COVID-19 Preparedness with Sassafras: Remote Computer and Software Availability

Lab Map

If part of your coronavirus/COVID-19 action plan includes giving remote access to computer labs and classrooms, KeyServer may be able to help you efficiently provide hardware and software availability information to students and faculty working from home.

The KeyReporter web interface has very easy to implement tools, originally designed to help students locate hardware and software on campus, that can easily be set up for locating resources available for remote access.

Lab Map

With or without the geographic map at the top, the list view of labs and classrooms (KeyServer Divisions, Active Directory OUs) shows users the number of computers available in each location. The search bar at the top allows them to search for specific software titles, updating the availability count in each location to present the number of open machines that have the requested software.

Upon clicking a location, you can include a floorplan layout, but if your goal is to quickly provide access remotely, and the location of each computer in the room isn’t important, a simple list view is the default. Clicking on a computer presents complete list of installed software, normalized automatically by our cloud-based Product Recognition Service.

In addition to typing the name of a software product in the search bar at the top of the map, an automatically generated Software page, organized by category or by publisher, allows users to browse to find the programs they need. Clicking on a product name will take you back to the Maps page, highlighting the places the software is installed.

Software Page

The best part about these features is that they can be implemented within minutes. When you log in as an administrator and navigate to the Maps page for the first time, all Divisions will be listed, while the Guest account will see none. You can use this functionality without the geographic map or room floorplans by simply adding the Divisions you want guests to see to the Maps page with the + button. Once added, check the leftmost box in the location settings list to make that room publicly visible. Step through this process for each room to add it to the “public” view for guest users.

UPDATE: With the release of 7.6.0.7, the floorplan settings dialog (click the gear icon to access) includes a new toggle that allows you to automatically include a remote access login link (RDP/VNC) for lab computers. Find out more here.

Maps Page Set up

The above steps represent the bare minimum necessary to build out the Maps page so that users can locate available computers and software. For more detailed instructions on setting up the maps page and/or drawing room floorplans, watch the short training videos for Sassafras Maps and Floorplan Layouts.

Once the page has been set up and you are ready share the data with end users, you can embed any page or object in KeyReporter onto any other website using the instructions outlined here.

UPDATE: By request, we have put together a way to customize the computer List View so that it includes the IP address, which can also serve as a direct link to the RDP log in (image below). Check it out here.

Computer list

Computer list

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply