
Synergex Sim-Ships with Visual Studio 2010
Developers can immediately take advantage of the latest technologies from both Synergex and Microsoft

An Ounce of Encryption Is Worth a Pound of Cure — Part 2
Spotlight on Synergy/DE 9.3: Network Encryption with xfServerPlus
By John Brunett, Senior Software Engineer,
& Mark Cooper, Lead Systems Programmer

What’s Really Involved in Implementing Encryption?
Watch a short video about this exciting new capability in Synergy/DE 9.3

Where in the World Is Synergy/DE?
Awarding over $1M to independent tire dealers in need of a bailout

Synergy/DE Tech Tip
Debugging performance issues on Windows

Synergy/DE pros, see if you can answer this question!

Platform News
Read a selection of recent articles

Announcing the Q1 Developer Support Survey Contest Winner
Congratulations to Gayle Lewis from AgTrax!

Synergex Sim-Ships with Visual Studio 2010
Developers can immediately take advantage of the latest technologies from both Synergex and Microsoft

Earlier this week Microsoft announced the release of Visual Studio 2010 (and .NET Framework 4), saying this “…next wave of developer tools and technologies re-defines simplicity, [and] creates new opportunities for developers”. Microsoft also said that about 50 partners announced availability of products “built on this latest wave of technologies”. Synergex was one of these 50 partners as we released a new version of our data provider product to coincide with the Visual Studio 2010 release. Synergy/DE Data Provider for .NET provides access to Synergy DBMS databases through ODBC and the Entity Framework, giving Visual Studio developers the power, scalability, and reliability of these non-relational databases and the advantages of the Entity Framework from within their .NET Framework applications.
By simultaneously shipping with Visual Studio 2010, we’re enabling .NET Framework developers to immediately take advantage of the latest technologies from both Microsoft and Synergex. To be ready to ship in sync with Microsoft this week, we’ve been working closely with Microsoft engineers and beta versions of Visual Studio 2010 over the past few months. The sim-ship version of Synergy/DE Data Provider for .NET is available on Microsoft’s Visual Studio Gallery. It will be included in our upcoming patch, Synergy/DE 9.3.1b, which is scheduled for release in early May.
For additional information about Visual Studio 2010, see
Microsoft’s Visual Studio MSDN site
InfoWorld review: Visual Studio 2010 delivers, April 13 article
Inside Microsoft's Next Visual Studio 2010, .NET Framework 4 Releases, April 13 article
For more information about Synergy/DE Data Provider for .NET, visit the Synergy/DE Web site, view this brief product video, or contact your Synergy/DE account manager.

An Ounce of Encryption Is Worth a Pound of Cure — Part 2
Spotlight on Synergy/DE 9.3: Network Encryption with xfServerPlus

By John Brunett, Senior Software Engineer, and Mark Cooper, Lead Systems Programmer

This is the second article in a three-part series about the new encryption capabilities in Synergy/DE 9.3. See the first article, Network Encryption with xfServer, for an overview of network encryption.

With Synergy/DE 9.3, you have the ability to use encryption with xfServerPlus methods when connecting to xfNetLink .NET and xfNetLink Synergy. As with xfServer, when using encryption with xfServerPlus you can choose between master and slave encryption. When using master encryption, all method calls will be encrypted. When using slave encryption, you can choose which method calls you would like to be encrypted. Note that encryption causes a slight performance hit, as all of the data passed must be encrypted and decrypted on both the xfServerPlus side and the xfNetLink side. With this in mind, you may find it beneficial to use slave encryption and only encrypt the methods that pass sensitive data, such as personal customer data or credit card information.

As we discussed last time, you’ll need to install OpenSSL on the xfServerPlus server and, if you’re using xfNetLink Synergy, on all the client machines. For the xfNetLink .NET client, however, the encryption library comes from the .NET Framework and the Windows operating system. There’s nothing extra to install, but if you’re on Windows Vista/2008 or higher, you’ll need to select which cipher suite to use. To do this, just run the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc), where you can choose from the cipher suites available and arrange them in the order you want.

> read the full article

What’s Really Involved in Implementing Encryption?
Watch a short video about this exciting capability in Synergy/DE 9.3

With the increase in computer system security regulations and end-user security concerns, data encryption has become a requirement for many business solutions.

With Synergy/DE 9.3 encryption, you can encrypt sensitive Synergy/DE data using industry-standard cipher techniques in three application areas:

• When storing data fields to a Synergy DBMS file (ISAM or relative)
• When transferring data between your client application and xfServer
• When transferring data between your xfNetLink client application and xfServerPlus

And Synergy/DE encryption gives you control over what you encrypt and what level of encryption you use. Learn more about this exciting feature: Watch a short video on encryption in Synergy/DE 9.3.

Where in the World Is Synergy/DE?
Awarding over $1M to independent tire dealers in need of a bailout

Headquartered in Merrimack, NH, ASA Tire Systems develops Synergy/DE-based software to help independent tire dealers and retreaders manage all facets of their businesses. At the beginning of 2009, ASA Tire decided they needed to do something drastic to help pull their industry out of the economic tailspin being experienced by so many. And thus their $1,000,000 bailout package was born.

ASA’s bailout campaign offered funds to qualified tire dealers who needed to upgrade their technology infrastructures. ASA believed that these dealers could benefit significantly from upgrading their technology at a time when earning and keeping a customer’s business was more critical than ever. So, they rolled out the program nationwide, and received hundreds of grant requests from independent tire dealerships across the country. When all was said and done, more than $1 million in funding had been awarded.

Wayne Croswell, past-president of ASA Tire Systems, was very pleased at the success of the program: “I am thrilled that we can continue to support the independent dealers during these economic hard times. … Many dealers took advantage of this program to replace their outdated infrastructures and improve their technology capabilities. I am proud that we were able to give back to the industry during such difficult financial times."

Based on Synergy/DE 9 and running on Linux, ASA International Tire’s software includes modules for POS, inventory management, accounting, and more. For more information on ASA Tire, go to

Synergy/DE Tech Tip
Debugging performance issues on Windows

How can I find the cause of a performance issue when it’s a system problem rather than an application or Synergy/DE problem?

Sometimes when a performance issue is reported, it can be very difficult to find the true cause. Often a customer will contact Synergy/DE Developer Support to debug an application performance issue, and the cause of the problem will turn out to be in the network or with local resources. Two tools that help reveal these problems are available for free download from Microsoft: Process Explorer and Microsoft Network Monitor.

Debugging issues in which local resources are consumed (CPU, memory, or disk I/O)

1. First, use the multi-functional Process Explorer (, and monitor the processes that are consuming excessive resources compared to the other running processes.

2. Open the Process Explorer, and set the view to View -> Select Columns.

3. On the following tabs, confirm that only the specified columns are selected:

Process Image tab: Select Process Name and PID (Process Identifier)
Process Performance tab: Select CPU Usage, I/O Reads, I/O Writes
Process Memory tab: Select Page Faults, Private Bytes, Peak Working Set Size

4. Depending on the issue, monitor the columns (I/O Read/Write for disk activity and CPU and memory-based columns for CPU bound issues) for large values or values that are being consumed in an increasingly greater amount, and observe which process(es) are responsible.

Debugging network-related issues:

1. Download and install the Microsoft Network Monitor (information page: The program itself can be downloaded from

2. Once installed, set the filters as follows:

File > New > Capture
Filter > Display Filter > Load Filter > Standard Filters >Addresses > IPv4 Addresses

3. In the Display Filter window, edit the filter by commenting the line below (add "//" as the first characters on the line): IPv4.Address ==

and uncommenting the following line by removing the "//":

// IPv4.Address == AND IPv4.Address ==

4. Edit the IP address to be that of the client and server.

5. Start the capture, reproduce the issue, and stop the capture.

6. Save the capture file and send it to Synergy/DE Developer Support.

Synergy/DE pros, see if you can answer this question!

Functional programming languages such as Haskell and OCaml include a construct called a “lazy list” — a list of items that is evaluated lazily (i.e., as each member of the list is requested). This allows you to treat a potentially endless sequence as an array, without having to take the time and storage to construct the entire sequence up front (which could take literally forever). How can you create a lazy list in Synergy/DE?

a. You can’t. Arrays in Synergy/DE are finite; even ArrayLists have a finite length at any given moment

b. Use a function or method to compute the requested element, instead of an array

c. Extend the ArrayList class and override its indexer

Click here for the answer and explanation.

Platform News

Some stability issues occur when you run an application that uses the DirectWrite API. A hotfix download is available.

If you use an antivirus program, this hotfix may be important to you.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Available
Microsoft's Cloud-Enabled Office 2010 Set to Join Battle with Google
IT’s Love Affair with Windows XP Ending
Microsoft Ending Support for Itanium
Windows 7’s Share Breaks 10%

Novell Wins, SCO Loses
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Expands Technology Innovation Spanning Physical, Virtual and Cloud Environments

HP_OpenVMS Technical Journal
OpenVMS Stories Wanted for the 2010 Itanium Innovation Awards

Announcing the Q4 Developer Support Survey Contest Winner

Gayle Lewis, from AgTrax Technologies, is the winner of the Q1 Developer Support Survey contest and the recipient of a $100 American Express gift card. AgTrax is the leading agricultural software provider in the Midwestern United States.

Want a chance to win? Let us know what you think!

Customer satisfaction with our Developer Support is monitored and enhanced through the distribution of satisfaction surveys upon the closing of each support case. Each quarter, we choose a winner by randomly selecting the name of a customer who has completed a survey after working with Developer Support. So, next time you call on us for support, let us know how we did, and you could win $100 just for sharing your opinion. Not too shabby, eh?

Thanks to everyone who completed a Developer Support survey in Q4, and we look forward to hearing from you again.

If you do not currently have Synergy/DE Developer Support, contact your Synergy/DE account manager for more information.