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Software Portal improvements

Created: 02 Apr 2014 | 3 comments
Kezyrb's picture
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0 Disagree
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Some time ago Symantec implemented Software Portal functionality into console. Unfortunately, it's not working like properly written web application should.

Currently I am struggling with some issues, which exist in software portal since it was implemented:

- Interface

  • It is not possible to change website design, there is no way to add own template, or to modify anything else then 1 (!) icon, which should be applied in non standard size (80x20 pixels? if I try to add there my company logo - square - it is nearly not visible or streched to 80x20px)
  • Second interface issue is connected with first one - "Request unlisted software" button. I don't know who had idea to implement that, but I believe that most companies (like ours) already have own process of requesting software. Placing such button there is not good for customer-IT relations. (guess how many times I heard "so why you prepared 'request software button' if you want me to fill additional request for it"?). If it is not possible to add own templates there, just create checkboxes in settings to disable that - it is not looking good, and causing more troubles, than helping.

- Functionalities

  • My personal favourite is "Publish software across all trusted domains". It is not working in our environment since Software Portal was created. I understand that our environment is really big (multiple forests connected with trusts), but somehow any other application doesn't go to timeout if someone try to open them. Isn't it possible to just check domains affected (for which software packages are approved), and user domain during authentication?
  • Ability to send emails from Software Portal is working (that is good) - but why someone decided to send emails from domain which is not even owned by Symantec? I understand that in most companies it might be "noreply" anyway, but not every user will read email carefully before replying to that, and it looks like ideal occasion for social engineering attack (your VPN application is not working? really? could you please send your login and password to me?)
  • Software Installation approvals - good idea, but require some changes for better transparency in communication:
    • Send email to manager, when request for software is created (currently existing workaround to create report and schedule it is not really good, or easy to handle)
    • Approval granting system - I don;t know why, if everything is based on AD, it is not possible to create role based on computer filters, especially if computer GUID is sent while opening software portal. Instead of that we have "ability to grant access", which I was not able to understand until now - in some cases manager is added to a user, in some cases he isn't...
  • Run software installation as "Hidden" or not visible for user. - Currently there is now way to set it. I don't know how it is implemented in other companies, but I had to repackage applications for .msi, or create my own application to run install scripts in user context. I believe that you understand why I don't like idea of changing every package, which need to be implemented into software portal.
  • Possibility to add software for a computers listed in filter - it is something which might be useful on example during updating business important software like email client. I know that it might have impact on system performance, but why not to refresh such filter on example on daily basis, and just allow us to build dynamic filters, where user can schedule updates himself?
  • Send emails about current status of installation - this might be useful, but is not very important like others, and I believe that it would require deeper changes in task handling code - because installation progress bar is not implemented into Symantec Management Agent, user, who is scheduling the installation, doesn't have any information when it is finished or if it succeeded. If it would send email with such information, for sure it would save us a lot of work because user tried to start application, which install was not finished yet.

I suggest to add/fix mentioned functionalities.

Thank you to everyone who was able to read that long list, and colleague from Symantec support, who encourage me to write this idea ;)

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Jimmy Singh's picture

Software Portal needs lots of improvements and I am not sure why Product Managers are not taking this seriously. I mean functionality is there it just need a face lift and improved approval process (Amazon experience). Symantec answer is to look at the workflow or look at third party like Biomni. SMP 7.1/7.5 is a great product but Symantec is failing to provide much needed features. 

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TeleFragger's picture

i would love to use it but from what I remember in NS6 it utilized Task server and I think NS7.x does too. We do not use anything task related as tasks do not track like in the evt_swd_execution table... 

I have it setup and it is there.. just no use until more features/functionality is added...

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JannasTo's picture

Software portal is a mess. We dont use it.  

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