Desktop Central Integration

Desktop Central (DC) is a web - based Windows Server and Desktop Management Software from ManageEngine. And, with Desktop Central Integration in IT360 - HelpDesk, you can configure and manage your Windows environment from a single point. The Desktop Central automates regular desktop management activities, like installing software, patches and service packs, in windows workstations and servers, available in your network. You can also execute scripts for a user or workstation. 

Prerequisites for Desktop Central Integration Installation:

  1. You should have installed both Desktop Central and IT360 with ServiceDesk.

  2. Desktop Central version should be build number #70211 and above.

Note: The DC operation works only for Service Requests and not Incident Requests.

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This section explains the following topics:

  1. Prerequisites for performing Desktop Central activities
    Lists the prerequisites for performing desktop central activities.

  2. Getting Started with DC Integration
    Step by step configuration to establish the integration and perform desktop management activities.

  3. Authentication Mechanism between the two applications
    Authentication between the IT360 - HelpDesk and DC applications is through an application level key. This section explains about generating this authentication key.

  4. Handling Desktop Management activities from IT360 - HelpDesk
    Procedure on handling DC operations like install/uninstall software and executing scripts from HelpDesk.

  5. Enabling Notification to Technician
    Send notification to the concern technician, when the task is updated in Desktop Central.

  6. Integration when DC is running in HTTPS mode
    Steps to establish connection, when Desktop Central is running in HTTPS mode.

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1. Prerequisites for performing Desktop Central activities

Desktop Central activities are performed only if,

2. Getting Started with DC Integration

To get started with Desktop Central Integration, the following tasks should be performed to establish the Integration and perform desktop management activities:

  1. Desktop Central Server Settings

  2. Enabling access to Desktop Management Functionality

  3. Enabling Template Actions in the Service Item form

Step 1: Desktop Central Server Settings

If you have installed both HelpDesk and Desktop Central servers, you just have to provide the details of the computer, where the Desktop Central is installed, along with its Port Number. On entering these details and saving, the HelpDesk will try to establish a connection with the Desktop Central server. Once the connection is established, the configured software details and scripts from the Desktop Central server are fetched.

  1. Click Admin tab in the header pane.

  2. Click the Desktop Central Server Settings  icon under the General block.

  3. In the Desktop Central Server Settings page, enter the Server name, where the Desktop Central application is installed.

  4. Enter the Port Number of the Desktop Central server.

  5. Select the Protocol Settings, say, http or https. If the Desktop Central Server is running in HTTPS mode, refer SDP-DC integration with DC in HTTPS mode, to know more on establishing connection.

  6. To display Desktop Central drop-down menu, select the Enable Desktop Management Menu check box. The Desktop Management menu will be displayed only for the Desktop Central build number #70242 and above.

  7. Click Save. The settings are saved and the HelpDesk tries to establish a connection with the Desktop Central server. When the connection is established, the HelpDesk fetches the software details and scripts from DC.

The IT360 - HelpDesk gets automatically in sync with the Desktop Central server for the configured software packages day-to-day. So, if you need to fetch the configured software packages instantly, select the click here link.

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Step 2: Enabling access to Desktop Management Functionality

While enabling login permission to a Technician, you can also provide the technician with the Desktop Central login access and DC Role. The two DC Roles are DC Admin and DC Guest. Select the check box Enable to access Desktop Management Functionality and provide either of the roles to the technician. When the technician logs into IT360 - HelpDesk using his/her credentials, the technician can view the Desktop Management drop-down menu, from where the technician can perform the Desktop Management functionality from within the HelpDesk web console of IT360.

NOTE:

  1. Selecting the check box Enable to access Desktop Management Functionality and a DC Role will create an user with the same login credentials in the Desktop Central application.

  2. You will be able to select Enable to access Desktop Management Functionality check box, only when the connection between the Desktop Central and the HelpDesk is established successfully. If the integration is not successful, then this option is greyed/disabled.

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Step 3: Enabling Template Actions for a Service Request

Apart from providing technicians with the privilage to perform Desktop Central operations, you need to enable Template Actions for a service item. The Template Action lists two options:

  1. Display Software Install/Uninstall option in Service Request 'Actions' menu.

  2. Display Run Script option in Service Request 'Actions' menu.

Select the check boxes to provide these options in the Actions drop-down menu of the service request. Since all service requests do not require Desktop Central operations, this activity is limited by providing a Template Action check box in each service item form.

The Template Action option is available under the Work Flow tab of a service item.

This functionality is available only when Desktop Central 70211 and above is integrated with the HelpDesk module of IT360. If the integration is not established, then this option is grayed/disabled.

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3. Authentication mechanism between the two applications

The authentication between HelpDesk and Desktop Central is through an application level key that functions as a handshake mechanism between the two applications. A unique key is generated for a technician in the HelpDesk application.

  1. Click 'Admin -> Technicians' icon under User block.

  2. Click the edit icon  beside the technician to generate the API key. Please note that the technician should be enabled with login permission.

  3. Click Generate. If a key is already generated for the technician, a Regenerate link appears.

The generated key is specified as the Authentication Key under HelpDesk Settings in the Desktop Central application. So, whenever the Desktop Central contacts the HelpDesk, the authentication key is passed. This key is validated against the HelpDesk database, and if found valid, the process continues, else an error is thrown.  

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4. Handling desktop management activities from IT360 - HelpDesk

Since the whole idea of this Integration is to perform the regular desktop management activities from the HelpDesk application, the list of software and scripts are fetched from Desktop Central periodically and populated in the HelpDesk database.

So when an end-user raises a service request for "installing a software", the technician with Desktop Central role can log into the HelpDesk application and perform the installation operation.

4.1 Performing desktop management activities

From the request details page of the service request, click Actions drop-down menu. The options Install/Uninstall software and Run Script are listed as shown below:

4.1.1 Install/Uninstall Software

Click the Install/Uninstall Software option. The Install/Uninstall Software window pops up.

Package Settings:

  1. Select the Installer type, whether the software to be installed is of the format MSI or EXE.

  2. The list of softwares under the selected Installer type is listed under Package Name. Choose the software from the drop down.

  3. Specify the name of the user, for whom the installation should run, in the Run As field.

  4. Enter the Password of the specified user.

  5. The type of operation, say Install or Uninstall, is listed in the Operation Type drop down. If the Installer Type is MSI, the operation type consists of  Install, Advertise and Uninstall. For EXE, the operation type consists of Install and Uninstall.

  6. If the execution file is in a network share, then the file or folder can be copied to the client machine by selecting the option from Copy Option drop down.   

Deployment Settings:

  1. The domains available in HelpDesk are listed under the Domain drop down. Select the domain of the user/workstation.

  2. The installation can be for a user or a workstation. Select the option from the Install for drop down.

  3. You can set and schedule the installation operation. If the Install for is selected as User, the installation can occur During or After Login into the machine, during login or after login. Similarly for a workstation, the installation can occur During Startup, After Startup, During or After Startup.

  4. You can also schedule a time for the deployment operation by enabling the check box beside Schedule Operation check box. Select the Schedule Date and Time using the calendar icon.

  5. Set the Reboot Policy from the drop down. You can either force a reboot when the user logs into the machine, force a shut down when the user has logged in, or allow the users to skip the reboot/shut down.

Selecting Users/Workstations:

  1. You can select the Users/Workstations for the installation from the icon . The Users/Workstations under the selected domain is listed in a pop up window.

    NOTE: Selecting Users/Workstations depends on the Install for option under Deployment Settings. If you have selected Users, Select Users appears, and vice versa.

  2. Enable the check box beside the user/workstation.

  3. Click Select User/Workstation button. The users/workstations are listed under the Selected Users/Workstation. Click Select Users/Workstation and Close button to add the users/workstations to the list and close the pop up window.

  4. Save the details.

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4.1.2 Executing Scripts

To execute scripts on a workstation/user,

  1. Click Run Script option. The Run Script window pops up.

  2. Select the Script Name from the drop-down box. The scripts files are uploaded in Desktop Central, and HelpDesk will store these script files in the HelpDesk database. These script files are periodically updated in the HelpDesk database.

  3. If required, specify the Script Arguments.

  4. Select the Domain, to which the user/workstation belongs.

  5. You can execute the script either for a workstation or user. If you want to install the script for a workstation, select Workstation from the Install for drop-down box. The Select Workstation block is displayed. Click the icon  to select workstations.

  6. To execute the script for users, select Users from the Install for drop-down box. The Select Users block is displayed. Click Select user link. The list of users belonging to the selected domain is displayed. Select the check box beside the user(s). Click Select User button. Click Select user and close button to add the selected users and close the pop-up window.

  7. Click Save button.

On saving, a task is generated for the request in the HelpDesk application. Simultaneously, a request is generated in Desktop Central with the form values, along with a call back URL. Desktop Central validates the request, and if valid, proceeds with the specified task.

Once the operation is executed, Desktop Central sends the updated information using the call back URL for that specific task. The authentication key is sent along with the task. This key is validated against the HelpDesk database, and if found valid, the status of the task is updated in the HelpDesk application. If the authentication key is invalid, an error is thrown and the status is not updated.

Note: Please note that if the request is deleted or moved to the archive state, then the status does not get updated in the HelpDesk application.

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Enabling Notification to Technician

Once the software installation/uninstallation task is performed and the status is updated by Desktop Central, you can enable notification to the concerned technician regarding the update under Notification Rules, using the steps below:

  1. Click 'Admin -> Notification Rules' under Helpdesk block.

  2. In the Request section, enable "Notify Technician when a software Installation/Uninstallation task is updated" check box.

  3. Save the details.

Integration when Desktop Central is running in HTTPS mode

If Desktop Central Server is running in HTTPS mode, then the following steps should be followed to establish connection between HelpDesk and Desktop Central servers.

  1. Download the .zip file from the link given below and extract it to <IT360-home>\servicedesk (e.g. C:\ManageEngine\Prof\IT360\servicedesk).

http://bonitas.zohocorp.com/4264259/patches/it-360/12Jul2012/certgeneration.zip

  1. Connect to the command prompt. Go to <IT360-home>\servicedesk (e.g. C:\ManageEngine\Prof\IT360\servicedesk) and run the batch file (gencert.bat) with following format:

<IT360-home>\servicedesk>gencert.bat dcservername:httpsportnumber

Example:

C:\ManageEngine\Prof\IT360\servicedesk>gencert.bat  dcservername:httpsportnumber

  1. On running the command, you will receive an exception PKIX and then it will ask you to enter a value. Provide value 1, which will generate a file, named jssecacerts, under <IT360-home>\servicedesk (e.g. C:\ManageEngine\Prof\IT360\servicedesk).

  2. Now, copy the above jssecacerts file to <IT360-home>\jre\lib\security (e.g.C:\ManageEngine\Prof\IT360\jre\lib\security) folder and then restart IT360 - HelpDesk.

Refer the below screenshot for the steps (2 & 3) executed in the command prompt:

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