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Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 8:38 pm
by peteyt
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Fri May 03, 2019 9:26 am SUMo 5.9 is now **OFFICIAL**
is the latest beta also the stable version? Or should I re-download

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 8:58 pm
by Kyle_Katarn
if you already have .420, no need to download again (same binary).

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:36 pm
by scheff
As I didn't see a help article included in the locally installed application, I didn't check the informations and feature states scattered around in forum and Mantis. When I checked now, I realized that feature is not yet implemented! So this was an expectation mismatch due to insufficient documentation.
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:19 am Hello,

SUMo 5.9 is the "biggest" upgrade since 5.0 and comes with a new exclusive feature : SUMo Online

SUMo online allows you :
- Get the status of ALL you SUMo running on your various computers from a single Web dashboard
- Run remote "Scan" and "Check" actions on these remote computers
This will make update and system management much easier at home and at work.

SUMo online is OPTIONAL and needs explicit opt-in from you and a specific account creation. This means you can just use 5.9 like you did with previous version without any impact from SUMo Online.

Please share your feedback ! Is it useful for you ? Is it working well ? How to make it even better ?
I did not yet check if this feature claim works as it claims. In the current state of installation, checking and updating, it doesn't seem to match the claims! I currently have updated one device to version and I succeeded in getting the state of this installation shown in the dashboard. It would have been fine, if the other devices with older version of SUMO would have been displayed automatically too, as the SUMo Pro License would enable that association. But if you consider SUMo Online as an optional opt-in feature, then I've to consider this as an intended feature limitation. And this limitation makes also sense legally for considerations of European privacy regulation. (I didn't check for Californian privacy regulation nor its difference to the European one.)

I probably don't understand the meaning of remore action in this context yet. According to my understanding, remote refers to every instance listed in the dashboard and remote to the dashboard. I didn't try the delete action. I tried the scan and the check action and didn't see any change in the locally running instance.
  • Should I expect correcponding updates in the local user interface?
  • Should I expect corresponding updates in the local log file (displayed only on request)?
When I tried these actions in the dashboard so this noon after installation, I couldn't see any such action. Repeating the click didn't change anything.

Perhaps I wasn't patiently enough. This evening, I repeated the check action in the dashboard. As I'm writing here in the forum in the mean time, I could observe that even 2 minutes after clicking on the action button in the dashboard neither local update log nor local user interface didn't change. But after more than 3 minutes, I saw an update in the local user interface as if I had chosen the local check action, preventing me to access the log file in the mean time. After the check finished a few minutes later, I repeated my checks. And I can say that the local log file updated too. Although the local instance didn't enter any updates to the local log file within 2 minutes, the corresponding events happened nevertheless. Assuming that SUMo server and local device are in sync (concerning clocks) and knowing them being in the same time zone, then action seems having started in the back end locally within seconds (surely less than 30) although local changes in state and display started more than 3 minutes after start of action. Furthermore, the action seems to take about 30% longer than if initiated locally. Reading the log, let's me assume it definitely needs longer but didn't expect that much significance. I didn't check if this is related to this mode of operation or to other local changes in the past few days. Repeating that check, I found that remote initiation results in about 10% performance decrease while the other 20% are due to local changes (further software installed locally since the previous inspection). And I don't claim that this delay in user interface update of more than 3 minutes is a bug. Instead I think that server time and local time are not really in sync and that my hardware configuration supports much more performance then IO.

It would be helpful for analysis purposes to extend logging slightly in its standard mode by adding, identifying and distinguishing server time and local time.
  • Does remote action initiation transfer the moment of initiation in server time?
  • If not, do you consider adding this information and reporting it in the log file, identifying it as server initiation time, in addition to reported local time of local receipt and recognition of this action command.
July of this year it will become 35 years that I'm experienced in working in wide area networks (WAN) and 31 years to do it accross time zones. I can imagine that clocks out of sync more than 10 minutes resp. 1 hour may create problems difficult to analyse and detect if you don't provide this additional information in your action protocol and reporting. This may happen too if server and remote clients work in different time zones although clocks are in sync.

I further observe that after finishing the requested action, the (yet only updated) remote client gets updated but not the dashboard. The dashboard kept its report of last check time unchanged even after finishing this remote action! Only if I request my web browser to reload that dashboard page, it gets updated. It does not so automatically!
  • Is this a bug or a feature?
  • I expect automatic update so considering it a bug.
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:19 am Hello,

SUMo 5.9 is the "biggest" upgrade since 5.0 and comes with a new exclusive feature : SUMo Online

How to get SUMo Online feature ?
- Go to and Create an Account
- Go to SUMo in "SUMo Online" menu and use the SUMo online login you used. Click on Test. This should open the dashboard with your computer listed.

Please share your feedback ! Is it useful for you ? Is it working well ? How to make it even better ?
I don't consider it sufficient to document it here. I think that documenting it beyond this post is highly recommended. And please provide further information. I've some assumptions about wording and processing but consider it helpful to make it more clear. If my assumptions are correct, then I consider the wording misleading and recommend a change on terms.

As I read various posts including feature requests on SUMo Online before updating and trying the released version, I didn't try various kinds of misconfigurations. Specifying the URL seems to me helpful for administrator documentation although not necessary for user documentation as a corresponding action link is provided in the configuration window of SUMo Online.
  • What happens if a user didn't create a SUMo Online account nor enable SUMo Online and clicks on View Dashboard?
  • What should happen if a user configured SUMo Online, initialized it, then disables it again, then clicking on view Dashboard?
    (The dashboard is displayed nevertheless. And it nevertheless reports state Online! I expect an error message or popup window instead, claiming to first configure and enable SUMo Online, and not open any dashboard. Even if a SUMo user opens a web browser window for the dashboard outside the local SUMo installation and logging in there, it should not report state Online for devices in state of disabled although configured SUMo Online feature. If I repeat the click on the check action button in the dashboard with such a configuration, the dashboard gets updated and changes to state Offline as expected. Shouldn't that state be called "Disabled" instead of "Offline"? The first click and the second are not transferred to the remote client as expected. So this observation I consider 3 bugs, one being in common with the observation of missing dashboard update reported above before. I may create and document such bug reports if you want me to do so.)
  • What happens if a user reenables SUMo Online feature of a configured SUMo client?
    (I expect no changes beside state change back to Online in the dashboard, updated automatically according to the keep alive protocol interval. I see this change of state at least after a reload of the already opened dashboard. I didn't check if it would have been updated without a manual reload. I further see that actions initiated in the dashboard while the client was in state disabled as processed. I consider this a bug. There is a difference between offline and disabled! This behaviour would be expected for clients in state offline and SUMo Online enabled. I don't know if you want to distinguish reporting these two states in the dashboard. But these are two different states, even if you don't report the difference in the dashboard. Any action initiated on the dashboard for a remote client should be ignored, skipped and deleted, never transferred to the client while the client is configured in state SUMo Online. For this reason, I also prefer to distinguish these two stated in reporting.
  • Why does the SUMo Online configuration window not distinguish between existing account and need for creation?
  • What happens if a user has configured SUMo Online completely, including initialization and then clicks on account creation?
    (I didn't try yet. What's the expected behaviour? I don't know yet what to expect as long as I don't get further information on my assumptions on what I call initialization. My expectactions relate to my understanding of initialization.)
  • What's the meaning of the button called "Test"?
  • Hasn't the meaning of the button called "Test" changed from release candidate and released version?
    (I assume the meaning has changed. I assume it rather means initialization instead of test since the release and is needed to complete the configuration in order to create corresponding associations on client and on server side. Am I right? If yes, then why not rename it to Initialize?
  • What happens if the test button in SUMo Online configuration window is activated repeatedly with varying parameters including empty login name, changed login name with enabled/disabled feature, existing/non-existing login name?
    (I didn't check yet and wish further clarification before trying it.)
  • What's the relation between user names in forum, Mantis, SUMo Online and Pro registration name?
    (I expect no direct relation. I expect an indirect relation created of SUMo Online login name to Pro registration name on initialization of configured and enabled SUMo Online feature.)
  • I still couldn't find the privacy statement for SUMo nor the special section to SUMo Online.
    (That's no longer as easy as it sounds at least for the EU. A starting point would be your intentions. Then you can clarify with your providers to which extent that statement and options for users and providers. I've some assumptions on your intentions. I think these are a positive feature if clearly stated.)
  • Does your implementation of SUMo Online account creation comply with legal requirements?
    (It doesn't seem so according to the warning issued by my web browser. I've several installed although used mainly one in context of SUMo and SUMo Online. I didn't get such a warning on creation of accounts for forum, Pro registration nor Mantis.)
BTW, forum preview shows me a bug in the version and configuration of phpBB used for this forum. There seems to be a case where the forum software introduces an in-existing empty item not found in the draft.

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 12:03 am
by scheff
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Fri May 03, 2019 2:25 pm Dashboard does NOT list all software, just the "status' (# of up to date, minor, major). May I have more details on what you've found "difficult" to get it working on your PC ?
My previous post revealed some observations, first trials and similar. Main difficulty was lack of documentation and not remembering right what was intended and what was proposed but not yet implemented. In the end, it was not difficult to get it working. But it seems that the implementation should be improved in various aspects.
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Fri May 03, 2019 2:25 pm What was confusing in terms of workflow ?
The term Test of the corresponding button in the SUMo Online configuration window and the missing distinction between the states Offline and Disabled in the SUMo Online dashboard as well as some delays between processing and displaying. I think that such delays cannot be prevented but improved and a hint to expect them would be kind and helpful.
  • I wonder why you created a new tab for SUMo Online?
  • Do you intend to integrate it into the option tab?
  • Do you intend to redesign the option tab to get it tabbed into its various sections?
  • Shouldn't some items of the current SUMo Online configuration window become locked against each other due to (undocumented but assumed) dependencies?
(So some proposals for improvement.)

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 8:48 am
by Kyle_Katarn

Regarding options menu item : good point. I'll consider a redesign. Mantis item opened here :

Regarding Remote actions, expected behavior is :
- when you click on scan/check, it should be executed on the client side 2 minutes later
- at the end of the check, dashboard should have updated informations BUT
> Currently it is not clear on dashboard side that the action is pending and it can be canceled by requesting another action on this client :
> Dashboard does not automatically refresh. Therefore a manual refresh is required to get the updated status :

Regarding "automatic" association of all your machines on the dashboard. It has been considered but not developed yet as I want the dashboard listing to be opt-in. In particular this would not work for intentionnally massively shared licences (giveaways,...) where I don't want everyone to be on everyone's dashboard. To be further investigated.

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:33 pm
by scheff
Kyle_Katarn wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 8:48 am Regarding "automatic" association of all your machines on the dashboard. It has been considered but not developed yet as I want the dashboard listing to be opt-in. In particular this would not work for intentionnally massively shared licences (giveaways,...) where I don't want everyone to be on everyone's dashboard. To be further investigated.
As I mentioned before, this is not only a question of keeping overview. It's more a concern of compliance with privacy regulation. So opt-in seems to me in compliance to privacy regulation. I (would) have strong doubts on opt-out alternative for this feature.

As far as I understand, these massively shared licenses are not licenses for unlimited number of devices. They are instead permitting distribution of standard professional licenses to a larger determined number of people. Or can't you yet distinguish if a subset of these users installed it on more than 10 devices while most recipients don't install it and most install it only on one or two devices, keeping the mean of devices per user well within the limits of the standard license and not recognizing the few in violation of their agreement to license?

I can say that I bought my license via such a marketing agreement with a print media publisher as reader of their magazine. They had a larger featured report on SUMo in that magazine. They explained how to register and about some features. They didn't mention all of them nor about known issues.

I know that there is already a feature request by a beta test on the dashboard for larger user base within one license. As far as I understand this accepted proposal does not yet take into account the distinction to such marketing initiatives of intentionnally massively shared licenses. So this investigation should be performed in the context of the existing feature request in order to consider also this constraint of such marketing initiatives.

I didn't experiment with the delete remote action request in the dashboard and don't want to without getting further information front up. Does this remote action request cancel a previous remote action request, perform a delete and reconfiguration of just removing the SUMo Online feature for this remote client (in the dashboad and in the remote client configuration), or initiate a deinstallation of SUMo on the client side; or still some other variant?

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:15 pm
by scheff
I didn't try all aspects yet. You asked if it is useful. As far as I understand it yet, this new feature SUMo Online is still too limited to be of significant consideration yet. I've seen several feature requests already opened by beta testers which will render it more useful. So I'm in favor of the already existing extension requests.

You also asked how to improve. Beside the already existing feature requests for improvement of SUMo Online, I couldn't remember having seen further ideas. One already existing feature request was on reporting in the dashboard. Another aspect beyond is to enable exporting in the dashboard. I don't mean to remotely initiate remote report exports. I mean instead that the detailed reports still to implement in the dashboard should alse get the capability to be exported.

I've a completely different idea for SUMo and don't know if SUMo Online would be a conveniant point of attachement. SUMo requires an Internet connection at least for checking as does SUMo Online. But I also have older computers with older operating systems no longer supported which I use only from time to time and disabled Internet connection in their Windows operating system profile. (They're usually multi-boot with a different operating system still supporting Internet connection.) They have a few applications no longer supported by supported operating systems. Wouldn't it be nice if I could install and use SUMo on such older computers, export the detected inventory, transfer it to an actual computer and ask SUMo on the actual online computer to import and check this offline device for updates instead of its own device inventory, including the ability to download available updates for this offline device at least in the Pro version of SUMo?
I don't care if such a new feature would be integrated into SUMo Online as this other device would always remain offline. Integration into the dashboard of SUMo Online may hence only make sense for reporting and overview, not for remote actions. But I can imagine that the client side of SUMo Online implementation might be a point of attaching such a feature to support not only its own device but also an offline device with manual transfer via import/export and physical mobile data storage device.

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:51 pm
by Kyle_Katarn
I fully understand your use case. Unfortunately, the design (client/server) of the whole system does not allow to make an "offline" easily... and i'm afraid that it only concern a small minority of users.

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 10:48 am
by scheff
I think the effort for adding such an offline feature is in the same order as it was to add SUMo Online feature. I also assume that such an effort is not very low. I don't consider it huge neither, something in between.

There are reasons why users keep operating systems running often on old computers even if the operating system is no longer supported and dangerous to connect to the Internet. Often such reasons are lack of migration of an application using an externally attached device released years ago for decades long operation to an actual operating system. These device manufacturers often provide such updates only to their latest models, not to the models several years ago. (Standard consumers can see similar phenomena concerning Android operating system updates for their smartphones.) So I agree that this kind of SUMo users will always be a minority. But I can imagine that serving this minority can become a unique feature advantage as many update management tools and infrastructures seem to lack such support. I cannot afford to buy such tools. I've seen several in use and have been standard user not administrator of such tools in very large intercontinental installations of correspondingly large organisations.

Re: SUMo 5.9 Open Beta test (with New "SUMo Online" function)

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 7:01 pm
by Kyle_Katarn
Good point. Please open a feature request for this.
Certainly not the top priority for 5.9.x branch, but may be a very interesting differentiating feature for future versions of SUMo (5.10 and later) !