This guide is intended to provide information to existing PPS users who have or are planning to migrate from a locally hosted solution to one stored on one of our dedicated servers, or to new users of PPS Hosted.
At the bottom of this guide, you'll find a checklist of things to take a look at to configure your new PPS Hosted system.
If you're planning to move to PPS Hosted and any of the points in this document raise queries or concerns then please contact us beforehand.
Section One - Access
If you were previously a Local PPS user then once you've moved to Hosted the way you access your PPS system will be different.
As your PPS Hosted system is stored on one of our secure servers you will need to access it via a Remote Desktop Connection. This allows your local device or computer to connect remotely to our servers and is reliant on a stable internet connection.
In order to do this you will need the following:
- Your PPS Hosted Login Credentials. These will be sent to your registered email address once the system has been created.
- An instance of Remote Desktop. This program will vary depending on the device you are using. Find links for these below.
- A stable internet connection. Unlike any previous local database, you may have had your system is now cloud-based and in order to access it you will need a stable internet connection. This must remain consistent as any drops on the line may disconnect you from PPS.
- Additionally, if your machines are particularly locked down then you may need to instruct your IT administrators to allow traffic for the necessary Ports and IPs for your Hosted server. You will find your server address in your Credentials email and the necessary port and IP information here.
Hosted Login Credentials
All the details you'll require to connect to PPS Hosted can be found in the email entitled Your PPS Hosted Login Credentials. This will be sent to your registered email address once your Hosted system has been created.
Important: You will receive a separate Hosted username and password for each of the licenses you have purchased. Each license/login represents one instance of concurrent access. Users can share Hosted usernames but cannot access it at the same time. If someone connects to a Hosted login/license while it is in use then the previous user will be disconnected. Because of this, it is important to acquire as many logins as there will be people accessing the system at any one time, and that usernames and passwords are allocated appropriately.
Remote Desktop Connection
You'll access our servers, and your Hosted system via a Remote Desktop connection. This will differ based on the device you're using to access PPS. Find the relevant guide below which will detail installing or accessing the software and making the necessary configuration using your Hosted Login Credentials.
Internal PPS Login
Once you've signed into your Hosted license through the Remote Desktop on your device you'll be presented with the familiar white PPS login screen. You can enter your usual PPS username and password here.
If this is your first time accessing your PPS Hosted database then you'll have the opportunity to create a log-in for your system administrator at this stage.
Tip: To maintain server resources and ensure data security all our Hosted sessions sign out automatically if left inactive for a certain period. If you leave your PPS system inactive for one hour then you'll be disconnected but your session will remain active for a maximum of 30 minutes should you reconnect. Beyond this time, which may be shorter if the server is encountering resource issues, your session will be signed out automatically and any unsaved work lost.
Section Two - Printing and Scanning
As you're now accessing your PPS system via a Remote Desktop your scanner or printer will need to be able to connect to this remote session in order to allow scanning and printing.
Important: In order to link with PPS Hosted your scanner will need to be fully TWAIN compliant and have full TWAIN drivers installed and up to date. If you're unsure or require the latest drivers then contact the manufacturer for assistance.
To begin, you'll need to install TS Print/Scan on your machine with PPS closed. These programs are necessary to scan to PPS and will link the Hosted session with your local default printer.
You can then have a look at this guide for steps on Printing and Scanning in PPS.
If you use or are looking to use a label printer then please refer to this guide specifically for Hosted systems as only certain models are supported and require some additional configuration.
Section Three - Documents
Saving to and from PPS Hosted
Now that your PPS system is cloud-based you'll need to be able to connect it to the drives of your own machine so that you can upload documents and also save files from your PPS system when necessary.
You can find details of how to enable local drives through your remote desktop on PC and Mac here.
If you have an existing PPS system which is locally hosted then any documents you store or access through PPS will need to be hosted within the database structure so they can be transferred to your new Hosted database. PPS Hosted cannot facilitate the access of documents stored on online drives, and storing files on local storage rather than the PPS servers can result in data not being accessible to other users/via different hosted connections.
Section Four - Emails
PPS Hosted systems can only send emails through an SMTP server. Upon signing up for PPS Hosted you'll be set up with free-of-charge use of our Sendgrid SMTP account so you can begin sending emails straight away.
If you're using our free SMTP account then you can still configure your from name and address but you won't have access to the account to view your email activity and statistics; you'd need your own SMTP account in order to do this. For more information on SMTP accounts and sending emails from PPS please read this guide.
Important: If moving from PPS Local to Hosted please ensure you check your 'from names and addresses' for each Hosted license via Tools > System Set-Up > Email Settings as these may have changed during the transfer.
All emails leaving the SMTP account we provide come with an unsubscribe link at the bottom. If one of your recipients clicks this link they'll cease to receive any emails sent from PPS using that SMTP. They can be removed from the unsubscribe list if you forward a written request for this from the blocked address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more details on our unsubscribe link here.
If you'd prefer to use your own SMTP account then send an email from the address registered to your account to email@example.com with the following details and we can configure this for you:
- Your PPS registration number
- If the SMTP account should be applied to all PPS Hosted logins or just specific ones
- SMTP server name e.g smtp.myprovider.com
- The server port number
- Your SMTP account username and password
Section Five - Signatures
You can now record signatures in your PPS Hosted system with a mouse-input stylus, pen or touchpad. You can read more about this and find out how to set this up in this guide.
Section Six - Troubleshooting and Database Maintenance
Database Maintenance: If you've used a PPS Local system before then you'll already know the steps necessary to keep your system healthy. If you're new to PPS or fancy a brush-up, read our Database Maintenance to learn about the system's maintenance procedures.
Frozen Sessions and Switch To: If your internet has a drop in connection this can sometimes freeze your Hosted session, but this can easily be resolved. You may also see a Switch To message when opening documents which just needs a quick keyboard shortcut to release.
Connection Issues: If you are being disconnected or frequently seeing black screens when connected to the hosted system your internet connection might be dropping out:
- Check your download and upload speed
The connection to the server does require a stable and consistent internet connection with a reasonable download as well as the upload speed to keep the connection steady.
- Check the latency/ping speed
Latency on the connection could also be causing an issue. The latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to get from one point to another and, because you are sending information to the server and receiving information from the server constantly you will want the time it takes for the data to travel backwards and forwards to be a low as possible.
A latency measurement of 25ms or less would be recommended and this can be measured by running a speed test or ping test or asking your internet service provider (ISP) to advise. It is advisable to test the latency when you are experiencing issues as latency can fluctuate.
- Try a Wired connection instead of using the WiFi
Wireless Internet connections have higher latency than wired connections. When possible, use a wired connection.
PPS Hosted Checklist
If you're a brand new user of PPS Hosted or have migrated from a local solution we recommend initially checking and configuring the following elements:
- Check you have your Hosted login details and have distributed each username and password to all users who'll need concurrent access.
- Set up your local drives so you can save to and from PPS Hosted to your local machine
- If you're going to be printing and/or scanning from PPS then ensure you have TS Print/Scan installed on each machine that will need this functionality. Also, ensure any scanners are fully TWAIN compliant and have these drivers installed and up to date.
- Ensure that your email from name and address are correctly configured and send a test email to ensure you're happy with their appearance, If you use your own SMTP account then send the details of this to firstname.lastname@example.org