AppliedOnline Frequently Asked Questions

Product: Applied TAMOnline

The questions are organized into these sections:

General Questions

Where is Applied TAMOnline? What type of redundancy does the Data Center facility have?

The state-of-the-art data centers that house Applied TAMOnline are located in Tier 1 Internet provider buildings with many safeguards in place to help to ensure that your data is always available. Because the centers serve as major hubs for all Internet traffic, many redundant features are in place that, essentially, leave no single point of failure. The building system's design starts with redundant power and Internet circuits entering the facility from multiple sides to protect against "back-hoe fade" or substation problems. Inside the facility, everything has a redundancy factor, including the power switch gear, generators, air conditioners, UPS, and networking equipment. The building is a secure structure built to withstand hurricane force winds, with an interior structure for the data center that has no exterior walls. The property is protected by security cameras and staffed 24 hours a day by security personnel. Entry to the building requires verification of credentials through physical or biometric authentication. Access to interior facilities is controlled through pass cards and keys. The actual TAMOnline equipment resides behind an additional set of keyed locks.

The TAMOnline server farm within the data center is also well protected by redundant load balancers, firewalls, and clustered data servers.

When was Applied TAMOnline implemented? 

Applied TAMOnline has been live since October 1, 2000. 

How is my data protected - from outsiders?

Your data is protected from outsiders by multiple security levels, including intrusion detection-capable firewalls. All users authenticate to a Microsoft Windows Active Directory. Users are required to have passwords that meet requirements and that must be changed on a regular schedule; failed logon attempts are logged. Consecutive failed logon attempts result in the user's account being locked, which requires intervention by Applied Systems to return to an operational state. Your Internet transmissions are sent over a secure channel, provided by 128-bit bi-directional packet level encryption in the required client. The TAMOnline network is also constantly scanned for viruses. 

- from other Applied TAMOnline users?

We use clustered data servers to provide the file storage necessary for Applied TAMOnline databases. Each agency is given a unique data location within a common storage environment. Access to that location is controlled through a vast set of user security policies, NTFS permissions, desktop restrictions, and logon scripts.

- from disaster?

Your data is backed up nightly. Full data backups are performed during the weekend and stored off-site for six months. Daily differential (changed file) backups are performed Sunday through Friday and are retained for four weeks before the tapes are reused. This backup policy provides for the recovery of current business information due to unexpected loss for any day within a four-week period and retrieval for historical purposes for any week within the past six months.

How are the security measures tested?

The system engineer security experts maintain and monitor the various firewalls and other intrusion detection equipment between Applied TAMOnline and the Internet. We also monitor the Active Directory error logs for failed logon attempts and other security messages.

Can we have our own dedicated data server?

Having a dedicated data server could mean that some high-level options built into the system would not include or protect your data. The data servers at Applied TAMOnline include some of the most advanced fail-safe technologies available and are connected to a high availability Storage Area Network (SAN). To dedicate a server to a particular agency produces a single point of failure that our standard deployment strategy is engineered to avoid.

Who can access our data?

Our Support staff has access to TAMOnline from their desktops for the purpose of aiding our customers. There are procedures in place to determine what technicians are and are not allowed to do and internal auditing mechanisms to monitor activity. In addition, your permission is required for any "shadow" request initiated by Support or any Administrator.

The Systems Engineers are responsible for the day-to-day operational state of the system. As the responsible party, they do have access to the entire system. This access is limited to the most senior engineers and help desk employees. All information on the system is off-limits for any purpose other than what is necessary to maintain the environment. This includes the data in your agency folder, which is owned solely by you. Furthermore, access to your data is strictly forbidden unless prior authorization has been granted.

Do we share an application server or have a dedicated server?  If we share a server, will other users' activity affect our performance?

Application servers are shared and are placed into load-balanced groups. All user connections are spread across the application servers based on active user count, maximum user count allowed, processor utilization, and memory utilization. Load balancing also allows us to add or replace servers without requiring any changes to the user's connection properties.

Is Applied TAMOnline protected against the kind of Denial of Service attacks that have been in the news lately?

Denial of Service (DOS) attacks basically overwhelm the capacity of the target by flooding the device with more traffic than it can handle. DOS attacks are prevented by having policies in place on the equipment that cause it to ignore repeated requests from the same source(s) for services that can cause this type of flood effect (like PING). One of the benefits of being in a Tier 1 Data Center is that the network traffic coming into the center is monitored for these types of traffic patterns and, when a pattern is identified, the source ports are shut down before the destination equipment can be overwhelmed. In addition, the load balancers and firewalls that are in place at TAMOnline can also recognize these DOS attacks and take corrective action to ward off problems.

Are my printers compatible?

For Applied TAM printing, Applied TAMOnline supports only those printers that are listed in the Applied Systems General Hardware Configuration Guidelines. For printing outside TAM, e.g., printing email messages, TAMOnline will support most printers. We utilize a universal printing system on our servers and a client component on your workstation that allow us to support your printer without having to install special print drivers.

Is there a way to prevent my users from connecting from home and printing to their home printers?

We can implement login time restrictions for your users that prevent them from initiating a TAMOnline session outside business hours.

What are the recommended bandwidth guidelines for TAMOnline connectivity?

Bandwidth guidelines for TAMOnline are outlined in the Workstations section of the Applied Systems General Hardware Configuration Guidelines.

What type of internet connection should I use?

Review the Remote Locations section of the Applied Systems Hardware Configuration Guidelines for information regarding the type of Internet connections that are appropriate for use with Applied TAMOnline.

What is the difference between disconnecting and logging off, and which is better?

When you log off your Applied TAMOnline session (by clicking Start, Logoff or double clicking the Logoff icon on the desktop), all running programs, including TAM, close properly. Your TAM database locks are cleaned up correctly by the TAM program.  

When you disconnect your Applied TAMOnline session (by clicking the X in the upper right corner), your session is still active and your programs continue to run. If Applied TAM is running when you disconnect, your database locks remain in place. Because disconnected sessions leave files open, which can cause problems for TAM Night Utilities and backup programs, all disconnected sessions on Applied TAMOnline are reset if they remain disconnected for more than five minutes. You should always log off your Applied TAMOnline session when you finish working. Logging off will better protect your TAM data and will ensure the functionality of users who are actively working.

Do you reset inactive client sessions?

We do not typically reset idle sessions, because resetting a session without properly exiting Applied TAM could cause locks to be orphaned and could cause other TAM issues. However, idle sessions may be reset during any of the scheduled Maintenance periods—another reason that it is good practice to log off your session at the end of the day.

In addition, most Internet Service Providers (ISP), routers, and firewalls have settings that can cause an inactive session to be dropped. If you find that your Applied TAMOnline sessions are frequently being disconnected, check your Internet connection configuration.

Are there restrictions on Internet usage? Will my "cookies" be safe and my Favorites be saved? 

Yes. In the interest of providing the best possible performance, security, and access for all users, we have implemented some restrictions on Internet web surfing. We do not restrict the sites that you may browse, but, to protect against virus infiltration, we do not allow any downloads to occur, except from sites that have been pre-approved. We also restrict streaming video and audio content. If you need to access sites with this type of connection, we ask that you do it from your local workstation and not through Applied TAMOnline.

Internet sites that use "cookies" to store user information regarding that site connection are stored within the user's personal profile space, so your "cookies" are protected on our system. Visiting websites from within the Applied TAMOnline session gives you the same level of security that you would have when visiting them from your office or home PC. And, yes, Internet Explorer "favorites" are stored per user, so they will be saved too.

Can you block or restrict access to specific websites?

No, we cannot block or restrict specific site access. However, we do provide an Internet usage report, which can be used to determine if employees violate an internal use policy.

Can my third-party software be loaded on Applied TAMOnline?

Please contact your Applied Systems Sales Representative for more information regarding third-party software installation.

Is Adobe Professional (Acrobat Writer ) available on AppliedOnline?

No, Adobe Acrobat Professional is not available in your Applied TAMOnline session; Adobe Reader is available. however, the bioPDF print driver (PDFWriter-bioPDF) enables you to print content to PDF and TIFF files. This is available from any workflow that provides a Print option and for any kind of attachment (emails, images, documents, etc.).

How do we recover our data in the event that we change service providers?

The data is yours at all times. As such, you have the right to request a hard copy of that data at any time. A fee may be charged to process the request.

Can I use multiple monitors on Applied TAMOnline?

Up to three monitors are supported in a Microsoft Local Area Network (LAN) environment.  In a remote access environment, multiple monitors are supported only with Remote Desktop version 6 or higher.

Do we have the ability to perform basic user login account and session management functions?

Yes, you do, through our AOM application. The Applied TAMOnline Management (AOM) client provides designated users (Agency Administrators) within your agency the ability to perform administrative tasks like resetting login passwords, disabling login accounts, and creating new login accounts - all without the need to place a Support call. Several reporting tools are also included in AOM, like the Audit Report, which reports login and logoff times for each user, the Internet Usage report, and even an AOM Audit report, which lists all account changes that have been made by the Agency Administrator while in the AOM program. AOM can be used to view which users are currently connected, send instant messages, view and clear open files, and log off sessions.

Can I share my desktop with other users?

Yes. Remote Assistance enables you to view and optionally interact with the desktop of another user who is accessing an AppliedOnline session in the same environment. You can also use Remote Assistance to share your desktop with Applied Support.

Email Questions

I know that internet email accounts are included with Applied TAMOnline, but can we still continue to use our existing in-house Exchange server? Can the email client on TAMOnline be linked to our server?

Yes. The Applied TAMOnline Outlook email client can connect to another email server - either your in-house Exchange server or another Internet email provider. The Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2010 on Applied TAMOnline document takes you through the steps required for using Outlook 2010.

For TAMOnline to communicate with your Exchange server, the Exchange server must be configured to allow Outlook connections via RPC over HTTPS.

We currently use the Global Address Book provided by our Microsoft Exchange Server. Can we transfer the Global Address Book to the Applied TAMOnline email server?

Global Address Book functionality is not included in the standard Internet email service offered on Applied TAMOnline. If you need to keep your Global Address Book, you may choose to keep your in-house Exchange server.

There are ten users in my office, but only eight will need access to TAM. Can the other two users log into Applied TAMOnline for email and to use Microsoft Office?

You can purchase Extended Network Accounts for users who need access to Applied TAMOnline for email and the Microsoft Office suite of products. Extended Network Accounts do not increase the number of users that can concurrently access Applied TAM. For additional information, please contact Client Solutions.

Can I synchronize my Applied TAMOnline Outlook client to my Personal Information Device (PID/Windows CE devices)?

This technology may be possible if Exchange services are used. There are many variables that must be considered. Contact your Sales Representative for more details.

Can my existing mail file (.PST) be uploaded to Applied TAMOnline so I can access my existing messages?

We do allow users to transfer existing email .PST files to TAMOnline, subject to a 100 MB size restriction and virus scanning. Contact Support for details and further assistance with this type of file transfer.

For Current Applied TAM Users

We are not running the most current version of Applied TAM and have been told that a conversion fee would apply. Would we still have to pay the fee if we upgrade to the currently supported version of Applied TAM before sending our data to be loaded on Applied TAMOnline?

If your data is two full versions or more behind the current Applied TAM version, please contact Client Solutions to determine if a chargeable, in-house configuration is required.

If our data is in the current version format, what is our anticipated downtime for converting to Applied TAMOnline?

This process is scheduled to minimize downtime. Our goal is one-day turnaround, barring any errors in the process. This means that, if you sent your backup in on a Monday, Tuesday would be used to restore and validate the data, and access would be granted on Wednesday. During that time, you would still have access to your office system for read-only purposes.

How is fax@vantage on Applied TAMOnline different from the fax@vantage program I have now?

For Applied TAMOnline, fax@vantage has split the fax doc management component from the communication component so that you can still send and receive faxes through your local phone number. The Remote Port Manager (RPM) software, which handles the fax communications, will be installed onto your existing fax@vantage server when you are ready to start faxing with Applied TAMOnline. All faxes generated by your agency, from any location, will flow to the RPM where they are transmitted. Inbound faxes are received by the RPM and uploaded to the Applied TAMOnline fax@vantage server. Inbound routing can be via email, to the fax@vantage client, or to a local printer.

Note: All items faxed via fax@vantage must first be accessible from the Applied TAMOnline environment. If you have an image, document, etc., on your local workstation that you want to email or fax through fax@vantage, it will first need to be transferred to Applied TAMOnline via email or the Applied TAMOnline Upload Manager.

Are InScope and ConneXion available within Applied TAMOnline?

Yes, both products are compatible with Applied TAMOnline implementations.

Do custom docs and decs work on Applied TAMOnline?


Will I still be able to run UNLOCK and other TAM utilities? What functions will I lose?

You can still run all TAM utilities; however, you will lose the ability to access a DOS prompt. So, if you are familiar with launching TAM utilities from a command prompt, you will need to learn a new way. Many of the more frequently used Utilities, like TAM Unlock, have been added to a special Applied Utilities program group that is easily accessed from the Start, Programs menu. You can also use the TAM Utility Manager to launch TAM utilities.

Additionally, you will not have access to any of your local workstation drives (e.g., A:, C:, D:, etc.). Files that you want to transfer to Applied TAMOnline can be transferred via email or the Applied TAMOnline Upload Manager.

Does IVANS Download work on Applied TAMOnline?

Yes. IVANS download functions the same way on Applied TAMOnline that is does for you now.  Applied TAMOnline has a leased line connection to IVANS, which means that you do not have to worry about modem issues or busy signals.

What about non-IVANS downloads (third party)? How does that work?

That depends on the kind of download options that are supported by your vendor. If your vendor has a Web interface, you can connect to their website via the Microsoft Internet Explorer icon on your Applied TAMOnline desktop. You can then download directly to your agency data directory on Applied TAMOnline. If your vendor does not offer a browser interface, you will have to download using their software installed on your local workstation, just like you have been doing. After you download the files to your workstation, you will connect to the Applied TAMOnline Upload Manager website to transfer the files to Applied TAMOnline. Once the files have been copied (in just a matter of minutes), you can open an Applied TAMOnline session and run the standard Batch Update From Files utility.

What about rating integration?

Applied TAMOnline is capable of integrating with most rating companies that currently integrate with TAM.

MVR 2000 integration?

ADR integration is available on TAMOnline.

How is imaging handled?  

There are several methods for transferring Images to TAMOnline. 

When should I perform month-end procedures to make sure they are backed up properly?

Month-End does not have any significance in the backup scheme, and, therefore, does not affect your accounting methods or schedule. Run Month-End when it is most convenient for you.

Do I still need to run Night Utilities?

Yes. The responsibility for running all Applied TAM utilities, including Night Utilities, is still yours, because you should be the only one manipulating your data. We have taken responsibility for making sure that your data is backed up, which is a function that was previously provided by Night Utilities.

Night Utilities will not successfully run in a disconnected session, because it requires the ability to print during processing. (When a session is disconnected, it cannot communicate with a printer.) Night Utilities must be performed in an active session. 

The Applied TAM screen is too big! (or too small!)

TAM is designed to operate best with a minimum 800x600 screen size. Before you use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client to connect, set your monitor properties to 800x600, and set the Remote Desktop Connection, Display, Remote desktop size slide control to 800x600. Higher resolutions are also compatible with TAM.

Last Revised: February 14, 2014 04:41:09 PM