Related Information Examples & Tutorials
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“ I use many vendors in my business and there is only one that I would never consider changing and that is Collect! ” Norma B.

Web Host Introduction

The Web Host enables your clients to access their accounts in real time. Operators can work their accounts with just an Internet browser. Managers can view, export, cut and paste information from their browser into any application. The Web Host allows flexible control over what a user can see and do.

This feature is significant for anyone who enters data into forms, for instance, when creating new accounts or entering new information into existing ones. Perfect applications are collection agencies, apartment rental verifications, medical billing, car dealerships, health clubs and karate schools -- any situation where you want to custom design your own front end accessible to users via the Internet.

For a small business, this is the simplest and most elegant solution to data entry in your office.

  • Minimize manpower requirements by creating simple front end forms to support complex back end operations.
  • Maximize flexibility to customize your data entry using web browser, Javascript, DHTML, client-side processing and much more.
  • Eliminate LAN vagaries through standardized web interface.
  • Enjoy easy data entry from home-workers.

Load data into Collect! directly from your browser. No need to install a web server, LINUX, or any other complex item.

Two-for-one users licensed for Web Host. Each user you are licensed for in Collect! translates into two user licenses for the Web Host, enabling twice as many users to operate when using the Web Host.

Unlimited Client access for Web Host. The Web Host Client Access option lets you enable any number of your clients to access their accounts through Web Host. When this option is enabled, Client users are not counted in the active user and licensing calculation.

Web Host Client Access is an optional extension module available in Collect! Version 11.4.3.1 and newer.

Using Collect! Web Host

Collect! Web Host offers complete flexibility and scalability in a clean, compact package fully integrated directly into your existing Collect! system. When you install Collect! a fully operational Web Host is installed at the same time.

Web Host is easy to set up and maintain and requires minimal knowledge to use. From the administrative standpoint, it is only necessary that you set up operators, as you have always done, for users who will have access to the Web Host. Collect! takes care of the rest with a simple process of reporting and importing.

These two processes, report and import, are the means by which Collect! submits data to write to your database from the web and retrieves data from your database to display on the web.

tip.gif When you install Collect!, several basic functions designed for the Web Host are available immediately. These include entering a new account, printing a client/ debtor listing, browsing debtors or clients, viewing an account. You can see examples of this functionality by viewing the sample Web Host at our web site.

Please check out www.collectsystem.cc to view our sample Web Host.

The Web Host may be used as is, or its interface and functions can be customized to suit your needs. This requires understanding of HTML and designing reports and imports in Collect!

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Host Startup

Collect! Web Host requires that you have a machine where you can "host" Collect! Your clients and/or collectors use your Internet or intranet connection to access Collect! through this machine.

Collect! Web Host listens on a specified IP port (typically 80) and responds to HTTP 1.1 requests. By default, the Collect Web Host listens on port 80. Please see Web Host Setup and Testing for more details.

The Web Host must be running and signed on to a database before it responds to browser requests.

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Security

SSL functionality is enabled in the Collect! Web Host by default. Keys and Certs are generated automatically when Web Host is opened. To use secure mode, simply use the /W1ss argument in your Web Host startup icon. Collect! will use Port 443 for HTTPS by default, or you can set a different port using the /y argument.

There are many third party tools that can act as an SSL wrapper over the Web Host HTTPS server. We strongly recommend using SSL with Web Host.

Security is an issue whether your database is web-enabled or not! Exposing data to the world means extra precautions, but presumably you are already using security measures. We can offer very practical solutions for strengthening your existing security, but responsibility for protecting your data and your system is still yours.

Internet security is a dynamic issue, and Comtech Systems in no way claims to offer Internet security services or software. You, and you alone are responsible for your Internet security. While Comtech makes every effort to ensure the integrity and viability of the data presented, in no way does Comtech accept any responsibility for the currentness, applicability, or security provided by your solution matrix. You, and not Comtech, are responsible for ensuring your Internet security.

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Web Host Access Rights

After you have taken care of your security needs, Collect! takes care of your access rights requirements. Users can only access the Web Host if you have set them up as an operator with 'Allow browser signon' privileges in the Operator form. Web-enabled users can only access data and routines that you give them permission to access. You have full control.

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Authorized Users

Users can sign on if they are set up in the list of Operators in the opened database and you have an appropriate number of user licenses.

Each User License that you purchase for Collect! translates into TWO User Licenses for Web Host users. This means twice as many operators can access Collect! through the Web Host.

tip.gif With Web Host Client Access, you can enable an UNLIMITED number of your clients to access their accounts via the Web Host. Web Host Client Access is an optional extension module available in Collect! Version 11.4.3.1 and newer.

When users log on, their ID and Password are checked against the list of operators in Collect! If they don't pass, they are redirected to the guest index page. If they pass, they are redirected to the index page in their personal folder.

When a user signs on for the first time, a folder is created to hold their documents. These documents are created on the fly when information is requested during an Internet session. Once logged on, users can only access data in their own folders. Clients can only enter or retrieve data for their own debtors.

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Unauthorized Users

Browsers can freely access web pages in the HTML folder under the database folder, {database}\html\guest. This folder contains your company's promotional web pages.

Unauthorized users only have access to files in the {database}\html\guest folder. Requests for any other files by unauthorized users are denied.

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Trusted Hosts

Web Host access may be limited only to IP addresses you list in Trusted Hosts. When this feature is enabled, no other IP addresses will be allowed to access Web Host screens. Please see the Help topic, Trusted Hosts, for more information.

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W3 Mode

Real time updates to the system are possible through Web Host using the /W3 startup option. This enables predictive dialer users to return results of call campaigns to Collect! using XML. Normal system password authentication is bypassed and data is imported directly into the system. This may be used with Trusted Hosts.

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Summary

Web-based data access is quickly becoming a viable and profitable business solution for many collection agencies. Collect!'s Web Host does not "host" your data. Rather, you are in control of how and where it is stored. Web Host simply provides an ideal gateway for access to your data over the Internet. Comtech Systems offers the Web Host as a seamless solution to your growing business needs.

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See Also

- Web Host Topics
- SSL Keys And Certs

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