Notes and Notifications

How to ensure that your technicians don't break things.

SimpleHelp 4.2 has brought some major changes to the access panel. Earlier versions showed just a tree of machines with some additional columns for information and the only real function available was to connect to them. 4.2 brings a wealth of detailed information, metrics, screenshots and even some new functions (like Wake-On-LAN) giving you a much better insight and more convenient control over your networks.

In addition to these major changes we’ve also made a lot of smaller tweaks and improvements. A small addition we made that evolved over the 4.2 cycle was machine Notes. The new remote access infrastructure gives us a lot of flexibility when managing machines now and one simple addition we wanted to make was adding notes to machines. These would be anything the tech felt like writing and would be accessible when viewing the machine details. They would also be searchable along with the gathered information so could be used to attach some custom information to a machine and make it more easily findable:

Notes Screenshot

The feedback has been that these have proven to be very useful for Technicians to store information that other Technicians need to know. A marker on the notes tab in the details panel lets you know that there are notes for this machine so if a tech has left notes about it, it is likely worth reading them:

Notes Marker Screenshot

The marker is useful, but it is also quite unassuming. If you were not paying attention you might easily forget to check the notes and if the notes were important you might end up making an error that could have been avoided.

To help prevent this situation and make them more useful in the latest build of 4.2 we’ve split the notes tab into Notes and Notifications:

Notes and Notifications Section Screenshot

This is a simple split but it allows SimpleHelp to change how it treats both of these. Both can be searched and can contain anything the tech likes but Notes are passive – they are just there for info. Notifications on the other hand now produce a popup warning when a tech tries to connect to a remote machine.

Any information that a tech really needs to be aware of before they connect can be added to the Notifications and when a tech hits connect they first get a popup with that info:

Notification Popup Screenshot

They then have to hit OK and their connection progresses as usual. If there is a lot they need to be made aware of they can always be referred back to the machine Notes.

They don’t get to connect without clicking OK so Notifications should make it much easier for Technicians to share important customer or company restrictions and requirements when managing machines and avoid costly mistakes.