NAV

Filtering Guide

Restricting visible Customers and Machines in SimpleHelp

In many situations you will wish to restrict the list of customers or remote machines that a technician can access. You may wish to have a generic restriction that hides classes of remote machines, or restrictions that hide specific individual. This guide details how you can configure SimpleHelp to filter the list of customers or machines that a technician can access.

Technician and Technician Group Filters

Customer and machine filters can be specified for individual Technician accounts, or for multiple technicians in a Technician Group. Technician account filters take precedence over Technician Group filters. If a technician account filter grants access to a remote machine, but the technician's group does not, then the technician will be granted access.

We recommend using technician account filters when you wish to configure specific access to an individual technician account only, and technician group filters when you wish to configure access for multiple technicians.

Filter rules for the Remote Support queue of customers are configured in the Customer Filters tabs, for a Technician account or a Technician Group. Similarly, Remote Access machine list filters are configured in the Machine Filters tabs.

Support Restrictions: Filtering the Customers that a Technician can Access

You can specify filters that restrict which customers a technician can view or access. Customer filters and machine filters are separated out into separate tabs for ease of use. Customer filters are a list of rules:

Customers Screenshot

Each filter is configured on a single line. In the example above, there are three filters that decide whether a new customer should be shown or hidden for the selected technician. Filters are checked from top to bottom. If a filter condition is met the customer is either shown or hidden, and no subsequent filters are checked. For example, from above, a customer with the name George will be Shown always.

A filter is composed of four configurable portions:

  • The filter action, either Show or Hide. If the filter matches a customer or machine then it will be shown if the filter specifies Show, and hidden if it specifies Hide.
  • The customer or machine field to check. This may be the customer's name or a remote machine's group.
  • The check to perform, which can be one of equals, not equals, contains, does not contain, matches and does not match. See the table below for additional details.
  • The text to search for.

Filter checks are described in detail below.

X X X
Filter Check Description Case Sensitive
equals Matches if the text to search for is exactly the same as the customer or machine field to check. yes
contains Matches if the text to search for is contained within the customer or machine field to check. Yes
matches A simple regular expression match. Use * to match an arbitrary amount of text, and ? to match a single character. No

Filter conditions can be specified over any collected customer details, the technician's name, or a special all details option. All details will concatenate all the customers details into a single text sequence, and will check the filter conditions using this sequence. We suggest using all details only when a more appropriate field does not exist.

In situations where no filters match, the server will determine whether to include customers based on these rules:

  • If no filters are specified the customer is included.
  • If all the specified filters are configured to Show, and none of the filters match, then the customer is not included.
  • If all the specified filters are configured to Hide, and none of the filters match, then the customer is included.

Access Restrictions: Filtering the Machines that a Technician can Access

The Machine Filters tab provides two mechanisms to choose which machines a technician can access:

  • Pick Machines and Groups - introduced in SimpleHelp v5.1, this allows you to visually select which machines or groups this technician can access.
  • Specify Advanced Machine Filters - for more advanced machine filters, specify a sequence of rules that are used by the server to determine which machines a technician can access.

Pick Which Machines And Machines Groups This Technician Can Access

When Pick Machines and Groups is selected, as shown below, the filter rules are visualised as a set of include / exclude filters on individual Machines or Machine Groups.

Pick Machines Screenshot

In the example above, the following machines will be included:

  • Any machine who has an ancestor Machine Group called Remote. This might include machines in the Remote group, but also any machines in groups contained within Remote.
  • Any machine who has an ancestor Machine Group called SimpleHelp excluding those descending from the child group called Servers.

To configure which machines or groups are picked you can use the Pick Machines button. All the server's machines are shown allowing you to select which are included, excluded or unspecified. The image below illustrates how the rules above were configured.

Pick Machines Screenshot

Picking Machines and Machine Groups is an intuitive way to decide which machines are visible to a particular technician. However, in certain situations you may wish to have more control over the rules used to include a machine. In these cases we suggest using the Advanced Machine Filters instead.

Advanced Machine Filters

Advanced machine filters are very similar to Customer filters. Machine filters are used to decide which remote access machines a technician can see and are specified as a list of rules.

A filter is composed of four configurable portions:

  • The filter action, either Show or Hide. If the filter matches a customer or machine then it will be shown if the filter specifies Show, and hidden if it specifies Hide.
  • The customer or machine field to check. This may be the customer's name or a remote machine's group.
  • The check to perform, which can be one of equals, not equals, contains, does not contain, matches and does not match. See the table below for additional details.
  • The text to search for.

The three different filter checks are detailed below.

X X X
Filter Check Description Case Sensitive
equals Matches if the text to search for is exactly the same as the customer or machine field to check. Yes
contains Matches if the text to search for is contained within the customer or machine field to check. Yes
matches A simple regular expression match. Use * to match an arbitrary amount of text, and ? to match a single character. No

For example, consider the following rules:

Machine Filters Screenshot

These filters will show a machine if:

  • its name is Windows Server and it is in any group,
  • it is in a group with a name containing Servers

and will hide machines if

  • the machine group name is Customers.

Filter rules for machines can be based on the following filter fields:

X X
Machine Field Description
Name The machine name, excluding any groups.
Group The name of the parent machine group that this machine is a member of, excluding the names of ancestor groups.
Any Ancestor Group (v5.1 and later) Match the text to search for against the names of each of the ancestor groups.
Ancestor Groups Match the text to search for against a single text sequence describing the ancestor groups of a machine, of the form: Group 1/Group 2/Group 3
All Details A text sequence that includes the machine name, group and other machine details (like operating system).

Multiple Technician Group Filters

Filters can be specified in a Technician's account, and also by each Technician Group that the account is a member of. The SimpleHelp server resolves these filters using the following rules:

  • If there are no Technician account filters, and no Group filters, then the default action is to show all machines or customers.
  • Any matching Technician account filters take precedence over group filters. For example, if a Technician account filter shows Machine, and a group filter hides Machine, then Machine will be shown.
  • Each Technician Group's filters are used to determine whether the machine or customer should be shown:
  • If any Group shows the customer or machine, then the customer or machine is shown.
  • If no Group shows it, but a Group hides it, then the customer or machine is not shown.
  • In situations where no filters explicitly show or hide a particular machine or customer, the default action is taken:
  • Groups with only hide filters will show the machine or customer.
  • Groups with only show filters will hide the machine or customer.

Note that Groups with no filters specified do not contribute to the filtering logic at all. This allows the SimpleHelp server administrator to assign technicians to groups (for multifactor authentication purposes, for instance) without needing to duplicate any group filters.