7.7  ->  7.8 Important changes

This document describes the most important changes that a 7.7 admin should understand in order to take advantage of the new features in 7.8. New features are described with 7.7 as a point of reference, and features that are essentially unchanged will not be mentioned here. Upgrading from 7.7 should be smooth and as easy as running the 7.8 server installer.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version, read the Server Upgrade 7.x to 7.8 document, as it will give detailed steps including what to expect once you have upgraded.

Summary

Sassafras has long been a leader in Software Asset Management. With our 7.8 release of AllSight, Hardware Asset Management capabilities have expanded beyond just computers nad printers to include all types of hardware devices. With the addition of a device database, and additional ways to manage imported computer records, you can uniformly manage your entire inventory in a single system. In addition to adding Devices, several improvements in the Computers database allow for enhanced Hardware Asset Management workflows, and support has been added for Chrome OS.

Devices Database

When management of Printers was added in 7.6 the feature became extremely popular, and we soon found customers were storing other items in the Printers window. In the 7.8 release, Printers expand to become just one type of Devices which can be managed. Printers are joined by Displays, Storage, Projectors, Cameras, Network equipment, and any Other categories you want to add. Just like printers, these devices do not consume license seats, and all the capabilities for Printers are still here. In addition, Devices now have 10 Custom fields you can define, just as you already could for Computers. Each Category of Device also has a number of type-specific fields that capture the key properties of the device. Several new reports have been added to support these new categories and may inventory and lifecycle management a breeze.

Auto Discovery of Some Devices

In addition to the manual inventory capabilities, we have also added auto detection of certain select devices. Any Display or Storage item our client agent can discover and find a serial number for will be automatically added to the database. This means a good number of your monitors and hard drives may be detected and added with no additional work. A Missing Devices report will show things that were once found but are no longer seen by the agent. Detection on another system will move the linked computer for the device.

Chrome OS

We are pleased to announce Chrome OS is now on the supported platform list for the KeyAccess client. Alongside Windows, Mac, and Linux this allows for active agents on every desktop and laptop in your organization. Chrome devices registered in Google's Management Console can have KeyAccess installed, which will then report hardware properties, an audit of installed software, and information about usage of both the chrome device itself and of softare on the device.

Imported Computers

A new Login category has been added to the Computers window for Imported records. This allows for computer records for devices which don't have a native client, i.e. iOS - and also allows importing computers before KeyAccess has been fully deployed. As long as a computer remains in Imported, it will not consume a license for AllSight/LabSight (because there is no active agent), but if any Audit data has been imported, these computers will appear in your Audit reports just like Leased and Dedicated computers. While we can't track usage data on these devices without an agent, pulling the inventory from your various MDM locations into a central database with your other computer and hardware assets allows for composite audit reporting.

Custom Fields

Devices and Purchases now have 10 Custom fields available just like Computers have had for some time. Custom fields can also now have a data type, e.g. Date or URL.

Additional Database Fields

Both Computers and Devices enjoy the addition of several new data fields. These include things like Building and Room, but perhaps most notable are the On Loan fields. You can now easily track loaner equipment without using any of the 10 Custom fields as we now provide places to note who an item is loaned to and when it is due back. When used in the Web UI, the latter provides an easy date picker. A new Dashboard Widget gives an easy view of systems coming due, or when they are overdue for return.

User records now include a host of new fields as well, such as department, email, and phone. You can also assign Aliases to a User to ensure unified reporting in environments where multiple forms of a user name/id might be seen in different contexts.

Purchases now include an email field. This allows you to designate who will receive expiration alerts on a per purchase basis.

Value Presets

All of the Custom fields as well as several built in fields for Computers, Devices, and Purchases can now have preset values. You can define these presets as an admin so that delegated users with edit rights can only chose from these values and not enter new ones, or allow for others to be added on the fly. This helps ensure standard entries and avoid typos that could impact your reports.

Customizable Lifecycles

You can now define custom lifecycles as sub-items of the built in defaults. For example, under the default of "Maintenance" you might add custom lifecycles for "repair dept" / "warranty repair" or whatever else you need to distinguish.

Other

As always, we have made many other small improvements which may not be fully detailed here. As we move ahead with minor releases, we will continue to add functionality documented below.

See our Release Blog for more details on each version.