Setting up sync server

Overview

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.

Important!

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.

Configuring Server

Step 1: Set up user accounts

  1. Install the Server and make sure it is accessible to Viewers and Hosts.
  2. Open the Admin Console and click FileAddress book manager. Admin console File menu
  3. In the left pane right click on Users and select Create new user... Creating new user menu
  4. Enter a desired username in the User logon name field and click Change password....New user dialog
  5. Set a new password, click OK and close the user dialog: Setting user password
  6. Apply the changes by clicking a green checkmark icon on the toolbar: Pending changes

    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.
  7. A new user has been created: User created

Step 2: Create an address book and set permissions

  1. In the same Address Book Manager, right click on the Address books item in the left pange and select Create new address book...: Creating new address book
  2. Specify a desired address book name and click Security...: Address book creation dialog
  3. In the permissions dialog click Add...: Adding a user
  4. Select the user or group to provide access to this address book and click Select: Select user or group
  5. Make sure the necessary permissions are set for the user and click OK, and OK to close the security dialogs: Setting permissions for a user
  6. In the address book manager window click the green checkmark icon to apply the changes: Changes pending
  7. Your newly created address book is now visible in the list: New address book added

Configuring Viewer

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

  1. In the Viewer click ManageServer manager.... Server manager
  2. Click Add: Adding a server
  3. 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. Specifying server address

    Important!

    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..). In your scenario the server may be located in a different place, so you'll need to specify the correct IP address or DNS name and make sure that the server is accessible to the Viewer.

  4. 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: Server added to the list

Step 4: Sign in on the Server and enable address book sync

  1. Click Sign in at the top right corner of the Viewer window: Sign in button
  2. 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: Sign in window
  3. It may take the Viewer a few seconds to sign in: Sign-in progress
  4. 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: Address book notification
  5. Select the server address book that you want to sync and click Add: Address book list

    Important!

    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: User signed in

    2. Select ManageAddress book manager: Address book manager button

    3. Click Add: Click Add button

    4. Select Remote (synchronized) and click Next: Select address book to add

    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: Address book list

  6. The address book will show in your Viewer: Synced address book in the viewer
  7. You can start populating the book in the Viewer by adding folders and connections: Populated address book in the Viewer
  8. 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: Populated address book on the server

    Note

    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 Exclamation sign on the cloud icon 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. Server address book

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:

  1. In the address book manager, right click the address book name and select Edit address book...: Edit address book
  2. Click Security...: Editing security for an address book
  3. In the Permissions window click Add..., select both techs and grant them full access to the entire book: Access permissions for the entire book
  4. Return to the address book manager, right-click Folder 3 and select Edit folder...: Edit folder
  5. Click Security...: Security for a folder
  6. Note that permissions for John and Richard are inherited from their parent object, which is the book root folder. Click Disable inheritance: Disable inheritance
  7. In the next window select Convert inherited permissions...: Convert inherited permissions
  8. This will disable inheritance so you can now revoke Richard's access to this folder. Select Richard in the list and click Remove: Revoke Richard's permissions
  9. Now only John has access to the Folder 3. Click OK to close the security window: Folder 3 permissions
  10. This is how John's Viewer looks like. Notice Folder 3 available in the address book: John's address book
  11. This is how Richard's Viewer looks like. Folder 3 is not available: Richard's address book

Note

Setting permissions on the group level rather than on the user level might be more effective, especially for larger organizations. Using groups

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

  1. Open the server Address book manager, create a folder in your address book and name it accordingly, for example "Inbox": Inbox folder in address book
  2. Select FileAuto-import: Auto-import menu
  3. Enable Use auto import checkbox and select the "Inbox" folder from the dropdown list: Auto-import menu

    Important!

    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: Default connection properties button

    3.2. On the Connection tab select Internet-ID connection and click Change: Change button

    3.3. Uncheck Use default server, enter your server address exactly as it should be accessible from the Viewer side and click OK: Enter server information

  4. 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: A new connection in the Inbox folder
  5. 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: Using drag and drop to move a connection

    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.

Naming conventions

By default, when a Host is imported as a new connection, its computer name is used as the connection name: Computer name as connection name

You can, however, use prefixes. Here is how to add a prefix:

  1. In the Auto-import window click Default connection properties: Default connection properties button
  2. On the General tab enter the prefix that you want to use and click OK: Set prefix
  3. Connection names will now be prefixed: Prefixed connection name

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 (Exclamation sign on the cloud icon) on the address book icon. The steps below illustrate how you can migrate your synced address book.

  1. 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.
  2. Export your address book from the Viewer using the ManageManual export... command. This will save your address book as an XML file.
  3. Follow all the steps in this tutorial (Steps 1 through 4) to set up synchronization from scratch.
  4. 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 ManageManual import... command.
  5. Once you've done the import, the new book should sync/upload from the Viewer to the Server and your migration is completed.