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ClockWatch in a Client-Server Environment

Beagle Software's solution for managing several clients on a network involves two components:  ClockWatch Server  (Star Sync, Cell Sync) and ClockWatch client.  This approach offers an excellent enterprise-wide time synchronization solution.

Client Server Diagram
ClockWatch Client-Server Topology

In the above diagram, ClockWatch Server is servicing the time requests from workstations running ClockWatch Client. ClockWatch Server also keeps the computer it is running on set to the correct time by accessing the Atomic Clock (Timeserver) over the Internet or through a directly dialed connection.

Clients can act together or independently, setting their clocks either at a scheduled time or day, on a periodic basis, or whenever the clock needs to be set.

Client-Server Architecture

  • Client-Server is a type of distributed application architecture that connects a computer workstation (client) to one host computer (server).
  • Server runs continuously, waiting for client requests.
  • Clients may run ad hoc, requesting time synchronization services from the server at any time.

How it works

  • Server is installed as an application or a service on the computer to serve as the enterprise-wide timeserver. This computer serves as the master clock for the network.
  • Server makes periodic calls to an external public timeserver to keep time accurate on the computer it is running on. To make the connection, it uses the native Internet connection, dials the NIST's Atomic Clock directly over the phone line, or gets the time from GPS satellites or WWVB broadcast.
  • Server is listening on the LAN / WAN for client requests.
  • Independently, a workstation running ClockWatch Client requests time from Server over the LAN or WAN using the sockets protocol.
  • Server responds to each client with correct standard time, logging client request.
  • Client adjusts time for its time zone and sets internal clock to correct time.
  • Server Supports 1 - 1000 Clients.
  • Server and Client runs in taskbar or as an NT Service.
  • 'Zero-admin' ClockWatch Client deployment options
  • Free Evaluation CD-ROM

Beagle Software's Client-Server Approach

Simply put, client-server means that there is an intelligent workstation client accessing a central timeserver. The ClockWatch Server software handles the application processing on the server, while another edition of software, ClockWatch Client, handles the end-user interface processing on the client.

The ClockWatch workstation client's job is to send time requests to the ClockWatch Server and maintain the client at the correct time.  The ClockWatch Server's job is to keep the time accurate on the host and to reply to client requests. All interaction with external timeservers is done by the  Server. The communication link with the clients must be a network (e.g., Ethernet) connection.

Beagle Software's systems offer two options for implementing the client-server concept:

  • WINDOWS NETWORK:  You can use ClockWatch for both your host server and workstation clients. Your time synchronization processing is done on one computer, while your ClockWatch workstation clients are separate PCs running ClockWatch Client on Windows 9x/NT/2k/XP/2003.
  • MULTI-PLATFORM NETWORK:  You can run  ClockWatch Server on your host server and use NTP clients on your computers running other operating systems other than MS Windows.

More information on:

The advantages of Beagle Software's client/server approach are:

  • SECURITY:   Both the CW Client and Server applications can run as an NT service. This prevents regular users from changing the time.
  • SCALABILITY:  The application architecture is very scalable; one host server can handle from 1 to 1000 different clients.
  • SELF-DOCUMENTING:  Both Clients and Server maintain logs showing every time change on the system.  Such logs are often required by law (i.e. OATS).
  • INTEGRITY:  Since clients don't need to talk to timeservers on the Internet, Internet traffic is reduced and the integrity of corporate firewalls is maintained.
  • USER OPTIONS:  Your ClockWatch workstation clients can be easily tailored for different uses. For example, a time-critical workstation can be set up differently from a regular user.
  • EASY DEPLOYMENT: "Zero-admin" software installation is possible using ClockWatch Client custom install templates.

Connecting Beagle Software Clients Over a Network

Using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network communications software, you can connect your networked ClockWatch workstation clients to your host server in any way that allows a socket type connection between client and host.

As a potential Beagle Software customer, you can be secure in the knowledge that you would be working with a vendor who is putting the necessary resources into anticipating your future, as well as your current needs.

Evaluating and Purchasing ClockWatch Client/Server

All Client/Server software can be downloaded from our web site to allow for real-time evaluation. Just choose the packages from the Download Page. Please note that the evaluation version of ClockWatch Server will only work with a single ClockWatch Client.  When Client licenses are purchased, Beagle Software will provide the key codes to handle multiple clients. All products can be ordered on-line.

Potential customers can also request a free demonstration CD-ROM containing working versions of all the Client/Server application. To request the free CD-ROM.

Frequently Asked Questions about Client/Server
Multi-platform time synchronization
Using the Windows Time client with ClockWatch Server
ClockWatch Client/Server - Main Page
ClockWatch - Frequently Asked Questions
ClockWatch - Product Index

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Copyright © 2007 Beagle Software. All rights reserved
Last reviewed March 19, 2008