LabTech Touch – A lighter, touch friendly client for LabTech (Open Beta)
Posted on February 9, 2016
If you’ve tried using LabTech on a touch screen, you understand that it’s not exactly…fun. Hitting small tree view items, tabs and menu items just doesn’t work as well as it does with your mouse. Squatting Dog is well aware of this and has been hard at work on a touch friendly client for our favorite RMM tool.
First of all, let’s explain what it is and what it does. LabTech Touch is an additional tool to use to manage your clients from a tablet or touch screen more easily than you can from the standard client. Big buttons and menus, as well as simpler navigation (for a finger) shine through to allow you to the most important pieces of LabTech so that you can do what you need to do quickly and simply. This includes restricting users to their appropriate permissions, running commands and scripts, connecting via LabVNC and ScreenConnect, viewing the status (and cancelling) commands and scripts, viewing and pushing patches, browsing hard drives, and seeing the other information you need quickly and easily.
While it allows you to do the most important things, LabTech touch is not a full blown, feature packed client. It doesn’t allow you to manage a slew of settings from the dashboard, make changes many client and location level settings, administer users or many other things that LabTech does. But we think that’s a good thing. You’re probably not going to be using your tablet for all of your LabTech needs. So why would you need TWO bloated clients? LabTech Touch loads faster…a LOT faster. Over the internet it’s often times 3-5 times faster than the standard client. It has a smaller footprint and a single dependency. It’s so small that it’s deployed via Microsoft’s ClickOnce technology.
So what do we have planned for Touch? Well, we don’t want a bloated client, but we do want to continue to expand what’s available and reduce the likely hood of needing to switch to the normal client anyway. As such, we are working toward getting EDF’s, ticketing, auditing, reporting and additional features available. Most of these will mimic what the standard client does, but we are striving to make sure every query, step and button is as optimized as possible to create as awesome an experience as possible.
We hope that you like what we’ve done so far and look forward to continued progress with this client. And we hope that you like it as much as we do. Feedback will be much appreciated, including problem reports and feature requests.
What’s required to use this client? Not much. .Net 3.5 and Windows Installer 4.5 are the only real prerequisites. ClickOnce will install a start menu and desktop shortcut. From there you open it up and login as usual. If you have ScreenConnect in your environment, you can add the credentials to the Admin Settings menu option (assuming you are logged in as an admin/super admin).
Additionally, this client currently only supports connections over MySQL using port 3306. If you’re connecting over the internet, you’ll need to be sure that port is forwarded. We’re hoping to implement http support as well, but are unsure when this will happen.
Finally, we suggest approving any updates you see when you open the client. This will allow you to have the latest (beta) version. We won’t be throwing every unstable release at you, so you can feel confident we’re pretty happy with each update.