Release Notes For Business

Release Notes For Education

 

December 20

 

Faculty Experience

Feature

Benefit

Presenter Mode

In the previous release a faculty could view the student’s desktops in the virtual classroom.  In the release, we have added presenter capabilities for faculty users. Faculty will be able to share their screen with a group using the presenter  menu option – and speak, one-directionally, to a group using the microphone  option. 

 

Faculty may also use Messenger to chat with or call individual students – and the group microphone will be muted automatically when a call is initiated with an individual.  

 

When faculty share their screen, users may open the screen in a new tab or “in page”. The idea is to enable students to follow the presenter’s desktop in one view – while continuing to work on their own desktop.  

Enhancements and bug fixes

  • Limited the features Faculty users may access by default. 

           - By default, faculty can access the App Store, Analytics, and Calendar.

           - Optionally, administrators may define custom roles to grant faculty access to additional features, including Announcements, Users, App Publishing, Feature Settings, Extended Compute, and Servers (VMs).

  • Changed the criteria for accessing the Virtual Classroom. 

           - Previously, faculty had to be a member of a group to see the group in the classroom.

           - Now, faculty must have a custom role assigned that grants them permission to a group.

  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the wrong users to appear in the classroom. 

 

 

Student Experience

Feature

Benefit

Improved Network Indicator

Since a good network connection is key to good performance in Apporto, we wanted to give users insight into their network quality. Thus, we made several improvements to the Network Indicator.  

  • Replaced the “pie” shaped indicator with a familiar, 5-bar indicator .
  • Used a colorful indicator so it would be very visible and intuitive.
  • Lowered the latency (ping) thresholds.
  • Added a bandwidth measure.
  • Added a hover popup to provide latency and bandwidth details.
 

Additionally, we created a new page in the Help Center to provide more detailed information about network requirements and tools to measure network speed:  

https://www.apporto.com/helpcenter-enduser/required-enviroment

UX Enhancements

Made several improvements to the user experience: 

  • Simplified File Upload by prompting users to first select a file (from their local file navigator) and then choose a destination folder in Apporto.
  • Changed the ribbon behavior in full screen mode. To maximize screen real estate, the ribbon is hidden by default when you toggle to full screen mode. Users can access the ribbon by cursoring to the top of the screen.   
  • Updated our UI for a more modern look, accessibility, and consistency.   

Browser Notifications

Added browser notifications to warn users about:

  • Inactivity
  • Poor network conditions
  • Refreshing the page
  • Closing the tab

Extended Compute

For students who need to run long processes (eg. simulations, data mining, rendering, etc.) that may run overnight or for multiple days, we are providing “extended compute” capability. This was released as a beta in the August Release, and we are introducing it as a production feature in our December Release.
 

The solution uses Persistent VMs (assigned to specific users) on servers with no inactivity timeouts. Administrators can set usage limits and monitor usage relative to an overall budget. Pricing is based on the hourly cost for servers.

Enhancements and bug fixes

  - Improved login performance

  -  Better handling for failed login attempts

  -  Changed local login to be based on email instead of username

  -  Enabled screen sharing via Messenger

  -  Show user’s name next to cursor in shared screens

  -  Enabled copy paste for images

  -  Fixed an audio input issue

  -  Accessibility enhancements

 

 

Admin Experience

Feature

Benefit

LTI 1.3

Developed an LTI 1.3 integration. Currently, we support Canvas and Blackboard. Key benefits include:

 
  • Students can easily access Apporto from the LMS 
  • Easier administration – since account, role, and course information is automatically passed to Apporto via the LTI
  • Ability to take advantage of group-based features in Apporto like analytics, messenger, and the virtual classroom

Server Management

While Apporto provides desktops as a service (including software installation and server management), we also offer tools that enable you to install software, create and deploy images – if you want to do this in house. 

In the August Release, we introduced these tools as a beta. Since then, we have made significant improvements to the user interface - so all steps can be managed from the Servers screen.

This feature is currently available for instances hosted on AWS. Scripts are available for Azure instances though.

Analytics Enhancements

By popular request, we have improved concurrent user analytics to the Admin Dashboard.

System Status Page

A few customers have requested a public system status page that can be accessed outside of their Apporto instance. We have added such a page to apporto.com/status. In the event of an outage or degradation of service, our superadmins will post a message regarding the status and any additional details such as affected regions.

Enhancements and bug fixes

Enhancements and bug fixes:

 

  -  Ability to turn off impersonation for an instance

  -  Google-like search in the Users screen

  -  Ability for sub-admins to import users

  -  Added the user’s custom role to the Users screen

  -  Added the user’s IP address to the Sessions screen

  -  Fixed an issue to enable scheduling of multiple server farms

  -  Fixed a bug in the Admin Dashboard to ensure 2 day analytics are accurate

  -  Ability to use the customer’s Active Directory

  -  Accessibility enhancements