Administration

The content below is intended for administrators who are responsible for managing deployments in their Microsoft Active Directory environment. Before you perform the tasks in this guide, please ensure you have correctly installed Specops Self Service Portal.

Key components

You can administer the product from the Specops Self Service Portal (SSP) Web and the Specops Self Service Portal GPMC snap-in.

Specops Self Service Portal GPMC snap-in: The Specops Self Service Portal GPMC snap-in can be used to manage users and clients.

Database: Stores information about applications, units, owners, and members.

Specops Self Service Portal Web: The webpage can be accessed by Administrators, Owners, and Users to manage security groups and application deployments.

The Specops Self Service Portal Web is used by the following user roles:

Components

 

Data flow

Data Flow

Administrator tasks

The administrator is responsible for the creation of Applications, Application Licenses, License Distributions, and Units. The Administrator is also responsible for adding Owners and Members to the Units.

The administrator performs the above tasks from the Self Service Portal Administrator page.

Administrator tasks

Creating units

Users are grouped into units. A unit can be a department, country, a project, or any other grouping of users. A unit can contain multiple users and/or groups. A unit always has at least one person or group of users who can approve requests for that unit.

  1. Open the Self Service Portal web page for Administrators.
  2. From the top menu, click Units.
  3. Click New.
  4. In the Name text field, enter a name for the Unit.
  5. In the Description text field, enter a description for the Unit.
  6. Click Add next to the Owners column to add an Owner.
    • Specify the search in Groups, Users or Both.
    • Select the Owners from the result list, and click OK.
  7. Click Add next to the Members column to add Members.
    • Specify the search in Groups, Users or Both.
    • Select the Owners from the result list, and click OK.
  8. Click OK.

Creating applications

All applications that you want presented to end users for requesting, must be added to the Self Service Portal.

For each application, a corresponding security group must be selected. The security group is the link to the software deployment. When a user requests an application, and the request is approved, the user will be moved into the security group. The software deployment must be configured to install the application for all users in the security group.

Create applications

  1. Open the Self Service Portal web page for Administrators.
  2. From the top menu, select Applications.
  3. Click New.
  4. In the Application text field, enter the name of the application.
  5. In the Description text field, enter a description for the application.
  6. Click Browse to select a Security Group for the application.
  7. Select an installation type.

Note: If computer account is selected, only users with ownership of one or more computers will be able to request the service, and the computer will be added to the security group. If user account is selected, the user account will be added to the security group.

  1. In the Licenses row, click New to add the number of available licenses.
  2. In the License dialog box, specify the following:
  • Name
  • Version
  • Number of Licenses
  • Description
  • License Key
  • Cost per License
  • Purchase Date
  • Expiration Date
  1. Click OK.
  2. In the License Distributions row, click New to add license distribution and control who can request the service.

Note: A license distribution is used to make a certain batch of licenses available to a certain unit. It is through the license distribution that you decide who is entitled to use which licenses.

  1. In the License Distribution dialog box, specify the following:
  • License
  • Unit which the license applies to
  • Number of Licenses that the unit is allowed to use
  • Define if the unit requires approval to use the service
  • Define if the unit requires message from user to use the service
  1. In the License Distribution dialog box, click OK.
  2. Click OK to finish.

Reports

Specops Self Service Portal web contains predefined reports that provide an overview of the feedback gathered from owners and users as well as useful information about applications.

The following reports can be accessed from the Reports menu.

  • Approved Requests
  • Denied Requests
  • Top Unit Costs
  • Top App Costs
  • Top Unused Licenses by App
  • Computer Reinstallation Requests

You can view a report by selecting it from the report list. When you click on a report, the report will be generated and displayed.

Sort report data

You can sort report data in the following ways:

  • Clicking on a column header: This will modify the data to descending order.
  • Clicking and dragging a column header to a new position: This will modify the way in which columns are arranged.

Change the page size

You can change the page size to see more or less rows of data. Select the number of rows you would like to see from the Page size drop box.

Note: The page size you select does not affect the page size when exporting a report.

Search

In your selected report, you can use the search field to filter your report by the following criteria:

ReportSearch criteria
Approved RequestsApplication name, message to user, user name
Denied RequestsApplication name, message to user, user name
Computer Reinstallation RequestsUser name, computer name

Export Report data

You can export report data in a PDF or a CSV format for further processing.

  1. Open the Self Service Portal web page for Administrators.
  2. From the top menu, click
  3. Select a report from the left pane.
  4. Click
  5. Enter a File name and click Save.

Customizations

Change the color schema and logo

To change the color schema and logo of the Specops Self Service Portal, navigate to: C:\Program Files\Specopssoft\Specops Self Service Portal\Web\App_Themes\Default and modify the style sheet and replace the logo image with a corporate specific logo.

Managing policies

You can use the Specops Self Service Portal GPMC snap-in to enable a user to request and deploy software to a computer by designating a user as manager of that client.

Note: You will only need to perform the tasks below if you are also using Specops Deploy / OS.

Create a new policy

The Specops Self Service Portal GPMC snap-in works within the context of one GPO.

  1. In the GPMC, expand your domain node, and locate the GPO node.
  2. Right-click on the GPO node, and select New.
  3. Enter a name for the Group Policy Object, and click OK.
  4. Right click on the new GPO node, and select Edit.

To set the Computer Configuration:

  • In the Group Policy Management Editor expand Computer Configuration, Policies, Software Settings, and select Specops Deploy / Self Service Portal or User Configuration, Policies, Software Settings, and select Specops Self Service Portal.
  • Click
  • Configure the policy, and click OK.

For more information about configuring the policy, see “Configure client ownership criteria” in the Specops Self Service Portal Installation Guide.

To set the User Configuration:

  • In the Group Policy Management Editor expand User Configuration, Policies, Software Settings, and select Specops Self Service Portal.
  • Click
  • Configure the policy, and click OK.

 

End user experience

Unit members

Unit members are the users that work within a unit. The members can request applications that have been distributed to the unit.

The unit members request applications from the Self Service Portal web page for Users.

The Self Service Portal web page for users contains the following menu items which provide an overview of the status of applications:

  • Available Applications
  • All Applications
  • Pending Requests
  • Approved Requests
  • Denied Requests
  • Revoked Installations

Users can Request an application from the Available Applications and All Applications menu item.

Users can Cancel a request from the Pending Requests menu item.

Unit owners

Each unit is managed by one or more owners. Owners are responsible for approving or denying application requests from the members of the unit. An owner is selected from accounts in Active Directory. An owner can be either a user account or a security group containing multiple users.

Owners approve or deny application requests from the Self Service Portal web page for Owners.

The Self Service Portal web page for owners contains the following menu items which provide an overview of the status of applications and licenses:

  • License Distributions
  • Pending Requests
  • Approved Requests
  • Denied Requests
  • Revoked Installations

Owners can Approve or Deny an application request from the Pending Requests menu item. As soon as a request is approved, a remote Gpupdate will be triggered on the client which will start the installation within seconds.

Owners can Revoke a request from the Approved Requests menu item.

 

Debug logging

You can configure the components of Specops Self Service Portal to log their internal activity to a verbose debug log. The debug log allows you to follow the events leading up to the error. Debug logging is enabled by changing the relevant registry key from “0” to “1.” Additional logging will be returned by using the higher debug levels “2” or “3.”

Registry keyDescription
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Specopssoft\Specops Self Service Portal\WebEnables or disables debug logging on the Specops Self Service Portal Web

Default value: 0

Registry keyDescription
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Specopssoft\Specops Self Service Portal\AdministrationEnables or disables debug logging on the Specops Self Service Portal Administration Tool

Default value: 0

Note: Do not leave the debug logging turned on unless you need it. Verbose logging over an extended amount of time can create large log files which have the potential of filling your system disk partition.