Release Notes

📡 Current latest agent version: 4.5.28

 

Nested package step - May 23, 2023

You can now create nested package steps, allowing you to reference an existing package (both Package Library & custom) as a step in any custom package.

With nested packages, you can create more complex deployments, ensuring that multiple packages are deployed in a specific order while performing other actions such as running scripts and rebooting devices.

 

New feature: Commands - April 24, 2023

You can now execute PowerShell commands without deploying a package for any device in Connect!

The new Commands feature enables you to troubleshoot devices, gather information, and perform quick actions without needing to package the command first.

To begin executing commands, go to the Commands tab on any individual device page. How Commands work:

  • Most commands will fully execute and return an output within seconds
  • We log and display which Connect user ran a specific command
  • Command history is stored indefinitely
  • Commands are currently enabled to only run per device
  • Commands will be executed in the local system context

 

Additional improvements 🛠

  • You can now use both reboot steps & file copy steps (the nested package step is coming soon!)
  • We now store your rows per page and column selections for the devices table in local storage
    • This means if you set your devices page to show 100 devices per page rather than 25, we will default to 100 devices per page on future visits
    • Previously, these were stored in session storage which meant these settings would often reset between visits to Connect
  • The full command that will be run for install steps now displays
    • Previously, we did not display the full command, requiring users to assume which commands were prepended to their custom parameters
  • We added an error icon display next to the step name to make it more obvious which specific steps in your custom packages have errors
    • Previously, errors were only displayed inside the step itself, requiring users to click through each step until they found the error
  • We added a loading spinner next to the step name in custom packages to make it more obvious when an upload is still processing
    • Previously, we only showed the loading spinner per file, requiring users to click into any step where they uploaded files to view current upload status
  • We fixed a bug where sorting on the OS column resulted in a 500 error
  • We fixed scrolling behavior on the devices table
    • Previously, any horizontal scrolling occurred on the full page, which could result in the deploy button and other headers being hidden from view. This also caused a bug where users could unintentionally cause columns to start widening on their own
  • We fixed scrolling behavior within the deployment modal
    • Previously, selecting a large number of devices or groups would extend the modal beyond the current view
  • We added tooltips when hovering over truncated filter fields and column values
    • Previously, there were no tool tips, preventing users from seeing the full contents of a truncated filter field or column
  • We moved our Package Library services to a new hosting provider. In most cases, you won't notice anything different with this change. However, depending on your web filters, you may need to add two new addresses to your allow list:



Custom package improvements, data exporting, and more - April 5, 2023

Improved custom packages 📦

We've released a handful of highly requested improvements to custom packages, detailed below:

  • You can now run any package step as Logged on user
    • Previously, you could only run steps as Local system
    • If there is no user currently logged in when the step runs, the step will fail. Tip: Use the error mode setting for each step to direct the package to stop or continue if the step fails.
  • You can now bulk upload both folder and file attachments
    • Previously, you could only upload individual files
    • When uploading folders, the folder structure is maintained to ensure that underlying folders and files can be referenced correctly by installers and scripts
    • You can also now upload zipped files and folders
      • You will be prompted to zip files or folders if you upload over 250 files. Zipping helps ensure a faster upload experience.
      • "Top level" zipped files will be automatically unzipped on the target device. (If a zipped file is nested within a folder or another zipped file, these will not be automatically unzipped.)
  • You can now write PowerShell commands and scripts in our new embedded editor
    • Previously, you could only upload PowerShell scripts; there wasn't an option to write PowerShell directly in the step itself
    • Our editor includes features such as syntax highlighting and line numbering to improve the scripting experience
    • As a reminder, PowerShell natively supports almost all Command Prompt commands
    • Additionally, now when you upload a PowerShell script, its contents will be displayed in the PowerShell editor
  • The Packages page now displays your custom packages at the top by default
    • Previously, the packages page was sorted alphabetically, which made finding custom packages more difficult

✨ P.S. We're currently working on additional improvements to custom packages, such as adding more step types!

 

Export data from Connect ⬇

You can now export data from most tables in Connect

  • Previously, there was no ability to export
  • Data may be exported in a .csv format and is limited to the rows displayed
    • For example, if you need to view data for 500 devices, set your Rows per page setting to 1000
  • When exporting a group, any applied filters will be listed at the bottom of the export to provide context on why those devices are included in the group
  • More reporting capabilities are planned for future

 

Additional improvements 🛠

  • You can now view the Registry path and Uninstall string for all software on a device's Software tab
    • Previously, this information was not displayed
  • You can now filter, sort, and search on the Last user column
    • Previously, a bug prevented these actions for this column
  • You can now use greater than and less than comparisons for OS version, as you can for software versions
    • Previously, you could only use standard text or string comparisons
  • We fixed a bug where you could not save an automation if it was scheduled to run for the first time within the next 24 hours
  • When creating or editing an automation, an error message will now inform users when an invalid time is entered
  • We updated the Details text for Queued deployments to clearly communicate that the deployment will start once the device is back online
  • We fixed sorting behavior so that empty cells are always shown at the bottom of a sorted column
  • We fixed a bug preventing filtering on a device's software tab
  • We updated the Invite teammate modal so that hitting enter sends the invite, without having to click the Invite button
  • We made a few small UI tweaks, such as fixing the error icon, improving contrast on our toast notifications, and making it more obvious which table cells include clickable links



Trial & purchase flows, performance improvements, and more - March 7, 2023

You can now start a 30-day trial and purchase a subscription directly within Connect

  • Until recently, we've operated in a closed beta. Now, anyone interested in trying Connect can start a trial or purchase via self-serve.
    • Note: We offer several discounts on Connect, which you currently must contact us to claim at connect-sales@pdq.com. More information on pricing and trials can be found on our website.
  • Users enrolled in the closed beta will maintain their beta access for the foreseeable future. We will contact you and give you advance notice of your beta experience concluding.

Multiple backend performance improvements were made to ensure much faster load of devices & groups

Disk free % has been re-added as a filter option under Devices. This was temporarily removed while improving backend filtering logic.

Error handling for invalid date or time formats for the automation start time is now available. Previously, using an invalid date or time format (ex. 24 hour time, which is not supported) would not display any error text, yet would prevent the package saving successfully.



Improved software filtering & deployment updates - February 21, 2023

Improved software filtering 

Filtering for software is now much more intuitive and powerful.

Previously, to create software filters for both name and version, users needed to use a (softwareName)@(softwareVersion) syntax. We recognize that this was nonintuitive, and did not allow for certain filtering needs, such as finding devices with software version lower than a specific version.

You can now use separate name, version, publisher, and install date columns for filtering on software

  • Previously users were required to use the (softwareName)@(softwareVersion) syntax to filter on software version. Publisher and install date also could not previously be filtered

You can now use additional version comparisons, such as lower than

  • Previously, you could only use equals, does not equal, contains, etc. for versions, which prevented filtering for devices where software was installed but its version was lower or higher than the current latest version

When applying multiple filters to the same category of data, these filters will apply to a single object

  • For example, if you have a filter for software name contains Chrome and software version is lower than 109, we'll look for a single piece of software that has Chrome in the name and a version number lower than 109

When filtering for devices missing a certain software, you only need to use does not contain or does not equal

  • For example, if you have a filter for software name does not contain 7-zip, we’ll identify all devices that don’t have 7-zip installed. No need to adjust the logic any further

 

Deployment related improvements

  • We've added more information to the Deployments page, including:
    • In the Status column, you can now click the deployment status to see output logs
    • Details shows the progress details for any deployment. This granular information about a deployment, such as the exact step a deployment is on, previously wasn’t available
    • Deployed by displays the name of the person or the automation that deployed a package
    • Elapsed time shows how long a deployment took, measured by when the agent started processing the development
  • You can now cancel Queued or In Progress deployments by clicking Cancel in the Actions column of the deployments page. This will submit a cancellation request, including when it is mid-step
    • Previously, there was no ability to cancel a deployment once started
  • You can now schedule a one-time future deployment in Connect. Within Automations, schedule a one-off deployment by selecting the Deploy once trigger and select a specific date & time.
  • You can now deploy to an entire group by simply clicking Deploy in the upper right-hand corner
    • Previously, you needed to manually select all devices in a group first
  • You can now click on a device or package name on the Deployments page to view the details page for the device/package
    • Previously, these names were not linked, and you had to manually navigate to the details page for the device/package

 

Additional fixes & improvements 🛠

You can now invite additional teammates directly from Connect

  • To invite a teammate, click on Invite teammates icon blobid0.png in the lower left navigation, enter their email address, click Invite, and an Auth0 invite email will be sent to the provided address

  • Additionally, the lower left navigation now includes a permanent link to the Knowledge Base documentation: blobid1.png

We fixed a bug where an existing filter value would be cleared if you changed comparisons

  • Previously, changing from equals to contains (or any other comparison) cleared the entered value, requiring the user re-enter it

 

Improved groups & Deployments tab – January 23, 2023

Improved groups 

You can now create more powerful groups and filters with our improved filtering experience. With additional operators and new nested filter groups, you can now use complex logic to more accurately target devices based on your specific criteria.

Additionally, we've made filters easier to use, introducing categories that organize filterable data as well as other UI improvements. 

  • You can now add Filter groups to your filters, which are nested sets of filters that allow you to use more complex logic.
    • Previously, there was no ability to create nested filters.
    • We currently support two levels of nesting.
  • You can now use NAND and NOR logical operators, in addition to AND and OR.
  • Filterable data has now been categorized, allowing you to more quickly find the data you want.
  • Previously, all filterable data was listed in a single list.
  • You can more easily save your filters as a group within the filtering modal by clicking Save as group.
  • You can now use additional comparisons such as is empty and is not empty.
  • You can now clear all filters at once by clicking Clear filters.
  • To apply filters to the table, you must now click Apply in the filtering modal.

Coming soon: We plan on releasing additional filtering and groups improvements in the coming weeks.

 

View all deployments

You can now view all deployments across your organization in the new Deployments tab. Previously, to view deployments, you had to go select a specific device individually in order to see what deployments occurred.

Now, all deployments are also shown in the dedicated Deployments tab, increasing visibility and making it easier to monitor the actions Connect is taking in your environment. Additionally, for errored deployments, you can now click Redeploy to quickly re-deploy the same package to the same device.

Coming soon: We're planning additional enhancements to the deployments tab in the coming weeks aimed at increasing the granularity of information provided.

 

Additional fixes and improvements 🛠

  • You can now deploy from the Packages page.
    • Previously, deployments could only be initiated from the devices and individual device pages.
  • You can now select devices and groups directly within the deployment modal.
    • Previously, you had to select any relevant device before opening the deployment modal.
  • The groups list is now sorted alphabetically.
  • We fixed a bug preventing Java packages from being listed on the packages page.

 

Automation – November 28, 2022

Automated deployments and variables are now live in PDQ Connect, allowing you to truly set it and forget it.

Automation ✨

You can now automate your deployments with PDQ Connect. Automations function similarly to schedules in Deploy and will allow you to deploy any package to individual devices or groups of devices on a recurring schedule of your choice. You can use automations to

  • keep software updated
  • reboot devices on a standard cadence
  • clean-up files from devices with low storage space, and more.

With automation, you can skip manual updates for new software rollouts. Automation allows you to select the 'Latest' version for any package from the Package Library. That means Connect will always deploy the latest version of the specified software, removing the need to manually update automations when new versions of software are released.

For now, automations can only be triggered on a recurring basis, but we plan to implement a heartbeat-style trigger soon.

 

Variables 🧪

You can now automatically keep values used in filters updated, such as software versions, with variables. Variables can be used in any filter, and they work the same in Connect as they do in Deploy & Inventory. That means you can create Groups that automatically track outdated software, with version variables automatically updating on new releases.

For now, only PDQ-provided variables are supported. Custom variables will be introduced at a later date.

 

How to use automation & variables to keep software automatically updated 💡

If you want to ensure Chrome is kept updated throughout your environment, follow these steps:

1. Apply the following filters

Software 'not contains' 'Chrome@$(AppVerGoogleChromeEnterprise)'

Variables can be found by clicking the '(x)' button to the right of the value field

2. Save those filters as a group

Click 'Save as group' on the right side of the screen, below the 'Deploy' button

3. Create an automation targeting your newly created group

Select Google Chrome from the package list, and leave the version set to 'Latest'. Using the 'Latest' version will ensure the latest version of any Package Library software is deployed when new versions are released.

Set your desired deployment cadence

Target the group you just created

4. You’re done!

From this point on, the latest version of Chrome will be automatically deployed to the dynamic group for devices without outdated versions of Chrome.

Check out our Knowledge Base article on automation for a visual walkthrough.

 

Additional fixes & improvements 🛠

You can now use 'OR' when you have multiple filters applied.

  • Previously, you could only use 'AND' with multiple filters.

You can now set row density, and your selected density will be persisted for the next time you visit.

  • Previously, if you set row density, it would revert to the default row density when you returned to the page.

We've renamed 'Saved filters' to 'Groups' (no functionality change, just terminology)

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