Troubleshooting Publication Issues in Triaster Server 2011 - the Queuing Mechanism

 This article is suitable for an IT Adminstrator

Ref: 201402190829
Last Edited: February 19th, 2014


Triaster Server has a queuing mechanism to manage the running of publications. A basic understanding of this should help when troubleshooting publication issues, even if it just adds clarity to instructions we may give to a customer.

Triaster Services

There are five Triaster services, three of which are pertinent to the publication mechanism.
Triaster Publication Server 2011
Triaster Task File Server 2011
Triaster Token Server 2011

Publication Queue

Files associated with the queuing mechanism will be found in the 'Queue' folder.
A publication is initiated by a PNTASK file created in the 'Queue' folder. This is just an empty text file, the name of which identifies the library and site to be published, e.g. 'PROCESS LIBRARY_SANDPIT.pntask'. Conventionally, such a PNTASK file would be created by running a publication through the Administration page of a library site, or a scheduled task, but other methods could achieve the same thing, even just copying such a file to the 'Queue' folder manually in Windows Explorer.
To check whether a mechanism such as publishing from the Administration webpage or a publication's scheduled task is creating a PNTASK file properly, stop the Task File Server service, and then initiate that mechanism. Delete any PNTASK files from the 'Queue' folder before restarting the service.

Task File Server and Token Server services

The Task File Server and Token Server services monitor the 'Queue' folder, and if a PNTASK file is found, will add publication instructions for the associated library site to a 'PubQueue.xml' file, and then delete the PNTASK file. This should happen practically instantaneously, so if a PNTASK file remains in the 'Queue' folder, it would suggest a problem with one or both of the Task File Server and Token Server services, perhaps one as simple as not running.
To check whether PNTASK files are being processed to populate the 'PubQueue.xml' file, stop the Publication Server service. Create a PNTASK file in the 'Queue' folder, and check that a 'PubQueue.xml' file is created or increased in size, and the PNTASK file deleted. Delete the 'PubQueue.xml' file before restarting the service.

Publication Server service

The Publication Server service takes its instructions from the 'PubQueue.xml' file, which could define publication actions for more than one site. A 'PubQueue.xml' file of 1 KB denotes an empty file, but anything larger than that suggests publication actions pending or underway. If a 'PubQueue.xml' file isn't cleared of its content, it would suggest a problem with the Publication Server service; check that the service is running.
Another useful indicator of publication activity is Task Manager. When a publication is underway, 'AnalystEdition.exe' and sometimes 'Visio.exe' activity is shown on the 'Processes' tab.

Restarting services

Restarting services is often suggested when troubleshooting publication issues, but usually requires direct, administrative access to the Triaster Server. We have a simple, scripted mechanism that would allow anyone with writable access to a designated folder to trigger a restart of the Triaster services. Do let us know if that would be useful for you.

Need further help? Contact the Triaster Support team by e-mailing or by calling us on + 44 (0)870 402 1234.
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