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Technical Settings

This topic explains how to use the administrator settings that govern the operation and performance of the Content Collection in Blackboard Learn. These include configuration settings for bandwidth use, global schemas, logs, performance, and document stores.

Log settings

Error and information messages related to the system are generated in the default Tomcat logs. The Log Settings page is used to generate additional information if there is a problem with the system and debugging is necessary. This information is used by Blackboard Support to remedy the situation.

Administrators do not need to restart Tomcat after enabling log events.

All Content Collection logs are stored in the logs directory under the top-level blackboard directory. Within the logs directory there are folders that store logs as well as an archive folder for logs that have been compressed and stored as a means of managing the size of the log files.

Configure log settings

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Content Management, select Technical Settings.
  2. Select Log Settings. This table describes the available fields.
    Field Description
    General Log Settings
    Log events to file Select Yes to log events in the Content Collection to the log file. Select No and events will not be logged.

    Session expiration logging has the potential to cause performance issues in log searched for large installations.

    Path/name of Log File Displays the path to the log file. This field cannot be edited.
    Maximum Log File Size (0 for unlimited) Set the maximum size for a log file.
    Number of Saved Log Files (0 for unlimited) Set the maximum number of logs that are saved.
    Log Informational Message Select Yes or No to log information messages for debugging or statistical information purposes. Fatal error messages are logged regardless of this setting.
    Log Trace Settings
    The log file will automatically include general details for all areas of the Content Collection. Fields that are set to Yes for tracing on this page will include additional details in the log. These options should remain on No, unless the system requires debugging. Turning these options on may result in a significant decrease in system performance.
  3. Select Submit.

Performance settings

The Manage Performance Settings page allows administrators to specify caching options for files and queries. These settings can improve performance for users in the Content Collection.

Configure performance settings

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Content Management, select Technical Settings.
  2. Select Performance Settings. This table describes the available fields.
    Field Description
    Performance Settings
    File cache size Provide the size of the cache in megabytes. Caching files in memory improves performance by reducing the number of read operations from disk. The default setting of 1 MB allows for caching of small, commonly used files. This setting can be increased if desired, but not above 10 MB.
    Query statement cache enabled Select Yes to enable the system to cache query statements. This improves performance if the same query statements are used multiple times. Select No and query statements will not be cached. The default setting is Yes. Enabling query statement caching significantly improves performance, but consumes a small amount of additional memory.
    Maximum Responses to a Search Provide the number of resources returned in response to a WebDAV resource search request. This prevents the system from overloading itself with one request. The default value returns 1000 responses.

Transactional change size limit

The system can limit the number of files or folders that may be changed during a single transaction. This prevents users from performing actions that will negatively affect system performance. The default value is 5000. Large Maximum Responses to a Search values can exceed the default limit and so can courses with extremely large numbers of sub-folders. Some institutions may need to set this value to Unlimited temporarily to either complete Recheck Content operations or archive, restore, copy, or delete large Courses.

Global schema settings

The global schema is the structure of the Blackboard Learn database. It is a database that is separate from the document store databases, and controls connections and information to each of the document stores. The Global Schema Settings page allows administrators to edit the settings for database connection times and the size of the connection pool.

For a description of connection pools, see Configuring JDBC Settings. The global schema requires its own pool of connections, and consumes significantly less connections than each document store.

Configure global schema settings

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Content Management, select Technical Settings.
  2. Select Global Schema Settings. This table describes the available fields.
    Field Description
    Dead connection timeout Provide the number of seconds before a dead connection will time out and be removed from the pool. A dead connection is one that is not sending any activity between the database and the Content Collection.
    Live connection expiration Occasionally, a connection will remain open but unusable. This is sometimes referred to as a hung Java connection, and although the connection is not useable, it is not a dead connection. Automatically expiring all live open connections ensures that hung connections eventually close. Provide the number of minutes a database connection will remain open before the system automatically closes it. New connections are created dynamically when needed, up to the maximum connections setting.
    Maximum size of connection pool Provide the maximum number of connections that can exist in the connection pool. If this number is too high, performance may decrease because the database server consumes more resources. If it is too low, requests may take longer to process because they might wait in a queue until a connection becomes available.
    Minimum size of connection pool Provide the minimum size of the connection pool. Because the number of connections to the global schema is typically small, the default of 2 is adequate for most institutions.

Bandwidth Settings

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a specific amount of time, for example, a number of bytes per second. Setting a bandwidth for each directory helps manage performance on the system.

Administrators can set up bandwidth settings and checks on the Bandwidth Settings page.

Administrators can view the bandwidth limits for each directory, and the amounts of bandwidth used on the Bandwidth Restrictions page.

Configure bandwidth settings

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Content Management, select Technical Settings.
  2. Select Bandwidth Settings. This table describes the available fields.
    Field Description
    Bandwidth Settings
    Check Bandwidth Limits Use the list to limit the amount of bandwidth allowed for each user or session.
    Time Over Which to Apply Bandwidth Quota Define the period of time over which a bandwidth quota is measured. For example, if this is set to 1 hour and the default bandwidth quota is 100 MB, a 100 MB file could only be downloaded or uploaded once over the course of 1 hour.
  3. Select Submit.

Set bandwidth restrictions

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Content Management, select Technical Settings.
  2. Select Bandwidth Restrictions.
  3. In the menu for one of the directory names, select Edit.
  4. Set the amount of bandwidth that is available to this directory.
  5. Select Submit.