7.4  ->  7.5 Important changes

This document describes the most important changes that a 7.4 admin should understand in order to take advantage of the new features in 7.5. New features are described with 7.4 as a point of reference and features that are essentially unchanged will not be mentioned here.

When you are ready to upgrade from a 7.4 installation, read the Server Upgrade 7.4 to 7.5 document, as it will give detailed steps including what to expect once you have upgraded.

If you are upgrading from 6.2 or older, read the changes 6.x -> 7.x document for details on the many significant changes to both the UI and functionality made since the 6.x versions. You can upgrade directly from any 6.x version to 7.5 (without going through an intermediate 7.0 / 7.1 / 7.2 / 7.3 / 7.4 upgrade) – but be sure to read the Server Upgrade 6.x to 7.x documentation.

64-bit builds, Modern APIs

In K2 version 7.5, we have added 64-bit compiles of all components for Mac. This will be required for compatibility with Mac OS 10.14 and later (see also OS Details). The drawing code in KeyConfigure has been completely re-written. We now support high resolution monitors and more modern font layout/smoothing, so KeyConfigure will look cleaner in general.

URL tracking

We have added the ability to track “usage” (i.e. access) of URLs. This usage can then be reported in the same way as traditional program usage - looking at where URLs are accessed, how often, and for how long. As it becomes more common for software to have purely web-based components, this unified view of usage is important.

Font Audits

Installed fonts are now audited by the 7.5 client. This data is stored by KeyServer, and can be configured so that there is a product for a particular font or selection of fonts, which will then appear in the Audit Products reports along with all other products. For more on how this works, refer to the Packages documentation

Self-Updating Client

KeyServer can now be configured to tell clients to do Self-Updates. The Administrator has full control over this process - selecting which minor version to update to. Individual computers or divisions can be excluded from Self-Updates.

Availability Map Drawing Tools

KeyReporter’s availability map editing UI has a new set of tools that are aimed at quickly reaching the end result of a room layout. New in 7.5 is a wall drawing tool, computer “Snap Points”, and an Object Library under the bookmark icon, with many pre-configured objects, such as desks of various shapes and sizes, exit, accessibility, door, printer, and scanner images, etc., making it quick and easy to design your lab in minutes. Objects drawn manually by users can be grouped and added to the local object library. Administrators also have the ability to brand their maps by including a logo object.

Snap Points for Maps

Snap Points represent locations on a lab map where a computer will be displayed. Once Snap Points have been added, they facilitate quick placement of computers on the map (at each Snap Point). This is especially useful when the computers on a map change over time. Snap Points are built into many objects in the new Object Library, but they can also be placed over the background image, or on top of user created desks and table objects.

Map Availability based on Idle Sessions

Many customers have some labs where an anonymous account remains logged in all the time -- where students walk in, sit down, and start using that account without entering their own name and password. Historically we would have displayed these computers as never "available," because an account is always logged in (causing the computer to be listed as "unavailable"). In 7.5, however, we have added the ability to specify that availability should be based on whether a computer has been idle for a specified period of time (chosen by an administrator).

Maps for Flexible Sets of Computers

In earlier versions of KeyServer, each Division could have exactly one map. Since each computer was in exactly one Division, by extension, it could only appear on exactly one map. In this release we have made it possible to define a map for an arbitrary set of computers. Therefore, if Divisions in KeyServer don't correspond to individual labs, you can still create a map for a specific lab. If you want to provide a detailed map of a single room, but also a larger map showing an entire floor of a building, spanning multiple Divisions, you can make a second map for that as well. Or you could even choose whatever set of computers you wanted to represent - i.e. only the Macintosh computers in a certain building (which might be scattered amongst different rooms).

Purchase Records for Hardware

KeyServer has included a Purchase database since version 7.0, but it has been focussed almost entirely on Software. It has always been possible to record purchases of hardware, but until this release those purchases could not be tied to lists of computers. In 7.5 we have added a specific categorization of purchase for Hardware. This type of purchase then gets a computer list, as well as some fields that relate specifically to hardware, such as Warranty Date. With this data in place, a Depreciation Report can be run, and dashboards can use a new Residual Value widget.