Managing Automatic Updates of the Workspot Windows Client (March 22, 2020 PREVIEW)

Robert Plamondon -

 

Introduction

A new Workspot Windows Client auto-update system has been introduced. This allows Workspot administrators to decide which versions of the Workspot Windows Client to use with different groups of users. The desired versions are selected in Workspot Control and applied on a per-Group basis.

This feature is for the Windows Client only. Other Clients use the update mechanisms from their respective App Stores (macOS, iOS, and Android).

How it Works

Once version control has been enabled, Clients update automatically to the version you specify. This update either occurs at the option of the end-user or is forced, according to how you define this in Workspot Control.

Workspot defines Stable release and a Preview release.

  • The Stable release is recommended for most users. Workspot advances the Stable release from time to time, and users whose Groups specify the Stable release will have their Clients updated automatically.
  • The Preview release is a newer production release for early adopters. Otherwise it works like the Stable release.
  • Other releases can be given a name and used according to your needs. These are currently called custom client rings. Only releases that fall within the Workspot Lifecycle Support Policy can be specified, but when a Client version goes out of support, Groups that specified it continue to use it. You can edit the custom client ring definition when you want your users to be updated to a different release.

Upgrades

When the user signs in, the Control informs the Client of the version it should be running, based on the user’s Workspot Group membership. The Client performs upgrades (or downgrades) as needed to run the correct version.

If the “Force” checkbox isn’t checked in the Group definition, the user is asked for permission to install the update. If permission is denied, the question will be asked again on subsequent sign-ins.

Downgrades

Downgrades work like upgrades. That is, you can specify an earlier version than the current one and the Clients will install it. However, this involves uninstalling the existing Client and then installing the earlier version. The user needs to go through Client registration again, and stored credentials will all be lost.

Prerequisites

  • Workspot Control R12.6 or later.
  • Workspot Windows Client 3.6.0 or later.

Enabling Auto-Updates in Control

Version Definitions

Version-rings-1.PNG

The Auto-Update page is in Workspot Control under “Setup > Client Software.”

If you plan on using only the Stable and Preview releases, you can ignore the rest of this section.

Note: Workspot Control currently calls named software versions “software deployment rings.”

Columns and controls:

  • Name column. The name given to the version. The Stable and Preview versions are preassigned by Workspot and cannot be edited. Custom entries can be given arbitrary names.
  • Version column. This is the Workspot software release number. (The releases in the illustration are test versions, not real releases.)
  • Status column. Versions still supported by Workspot are shown with a green checkmark. Versions no longer supported have a red “X.”
  • Actions column. Supports two actions: Edit and Delete. These are available only for Custom entries.
    • Edit. Takes you to the “Edit Client Custom Ring” popup, allowing you to change the name or select a different release for the Custom entry. If you change the release, a Group using this Custom entry will upgrade or downgrade its members’ Clients accordingly. Client versions that are no longer supported by Workspot are listed in red and cannot be selected.

 Version-rings-9.PNG

  • Delete. Deletes the Custom entry. This is not allowed if the Custom entry is in use by a Group.
  • Add button. Takes you to the “Add Client Custom Ring” popup, allowing you to create a new Custom entry with an arbitrary name and a version selected from the list of supported Client releases.

Version-rings-3.PNG 

Assigning Releases to Groups

 version-rings-12.PNG

The “Users > Groups > groupname > Group Info” and “Users > Groups > Add Group” pages have two auto-update fields: Version (currently labeled “Client Software Deployment Ring (Windows Only)”) and Force Upgrade.

  • Version. A pull-down menu that lets you select one of the releases listed on the “Setup > Client Software” page. Versions no longer supported by Workspot are listed in red and cannot be selected. Members of this Group will use the selected version. “Stable” is the recommended setting for most users.
  • Force Upgrade. If checked, the user’s Client software will be updated without asking for confirmation first.

FAQs

Q: My users are currently running Workspot Windows Client 3.5.x. Will this mechanism update their Clients to 3.6.x?

A: No. Update your Clients to 3.6.x as usual, then enable auto-update.

Q: I can’t find release 3.6.0 in https://download.workspot.com.

A: This document is being released in advance of Workspot Windows Client 3.6.0 to document the mechanisms in Control R11.6, which came out first.

Q: Does this mechanism apply to any other Clients? (For example, Mac, iOS, or Android?)

A: No. These Clients are updated via their respective App Stores.

Q: What if I need to use a version other than Stable or Preview?

A: Create a Custom version that specifies the version of your choice, and assign it to the affected Workspot Groups.

Q: Same as above, but the release I want isn’t on the list! (Out of support, beta etc.)

A: Assign the affected users to a Group where the version (“Client Software Deployment Ring”) is set to “-- no ring selected --” and distribute the desired release to your users by other means.

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