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Applet v5.2 (Install and Info)

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Summary

Applet version 5.2 is an update to the communication procedures of Applet version 5.1. The base knowledge of this version is the same as Applet v5.1 (see Applet v5.1 (Install and Info) for details). This version’s communication to the Ingenico hardware has been enhanced. BFC received numerous reports of freezes and lockups when talking with the Tetra-Platform terminal. After extensive testing, we found that if we sent too many messages at one time, the terminal would delay 3 seconds before responding to the commands. In some instances, BFC believes the terminal’s internal outbound queue became too long and froze the COM-port communication. BFC now waits 225ms between messages to allow the terminal to respond to what it has received.

Overview

BFC Applet v5.x Overview

With the new applet, the installer places a Windows™ service application in an automatic startup and binds the program to port 3068 linked to an SSL Certificate that is created during the setup process.  With the Windows service running, any browser can connect via the WebSocket tool to the application.  BFC has written JavaScript code that connects the web browser to the WebSocket service referred to a BFCSignaIRBridge.

Windows™ Services Window

Installation Steps

With the new applet, a new installer has been made to install the application onto the computer.  BFC will continue to improve the application and may require merchants to install a newer Bridge Service as we improve the application.  BFC has integrated a version number check into the web page software to allow for future notifications to the merchant.

The new Applet BridgeSignalR Service requires the following (the installer will do as much as possible):

  • .NET 4.6.1 (installer will download if not already installed on the computer)
  • A self-generated 3-year SSL Certificate assigned to Port 3068 (installer will create the necessary files in the default install directory and assign the certificate to the port accordingly). You can run the “generateSSL.cmd” from the installation folder to generate a new certificate.
  • Card Swipe hardware (optional for EMV): MagTek SureSwipe, IDTech MagSwipe, UIC Swiper (all in HID mode).
  • EMV Hardware
    • Ingenico IPP320v3 or v4 and IPP350 with RBA 23.1.2(V3 or V4) via USB COM port or IP-based communications)
    • Ingenico Tetra Platform with UPP v 7.82.x or above installed via USB or IP-based communication (Includes Lane/3000, Lane/7000, Lane/8000, Link/2500)
  • Printer with “Receipt” in its name

Download the Appletv5.2.exe from the BFC site (https://admin.bfc-usa.com or https://vt.bfc-usa.com) and open the application. When the new Appletv5.2 installer is started, it will look for the .NET 4.6.1 run time and if not found, it will install before showing the next screen:

Installer Starting Point

Agree to the terms and click “Install.”  The system will start a “sub” installer that will do install the new pieces.   

The new installer will look for the installed browsers.  It is not required to have the browsers installed but if they are installed, the installation program will add a command to trust the certificate created without the merchant’s interaction.  BFC provides links to download each browser.  The installer will not continue if Postalmate is detected and Internet Explorer is less than version 11.

Next, the installer will look to see if the Ingenico hardware is connected and, if connected, if the Ingenico Drivers are installed.  This screen is informational in purpose.  If the yellow “?” is present, the software did not detect the hardware.  If the value is a red “X,” it means the wrong driver version is installed.  A green check mark indicates the correct driver is installed and EMV should be functional after installing this software. 

Click Next and the installer now has 2 questions/customizations.

Install options - fast boot and communications library
Installer Options – Fast boot and Communication Library

The first option is the CURRENT detected setting for the technology called Microsoft Fast Boot. When enabled and the user elects to reboot, the system will log out the currently logged in user, save the currently running operating system and reboot. Once restarted, the system loads the system from the previously saved running system and prompts the login. If you are experiencing a problem getting the BFC SignalR Bridge service to restart or it is stuck in “Stopping” even after you reboot, you need to disable Fast Boot or use the command prompt to restart the computer. See https://bfc-usa.com/knowledge-base/bfc-signalr-bridge-stuck-on-stopping/ for the command line restart or how to turn on/off the Fast Boot option. The installer also adds 2 files in the install folder – FastbootDisable.cmd and FastbootEnable.cmd – that you can also use but remember to right click and Run as Administrator.

For the second install option, BFC is now providing two communication libraries to interface to the COM port on the computer. The “Alternate” library still uses the Microsoft API calls to talk with the hardware but has been developed to handle freezes and other communication issues. BFC has also included the use of the standard Microsoft library communications as a secondary option.

Click Next and the installer will start. Once completed, the system should show the Completed Window

Once the installer is completed, the Finish button will take you back the parent installation program. 

If there was any errors, a link to the installer log will be present (files can be found by navigating to “%temp%” (without quotes) in Windows Explorer).  This install log will assist the development staff to assist in the debugging of the installation. 

Once completed, you can find the service running in the Windows Services as “BFCSignalRBridge” and it should be configured as “Automatic” start-up and already be running.  Now start the BFC Virtual Terminal or use the Postalmate application to start a transaction. The Bridge service should now show a green check mark to identify that the service is running.

Changing Communications Library

To change the communication library, click on the Start menu and type “notepad” – right click on Notepad and select Run as Administrator. Click on File menu and select “Open.” Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Brinkman Financial Company, L.P\BFC Applet v5:\Program Files(x86)\Brinkman Financial Company, L.P.\. Change the File type from .txt to All Files and then select the BFCSignalRServiceBridge.exe.config file.

Notepad Open config file

Once open, find the line that has “<add key=”useAltSerialLibrary” value=”true” />.” The value can be either “true” or “false.” If the value is “false,” the system will use the standard Microsoft Library. If the value is “true,” the system will use the alternative library. Save the change and restart the BFCSignalRBridge service. Once restarted, the system will use the selected library to communicate with the COM port.

Location of the library change

Known Issues

Currently, BFC has identified that if you start the 5.2 version of the installer on top of an existing Applet v5.1, it will error when Generating the SSL certificate. At this time, Applet v5.1 must be uninstalled and then Applet v5.2 can be installed.