You can automatically sync an address book among multiple Viewers using RU Server as a central hub. Each technician can access the address book contents from the Viewer according to permissions set for them by the server administrator.
You do NOT necessarily have to set up the relay server role for the sync role to work, and vice versa. These two roles are independent and don't require each other. The sync function only allows you to sync your address book, which is simply a database with information about your remote Hosts. The way you connect to those Hosts — be it direct connection or Internet ID connection through a public or a self-hosted server — is determined by specific connection properties of a given connection in your address book.
Setting up address book sync is a four-step process involving Server and Viewer configuraion.
Step 1: Set up user accounts
- Install the Server and make sure it is accessible to Viewers and Hosts.
- Open the Admin Console and click File ➝ Address book manager.
- In the left pane right click on Users and select Create new user...
- Enter a desired username in the User logon name field and click Change password....
- Set a new password, click OK and close the user dialog:
- Apply the changes by clicking a green checkmark icon on the toolbar:
Important!Whenever you make changes in the Server's Address Book Manager, click the green check mark to apply them. Otherwise, the changes won't be saved.
- A new user has been created:
Step 2: Create an address book and set permissions
- In the same Address Book Manager, right click on the Address books item in the left pange and select Create new address book...:
- Specify a desired address book name and click Security...:
- In the permissions dialog click Add...:
- Select the user or group to provide access to this address book and click Select:
- Make sure the necessary permissions are set for the user and click OK, and OK to close the security dialogs:
- In the address book manager window click the green checkmark icon to apply the changes:
- Your newly created address book is now visible in the list:
Before you can start syncing your address book you need to sign in on the Server in your Viewer under the account that you have just created on the server.
Step 3: Add the Server in the Viewer settings
- In the Viewer click Manage ➝ Server manager....
- Click Add:
- Enter a descriptive name, server address and port and click OK. The port here is the communication port used by the server. You can change it in the server configuration window.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we use the server that resides in the same LAN as the Viewer. Hence the private IP address (192.168..). It is most likely that in your scenario the server is located outside the network (i.e. on the Internet), so you'll need to specify the correct IP address or DNS name and make sure that the server can be accessed by your Viewer and Hosts.
- The server has been added to your servers list. Now you'll be able to select it from the dropdown menu when signing in (see below). Click OK:
Step 4: Sign in on the Server and enable address book sync
- Click Sign in at the top right corner of the Viewer window:
- In the sign-in window enter your login and password which were set during server configuration. Make sure your server is selected in the dropdown list and click OK:
- It may take the Viewer a few seconds to sign in:
- You will know that you have signed in by looking at the top right corner of the Viewer window. It should display your username:
- If you did everything correctly in the previous steps, the Viewer will show you a message asking whether you want to connect to the server address book/books available to you. Click Show address book list:
- Select the server address book that you want to sync and click Add:
If you skip the above you can add a synced address book later from the Address book manager in the Viewer:
1. Make sure you are signed in on the Server:
2. Select Manage ➝ Address book manager:
3. Click Add:
4. Select Remote (synchronized) and click Next:
5. If you are signed in on the server and have sufficient privileges, you should be able to see your address book. Select it in the list and click Finish:
- The address book will show in your Viewer:
- You can start populating the book in the Viewer by adding folders and connections:
- The changes will be immediately reflected in the server address book as well as in all other Viewers that are signed in on the server and connected to the same address book:
If you are NOT signed in on the Server, you can still use the address book — its local copy is stored on your disk. The address book icon will display an exclamation sign meaning that there's no connectivity with the server. The next time you sign in, your local address book copy will be synced with the server address book and the exclamation sign will disappear.
Folder-level permissions and inheritance
Apart from sharing the entire address book, you can set different folder access permissions for different users.
Let's say you have two techs — John Doe and Richard Roe — and one address book that you want both techs to share.
Both techs need to access the entire book, except one folder (Folder 3) which should only be available to John. Here is how to set it up:
- In the address book manager, right click the address book name and select Edit address book...:
- Click Security...:
- In the Permissions window click Add..., select both techs and grant them full access to the entire book:
- Return to the address book manager, right-click Folder 3 and select Edit folder...:
- Click Security...:
- Note that permissions for John and Richard are inherited from their parent object, which is the book root folder. Click Disable inheritance:
- In the next window select Convert inherited permissions...:
- This will disable inheritance so you can now revoke Richard's access to this folder. Select Richard in the list and click Remove:
- Now only John has access to the Folder 3. Click OK to close the security window:
- This is how John's Viewer looks like. Notice Folder 3 available in the address book:
- This is how Richard's Viewer looks like. Folder 3 is not available:
Setting permissions on the group level rather than on the user level might be more effective, especially for larger organizations.
Groups are also helpful if you need to provide for a situation when an employee leaves your company, and you want to quickly revoke their access. In this case all you need to do is to remove the employee from the group.
Automatic import of new Hosts into the address book
If your server doubles as a relay server for your Internet-ID connections, you can have it to automatically add all newly connected Hosts to a designated folder in your address book.
The auto-import feature can replace the "Send via email" feature available to you when you set up a custom installer in the MSI Configurator and save you a lot of time manually adding connections to your address book.
Setting up auto import
- Open the server Address book manager, create a folder in your address book and name it accordingly, for example "Inbox":
- Select File ➝ Auto-import:
- Enable Use auto import checkbox and select the "Inbox" folder from the dropdown list:
By definition, using the auto-import feature means that your remote Hosts connect through your server rather than our company's public servers. Therefore, you should specify your server address in your auto-imported connections, otherwise you won't be able to connect to your Hosts from the Viewer.
You don't have to manually change properties for each connection. Instead, use the "Default connection properties" dialog:
3.1. In the Auto-import window click Default connection properties:
3.2. On the Connection tab select Internet-ID connection and click Change:
3.3. Uncheck Use default server, enter your server address exactly as it should be accessible from the Viewer side and click OK:
- Click OK and close the Auto-import window. Now whenever a Host "registers" on your Server, the information about this Host including its Internet-ID code will be added to the Inbox folder in your address book:
- You can collect some Hosts in the Inbox folder and then "process" them by moving to another folder in the same address book thus emptying your Inbox. You can use drag and drop to move a connection between folders:
Can duplication occur?Duplication won't occur if you keep your newly added connections within the same address book/books that you sync through the server. That is, you can move the connections from your Inbox folder to any other folder in the book — the server will remember that the corresponding Host has already been imported as a connection and won't create a new connection for the same Host.
By default, when a Host is imported as a new connection, its computer name is used as the connection name:
You can, however, use prefixes. Here is how to add a prefix:
- In the Auto-import window click Default connection properties:
- On the General tab enter the prefix that you want to use and click OK:
- Connection names will now be prefixed:
Upgrading from previous versions
The synchronization mechanism used in Remote Utilities 6.5.x.x (and the related Server v. 2.5.x.x) is very different from what it used to be in previous versions, namely version 6.3.x.x. (and the related Server v. 2.2 and earlier). Now synchronization requires that you sign in on the Server in the Viewer app. Access to the server's address book is provided based strictly on user accounts and permissions set for the signed in user.
If you'd had a synced address book in your Viewer version 6.3.x.x or earlier and then you updated the Viewer to version 6.5.x.x, you may have noticed a persistent exclamation sign () on the address book icon. The steps below illustrate how you can migrate your synced address book.
- Make sure that you updated your Viewer to version 6.5.x.x and your Server to version 2.5.x.x. Refer to Updating Remote Utilities and Installing Server respectively.
- Export your address book from the Viewer using the Manage ➝ Manual export... command. This will save your address book as an XML file.
- Follow all the steps in this tutorial (Steps 1 through 4) to set up synchronization from scratch.
- Make sure that you have signed in on the Server in the Viewer and import your old address book into the newly created synced book. Use the Manage ➝ Manual import... command.
- Once you've done the import, the new book should sync/upload from the Viewer to the Server and your migration is completed.