Did you KNOW? Series Part 1: Using the new End User Notification Task in 8.5 RU2

In the coming months I will post changes and features made into ITMS that are documented but mostly unknown or overseen. This will be a multi part series. 

In this series I will show what changes are made in the different RUs and how to make “real-world” usage of the newly introduced features. 

Starting with 8.5 RU2 – New Feature: End User Notification Task 

This new feature introduces a new Plugin installed with the “Core-SMA” on the Client Computer called End User Notification Agent. The End User Notification Agent was introduced with the release of 8.5 GA wheras the new Task type “End User Notification Task” was first introduced with 8.5 RU2.  

End User Notification Agent Plugin is listed / visible in the SMP Console 
End User Notification Agent Plugin is not listed / visible on the SMP Agent itself 

In 8.5 RU2 a new Task is available to send End User Notifications. This new Task type can be found in the SMP Console -> Manage -> Jobs and Task -> right click on a Folder and select New -> Task -> End User Notification Task 

You must specify a Title, Body and a List of actions. (mandatory) 
You can also specify a Window size, but this is optional.  

Other options are to use HTML, URL and Binary, meaning you can send a URL that opens in the Notification Window using the installed Browser Engine. 

Binary allows you to send for example the content of a PDF File if the computer has a PDF Reader installed. 

In this blogpost I´ve created an End User Notification Task to let the IT-workers know when a computer installation is finished. 

simple Plain text sample
HTML sample

The example above shows that Tokens can also be used in Plain text and HTML. If you want to format the Notification text you should use HTML because far more formatting options are available.

In the list of actions, we can specify buttons that can be selected when the Notification Popup appears. You can specify up to 10 buttons separated by the “;” sign.

The list of actions gets translated if possible. In this example we specified “Cancel”. My “DEMOCOMPUTER” runs a german OS – “Cancel” will be translated to “Abbrechen” which is the german word for Cancel. 

simple Plain text withtranslation if possible

HTML with formatting options

Each “List of actions” button has a return code. The first action has a return value of 0, the second 1, the third 2, and so on… 

If the IT-worker clicks OK this will result in return code 0, if HR-Computer it will result in Return Code 1, if Sales-Computer it will result in Return Code 2, if Marketing-Computer -> Return Code 3…This allows to use conditions within the job. Based on what action the IT-worker clicks we can run different tasks. (Screenshot above).  

If the IT-worker clicks on a Button called HR-Computer, Sales Computer or Marketing Computer…. this will result in the installation of the appropriate software for the selected department.

I know there are other options to decide which software would be installed on those Client Computer, but this is a new option that is available since 8.5 RU2. Just to give you an idea on how you could leverage this feature (what could be accomplished using this feature).

During my testing with the End User Notification Task I´ve found that when using HTML as Body the Token replacement does not work as expected. Sometimes the Tokens are not replaced at all, or only a part of the used tokens are replaced. There is also a difference if you just start the single task or use the task within a job. This also shows different results for the tokens…. opened a Support Case for this issue TECH256545 and hope this will be fixed soon.

Update: A fix for the Tokens when using HTML is available (TASK_8_5_POST_RU2_v2.zip)

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