Updated: October 18, 2019 3:32pm

Wireless Network Considerations

Using Loopback for Wireless Connections
You can use Prism for home-delivery scenarios in which a customer orders merchandise over the phone or internet and the goods are delivered to a customer, with the customer taking payment upon delivery.
In this type of scenario, the associate will download a pending sales order into a tablet or laptop with the Prism stack installed. The associate will then travel with the device to the customer's house. The associate then fetches the sales order, converts it to a sale, taking payment through EFT.
The challenge in this type of scenario is that at the point the order is fulfilled and payment taken, the Associate is not connected to the network. Therefore, to use Prism for this type of scenario, the following configuration is required:

  • Add a Microsoft Loopback Adapter and configure it with a private IPv4 address
  • Add an entry to the Hosts file that points the device fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to that loopback address.

Note: It is best to install the loopback adapter before installing Prism.
The following steps take you through the process.
Step 1: Get Device Host Name and Fully Qualified Domain Name
Launch cmd.exe and issue the command ipconfig /all
C:\>ipconfig /all
(Sample Windows IP Configuration)

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : tablet001
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . : localdomain.com
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : localdomain.com

The Host Name is tablet001. The FQDN combines the Host Name and the Primary Dns Suffix: tablet001.localdomain.com.

Step 2: Add a Microsoft Loopback Adapter
(The following is for a Windows 10 system)
Go to Control Panel > System > Device Manager.

control panel to device manager
 
Select Actions > Add legacy hardware.
add legacy hardware
 
The Add Hardware Wizard launches. Click Next.
 Add hardware wizard
Select to install the hardware manually.
add hardware manually

Select Network Adapters. Click Next.
 Add hardware
Select Microsoft as the manufacturer and then select a loopback adapter. On this machine, it is named Microsoft Loopback Adapter. The name may be different on your machine.
 Add hardware loopback
Click Next to install.
 addhardware_wizard5
Click Finish. Reboot the machine if prompted.
Add hardware wizard, finish

Step 3: Configure loopback adapter to use a static IP address
Go to Control Panel and you will see a new connection that might be named like "unidentified network" with "no network access" status. Click the link to the unidentified network connection.
Unidentified network


In the Network Connection window, right-click on the link to that connection and select Properties.

adapter properties

Uncheck the TCP/IPv6 protocol. Select TCP/IPv4 protocol and click Properties.

ip properties
 
In the protocol properties select "use the following IP address" and enter a static IP address that is NOT on your normal network (for example, 10.10.10.10 with a mask 255.255.255.0) and write down the IP address you entered.
static IP address

Apply the changes, then close all the dialogs and reboot the computer.
Step 4: Add entry to Hosts file
After rebooting log in, launch notepad.exe AS ADMINISTRATOR. You can use the right-click "Run as Administrator" option when launching Notepad. Open the following file:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
 
Make sure that you select "All Files (*.*)" in the "open file" dialog, because the hosts file does not have an extension.
Add an entry to the end of the file in the following format: [ip address, FQDN, host name]
Example: 10.10.10.10 tablet001.localdomain.com tablet001
Save the changes and close the file.
Step 5: Flush DNS entries
In the command prompt execute "ipconfig /flushdns" command.
Step 6: Ping Loopback IP Address to Verify Connectivity
Verify that loopback adapter works by pinging the device.
In LOCAL command prompt execute "ping -4 tablet001" - it should report the static IP address you assigned to the loopback adapter (in our example - 10.10.10.10).
Next, on a different computer on the same network, ping the device, e.g. "ping -4 tablet001" - it should report the real network IP address of the device (not the address of the loopback adapter).
Step 7: Install the Prism stack.
Install MySQL, Prism and Proxy on the tablet using its normal computer name.
Check that you can launch the Proxy and connect to Prism.
Step 8: Configure Replication and Initialize
Configure replication between the local Prism and another Prism (with V9). Initialize.
Prism data should now be available on the device.
In our home delivery scenario, the Associate will travel with the tablet to the customer's location. Although the Associate is no longer connected to the network, the Associate can launch Prism, look up the order and fulfill it, taking payment by EFT.
When the associate returns to the office and reconnects the tablet to the network, the fulfilled order information will be replicated up the enterprise hierarchy.