Accessing devices and running tasks

This sections walks you through the different devices states, how to single sign-on to a devices tool and execute tasks on device(s).

This section covers:

Device states

The list of devices that are presented on the PxM UI are polled to check if the device is accessible by the PxM Platform and given an appropriate status indicator based on what is received back.

The meaning of the device status indicators are as follows:

Indicator Description
Server Green The PxM Platform can successfully access the device.
Server Orange Some tasks running on the device are showing errors.
Server Red The PxM Platform is unable to connect to the device.
Server Blue This device is not managed by the PxM Platform but the device credentials are saved within PxM. The only tool available to this device is Reveal Credentials.

Device tools

The following table provides a description of the different device tools that maybe available:

Icon Description
Browser When you click on a device tool with this icon, the session will be launched within your local default web browser.
Desktop Remote The device tool RDP session will be launched using the PxM remote desktop client available on the PxM UI Server.
Command Line The device tool SSH session will be launched using an SSH client available on the PxM UI Server.

Note

When a device tool is greyed out it means access has been disabled and you will not be able to open the device session. There can be a number of reasons why a device tool maybe greyed out:

  • The protocol is currently unsupported.
  • A change ticket is required which is a feature that is currently not supported through the PxM UI.
  • The device has been disabled.

Approval Request

If a device tool/task requires an Approval request before it can be accessed the tool/task will be greyed out and you will see the approval request icon.

Approval request required

To request approval:

  1. Click on the Approval request icon.

  2. Within the Request Approval window, fill in the required details.

    Request approval window

    Field Description
    Valid for (hours) The time limit within which the request needs to be approved and the tool/task is accessed.
    If the request isn't approved within the Valid for (hours) then it will no longer be valid. Another approval request will need to be submitted.
    Comment Add a comment to let the approver know why access is being required.
  3. Click REQUEST, you will see a Request submitted successfully message appear and the approvers are notified of the request.

  4. When the request is approved the device tool/task will no longer be greyed out. It is now available and can be accessed with the Valid for (hours) stated in the request. If you fail to access the tool/task within the stated hours then the access will expire and you will have to submit a new approval request. request approved

    Note

    If you connect to the device tool within the Valid for (hours) then you will stay connected and won't be disconnected when the Valid for (hours) expires. If you disconnect your connection after the Valid for (hours) has expired then you won't be able to log back in and your tool/task will be greyed out again.

Single signing onto device tools

A device tool can be launched by clicking on it from the list. The authentication and single sign-on process is handled by the PxM Platform so you won't be prompted to enter any credentials.

Note

If your tool is greyed out then it may require an Approval request.

The credentials used to sign-on to the device will have a predefined access level. The access level can be seen next to the tool on the PxM UI. This access level will determine the level of permission and privilege granted to you for the device session and it is set by your PxM SuperAdmin.

The device tool will open in a new tab within your browser window once successfully authenticated. You are now ready to commence with your work on the device.

Example of a Device SSH session window within a browser tab

SSH Session Example

Additional features

When accessing your device tools there maybe additional controls implemented which you may need to be aware. These may include:

Session recording

Session recording is a tool that is used by the PxM Platform to record device session activities. Sessions being recorded can be viewed in real-time by PxM SuperAdmins and saved recorded sessions are available for PxM SuperAdmins to playback and view at anytime.

When a device has been configured for session recording a Session recording will appear in the top left-hand corner of the device session window. This indicates that all your activities within the device session window will be recorded by the PxM Platform.

RDP Session recording example

When connecting to devices that have been set for session recording, you will be prompted with a Session Recording Terms of Use message window. You will need to accept the agreement in order to proceed to your device session.

session recording terms of use

Change management

The current version of the PxM UI does not support the change management tool. Therefore, access that requires a change ticket will be disabled through the PxM UI.

Note

Device access that require a change ticket can still be accessed through the PxM Client.

Shared clipboard

The PxM UI shared clipboard allows you to share content between your local clipboard and the clipboard on the remote session you are connected to. In order to move content from one clipboard top the other, you can use the Shared clipboard window.

To copy from your local clipboard to the remote session clipboard

  1. Make sure the content you wish to copy is in the clipboard of your local machine.

  2. Within the Remote Desktop window, click on the Clipboard icon icon located in the top right hand corner.

    Remote desktop session

  3. The copied text from your local clipboard is pasted into the Shared clipboard window when opened.

    Shared clipboard

  4. Within the Shared clipboard window click the Send to device clipboard button.

  5. The contents of the pasted text in the Shared clipboard window is now in the clipboard of the Remote Desktop session. If you open an editor i.e. Notepad, in your remote session and paste, the text in the Shared clipboard window will be pasted into the editor.

    Clipboard copy example remote

To copy from your remote session clipboard to the local clipboard

  1. Make sure the content you wish to copy is in the clipboard of your remote session.

  2. Within the Remote Desktop window, click on the Clipboard icon icon located in the top right hand corner.

    Remote desktop session

  3. The copied text from your local clipboard is pasted into the Shared clipboard window when opened.

    Shared clipboard

  4. The copied text from your remote session clipboard is pasted into the Shared clipboard window when opened.

    Shared clipboard

  5. Within the Shared clipboard window click the Copy to clipboard button.

  6. The contents of the pasted text in the Shared clipboard window is now in the clipboard of your local desktop session. If you open an editor i.e. Notepad, on your local machine and paste, the text in the Shared clipboard window will be pasted into the editor.

    Clipboard copy example remote

Seamless clipboard

The latest version of Chrome is capable of supporting Seamless Clipboard which provides seamless interoperability between the local and remote clipboards. When this feature is supported the clipboards will be kept in sync without manual intervention, allowing for seamless copy & paste operations across both.

File sharing

All device sessions, with the exception of SSH, allow for file sharing to be performed between the local machine and the remote session.

For Remote Desktop / Remote Application the Shared on PxM UI mapped network drive can be viewed in your File Explorer window within your device session.

Shared on PxM UI

For HTTP(s) / Tasks the file sharing folder is created dynamically with a unique ID with the session name. The download operations inside this session will download files to this folder, and upload dialog will automatically open on this folder as well.

File upload browser session

Secure File Transfer (SFTP) uses a shared folder within a Filezilla SFTP client.

SFTP Session window

The files and folders available in the shared drive can be accessed locally by using the Shared Files window which can be accessed by clicking on the Shared drive icon icon located in the top right hand corner.

Shared drive window

Downloading a file

The following instructions allow you to download a file from your remote session to your local machine.

  1. Within the Remote Desktop window, open up a File Explorer window.

  2. From the File Explorer window, copy the file you wish download into the Shared on PxM UI folder.

    RDP Explorer window

  3. Now click on the Shared Drive icon icon located in the top right hand corner.

    Remote desktop session

  4. The Shared Drive window will open. You will see the file copied to the Shared on PxM UI folder is listed within the Shared Drive window.

    Shared Drive window with Explorer window

  5. To download the file to your local machine simply click on the file within the Shared Drive window. The file will be downloaded by the browser.

Uploading a file

The following instructions allow you to upload a file from your local machine to your remote session.

  1. Within the Remote Desktop window, click on the Shared Drive icon icon located in the top right hand corner. The Shared Drive window will open.

    Shared Drive window

  2. Within the Shared Drive window click on the Upload files icon Upload Files icon. The Upload your files window will open.

    Upload your files window

  3. Either drag and drop the file(s) from your local machine to the Upload your files window or use the Plus button to open your local machine File Explorer window and select the files to be uploaded onto the remote session.

    File upload window with File Explorer

  4. Once the file has been successfully uploaded it will be available in the Shared on PXM UI folder on your remote session.

    Uploaded file

Note

To stop a file during an upload or to remove the file click on the tick next to the file.

Executing device tasks

The execution of tasks refers to commands that can be run on a device to perform a set action. The PxM UI lists the tasks you have been granted access to and have permission to execute on the device. You do not need to know the command when executing the task as the command is provided by the PxM Platform during runtime.

Note

If your task is greyed out then it may require an Approval request.

A task can also be executed on multiple devices of the same type which saves time and the effort of logging onto each device and running the task multiple times.

Tasks available can be executed in a variety of forms, these include:

  • One click: No input required.
  • Data collection: A value is read from the device and the output presented within a window.
  • Free input field: Requires a value to be entered before the task can be executed.
  • Dropdown list box: Requires a selection to be made from a predefined list.

To execute a task:

  1. From within the PxM UI window, click Tasks in the left-hand menu.

  2. On the Tasks page, use the search to find the device task you want to run.

  3. Click on the device task. The task is opened in a new tab within your browser window.

    Task execution window

  4. If the task requires an input you will be presented with the Input tab. If the task does not require an input then skip to step 5.

    Below is an example of a task that requires input: Task input tab

  5. To execute the task on just the device listed, select the device listed and then skip to step 7. To select multiple devices proceed to step 6

  6. To select multiple devices click Choose devices next to Execute on devices. The window will update and list all the devices that the task can be executed on. Select the device(s) you want to execute the task on.

    Select devices

  7. Once you have selected the device(s), click Confirm.

  8. Click Execute to run the task on the devices selected.

    Execute task

  9. Within the Question window, click Yes.

    Task question window

  10. Wait while the task is executed. Progress can be seen in the Action queue window. Once completed click Done.

    Task action queue window

  11. You can now close the task browser tab window.