This year has really flown by! It seems like just the other day I was preparing our January newsletter. We hope everyone’s had a great 2014, and we wish you much success as you close the year out.
There's a ton of new stuff to talk about, so lets get started.
ScreenConnect 5.0 Released
We are really excited to announce version 5.0 is now stable and available on our site for download. This release should provide a lot of value to everyone using ScreenConnect.
- Revamped guest page design
- Extension framework
- Customer initiated support sessions
- Installable host client provides quicker launching since Chrome deprecated ClickOnce extensions
- Lots of tweaks and bug fixes!
Links: Download Page, ScreenConnect 5.0 Release Log
Guest Page Redesign
It's the first thing your users see. It better load fast and look good. We think we've accomplished both. And we've added configuration options.
- Responsive layout adapts much better to different sized browser windows and mobile devices
- Visually interesting (but not too complex) backgrounds add a little (but just a little) pizzazz
- We'll likely include a default background with each release (but you can define your own of course)
- Extensions can add new join options, links, or really anything
- Help links can be easily added through appearance customization
There is a new look and feel that we really hope everyone enjoys. If you prefer to tweak your Guest page you still have full access to the CSS and HTML to make the design your own. And when you do something really cool, you can share it with the community in an Extension!
Extensions provide additional features and functionality that can be easily applied to your ScreenConnect installation. By using these extensions you can customize ScreenConnect to meet your specific needs.
We will be refining the process for submission, documentation, and reviews over the coming months. For now here are a few important notes regarding the marketplace:
- Publish an Extension by submitting to our AppStore/Marketplace/Depot (which remains unnamed, but is available through 'Browse Online Extensions' link for everyone)
- We'll provide safety by reviewing/approving Extension submissions
- You can side-load Extensions too
- Develop Extensions yourself with the Extension Developer (which is itself an Extension)
- Extensions are primarily focused at extending functionality of the web application
- You can add documentation about your extension in our Tips & Tricks area of forum
- ScreenConnect supported extensions will be released by Elsinore Technologies
- Assistance for extensions released by ElsinoreSupport will be managed through the forum
- The Extension Framework will evolve to include more and more areas of extensibility
We encourage everyone to take a look at the new extensions and give them a try. There are some pretty exciting options available through this new framework.
Links: ScreenConnect Extension Guide
Customer Initiated Sessions
This new, optional connection method empowers your customers to reach out and request assistance directly. From your Guest page customers can opt to either create a new session or join a session. When creating a session they will be prompted for some basic information. Once the session is created it will then appear on the Host page for a technician to join. An event trigger can be setup to alert technicians of these new sessions.
What else should you know?
- Several API calls were improved to support this new method which can be used by other software tools to create sessions programmatically.
- There are already extensions in the marketplace that extend the functionality of the new customer initiated sessions.
- This can be enabled by installing the Guest Session Starter extension.
We have already seen some pretty cool extensions released by our development team and other members of our staff. Here are just a few:
Extension Developer - This extension permits everyone to edit, create, and submit their own extensions.
Guest Session Starter - This extension enables the customer initiated session option discussed earlier in the newsletter.
Guest Session Starter Exe - This small .exe can be placed on a customer’s machine to facilitate the customer initiated sessions from their desktop as opposed to navigating to your Guest page.
Guest Basic Installer Builder - Provides customers access to your unattended clients from your Guest page as a way to distribute clients.
ScreenConnect 5.0 is available and our team is working on additional extensions for the marketplace. We have started development on 5.1 and beyond and will be updating the forum with more information as we get close.
There are some exciting changes coming and we look forward to sharing those with everyone.