Server role: Address book sync

You can automatically sync an address book among multiple Viewers using RU Server as a central hub. Each technician can view and edit the address book contents in their Viewer according to permissions set for them by the server administrator.

Important!

Setting up the relay server role is NOT required for the sync role to work. However, if you enable/use both roles on the same server you can benefit from the auto-import feature.

Setting up address book sync is a four-step process. You must configure your RU Server, as well as each Viewer which participates in the address book sync process.

Configuring Server

Step 1: Set up user accounts

  1. Install the Server and make sure it is directly 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 window, right click on the Address books item in the left pane 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 and click Select: Select user or group
  5. Make sure the necessary permissions are set for the user: Setting permissions for a user
  6. Additionally, you can specify to which objects the permissions should be applied. Select This object and subobjects (i.e. in this case the entire address book with subfolders): Set permissions scope
  7. Click OK and close the New Address Book dialog. In the Address Book Manager window click the green checkmark icon to apply the changes: Changes pending
  8. 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 communication port and click OK. You can set/change the communication port in the Internet-ID tab in the server configuration dialog. Specifying server address

    Important!

    In this tutorial the server resides in the same LAN as the Viewer. Hence the private IP address (192.168..). If your server is located/hosted in the Internet make sure that the server is directly accessible to your Viewers and Hosts. We highly recommend that as the server address you use a DNS name instead of an IP address.

  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. You will know that you have signed in by looking at the top right corner of the Viewer window. It should display your username: User has signed in
  5. 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
  6. 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

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

John needs to access the entire book. Richard needs 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...: Click Add to add principals
  4. Select both techs from the list and click Select: Add principals to the list
  5. Select each tech and set full permissions for him. Click OK and close the security dialog: Set permissions for John Set permissions for Richard
  6. In the Address Book Manager, right-click Folder 3 and select Edit folder...: Edit folder
  7. Click Security...: Security for a folder
  8. Note that permissions for John and Richard are inherited from their parent object, which is the book root folder. Click Disable inheritance: Disable inheritance
  9. In the next window select Convert inherited permissions...: Convert inherited permissions
  10. 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
  11. Now only John has access to the Folder 3. Click OK to close the security window: Folder 3 permissions
  12. This is how John's Viewer will look like when the address book has been synced. Notice Folder 3 available in the address book: John's address book
  13. This is how Richard's Viewer will look like when the address book has been synced. Folder 3 is not available: Richard's address book

Note

Setting permissions at the group level rather than at 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 automatically add Hosts to a designated folder in your address book once the Hosts reveal themselves to the server (i.e. connect to the server the first time).

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

Migrating a synced book from earlier versions

Starting from Remote Utilities version 6.5.x.x and Server version 2.5.x.x the synchronization mechanism has been changed significantly as compared with earlier versions. Now synchronization requires that you sign in on the Server in the Viewer in order to be able to sync your book. 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 or a later version, 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 fix this issue and start syncing your book again.

  1. Make sure that you updated your Viewer and Server to their latest versions. You can download them from here.
  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 of a new, empty address book.
  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. Learn more about manually importing and exporting address books.
  5. Once you've done the import, the new book should sync/upload from the Viewer to the Server and your migration is completed.