Tetra UNICORN Agent FAQ

How TetraScience UNICORN Agent works internally?

From a high level, the TetraScience UNICORN Agent performs four tasks.

The first is Scan New. The UNICORN Agent detects the new result file by scanning the entire address space user specify from Management UI. The scanning speed largely depends on the server capability. Roughly, the Agent can scan 800 to 1,000 result files per minute.

The second is Scan Change. The UNICORN Agent is going to detect the file change by checking its latest timestamp of the Evaluation Logbook and the new content of Evaluation Notes. If the result file is updated, the Agent will flag the result file to be regenerated.

The third is Generation. The UNICORN Agent accesses the UNICORN HDA service, extracts the new and changed result files, output the data as JSON-based raw files. It takes 10 to 15 seconds to generate one result file. Please beware that the Agent prioritizes the new result file over the update result files.

The fourth is Upload. The UNICORN Agent uploads the raw files to the TetraScience Data Platform. When the file is successfully uploaded, the Agent removes the raw file from the local folder to save space. For an updated result file, it won't create a new file in the TetraScience Data Platform, instead, it creates a new version of the existing result file. The UNICORN Agent uses the result file's HDA tag address as part of the file name.

Does the TetraScience UNICORN Agent interfere with UNICORN client if the Agent is deployed to the same machine as the UNICORN client?

TeraScience confirmed with Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences) that UNICORN Client doesn't use OPC HDA internally. So TetraScience UNICORN Agent won't interfere with UNICORN Client, even the UNICORN client is running the experiment. It is safe to restart OPC HDA service as well.

How to find out the UNICORN HDA address space?

The address space depends on the result files that have been created based on a specific instrument configuration and how the Home folder is set up in UNICORN. TetraScience provides a freeware tool from Advosol Inc to help check the address.

The tool is located in [UNICORN Agent Installation Folder\Tools\HDATEstClientFW2.

Run the executable, HDATestClientNet2.exe

  1. Provide the Host Node (the local machine name, or use localhost, 127.0.0.1) and click Browse Servers
  2. Select UNICORN_HDAServer12.1 and then click Connect
    Notes:
    If the software raises an error as this:

This error is usually due to OPC Core Component not installed correctly or OpcEnum service not running. There are a few ways to fix this:

  • Check if "OpcEnum" service is started in "Windows Services" window. It needs to be started and set to automatically start after system boots
  • Run "Repair" on OPC Core Component distributable in the software management window
  • Reinstall OPC Core Component executable. Remove it from the installed software and reinstall it using the installer in "Tools" folder (Version 105.1 is preferred)
  1. Click Browse under the BrowseTree Tab
  2. There have two folders containing the result files. Please be aware the folder name is case sensitive.
    • \Default\Folders\DefaultHome
    • \Default\Folders\TetraScience

Notes:

The folders can be defined differently based on the UNICORN configuration. The general rule is to start the address from the direct child of Root . For the case above, it is \Default\....

How to verify if the UNICORN OPC HDA Service is ready?

  1. Verify the UNICORN HDA Service is up and running by checking the service from Windows Services Panel.

Please make sure this service is running and set the Startup type as Automatic

  1. Verify if the OPC HDA Service is accessible by following the previous question
  2. If the UNICORN is set up as a centralized database structure. The account running the UNICORN HDA service should have at least read permission access.

What to check if the OPC connection is not successful?

TetraScience provides a freeware tool from Advosol to test the OPC connection. It can be found in [UNICORN Agent Installation Folder\Tools\HDATEstClientFW2.

If you are not able to see the UNICORN Folders, it is very likely the there has OPC connection issue.

Please check the following items

  • Make sure the Logon Required For HDA clients is unchecked. The setting can be found from UNICORN Administration -> Tools -> Options -> OPC Settings
  • UNICORN HDA Service is running (From Windows Service Panel)
  • OpcEnum Service is running (From Windows Service Panel)

How does the UNICORN Agent determine if the result file is updated?

When the TetraScience UNICORN Agent is up and running, it scans every resulting file under the address space defined in the Management Console (HDA Service) periodically (time interval). If one of the following data fields is changed, The Agent considers the result file is updated. The Agent will generate the result file and upload it to TetraScience Platform again. There will have a new version of the file stored in TetraScience Platform

  • Total Length of Evaluation Notes
  • Latest Evaluation Log Book Time Stamp

How does the UNICORN Agent determine if the result file is ready to generate?

OPC Result file address space is created when the method starts. But the Raw data is not generated till the method finishes. To the generated Result file containing the Raw data, the Tetra UNICORN Agent waits till the method run completes. The logic to determine when the method run completes is to check the Run Logbook if it contains:

  • End <date_time>
  • Record Off <date_time>

Any impact to UNICORN if the Agent restarts HDA Services when the experiment is running?

No, the HDA service is used by UNICORN to integrate with external applications or services. It doesn't impact how UNICORN performs. Since the Tetra UNICORN Agent is constantly interacting with the HDA service, the HDA service requires resetting its internal state and memory allocation to void unexpected behaviors, just like restarting Windows for maintenance purposes.

Currently, the restart happens before scanning job and generation job. If the Agent generates up to 1,000 Result files, it will restart the HDA service before continuing.

What is the impact of "Detect changes for last x Month" on the file generation?

All of the Result files in the UNICORN HDA address folder will be extracted and uploaded to the Tetra Data Platform.

UNICORN usually accumulates the Result files back to years or even 10+ years. A lot of the old files are seldom be changed. To make the UNICORN agent run more efficiently, the Agent will not rescan the changes for the files back to a certain time. The user can determine what is the proper time for the Agent.

What are the UNICORN Agent output files and the archive strategy?

Agent Service

Output File type

Output Folder

Archiving

UNICORN HDA Service

Raw File

Specified by user in Management Console. The default is C:\temp\

File will be removed after they are successfully uploaded

UNICORN HDA Service

Agent Log File

Logs folder under the Agent installation folder

The Agent logs will be archived in every minute. The log files are archived to logs\archive folder. Then the Agent will upload the log files to Platform periodically.

When succeeded, the logs will be moved to backup folder which is under the logs\archive\ folder.

The log files in the archive folder will be clean up in 72 hours.

UNICORN AE Service

Stream File

Specified by user in Management Console. The default is C:\temp\Output

File will be removed after they are successfully uploaded

UNICORN AE Service

Agent Log File

Logs folder under the Agent installation folder

The Agent logs will be archived in every minute. The log files are archived to logs\archive folder. Then the Agent will upload the log files to Platform periodically.

When succeeded, the logs will be moved to backup folder which is under the logs\archive\ folder.

The log files in the archive folder will be clean up in 72 hours.

How to export result files from the UNICORN?

In case, you need to provide some sample result files to TetraScience. You can export the result file from UNICORN Evaluation

  1. Open UNICORN Evaluation
  2. Select the file(s) from Result Navigator. To select several results, press Shift while you click the results
  3. Right-click the selected file(s) and select Export ... from Context Menu.
  4. The Export to Another UNICORN Database dialog opens if one result was chosen. The Browse For Folder dialog opens if several results were chosen.
  5. The result files are exported as compressed .zip files.
  6. Click Save in the Export to Another UNICORN database dialog or OK in the Browse For Folder dialog.
  7. The result is saved as zip file. If several results were exported, each result is saved as an individual zip file.

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