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Hi Everyone

First post here and I hope it will be beneficial to someone somewhere setting this up.

So I setup SP Desktop on an old PC we used in our organisation. I also purchased a domain name and SSL certificate.

The install went well and I configured everything to work. Head to our domain and loads up the portal. GREAT....until I tried on one of the organisations completely locked down laptops.

So this was going to be a problem as what I had found was that you had to type https:// before the web address in order for it to resolve to thew portal. For those who also had this issue, this is what I did to resolve it. Please do let me know if any of this is incorrect but it is working for me thus far:

1. In SP Desktop settings, under Helpdesk settings, select Advanced Settings and ensure that 

"Require HTTPS for browser connections to User Portal" is checked and turned on.
2. On your windows machine ( I am using a Win 10 Pro machine), click Start, Settings, Network & Internet, Ethernet, select your ethernet connection, and then select Edit under IP Settings. The aim here is to make sure your windows PC has a static IP address and that your router configuration has also been amended to ensure that the IP provided does not change. As everyone has different routers, I wil assume you know how to edit this and provide the PC with a static address.
3. Now you need to enable the traffic in windows firewall. In the search box on the taskbar, simply type "firewall" and select Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security. Select Inbound rules on the left side and on the right side select new rule. Select "Port" and click Next. Select TCP and Under Specific local ports, type "80, 443" without the quotes and click next. Make sure allow the connection is checked and click next again. Select the relevant priles that the rule will apply. I left all 3 checked (Domain, Private and Public). Finally give the rule a name you will remember it by and click finish.
4. So now you have the static IP for the PC and also have allowed HTTP and HTTPS traffic to communicate, it is time to forward your ports on your router. Depending on your setup, your steps will be different, but ultimately the same. You will want to forward both port 443 and port 80 traffic to the IP address of your PC. In my instance I forwarded both to the internal IP address 192.168.1.173.
5. Next I headed over to the control panel for my domain name to edit the DNS settings. I set 2 A records. You want to give the first record hostname the @ symbol and then the destination/target needs to be set to your public facing IP address. I have a static IP provided by my ISP, however if yours is dynamic then you will need to make alternative arrangements like using a Dynamic DNS service. The second A record should be the same as the first but with www as the hostname. I am not using a subdomain for this. I have specifically bought a domain for the helpdesk. This will ensure that the end user can type either www.domain.com or just domain.com and it will translate to the same place.
6. Still in the control panel for my domain, I headed over to the web forwarding page. I set the forwarding for my HTTP address to forward to the HTTPS version. Please consult your domain registrar for details on this.
And that was it. I am now able to succesfully type either www.domain.com, domain.com, http://domain.com, http://www.domain.com, https://domain.com and https://www.domain.com and they will all end up in the same place - https://domain.com. No non SSL warnings, no hanging pages, just a portal login page :-)

The only thing I am struggling with is helpdesk emails going to users junk....anyone :-)


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6 Replies

· · ·
Rod-IT
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Rod-IT
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708 Helpful Votes

Is this for the Windows installed app, if so, note this is EOL. You should be considering one of the two below products instead.

The cloud helpdesk is free and requires no setup on your part or the Ubuntu OVA download is mostly pre-configured. There is also a Hyper-V image

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· · ·
scheff1
Datil
OP
scheff1

Welcome to Spiceworks and its community.

spicehead-nzw6m wrote:

So I setup SP Desktop on an old PC we used in our organisation.

So you just did set it up, with the legacy Windows edition.

  • But why did you select this legacy Windows edition for setting up?
  • And are you intending to use the help desk component AND the inventory component or just the help desk component?

Already the product roadmap will have told you that this Windows edition is no longer under full support. In contrast to Rods claim, it did not yet reach EOL (end of life). But the EOL announcement was released a few weeks ago and not yet integrated into the product roadmap. As you did just set it up, you have the choice of either migrating as soon as possible to a supported version or switch to a supported version as Rod has already recommended. The windows edition will reach EOL by end of this year. And as you did not customize that legacy edition, chances are higher that the more limited feature sets of the supported alternatives might meet your requirements too.

spicehead-nzw6m wrote:

2. ... The aim here is to make sure your windows PC has a static IP address and that your router configuration has also been amended to ensure that the IP provided does not change. As everyone has different routers, I wil assume you know how to edit this and provide the PC with a static address.

While the aim is appropriate, you don't need such an approach. As far as I understood, you configured a DHCP reservation on your router. But if you only want to make the IP address static, you don't need to configure the router for this purpose. You may alternatively assign a chosen and suitable static IP address to your Spiceworks computer and configure your DHCP server to exclude that IP address of its scope. You seem to have DHCP server and router on the same device. But that's not the case for everybody among us. And if you don't use DHCP reservation, you'll need an additional step at DNS configuration for achieving your purpose too.

spicehead-nzw6m wrote:

3. Now you need to enable the traffic in windows firewall.

That's the personal firewall of your legacy Spiceworks installation. The other Spiceworks editions don't use such a personal firewall. And you didn't mention to configure the firewall of your organisation.

spicehead-nzw6m wrote:

3. ... I left all 3 checked (Domain, Private and Public).

I would not have kept the public network checked as I don't want it reside on a public network. And when (temporarily) residing it on a public network, I prefer it not reachable due to known vulnerabilities related to its legacy state.

spicehead-nzw6m wrote:

6. Still in the control panel for my domain, I headed over to the web forwarding page. I set the forwarding for my HTTP address to forward to the HTTPS version. Please consult your domain registrar for details on this.

I don't have such a configuration option. And I ordered my domain not directly of a domain registrar but instead by a different service provider. That was cheaper for me. And HTTP to HTTPS redirect isn't a domain aspect neither. There exist different options to achieve this. The preferred one is at the web server configuration. There may exist options also on some routers and firewalls.

What you have outlined isn't sufficient for the legacy Windows Spiceworks edition. But if you only wanted to use its help desk component, that is appropriate. So with the other editions, these steps are applying either too or needing even less steps.

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· · ·
Mike400
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Rod-IT wrote:

Is this for the Windows installed app, if so, note this is EOL. You should be considering one of the two below products instead.

The cloud helpdesk is free and requires no setup on your part or the Ubuntu OVA download is mostly pre-configured. There is also a Hyper-V image

The Ubunto OVA and Hyper-V images are also EOL.  At this point if OP wants an on-premise helpdesk he needs to look elsewhere.

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· · ·
Rod-IT
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Rod-IT
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708 Helpful Votes

Mike, do you have any links to verify that?

I'm not here as often as i once was, but the last update on the release notes was only last month, there is no mention of the OVA being EOL.

FYI I am talking about Spiceworks HDS, the one derived from the cloud code

https://community.spiceworks.com/support/help-desk-server/release-notes 

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· · ·
Suzanne (Spiceworks)
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Hey Rod, Help Desk Server is not End of Life.  We just announced that we aren't working on it this year and we'll make a decision about whether to further develop it at the end of the year.  No promises of course, but definitely not EOL yet.  It's more of a wait-and-see to find if it gets further adoption.

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· · ·
scheff1
Datil
OP
scheff1

Suzanne (Spiceworks) wrote:

Help Desk Server is not End of Life.  We just announced that we aren't working on it this year and we'll make a decision about whether to further develop it at the end of the year.  No promises of course, but definitely not EOL yet.  It's more of a wait-and-see to find if it gets further adoption.

But such an announcement seems to me counterproductive and a disservice. It is definitely not a wait-and-see decision. It is a massively interfering decision. Organisations affected by direct (governmental) or indirect (e.g. via financing organisations or insurances) get disadvantages if deciding to migrate into a solution not fully supported. And that announcement is such a commitmet to reduce support by stopping active development until end of the year, regardless of any events happening until then.

So I'm not aware of such an official statement of EOL for the HDS edition. And Suzanne has confirmed that no such statement exists (yet). So Mikes assessment seems to me as an interpretation of that official announcement referenced above. Usually, such an official announcement for HDS isn't neutral. It is definitely not a wait-and-see announcement. It is more like another step and indicator that an EOL statement is to expect next with not yet known date. Such an interpretation isn't unfounded. It was repeated experience with Spiceworks editions, tools and components. Only the number of steps and timeline until EOL has varied as far as I can see. The last example proofing such an interpretation is the Windows edition of Spiceworks. But we have seen similar developments with the Spiceworks 8.0 beta and the network monitoring component.

Suzanne (Spiceworks) wrote:

Help Desk Server is not End of Life.  We just announced that we aren't working on it this year

No neither. That's a more negative presentation than reality. The announcement itself says something different. In contrast to your presentation quoted here, it says that active development has been made this year and resulted in a published and released new version. See also the release notes. Problematic and contested is only the announcement to pause such active development unto end of this year.

What I miss too is an analysis for reasons of slower than expected adoption rate of HDS. Several Spiceheads have mentioned the outstanding decision if a port of the inventory component to HDS can be expected as a reason for delay of migration decision in favor for HDS. And a notification email campaign to consider migration of the legacy Windows edition to some other edition was only several weeks before the announcement of the EOL announcement of that Windows edition. I consider such an evaluation period for deciding on adoption rate of HDS as too short. I further consider it inappropriate to not ask for feedback on reasons preventing or delaying any such migration away of the Windows edition in such an email campaign. As far as I can see, only a significant minority of Spiceheads and Spiceworks solutions users are actively participating in the Spiceworks community and monitoring the updates of their deployed solutions. So the announcements of 2018 and 2019 on the future of the Windows edition cannot be considered a starting point of reference for adoption rate among the whole of users of the Windows edition. The 2019 announcement can only be considered a starting point for adoption rate of early adaptors of the Windows edition. For adoption rate of the larger user base of the Windows edition, it is probably that email campaign of a few weeks ago. And that seems to me too short for a serious evaluation. And such announcement isn't neutral but heavily interfering and biased.

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