Frequently Asked Questions
Avilar Customer Support is available by email and telephone during normal business hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday - Friday (excluding US holidays).
Registered support customers may also use our Customer Support web site at support.avilar.com. Please contact us at the telephone numbers or email address at right if you would like to have access to this support site.
WebMentor LMS: Courses
WebMentor Author: Installation & Configuration
WebMentor Author: Authoring
WebMentor LMS: Courses
Q: Who assigns my Student ID and
A: You must assign your own Student ID and Password on the New
Student Enrollment form that will be displayed when you click
the Enroll button. Use only letters and digits in your Student ID and Password
(no spaces or special characters). After successfully enrolling, you must
enter your Student ID and Password whenever you re-enter the Training System
as an Enrolled Student. Your Student ID is permanent and cannot
be changed. You may change your Password from the Student Main Menu displayed
after you enroll or logon to the Training System.
Q: What web browsers can I use?
A: Most Version 4 (and higher) web browsers will work. Click here to
check your browser characteristics automatically.
NOTE 1: Internet Explorer 4.0
needs Service Pack 1. You can download the Service Pack by clicking
on the browser Help button and then selecting Product
Updates. This takes you to a page describing how
to download the latest version of the browser.
NOTE 2: We do not recommend
Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 3.x or the AOL browser Version
Q: What happens if I forget my Student ID and
A: You must contact Avilar Technologies, Inc. at (888) 759-7053 to obtain
your Student ID.
To obtain your password, enter your Student ID in the Student Logon screen,
check the box "I forgot my password" and click the Enter button. Your
password will be e-mailed to you immediately.
NOTE: Your Student ID is permanent
and cannot be changed. You may change your Password
from the Student Main Menu displayed after you logon to the Training
Q: When I attempt to enter a course, nothing
A: If you click on the Shortcut to Course icon on the Student
Main Menu or the Enter Course link on the Course Menu and the course
window does not open, it is probably already open but hidden. Check the task
bar at the bottom of your screen to see if it contains a button having the
name of the course you are trying to enter. If so, click that button and
the course window will be displayed in front of your other windows. If not,
contact Customer Support.
Q: A small window popped up telling me that
your web browser to a later version. Some versions of the popular web browsers
have been corrected in later versions of these web browsers.
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WebMentor Author: Installation & Configuration
Q: Do I need to configure the Xitami web
server that is installed with WebMentor Author? If so, how?
A: The Xitami Web Server is a high performance web server for use
with WebMentor Author. You do not need to configure it manually unless you
need to change the default settings established during installation. (All
of the server's documentation is online. To access the server's documentation,
just use URL "http://127.0.0.1".)
The following changes are made during installation to the default configuration
of the Xitami Web Server in the file "defaults.cfg".
- Normally the server comes with authentication enabled. This protects
various features of the server with passwords, including server administration.
All authentication has been disabled to make it easier to deal with the
server during course authoring. This is not a recommended configuration
for servers that will be accessed from a network.
- The FTP server is disabled.
- Support for 16-bit CGI applications is disabled to improve performance.
- WebMentor Author web pages reside in the directory where you installed
the product. This is done through a URL alias. The normal web pages are
located in the directory "webpages" under the main Xitami directory.
- For further information about the Xitami Web Server, see www.imatix.com.
One common installation problem occurs when you have another web server
running on your system (for example, the Microsoft Personal Web Server for
use with MS FrontPage) that is already using port 80, the default port for
web servers. Port 80 might also be assigned to another, non-web server application.
Use the DOS command
C:\> netstat -a
to see what ports are being used on your machine.
If port 80 is in use, you should configure Xitami to use some other port
for its service. A common alternate port for web servers is 8080. WebMentor
Author prompts you to set this value during installation. If you should happen
to install Xitami on a system where the port is already busy, Xitami's icon
in the lower right hand side of the screen on the task bar will be blue instead
of yellow. You may change the port setting using Xitami's Setup option.
If you configure Xitami to use an alternate port, remember that URLs for
this server will require the port number. For example, if you use port 8080,
the local Xitami server responds to:
The installation program automatically configures WebAuthor to communicate
with Xitami on this port.
Q: Can I use my own web server instead of Xitami?
A: Yes. The Xitami web server is provided with the product and is
properly configured during installation. You may use your own web server
as an alternative by following these guidelines.
- Make sure your server is running. Point your web browser at the following
URLs, trying them in the order shown. If any one of them works, then the
server is running.
- http://127.0.0.1 (Requires Network setup for at least a dialup
- http://localhost (Requires the existence of a HOST file.)
- http://machine (machine is the hostname of your
computer. Example: http://mylaptop)
- http://machine.domain (machine is the hostname
of your computer. domain is the name of the domain in which your
computer resides. Example: http://mylaptop.bigcorp.com)
Note that if you use a URL containing a machine name, your computer
should be configured to run a name resolution protocol like DNS or WINS
to translate that name into an IP address. Use the Settings > Control
Panel > Network applet to enable name resolution.
If your computer is not configured to use a name resolution protocol,
you may instead pair IP addresses with machine names in a local HOSTS
For Win95, the local host file is:
For WinNT, the local host file is:
Configuring your machine for network access usually creates a HOSTS
file automatically that associates the machine name localhost with
the IP address 127.0.0.1.
(You may have noticed that none of the URLs start with "www". This
is because few machines are actually named WWW. The WWW name is resolved
through a DNS naming trick: refer to a DNS book for more information
To verify that you can use address 127.0.0.1, use the ping command
in a (DOS) COMMAND window.
C:\> ping 127.0.0.1
You should receive a response like:
127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time...
If you receive responses like:
specified is invalid.
Bad IP address.
or if ping does not return any results for a long time, then
TCP/IP is probably not installed properly on your machine.
- WebMentor Author requires the web server to set the environment variable
SCRIPT_NAME. If your server does not assign a value to this environment
variable, WebMentor Author issues an error message. Some servers require
that you set this value manually.
- WebMentor Author uses server cgi programs. All cgi programs are placed
in directories with cgi-bin in the path. They end with the extension .cgi.
Your server should be configured to allow such programs to be treated as
normal executable cgi programs. On Windows 95/98 and Windows NT, some servers
have an additional CGI designation of "WinCGI" or "Windows CGI". Do not
use those designations.
- Test your web server's abilility to communicate with WebMentor Author
by opening cgi-bin/testcgi.cgi in the WebMentor Author installation
Q: Why do I get an error message when I try
to launch WebMentor Author using icons on my desktop or from the Start
A: WebMentor Author relies on the system file URL.DLL to launch
your web browser on various WebMentor Author components. Occasionally this
file is missing and/or needs to be reinstalled. Verify that the file exists:
- Windows 95/98: examine %WINDIR%\system\url.dll
- Windows NT: examine %WINDIR%\system32\url.dll
You can always launch WebMentor Author by typing a URL directly into your
web browser's location box. The URL depends on where you have installed WebMentor
Author on your hard drive. For example, if your local web server starts looking
for files in C:\web-root and you install WebMentor Author directly
under this directory, you could type the URL:
You only need to provide the :port number if your local web server
is not using the default port 80.
Q: Does my system require ODBC?
A: Yes. WebMentor Author uses Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) to
communicate with a Microsoft Access 97 database that holds course data. The
installation process installs Microsoft Jet 3.5 drivers to provide ODBC support.
Note that updating ODBC drivers may have implications for other installed
WebMentor Author installs datasources using the same account which runs
the Xitami web server. Avilar has received reports of instances where this
process creates future errors when running the ODBC administration tool (not
provided with WebMentor Author). The most common error that occurs on Windows
Unable to register
If this error occurs you can correct it by running regedt32 (Windows
NT) or regedit (Windows 95/98) to update the registry. WARNING:
Misuse of these tools has the potential to make your system unusable. Here
is what you need to do:
- Open the registry and select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Microsoft\Jet.
Select Security Permissions to open the Registry Key Permissions dialog
box. Select "Replace Permissions on Existing Subkeys" and make sure the
permissions are the ones you want (normally you would have "Administrators
Full Control" and "Everyone Full Control"). Select OK.
- Repeat the previous step for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ODBC.
This same error can also happen when a datasource is created as the Administrator
(whether by WebMentor Author or by some other product). You may also encounter
it when you install WebMentor Author as Administrator and later try to re-install
it as another user. The solution described above resolves all these situations.
A more serious problem can occur where the user trying to install a datasource
no longer has access to the registry keys. The same "Unable to register" error
appears, but the problem is completely different. To resolve this problem,
you must locate the specific key that the installing user can't access. The
easiest way is to open the registry subtree starting with the "Jet" level
down. Any grayed out folders represent inaccessible keys.
Another technique is to enable security audits:
- Open "User Manager/Policies/Audit".
- Select "Audit these events".
- Pick "File and Object Access" in the Failure column.
- Use the Event log to locate the specific keys that you can't access.
- Log in as the administrator, then use regedt32 to take ownership
of the offending keys.
- Once the administrator owns the keys, use the "Permissions" menu to remove
the offending user and add the user who will be installing the software.
Use extreme caution when performing these tasks. Mistakes can render
the system unusable (as is always the case with registry editing), and
these actions may also cause other database applications to experience
Q: Are there any special configuration requirements
if I access the Internet via a proxy server?
A: Yes. A proxy server acts as an intermediate server between the
web browser and the web server. (It can also perform a similar role for FTP
file transfers.) A proxy server does its job by accepting contact information
from the client software (in most cases your browser), and it then acting
on your behalf as a "proxy". You deal with the proxy rather than the real
There are two concerns regarding proxy servers.
First, WebMentor Author interacts with its own web server, typically via
a URL beginning with http://127.0.0.1. This URL directs your browser
to contact the local machine for service. However, if your browser is configured
to perform all of its actions through a proxy server, that server won't know
what machine to reply to. Depending on the server, it might actually try
to contact the web server running on the proxy machine! To prevent this problem,
configure your browser to bypass the proxy server for local addresses.
Internet Explorer 4:
- Choose View > Internet Options.
- Select the Connection tab.
- If "Access the Internet using a proxy server" is checked, also check "Bypass
proxy server for local (Intranet) addresses."
Internet Explorer 5:
- Choose Tools > Internet Options.
- Select the Connection tab.
- Click LAN Settings.
- If "Use a proxy server" is checked, also check "Bypass proxy server
for local addresses."
Netscape Navigator/Communicator 4.0+:
- Choose Edit > Preferences.
- In the Catagory box, select Advanced > Proxies.
- If "Manual proxy configuration" is checked, click View.
- In the Exceptions box, add http://127.0.0.1
If you use a proxy server, you will also need to configure WebMentor Author
with information about the proxy so that the automatic product updating feature
will work correctly. In WebMentor Author, click Upgrade in the Setup menu.
See the Detailed Help for the Product Upgrade screen for advice on specifying
the proxy server information.
Finally, some parts of the Avilar Technologies web site can only be accessed
through an SSL connection on port 443. This is the standard port for secure
connections. However, some proxy servers may be configured to block access
to port 443 connections. In these cases, access to the secure areas of the
Avilar site will not be possible. Talk with your network administrator for
information about allowing such connections.
Q: Why do I get an error message about WinInet.dll
during the Product Upgrade process?
A: WebMentor Author uses WinInet.dll for its product upgrade
process. Microsoft does not allow third parties such as Avilar to redistributable
this DLL, so the WebMentor Author installation process does not install a
copy. However, WinInet.dll does come with several Microsoft products,
most prominently Internet Explorer 4.0 and later. This does not mean that
you have to use Internet Explorer as the browser for WebMentor Author, but
if you have problems with downloading product upgrades, you may need to get
a copy of WinInet.dll from a machine that does have it. Copy the file
into the system directory for your operating.
For Windows NT, the system directory is:
For Windows 95/98, the system directory is:
WebMentor Author: Authoring
Q: I made some changes to a Learning Unit and
then viewed the course. I don't see my changes. What did I do wrong?
A: In order to see edits or changes, you must either 'Build' or 'Rebuild'
the course. You will then be able to view your changes.
Q: Is it possible to present assessment questions
in random order?
A: Yes. In the LU Editor, double-click on Assessment. Then click
Assessment Settings in the Section Properties window to open the Assessment
Options Dialog window. In this window you can select many different options
to customize your assessments, including randomizing questions.
Q: Can WebMentor Author deliver timed tests?
A: Yes. Follow the steps in the answer above to access the Assessment
Options Dialog window. Change the Timed status to 'Yes'. You can then select
the other options that pertain to timed tests such as the time in minutes
and warning intervals.