Expanding ScreenConnect with Extensions

While ScreenConnect is fairly extensible, and many of our users modify the app to accomplish their particular goals, we've yet to produce an environment for our users to implement and send packaged code alterations and additions. To harness and encapsulate the creativity and customization that our users are capable of, we'd be well suited to develop a mechanism to do package extensions/plugins. ScreenConnect 5.0 will be our first release to offer this as a page in the administration section. 

An extension, in this case, can be anything from an aesthetic change, 3rd party integration, to a new event trigger. In the video below, a developer shows two example extensions, both of which modify the guest page to add additional functionality. Adding a quick link on the guest page to create a session or to download your client installer could be a matter of installing and activating a plugin, much like the system WordPress and many browsers utilzie today. 

See the demonstration below: 

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 9:11 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | ScreenConnect | feature

Purchase ScreenConnect with Confidence

In this day and age online shopping has become a customary practice. Still consumers are often wary of looming threats such as credit card fraud, identity theft, or the hassle of getting a refund on returned merchandise. As a dependable merchant we offer buyers a hassle free, secure system to purchase ScreenConnect. Our preferred method is Google Wallet (Google Checkout is transitioning to Google Wallet) but we also offer a product order option. We standby Google Wallet’s mission to “help online merchants sell more by providing a fast, convenient, and safe online shopping experience for their buyers”.

Credit card fraud and identity theft have attracted heavy media coverage over the past 10 years as online shopping has become more popular. To combat these threats Google Wallet promotes a secure, encrypted transaction. Google claims, “Your bank account details and credit card information, which are stored in a single location on our secure servers, are only accessed when needed to complete transactions.” Additionally Google performs industry-standard Address Verification System (AVS), Card Verification Value (CVV), and a list of other checks to prevent credit card fraud. Due to these securtiy checks quite often consumers have to wait for their order to process (up to 24 hours). For more details on Google Wallet take the buyer experience.

We hope you have overall positive experiences when purchasing goods online. We realize that on occasion customers are not 100% satisfied their purchase and realize after the fact the product does not meet their needs. We believe that the customer should always be happy and that is why we have a return policy. Documented under ScreenConnect Terms: If you are not completely satisfied within 30 days of your purchase you can return ScreenConnect for a full refund. Simply contact our sales team and we can issue a refund via the method of your original payment.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 2:00 PM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | ScreenConnect

ScreenConnect Whips Butt in Exhaustive Speed Tests

Raleigh, NC May 2, 2012 – Elsinore Technologies (http://www.elsitech.com) announced that their latest build the remote support software, ScreenConnect 2.4, mopped the floor with the competition in speed tests from every corner of the universe. ScreenConnect conducted assessments out of a dark closet in Raleigh, North Carolina and the outcome was verified by KFC, LLC International. Jeff Bishop, Business Development Manager for Elsinore Technologies commented, “The results were unprecedented—ScreenConnect is first in class, steamrolling over the 1000s of competitors. It was an exhaustive process that took years, but in the long run we wanted to make sure that every product was given a fair chance”.

So far we’ve heard very little out of the peanut gallery; though recently Citrix and SimpleHelp have put out claims of their own. Citrix asserts after performing their own speed tests, Version 10 of GoToAssist "delivers the industry’s fastest speed for connecting to a live remote support session as verified by international consulting and testing firm iGATE Patni”. Further claiming “these real-world tests demonstrated that GoToAssist is up to two times faster than the competition and in many cases as much as three times faster.” SimpleHelp touted in their recent press release, “[SimpleHelp] brings the responsiveness of remote sessions near to the theoretical limit imposed by geography and physics.” I mean whose to argue with ambiguous tests?

About ScreenConnect

ScreenConnect is a self-hosted remote support solution developed by Elsinore Technologies. The goal of the product is to fill an industry need for a tool that doesn’t charge monthly fees, that just works, and has consistent development to make it better and faster with each quarterly release.

Press Release Contact

Jeff Bishop Elsinore Technologies
Phone: 919.532.0022 ext 415
Bizdev@elsitech.com

###

Disclaimer: At ScreenConnect we like to keep a sense of humor around our company and the competition. We find these speed tests amusing seeing that the various competitors remain unnamed (I mean did they test ScreenConnect? We are screaming fast!) and the report is nowhere to be found. It seems minute details like time of day and server location would be important factors when comparing software in a heads-up trial. On a more serious note we are dedicated to the development of ScreenConnect and focus each build around optimizing speed and performance. We think our solution is pretty fast, is it the fastest? Not sure, we get a lot of feedback from customers to this point. Most would say we are as fast if not faster, some think we have some work ahead. Either way we want to thank everyone for trying ScreenConnect and we look forward to the future.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 6:30 AM       0 Comments       Share

NAT Loopback Solutions

NAT (Network Address Translation) Loopback constraints are due to security measures associated with a router. When attempting to log in to a web based application from inside a network using a URL that contains an external IP address you may receive an error message due to NAT loopback. Quite often the fix can be as simple is flipping on switch on the router to "enable NAT loopback". If your router does not support NAT Loopback, we have identified some other options that will allow you and your customer to connect to the web application successfully.

Modify Hosts File The Hosts file maps the host names of sites to their corresponding IP addresses. By adding new entries into the Hosts file, you may be able to circumvent the NAT loopback.

Use an Internal IP Address or Computer Name URL This allows each party to use a different URL to connect to the software. The URL you use will only be recognizable inside your network so be aware to change the address when you send email invitations or when you create an unattended session (as these features by default will use the URL in your browser).

Create a Subdomain By creating a subdomain you are connecting to an external domain. Since the domain is hosted outside your network it should eliminate the problems with NAT loopback. If you have a static IP address, you may create a subdomain of your existing domain and configure it to point at the IP address of your ScreenConnect server. If you have a dynamic IP address, you need to use a dynamic DNS account, which can be created at sites such as Dyn.com and no-ip.com.

Select a New Router Check router specifications or call to see whether it supports NAT loopback.

For a more in-depth rundown into these solutions please refer to our knowlegdge article on NAT Loopback.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 10:20 AM       0 Comments       Share

A Window into the Future: Preview of Microsoft Windows 8

Microsoft released its Windows 8 consumer preview February 29th. The most noticeable difference from previous versions is the Metro style user interface optimized for touchscreens as well as mice and keyboards. The Metro environment features a tile-based Start screen similar to the Windows Phone operating system. Each tile represents an application, and can display relevant real-time information. Metro applications willl be available from the new Windows Store.

Other new features of Windows 8 include native USB 3.0 support, Windows Live ID integration, the ability to run from USB Flash drives with Windows To Go, a system-wide spell check, multitouch enabled (on tablets and touchscreen monitors), two new authentication methods, and a start preview thumbnail that displays previews on the start screen on the top and interface and allows to your cycle throughout opened applications. Additionally, Microsoft has improved boot times to around 10 seconds with “boot forward”.

Microsoft unveiled that an almost-complete version of Windows 8 will be available the first week of June. The consumer and developer preview modes are both available now from Microsoft and are set to expire in January of 2013. Windows 8 will be available in four main editions, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows RT. Windows 8 edition has been designed for normal home users, Pro for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, Enterprise for larger businesses and corporations and Windows RT will appear on ARM based devices. We are currently testing ScreenConnect on the Windows 8 platform. If you are testing the beta edition alongside ScreenConnect please report any problems you have to our support team or post in the ScreenConnect Forums.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 2:00 PM       0 Comments       Share

Virtual Private Server For ScreenConnect

A third party Windows virtual private server (VPS) allows one to run a virtual, private copy of Windows on a network and host applications. There are several vendors to choose from when selecting a VPS that differ vastly in cost, uptime and speed.

Speed is an important characteristic of any network. Over an entire 12 month period in August 2010 to July 2011, Compuware conducted speed tests of multiple popular cloud providers. Compuware used its own proprietary software, CloudSleuth, that bases tests on response time (response time is the total time elapsed while downloading both web pages in the multi-step test transaction) and availability (availability measures the percentage of test transactions that completed successfully out of the set of transactions attempted) from different nodes around the world. Each backbone node runs four test transactions per hour against each target application instance. Compuware admits the test is not perfect, as it is limited by factors such as location, but it may be a good starting point for customers trying to decide between various cloud services.

Uptime and cost are also valid concerns when selecting a VPS provider. A reliable network such as Amazon EC2 claims to have an Annual Uptime Percentage of at least 99.95% during the Service Year. Other more affordable solutions may have more downtime associated with their networks. When considering a VPS vendor price is a contributing factor. Amazon EC2 released Micro Instance late last year as a budget conscious choice. From discussions in the ScreenConnect Forums we can see some of our members suggest TrustVPS for a little over $10 USD/month.

When choosing a VPS host service there are many factors and providers to consider. Once you’ve opted for a VPS vendor you can refer to the ScreenConnect guide for moving an installation to a different server.  If you have thoughts, suggestions or experience with VPS servers and your ScreenConnect install please share them with other users in the comment field.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 7:47 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | Sales | ScreenConnect | Support

Bomgar Drops the B100

We recently got wind from some Bomgar users of the plan to discontinue support for the Bomgar B100. The B100 was a favorite of small business IT support professionals. Bomgar is offering the B100 customer’s a conversion to the B200 and it’s pricing even if they don’t need the capacity of the B200.

"After June 28, 2013, maintenance will no longer be available for the B100 hardware nor any licenses running on the B100 hardware platform. Until then, current maintenance will allow customers to receive software upgrades, hardware warranty, and technical support.

We know many of you rely on your B100, and we encourage you to upgrade to a B200 appliance to continue realizing the benefits of Bomgar. "

Much of the Bomgar community is understandably upset over the decision. At ScreenConnect we’ve always been behind what we stood for the in the beginning- catering to the small business and niche IT community. We offer an affordable solution with a one-time price point to a wide customer base. If you are a Bomgar customer and are looking for alternatives you can trial ScreenConnect free for 30 days. Please refer to our getting started guide, our user forum, and contact sales or support if you have any questions.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 4:10 PM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | Sales | ScreenConnect | Support

ScreenConnect: Serving Up Linux

The ScreenConnect community has been buzzing about a Linux server install for quite some time. As you know, here at ScreenConnect we listen and answer our customer demands!

Cue the drumroll……we can confirm that we’ve had our lab rats hard at work and presently have a Linux version up and running on MONO 2.10. We are still tweaking the bugs but are confident that we will be rolling this out to our customer base in the next couple builds.

So why Linux? What advantages do Linux servers have? It is estimated that Unix-based servers comprised approximately 64 percent of the servers on the market according to an W3Techs August 2011 report. As Katherine Noyes from PC World suggests, Linux servers can have many benefits over Windows servers including “stability, security, hardware, total cost of ownership, and freedom”.  For those reasons, and more, Linux is a huge piece of the pie!  

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 8:00 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | Sales | ScreenConnect | Support

Oracle, Blackberry Savior

It’s being dubbed the technology trial of the century, as Oracle and Google square off in a San Francisco federal courtroom. The stakes are high as the jury will decide whether Google’s Android platform infringes on patents and copyrights of Oracle’s Java programming technology.

Michael Liedtke, an associated press technology writer, states, “The copyright disagreement - the most important point of the case - will be covered in the first phase of the trial followed by the patent dispute. If necessary, a third phase will be devoted to how much money Google owes Oracle”.

Testimonies are expected by industry moguls including the CEOs of Google and Oracle and the former CEOs of Google and Sun Microsystems. Much of the deliberation will center on internal emails that date back to 2005 between Google employees that focus on negotiating a license for Java. If Google loses it may owe Oracle billions of dollars in revenue from Android Smartphone sales; if Oracle loses its control of Java will be compromised to prospective competitors.  Weigh in on this important case to the future of tehcnology and programming!

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 8:00 AM       0 Comments       Share

Unattended Session Filtering

Are you interested in setting up unattended access for each employee on your team to their workstation? To do this, we suggest basing the unattended network on an environment variable per machine. This allows all internal machines to be in a specified folder but only the tagged user can see the unattended connection associated with their profile name.

The administrator can define an environment variable, and then build an installer to contain the machine tag. An example of this would be “Desktop - %USERNAME%”, where USERNAME (whatever appears at the top when they are logged in to ScreenConnect) is the environmental variable associated with each machine. The tag filter is exactly: “Desktop - $USERNAME” and it will replace $USERNAME with their Screenconnect Username and it will match the corresponding machine. Next, the administrator should create a session group and set permissions to join sessions.

We hope this helps setting up unattended access for your work force. For more information please refer to the ScreenConnect Forum.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 7:37 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | Sales | ScreenConnect | Support