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Section 1 Introduction to LISTSERV® Maestro Administration

Section 1 Introduction to LISTSERV® Maestro Administration
Designed specifically to work with LISTSERV® 15.0, LISTSERV Maestro 3.0 allows users to easily create and send personalized email messages using a web interface. Incorporated into this powerful tool is a tracking component that can collect data every time a recipient opens an email message or clicks on a URL contained within the message.
The LISTSERV Maestro program is comprised of three components that work together:
The Administration Hub – Controls all user and program settings. It is the central component that stores registry and account information. It is accessed both by the Maestro User Interface and by Maestro Tracker to validate login information. It has its own administrator user interface.
The Maestro User Interface – The actual user interface. Individuals and groups use it to create and distribute customized email messages. It is also used to access, view, and download the collected tracking data, and to maintain the recipient repository (datasets and lists).
The Maestro Tracker – Receives and compiles tracking data from delivered email messages.
In addition to LISTSERV Maestro’s three components, LISTSERV Maestro 3.0 also relies on the existence of an installation of LISTSERV 15.0. LISTSERV receives email jobs from LISTSERV Maestro and prepares them for delivery. It is also used to process bounced mail. In certain cases, LISTSERV may also act as an interface between LISTSERV Maestro and an external DBMS. In addition, if both applications are configured correctly, you can switch between the two with a single sign-on, meaning you won’t have to logout of one and then login to the other.
By default, LISTSERV Maestro 3.0 comes installed with MySQL® 4.1.7 as the internal system database. Use of this internal system database is optional. It is possible to decide during installation not to install the internal MySQL database, in which case some external database must be installed instead. It is also possible to install the internal database during the initial setup, and then switch to some external database later.
Please see for details about MySQL 4.1.7 and its features to determine if it meets your organization’s requirements and expectations for a production database. Reviewing the features will help to decide if the internal database should be used or if a different external system database should be installed.
LISTSERV Maestro can use the external database to store its own system data as well as to select recipient lists from database tables and drop-in content elements. LISTSERV Maestro can connect to several databases in this way. Supported databases are:
Oracle® 8i, Oracle® 9i, Oracle® 10g, and compatible versions
DB2® V7.2, V8.2, and compatible versions
MySQL® 4.x and compatible versions, as well as 3.23.42 and later 3.23x builds
SQL® Server 7.0 and 2000
LISTSERV and LISTSERV Maestro also require access to one or more SMTP servers to perform the actual delivery of email jobs for LISTSERV Maestro and LISTSERV. Any standards-compliant SMTP server will work.
The three LISTSERV Maestro components, LISTSERV, the SMTP server(s), and the optional external database may be installed on any combination of hosts, from one single host shared by all components to six or more dedicated hosts, one for each component (it is possible to have multiple LISTSERV servers and multiple SMTP servers). If different components are installed on separate servers, it is not necessary that all of the servers have the same operating system. It is possible to install the Maestro User Interface and Administration Hub components on a Windows server and at the same time the Maestro Tracker component on a Linux server (or other combinations). For more information on host restrictions, installing LISTSERV Maestro, and starting and stopping the LISTSERV Maestro service, see the LISTSERV Maestro Installation Manual.
1.1 Maestro User Roles
It is important to understand the different roles involved in administering and using the various components of a LISTSERV Maestro system. In a small organization, the same person may play many of these roles. In larger organizations, the following duties will likely be distributed among several different people:
System Administrator – Responsible for the installation and initial configuration of the LISTSERV Maestro applications. The system administrator must have Administrator or root access to the computer(s) on which LISTSERV Maestro applications will reside.
LISTSERV Maestro Administrator – Responsible for administration of LISTSERV Maestro through the HUB component and the “admin” account in the Maestro User Interface. The LISTSERV Maestro Administrator acts as the “master account” for all LISTSERV Maestro users.
Data Warehouse Administrator – Responsible for administering recipient data within LISTSERV Maestro. See the “LISTSERV Maestro Data Administrator’s Manual” for details.
LISTSERV Site Administrator – Responsible for the configuration and administration of LISTSERV (including configuring LISTSERV for database access, adding LISTSERV “postmaster” accounts, and so on). See the “LISTSERV Site Manager’s Manual” for details.
Database Administrator – Responsible for the initial installation of the external database(s). Also responsible for monitoring available space in the database(s), database performance tuning, routine database backups, and other routine database maintenance tasks.
Maestro User – Responsible for creating, sending and tracking email jobs through LISTSERV Maestro. There are many different user responsibilities, which may fall to different users. See the “LISTSERV Maestro User Guide” for details.
SMTP Server Administrator – Responsible for the administration of the SMTP email delivery engine.
For many organizations, it may be desirable to have some overlap among the various roles. For instance, the Data Warehouse Administrator may also be a regular Maestro User, or the System Administrator and LISTSERV Administrator may be the same person. In other cases, there may be clear distinctions between some of the responsibilities (e.g., it may not be desirable for a Maestro User to also have System Administrator access to the computer running LISTSERV Maestro).
Tip: It is usually a good idea to understand and assign the various user roles to groups and individuals within your organization before even installing LISTSERV Maestro. This may save considerable time and confusion.
1.2 Remote Administration Access
The administrator can access log files or query the current version remotely.
1.2.1 Remote Log Access
The three main LISTSERV Maestro components all write their own log files. These files can be found in the “logs” subfolder of each component’s home folder inside of the installation folder.
However, in some situations the administrator does not have access to these folders, but still wants to access the log files.
To solve this, LISTSERV Maestro offers remote log file access. The remote access allows an administrator to download the log files from the server, directly in the web-browser.
Before you can access the log files of a component, you first have to configure the component for remote log access. To do so, edit the INI-file of the component and add the following entry:
where you replace “PASSWORD” with a password only known to authorized administrators (although, for security reasons, you should not use your normal admin password from the Administration Hub).
Note: Since the password will later be used as a parameter in a URL, you should only use URL-safe characters in the password (e.g. you are on the safe side if you only use alphanumeric characters).
Remember that you have to add this entry to each component’s INI file, e.g. to lui.ini, hub.ini, and tracker.ini. If you do not add the entry to one of the INI files, then you will not be able to access the log files of that component (but you will still be able to access logs of the other components where you have added the entry).
To disable remote log access, remove the entry from the INI file(s) or comment it out.
Whenever you add, change, remove or out-comment this entry, the change will be effective immediately, e.g. you do not have to restart the component!
Once you have configured the component(s) for remote log access, you can access their log files from any web-browser on any computer that has HTTP access to the component in question. You only need to know the “PASSWORD” you configured in the INI file(s) and the day of the log file you want to access (for normal log files) or the backup-ID (for backup log files):
where you replace:
HOST” with the host name of the server running the component you want to access.
PORT” with the HTTP-port on that server (“PORT” can be left out if the HTTP-port is “80”),
PASSWORD” with the password you have configured in the INI-file (see above).
DATE” with the date of the day of the log file you want to download. The format of this date is “YYYYMMDD”, where “YYYY” is the year with 4 digits, “MM” is the month with 2 digits and “DD” is the day of the month with 2 digits.
BACKUPID” with the ID of the backup of which you want to download the log file. The backup-ID is a sequence of digits and letters and is unique for each backup. You can find the information about which ID a given backup has by looking at the normal HUB log file: At the backup start-time you will find an entry like “BackupMaster starts backup (Backup ID: xxxxxx)” where “xxxxxx” is the backup-ID that you need to use in the above URL.
1.2.2 Remote Version Query
The current version and build number of all components can be queried remotely. This is done with a simple HTTP-request - a URL typed into the address field of any browser. The result of the query will be displayed in the browser. This query can also be used to verify that a fresh installation is operational.
To query LUI: http://LUISERVER/lui/build
To query HUB: http://HUBSERVER/hub/build
To query TRK: http://TRKSERVER/trk/build
Substitute the name of the Maestro User Interface server, Administrative Hub server, or Maestro Tracker server for LUISERVER, HUBSERVER, and TRKSERVER (respectively).
1.3 Client System Requirements
Depending on the operating system of the client used for access, the following browsers are supported when accessing the Maestro User Interface or Administration Hub:
Client with Windows – Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, Mozilla® 1.0.0 or later, other browsers based on a compatible Mozilla version (e.g., Firefox 1.0 or later, Netscape® 7.0 or later).
Client with Linux – Mozilla® 1.0.0 or later, other browsers based on a compatible Mozilla version (e.g., Firefox 1.0 or later, Netscape® 7.0 or later).
To access the Maestro User Interface or the Administration Hub, we strongly recommend that only Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X is used with the browsers and browser versions listed. Other operating systems, browsers, or browser versions are not supported.
The client does not necessarily have to have the same operating system as the LISTSERV Maestro server. A Linux client can be used to access LISTSERV Maestro on a Windows server and vice versa. Similarly, the different components of LISTSERV Maestro may run on different operating systems, if they are installed on separate servers. For example, the Maestro User Interface and Administration Hub components may be installed on a Windows server, while the Maestro Tracker is installed on a Linux server.
Important: Recipients of email being tracked by LISTSERV Maestro may use whatever browser they wish to access the URLs contained in the messages sent by LISTSERV Maestro. Tracking occurs no matter which browser is used by email recipients.
1.4 Accessing the Hub Administrator Interface
Once the program has been installed, set a compatible browser to:
Enter a password to log in and access the program. The default administrator password after a fresh installation is “admin”.
Tip: In a Windows installation, a shortcut for this address will appear in the Windows Start Menu under Programs > L-Soft Application Server.
1.5 Understanding the Hub Administrator Interface
Administering LISTSERV Maestro involves many different tasks and interaction with more than just the Administration Hub (HUB). Administrators will have to understand how LISTSERV Maestro is situated within the institution’s infrastructure. This understanding is critical for making decisions about settings for all the application’s components to ensure consistency and compatibility with new or existing systems. Consequently, this manual is organized around those different tasks an administrator needs to perform in order to set up, monitor, backup, and change an installation of LISTSERV Maestro. It also serves as a reference for advanced systems configuration, touching on the HUB interface screens as they fit in to each task.
This section of the manual contains a brief overview of the HUB interface. Navigation and functional icons are outlined. References to other sections of the manual containing greater detail and step-by-step procedures are provided.
The opening screen of LISTSERV Maestro’s Administrator interface contains various sets of functional and navigational icons. At the top right corner of the screen there are two small icons, Log Out and Help. There are additional navigational icons on other pages within the application.
Table 1-1 Navigational Icons
Home – Brings the user back to the first screen, the LISTSERV Maestro HUB home page.
Log out – Ends the LISTSERV Maestro session and closes the account.
Up One Level – Brings the user up one level in the program, not necessarily back to the previous page.
Help – Provides access to page specific online help.
The center of the screen contains large icons that represent the major functions of the Administration Hub. These icons are also repeated along the left side of most screens within the program allowing for easy access from other parts of the administration interface.
Figure 1-1 Administration Hub Home Page
Administer User Accounts – Leads to the section that allows the administrator to add new user accounts, identities, and groups, change user, identity, and group settings, and delete users, identities, and groups. User and group administration is documented in Section 7 Creating and Administering User Accounts and Identities.
Change Administrator Password – Leads to the section of the application that allows the password used to log into the HUB and the special administrative user account to be changed. Changing the password is documented in Section 3 Changing the Administrator Password. The special administrative user account is documented in Section 8 Special Administrative User Account.
Global Components Settings – Leads to the sections of the application that control the settings for each of the three components, the Administration Hub (HUB), the Maestro User Interface (LUI), and the Maestro Tracker (TRK).
Global component settings control the three components of LISTERV Maestro. Clicking on the Global Component Settings icon from the Home page opens a screen that is split into three main areas.
Figure 1-2 Global Component Settings
Administration Hub – Contains the settings for management of the HUB component.
Configure backup parameters for the HUB component, including:
Setting the time for the daily backup.
Naming the backup folder.
Configuring any external processes to be run after backup.
Backup procedures are documented in Section 11 Saving and Restoring a Backup.
Configure Administrative Email Notifications:
Send or do not send email notification in the event of a system problem.
Send or do not send email notification for each system startup.
Assign an SMTP Host, SMTP Port, and sender address for notification email messages.
Assign email addresses to receive notifications.
Administrative Email Notifications are discussed in Section 6.4 Administrative Email Notifications.
Maestro User Interface – Contains the settings for management of the LUI component. Settings entered here become the default settings for the system. Default settings can be overridden at the group and user levels. For more information on group and user levels, see Section 7 Creating and Administering User Accounts and Identities.
Configure General Settings for the LUI component, including:
Naming the backup folder. Backup procedures are documented in Section 11
Saving and Restoring a Backup
Setting the event transfer interval from Maestro Tracker.
Naming the job archive folder.
Configuring Runtime Administration for restricting multiple logins, disabling sending, and locking the user interface. These settings are documented in Section 6.2 Runtime Administration and System Shutdown.
Register Database Plugins:
Adding a database plugin. Registering a database plugins is described in Section 9.2 Registering a Database Plugin.
Deleting an existing plugin.
Configure the System Database Connection, including:
Setting the maximum number of buffered connections.
Defining the system database as described in Section 10 The System Database.
Configure LISTSERV Web Interface Account Mappings:
Map a LISTSERV Maestro account to a LISTSERV account to easily switch between the two applications with a single login. These settings are described in Section 22 LISTSERV and LISTSERV Maestro Integration.
Define Default LISTSERV Connection:
Setting the LISTSERV Host.
Setting the LISTSERV TCPGUI Port.
Entering the Client Address.
Entering the Client Password.
Setting the client address and password for Hosted LISTSERV Lists.
Enabling or disabling list archives for Hosted LISTSERV Lists.
Setting the folder location for list archives.
Viewing the database server name for Hosted LISTSERV Lists.
Setting up a dedicated bounce server.
More information on LISTSERV settings is documented in Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface.
Define the Default Tracking URL:
Entering the name of the Tracker Host.
Setting the HTTP Port. The default tracking URL is documented in Section 5.3 Setting the Default Tracking URL.
Set Default Size Limits:
Setting the maximum size for a message.
Setting the maximum size for a file upload. For more information on size limits, see Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface.
Define Default Content Restrictions:
Allowing or disallowing the use of AOL Rich Text formatting for the alternative part of an HTML message. For more information on AOL Rich Text, see Section 5.3.2 AOL Alternative Text for HTML Messages in the LISTSERV Maestro User's Manual.
Entering folders and/or URLs that the users are permitting to access for drop-in content elements. For more information on permitted folders and URLs, see Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface or the online help.
Define Default Recipients Restrictions:
Enabling, disabling, or hiding standard and advanced recipients types.
Entering folder name(s) that users are permitted to access for uploading "just-in-time" recipients lists. For more information, see Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface.
Define Default Tracking Restrictions:
Enabling, disabling, and hiding tracking types.
For more information, see Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface.
Define Default Hosted Data Settings:
Defining host name for subscriber access pages. Enabling or disabling the creation of Hosted Recipients Lists and Hosted LISTSERV Lists. For more information, see Section 5 Settings for the Maestro User Interface.
Maestro Tracker – Contains the settings for management of the TRK component.
Configure backup settings:
Setting the name of the backup folder.
Setting the number of previous backups to be kept. Backup procedures are documented in Section 11 Saving and Restoring a Backup.
Configure the Communications Port:
Section 14.1.3 Ports used by Maestro Tracker describes the ports used by Maestro Tracker.
Figure 1-3 Flow Chart of the Administration Hub