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DNA New Features – v4.9 – Out Now!

May 3rd, 2022 by

Multi-select Agents

IT technicians across a company now have a more flexible and efficient way to carry out specific tasks on multiple staff devices.

From the Tree view, you can select the staff you need and then view the component data for them, e.g. looking at the items such as application usage statistics or the memory status of the devices.

To drill down even more, from Explorer mode, you can select a group of staff based on a more detailed criteria (e.g. a combination of departments) or you can simply select a group of staff/or individual staff to perform actions such as chat or messaging – saving time and delivering extra convenience for technicians.

Chrome and iOS Agents can now connect through the DNA Gateway

Providing more flexibility for companies and their employees, Chrome and iOS devices can connect to DNA through its secure Gateway. So whether users with these types of devices are on or off site, technicians can still fully monitor and support them – perfect for remote working.

Applied Computer Systems’ Solutions Are Windows 11 Compatible

November 13th, 2021 by

Windows 11 was released on October 5th. It is available as a free upgrade on many eligible Windows 10 devices and will also begin to ship on all new PCs.

While the new Windows 11 release may come as a surprise to you, we are proud to announce that we’ve been working hard to ensure that our products are compatible with Windows 11. If you currently own any of our solutions listed below, or are in the market for one of our products, you can rest assured knowing they will work as expected with Windows 11.

Windows 11 offers a new design, updated features, better security and productivity tools. You still have plenty of time before updating, as support for Windows 10 does not end until 2025.

Notify Version 5.1 – Out now!

September 23rd, 2021 by

Improved recipient selection
When sending a notification, the selecting of recipients is now much clearer and easier via an update to its user interface. It’s also quicker to select the recipients, thanks to some behind-the-scenes performance enhancements.

Sending notification to offline staff
When sending a notification, offline staff can now be selected to receive the notifications that have been sent to them. When the offline staff return ‘online’ and log-onto their device, they will receive the notifications that have been sent over the past 48 hours. This is particularly useful for helping staff coming back from holiday, for example, to catch-up on or be reminded of any messages that were sent whilst they were away.

Details in History view
In the History view, the sender’s machine name and IP address are included in the details recorded for ‘emergency response’ type notifications (sent via a hotkey combination).

For a standard notification, the IP address of the sender will also now be included in the History view.

Default ‘Sent to’ method
When sending a notification, instead of defaulting to the server option, Notify will now remember the last chosen option (e.g. departments) and automatically select it for you. You can also set the default ‘Sent to’ method as department or server.

Sender’s name
When receiving a notification, at the bottom, it will now include the sender’s name. This is handy for better understanding the nature of the message and its urgency. However, this can be turned off, and so notifications can also be sent anonymously.

Recipients of scheduled messages
You can now see the list of recipients for an existing scheduled notification – perfect for checking if anyone needs adding or removing from it.

Shortcuts
We’ve made it even quicker and easier to customize your notification by adding in formatting shortcuts for bold, italic and/or underline formatting. For example, ‘Ctrl+B/I/U’ to turn on/off character formatting.

Notify New Features in Version 5

March 8th, 2021 by

Create scheduled notifications – even if staff are not connected
When scheduling a notification, you can now include users that are not currently active (they are powered off and not connected to the Notification Server but have been in the previous 30 days). This allows you to set up scheduled notifications when users are not connected, e.g. during out-of-office hours or when staff are on holidays. When these users subsequently power-up their devices and reconnect, they will receive the next scheduled notification (providing they are connected during the time/date the notification was scheduled for).

New user interface
Notify has a completely refreshed user interface. As alerts tend to be sent out as the result of a pressured situation, it’s now even easier for a sender to find and quickly navigate to the functionality they need, with ‘one click’ access to features.

Support for more users
Scalable to the largest of organizations, the Notification server now supports 10000 Agents, helping larger companies or multi-academy trusts, for example, to communicate quickly and easily to large numbers of staff and/or students.

Notification size
Senders can now choose the size and location of the notification that appears on the recipients’ screens, allowing them to adjust the level of impact the notification has. For example, emergency evacuation messages may be set to fill a full screen, whereas an alert about the mail server being down can be smaller and more discreet. This also helps ensure the notification is proportionate to the size of the monitor.

Notification confirmation
When sending a ‘Full Screen’ notification, an ‘OK’ button can be displayed instead of the timeout function. This allows the recipient to not only confirm they have received and read the notification (rather than the sender assuming they have), but to dismiss the message immediately once seen, helping to quicken the response time.

Added platform support
Adding to its existing multi-platform capabilities, Notify now includes support for Chromebooks to help organizations to communicate effectively across the various platforms they have in use.

View whole message
To enable recipients to read and acknowledge notifications even more quickly, the whole message can now be made visible when sending a notification (instead of recipients having to use a scroll bar to view the entire text).

Enhanced ‘history list’
Emergency response alerts are now shown in the history list (by default) and alerts can now be pinned to the top to make it easier to find and re-use important ones. The pinned notifications will always remain at the top of the list, regardless of any date search.

Send to IP ranges
In addition to sending notifications using the Active Directory, notifications can also be sent to IP ranges – handy for organizations with dispersed networks.

More customizations
Notify can be further customized to fit seamlessly within your organization and its needs. The font and text size in each notification can be changed to fit with your branding – plus, you can create your own set of notification type icons (using your own text, fonts and color) to suit the types of notifications you wish to send out.

New notification types
In addition to ‘News, Message, Alert, Technical, Critical’ notification types, two new notification types (Health and Security) have been added to help you further prioritize notifications that may contain related information. For example, in a notification related to ‘Health’, it may remind users to use hand sanitizer or to maintain social distancing.

DNA New Features V4.85 – Out Now!

August 27th, 2020 by

Software Distribution status

When using the software distribution tool to deploy software across the company or to publish software to targeted users (allowing them to ‘pull’ it onto their device), IT teams can now view, via a handy report, whether there were any errors during the install or if the applications were installed successfully. This new feature helps ensure that all staff have all the required applications and quickly highlights if any users are missing or have not installed available apps, thereby boosting productivity levels.

Enhanced AUPs

To assist businesses returning to a ‘new normal,’ there is a new AUP available to use (Health and Social Distancing), helping to promote any new guidance and safety information across the company.

Software update

IT teams can choose how DNA gets updated across their company: automatically updating via a smart update or by an external method, such as GPO or SSCM. This new enhancement helps put the team in control of how and when they want updates to go live.

Further optimizations

Several additional optimizations have also been included in this latest release, making DNA even easier to use – while bringing further efficiency savings, boosts to productivity levels and security, plus much more, to businesses globally! For example, DNA now supports up to 10,000 devices, there are new approval requests for USB devices not encrypted with BitLocker, improved Active Directory user profile evaluation – and much more.

Manager Version 12.8

March 12th, 2020 by

Showing Applications

A show (broadcast) of an application can now be displayed in a separate window by changing the Display Mode setting. This new feature allows the end user to continue to use their screen normally – maintaining productivity levels even when a show is conducted.

When showing applications spread across multiple screens to an end user, the screens are now compressed displaying the entire desktop. This provides the end user with a view of all the applications.

Manager Console

HTTP Access

Manager now includes the option to control HTTP access based on a user’s IP address. This enhances the Gateway’s security even further for the Manager suite.

Filter List of Clients

Manager has increased user efficiency by allowing your IT team to filter the clients on the Gateway based upon name, username, and description. Easing the process for searching and connecting to clients quickly is just another way Manager will help you save time and money.

Thumbnail view

The thumbnail views of connected devices in the Manager Control panel have been optimized to improve frame rate and overall performance.

Feedback Mode*

SoftLINK (provided free within Manager), provides educators a way to capture how their trainees feel.  An instructor can quickly gauge their trainees’ confidence on a topic.  This helps the instructor to decide if they can proceed onto the next topic or if they need to focus additional time on the topic at hand.  This will help the instructor to increase their class’s overall comprehension level.

SoftLINK provides a variety of visual indicators to choose from.  After selecting the desired option, a dialog box appears and allows the instructor to enter the question they want to displayed to the class.  The question, along with the visual indicator selected, will appear on the trainees’ workstations.  The trainees can then choose one of the options provided to them.

SoftLINK Feedback and Wellness Mode

The results from the trainee feedback are reported back to the SoftLINK Tutor in two different formats.  A list style report displays each individual trainee’s feedback and allows the instructor to see each trainee’s response.  The chart view provides a holistic view of the class responses, giving the instructor a overview of the entire class.

*This feature requires the free SoftLINK components (providing classroom instruction/training features), available from the Manager installer package.

Easy Mode*

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. has restructured SoftLINK (provided free within Manager) to make it even more intuitive and user-friendly, regardless of the instructor’s technical experience.  SoftLINK now offers three separate Tutor Console modes; Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Each mode provides core functionality that instructors require yet allows the instructor to customize their interface based on their SoftLINK comfort level.  The new “Easy” mode provides technology-shy staff the core SoftLINK functionality while providing it in a simplistic interface.

SoftLINK Easy Mode

Easy mode’s tools include:

  • Lock/Unlock
  • Blank screens
  • Power on PCs
  • Message trainees
  • Trainee Feedback
  • Block all internet
  • Help requests
  • ‘Mute Audio’ at trainee
  • Lesson Timer

The “Intermediate” mode (previously “basic” mode) offers additional control to the instructor.   The “Advanced” mode provides all SoftLINK’s features and functionality, allowing instructors to use all of SoftLINK’s features.

*This feature requires the free SoftLINK components (providing classroom instruction/training features), available from the Manager installer package.

SoftLINK Version 14 – OUT NOW!

January 28th, 2020 by

Student Feedback Mode

SoftLINK’s new Student Feedback Mode provides educators a great way to capture how their students feel.  A teacher can quickly gauge their students’ confidence on a topic.  This helps the teacher to decide if they can move onto the next topic or if they need to spend additional time on the current topic.  Ultimately, this will help the teacher increase their class’s overall comprehension.

SoftLINK provides several different styles of visual indicators to choose from.  Once the desired option is selected, a dialog box appears and allows the teacher to enter the question they want to pose to the class.  The questions, along with the visual option chosen, will appear on the students’ workstations.  The students can then make their selection from the options provided to them.

SoftLINK Feedback and Wellness Mode

The results from the student feedback are reported back to the SoftLINK Tutor in two formats.  The first, the list style report, displays each individual student’s feedback and allows the teacher to see each student’s mood/understanding response.  The chart view provides a holistic view of the responses, giving the teacher a general mood/understanding of the entire class.

Easy mode

It is essential the money schools invest in EdTech be spent wisely.  It is just as important to ensure the educational technology purchased is fully utilized in the classroom.  With this in mind, Applied Computer Systems, Inc. has restructured SoftLINK to make it even more intuitive and user-friendly, regardless of the end-user’s technical experience.  SoftLINK now boasts three separate Tutor Console modes; Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Each mode provides the core functionality that teachers require yet allows the teacher to customize their interface based on their SoftLINK knowledge and comfort level.  The new “Easy” mode provides technology-shy staff the core SoftLINK functionality needed in the classroom while providing it in a simplistic manner.

SoftLINK Easy Mode

“Easy” mode tools include:

  • Lock/Unlock
  • Blank screens
  • Power on pcs
  • Message students
  • Student Feedback
  • Block all internet
  • Help requests
  • ‘Mute Audio’ at student.
  • Lesson Timer

The “Intermediate” mode (previously “basic” mode) offers even more levels of control to the teacher.   The “Advanced” mode provides all SoftLINK’s features and functionality, allowing teachers with more SoftLINK experience the ability to use the product to its fullest potential.

Notify V4 New Features

October 7th, 2019 by

New look
Users can now experience a fresh new design, making Notify even easier and clearer to use.

Increased character limit
You can now send more information in your notifications, with the character limit of the message title being increased from 40 to 80 and the main message text character limit doubling from 500 to 1,000.

Emergency response message
To stop emergency response messages from being accidentally sent, you can now choose to set up a combination of three hotkeys to send these messages exactly when you need to.

Active Directory templates
The Notify Console, Agent and settings can all be deployed via ‘Group Policy’ without manual intervention. The centralization of this process will help you save time and resources by avoiding a manual set-up.

Message display
To ensure your notification reaches everyone, the notification message will now appear even when a computer is locked.

Sending notifications
When choosing the recipients to send a notification message to, the Active Directory display name can now be displayed instead of the logged on user name. This makes it even easier for you to find and select the people you want to send a notification message to.

IPv6 support
Notify now provides support for IPv6 addresses, ensuring that all of your devices and networks can be supported.

SoftLINK Version 12.65

August 28th, 2019 by

Integration with Google Classroom

SoftLINK now integrates with G Suite for Education.  Teachers can connect to their students’ devices using the class lists composed in Google Classroom. This feature is available to customers that are running the SoftLINK Windows Tutor and the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server (NCS).  The Google Classroom integration offers more flexibility when setting up their technology-led lessons and helps teachers save time. Read our Installation Guide for more information.

SoftLINK for macOS

SoftLINK for macOS (previously Assist) now sports a completely new user interface.  The enhanced interface provides teachers an easier method for identifying and navigating features.  In addition, teachers now have the flexibility to connect, via their Mac, to a wide range of student devices, regardless of their operating systems.  The supported student platforms include macOS, Chrome OS, Windows, iOS and Android. SoftLINK continues to support cross-platform capabilities, as a Windows Tutor can still connect to a Mac student as well.

SoftLINK for macOS

Key Mac features include:

  • Monitor the entire class or individual students via a thumbnail view
  • Show or broadcast the teacher’s screen to all or a selected group of students
  • Chat and send messages to the class or selected students
  • Monitor and control application and internet use
  • Conduct quick surveys to gauge student comprehension
  • Distribute and automatically collect files from each student
  • Plus many more!

SoftLINK for macOS provides 64-bit support allowing support for the latest macOS releases and devices, as well as older versions of macOS.

The macOS agent can be remotely deployed on macOS clients, saving valuable time by circumventing the manual installation process.

*The SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server (NCS) musted be installed and running to establish a connection between the teacher’s device and Chrome students. Read our Installation Guide for more information.

SoftLINK Version 12.60

June 25th, 2019 by

SIS Integration

SoftLINK now supports integration with SIS (Student Information System) environments via ClassLink OneRoster (Windows and Chrome Tutor only). Once synced, the SoftLINK Tutor can be configured to identify, at an individual school level, the SIS data (teacher, lesson and required students) relevant to the teacher’s current lesson. This new feature help teachers to save time when setting up their technology-led lessons and also it offers more flexibility when connecting to student devices.

SoftLINK SIS Integration