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Spok Messenger FAQ - Updated

This topic contains a list of the frequently asked questions and answers about the Spok Messenger product.

Features and Functions

How long has Messenger been in the marketplace? 
The Messenger platform has been in the marketplace since 1993. It was originally launched with the name BasePage.
 

How can I ensure I have the latest version of Messenger?
As part of your annual support agreement with Spok you will be able to upgrade to the latest version of Messenger each year free of charge. If you do not currently have a support agreement, please contact one of our Account Managers.
 

What database does Messenger utilize?
Messenger v3.6 and BasePage used MSDE 2000. Messenger 4.x versions have been upgraded to use Microsoft SQL. For a complete listing of versions supported, please see the Spok Hardware Guide.
 

What Operating Systems Does Messenger support?
For specific versions of certified operating systems, please see the latest Messenger product documentation.
 

Does Spok still support Basepage 2000?
Basepage 2000 is no longer supported. Messenger is the current supported platform. Please contact us for details on upgrading and our new range of support contracts.
 

Does Messenger need a dedicated server?  
It is recommended to have a dedicated server but in some circumstances it may be supported with other applications.  Please check with your account manager for further details.
 

What interfaces are available on Messenger that are not currently on Fusion? 
A complete list of systems available for integration with the Fusion platform are listed on our Product Interoperability List available on the Spok partner portal.
 

How many simultaneous gateways can I run on Messenger?
Up to 63 gateways can be managed on a single Messenger system.
 

Does Messenger have reminders/scheduling?
Yes. This functionality is built in for multiple interfaces and can be configured from the local or web based clients.
 

Messenger displays the message Unregistered, what do I need to do?
This means that the license has expired. Please contact Spok to re-license.
 

Will I still need a dongle to license Messenger?
A dongle is not required to license Messenger; however, you will still need a dongle if connecting serial (POCSAG) transmitters to Messenger.
 

Which Dongle Works With Which PCI Card?
Both the standard and the powered dongles work with Spok supplied PCI, PCI-e and PCI-x cards. All current dongles sold are powered.
 

Can I use the database from my BasePage system and upgrade to Messenger?
Yes, we can upgrade the database schema. Please contact Spok for details.
 

What browsers are supported by Messenger?
Please see the latest Messenger product documentation.
 

What anti-virus programs does Messenger support?
Messenger v4.2 and beyond support Trend, AVG, McAfee and Symantec Anti-Virus software.  Prior to v4.2 Messenger supports Symantec only.
 

Can I use the database from my Fusion EMM and upgrade to Messenger?
This database has a different format, and cannot be converted so it needs to be entered manually. We can offer this as a service. Please contact our office for details.
 

How can I view message history on Messenger?
Message history is recorded in the log4net log file stored in the install directory of Spok Messenger. You can also view that last 1000 messages from the thick client under the message status window.

How do I export or print all Devices?
In the Messenger thick client, click View > Devices. From here you can export or print the Devices.
 

What is our timeline for qualifying major and minor Database Management System software or Operating System version upgrades and releases?
Major level releases of an operating system or database version to be supported by Messenger are executed within the release cycle (around 4 months) immediately following the release of the new database or operating system.  (e.g., SQL 2010 comes out while Messenger v4.1 is the available release then Messenger v4.2 would support that version unless it is already at alpha release).  Minor versions such as service packs are tested and released when they can be scheduled.
 

Is communication between the Messenger Client and Server encrypted?
Communication between Messenger Win32 client and the Messenger server uses 128 bit Blow Fish Encrypted TCP/IP. Communication via the Messenger Web Client can be configured to use HTTPS.
 

What are Messenger’s capabilities and limitations with various network security environments, such as Network-based “stateful” firewalls, VPN’s, Network-based Admission Controls (NAC), and Intrusion Detection/Protection Systems?
The Messenger product supports VPN and firewalls provided the proper ports are open for communications with those integrations that need them.  Messenger itself only requires one or two ports to be open depending on the implementation, having a minimal footprint on the network.  For admission controls, Messenger provides the ability to authenticate against the sites Active Directory needs.
 

My serial connection is not working. How do I check this, what do I need to do?
In the Messenger thick client click Interfaces > Port Communications. Check if there is data being sent and received. If not, ensure that the serial device is connected and working properly. You can also try to restart the Gateway. If this doesn’t fix the problem, restart the server and test again.
 

Can username and password authentication for Messenger Client interfaces be passed to RADIUS or Active Directory?
Authentication to Active Directory is available in Messenger 4.0 or later.  RADUIS is not currently supported.
 

Do you offer a redundant Messenger solution?
Yes, several options are available. Please contact our office to discuss specific requirements.
 

Can the Fusion Series modules integrate with the Messenger system?
Yes, they can. This is usually done via TAP over IP or propriety interfaces.
 

Can you set up one button to send a common message?         
Yes, with hot keys, but only on the Messenger thick client.
 

Why is my report not displaying all or any data?  
The log file may have recently rolled over as it reached its max size.
 

Why is there a department setting for each recipient? 
This allows you to restrict which recipients certain users can see or have access to.
 

What is the minimum password requirement for Messenger? 
None. Messenger will support blank passwords if needed.
 

Messenger software cannot be installed, it displays this error message:

This issue is caused when the language version of a non-Unicode implementation is set to use Chinese (PRC). Disabling this option will resolve the issue.


 

Can we import contacts from a CSV file for facilities?
Yes, the Port Contacts Tool can take a limited number of fields for import in the Messenger system.
 

Can I use a dongle with VMware Messenger systems?
Dongles will not work and are cannot be used in a VMware environment.  What this means is that existing and new Intelpage POCSAG transmitters will not be able to be used in a VMWare environment.  Intelpage IP transmitters will be required when using TAP or TNPP (when Priority Beep codes are needed).
 

What is the difference between Messenger and the Fusion EMM?
Messenger software runs within Microsoft Windows, while Fusion EMM is an embedded hardware platform with built-in software. Messenger is more advanced, provides additional functionality, and supports more users. It is installed on large sites (large hospital, casinos, hotels, etc.).
 

What steps are needed to ensure proper operation of the Messenger system?

  • Ensure that Users/Operators have appropriate access to the system (i.e. cannot change/edit any settings, can only view contacts and send messages etc.)
  • Use Internet Explorer as the browser
  • Have no more than 50 recipients in a group, use escalations if required
  • Restart Gateways if there are issues, or after making any changes to Gateways
  • Ensure serial com ports details are correct and match the other system (i.e. 9600, 8, N, None)
  • When troubleshooting, check incoming/outgoing data in Port Communications, Message Status, System Status, and the .log file
  • Ensure Port numbers are unique and they do not share the same port (i.e. TAP 1- Port 6001, TAP 2 – Port 6002)
  • If serial com ports lock up, restart the server
  • Restart the server if required but ensure you notify Managers, Operators, IT Department, Supervisors before restarting
     

Gateways

Where can I find basic information on systems Messenger supports and what features are available with them?
A complete list of systems available for integration with the Messenger platform are listed on our Product Interoperability List available on the Spok partner portal.
 

HL7 Integration

Can Messenger integrate with lab systems via HL7?
Yes, Messenger can integrate to lab systems for notification of general or critical results availability via HL7 or e-mail interface depending on the sending system requirements or site preferences.
 

Does Messenger have any reference sites with HL7 integration?
Yes, we have reference sites with HL7 integration for device messaging and we are looking to register reference sites for lab notification.
 

Does Messenger HL7 integration have anything to do with our FDA certification?
No, HL7 is just a standard we work with.  While many systems that are FDA certified use HL7, the standard is not monitored by the FDA for any purpose.
 

Can Messenger provide patient import via HL7 ADT integration?
This feature is not currently available. If you have an opportunity with this as a requirement, please contact Spok.
 

Does Messenger provide any kind of HL7 integration with medical devices?
Yes, Spok works independently with vendors and through our efforts with the IHE to qualify medical device gateways for secondary notification of clinical events.  Device types include infusion pumps, patient monitors, pulse oximeters and ventilators.
 

Does Messenger provide integration to blood bank or medication management systems via HL7?
Yes, with the HL7 standards and the correct message format from the sending system, Messenger can perform an integration to any HL7 application within a facility.
 

Can I integrate my systems via HL7 using Fusion instead of Messenger?
No, the Fusion platform does not support HL7 integration today.