App Store Performance
Optimized App Store load performance. After login, it used to take about 7 seconds for the App Store to load (with 12 apps). Now, it takes as little as 4 seconds to load with 12 apps.
In the Winter ‘20 release, we created a fast streaming engine (“H264 beta”) with significant improvements for graphics and video performance. We received positive feedback from beta customers and are making this generally available in the upcoming release.
No action is required on your part. We will update the configuration of graphics-intensive apps, like SolidWorks, Photoshop, and Unreal Engine to leverage the new streaming engine.
Network Drive Mounting
Ability to mount (multiple) network shared drives via the Apporto Cloud Mounter. The drive must be accessible, for example via a VPN tunnel. Then, users may enter the drive path and credentials to mount the drive and access files via File Explorer.
Since a good network connection is key to having good performance for a virtual desktop, we’ve added a dynamic network indicator in the ribbon. This is analogous to the 5 bars on a mobile phone showing the strength of cellular signal. In this case, the network indicator is empty when the network is poor and full when the network connection is strongest.
Note: When the network connection is very poor, we also display a warning message that users may experience disruptions.
Mac Virtual Desktops (beta)
With many universities supporting remote learning, we realized there was an unmet need for virtual Mac Desktops. The most common use cases are for design, architecture, and iOS programming courses. We are providing a Mac Desktop beta to support these initial use cases. (In the Fall, we plan to support additional use cases, like video and music editing.)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in the beta.
Bug fixes / enhancements
Bug fixes and minor enhancements:
- Improved Google drive transfer speeds for the Cloud Mounter
- Improved login experience for users whose AD profile is not yet created
- Ensured Messenger accounts are created when the username contains @
- Limited Messenger groups to 200 users to prevent disconnections
- Added x to clear the App Store search box and refresh results
Canvas LTI Integration (beta)
Using an LTI integration, faculty and students can access Apporto from the Canvas LMS. They can login via Canvas and click to come to Apporto (either the App Store or automatically launch a specific app).
Group and role information is passed to Apporto. Groups are passed to Messenger and Classroom View, enabling collaboration among peers and assistance from faculty.
Ability for Faculty to view desktops of students in their class who are online. Classroom view leverages screen sharing. Faculty can view students’ desktops (multiple at once), click to view larger, or request full control.
In the Winter release, Classroom View was released as a beta. The current version addresses limitations in the early beta:
- Admins may access Classroom View
- The classroom may be filtered by group
- User names (first and last) are displayed when available
- A bug was fixed ensuring all sessions are visible behind a load balancer
User Import Enhancements
With many universities onboarding quickly in the midst of campus closures, we often imported users (since this was faster than integrating SSO). Due to increased demand for import, we made several improvements:
- Enabled a fast import option (without provisioning)
- Enabled add to SSO on import
- Enabled updating of groups and roles for existing users
Search by keyword or tag
Filtering in the Admin UI used to be cumbersome. To make search faster and simpler, we enabled a flexible search capability. You may search by keyword or filter by tags. A reset button clears the search and refreshes results.
Limited Role Access
Previously, we granted Faculty and Tech Support access to many screens in the Admin UI by default. Based on customer feedback, we decided to limit the default access. Now, you may optionally grant access by defining roles with relevant permissions.
For Faculty, you may optionally grant access to:
- App Publishing
- Feature Settings
For Tech Support, you may optionally grant access to:
Bug Fixes and Improvements
Bug fixes and improvements:
- Fixed an Azure MySQL issue to ensure the Admin Dashboard is populated
- Prevented users from being removed from AD groups
- Ensured session killed when user clicks x even if no activity
- Improved performance for manually creating users
- Changed sessions duration to minutes for easier analysis
- Enabled removal of the App Store Feedback tab via Help Settings