NetHelpDesk has integration with SimpleHelp remote software. The integration can:
- Sync Agents.
- Send remote support invitations.
- Show remote support session data from SimpleHelp.
- Allow each session in NetHelpDesk to be linked to a user and/or request, and show corresponding information.
- Allow notes to be made about a session.
- Allow time on a session to be recorded.
- Allow a new request logged, or an existing request updated, through the Remote Session Information screen.
In order to use this feature and for this guide to be relevant, the following criteria will need to be met;
A. Your NetHelpDesk instance will need to be on version 11.02 or later. In order to check this you can go to N > Help > About NetHelpDesk, and to upgrade you can go to N > Help > Show Release Details.
B. You will need to have an instance of SimpleHelp set up and working, and know the URL of the SimpleHelp server. In order to sync configuration data such as Agents and fields, the SimpleHelp server must be on the same network as the NetHelpDesk server, and you must have Read/Write access on the SimpleHelp directory. If this isn’t possible, a method of manually setting up the integration is outlined in a separate guide. Click HERE to read the manual setup guide.
If you are downloading a SimpleHelp trial, make sure to download SimpleHelp and not SimpleProvider. Also, do not use the "Simple Setup", and instead, choose a Manual Server Install.
C. You will need to have the NetHelpDesk Web Portal configured for use. If you have not done this already, a guide to setting this up can be found at www.nethelpdesk.com/guides/installweb/. If you want to support customers external to your network/domain, you will need a public IP address for the web server.
D. You will need to have enabled the PHP features for the Web Portal. If you have not done this already, a guide to setting this up can be found at www.nethelpdesk.com/guides/php.
E. It is worth launching the NHD Windows program as an Administrator, so right click on your shortcut, and Run As Administrator. NHD will try to write some key settings back to the Program Files folder, and will need to be an Administrator to do this. Speak with our team if you need further assistance.
Here are a few terms which are commonly used in this guide and in the application;
Remote Support – The name given to an agent providing assistance to a User using SimpleHelp Customer Access.
Session – The name given to a Remote Support Session in SimpleHelp.
Remote Support Page – A page on the NetHelpDesk portal that shows a link to begin a Remote Support session. Parameters are sent to this page to link a session to a user, request or call in NetHelpDesk.
Queue – When a user starts SimpleHelp Customer Access, they are placed in a queue. To begin a session an agent will need to select the User from the queue and begin the session.
Completed (Session) – In NetHelpDesk, once a Session has finished (ie the Agent and User have disconnected), in order for a request to be logged or updated and time recorded the session must be completed. This can either be done automatically, or by allowing an agent to choose what happens when the session is completed.
Outcome – To complete a Session, an outcome will need to be chosen. Outcomes are split between New Request and Existing Request, and allow you to configure things such as whether an email is sent, whether the action is private, re-assign or change category, request type etc. These are similar to “Call Outcomes”.
Other Terminology - Go to our Terminology guide to read about the many variations of terms that mean the same thing.
To begin setting up the integration with SimpleHelp, open the NetHelpDesk windows client as with an Administrator level NHD login, and go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Remote Support. Without an Administrator level NHD login, you will be unable to see the N > Setup > Main Configuration screen at all. If you can, then you are definitely an NHD Administrator.
Switch on the Remote Support button, from white to blue. This will display the Remote Support Settings page. The settings on this page relevant to the SimpleHelp integration, will be covered later in this guide.
From the Remote Support settings page, switch on the SimpleHelp button, in the Remote Support Integration section, from white to blue.
Once done, if you hover over the text to the left of the button, and click, the SimpleHelp Integration setup screen will now be displayed. Please note that this screen can also be accessed from N > Setup > Main Configuration > Integrations > SimpleHelp.
The integration requires setting up in both NetHelpDesk and SimpleHelp. The majority of the SimpleHelp configuration can be done in NetHelpDesk, by setting up an automatic sync with the SimpleHelp configuration file. These parts are the Agent sync, and Field sync.
Some important criteria to be met, if wanting an automatic sync:
A) The sync from NetHelpDesk to SimpleHelp can only be done if the SimpleHelp configuration files are reachable from the location which NetHelpDesk is running from. Check this using your Windows Explorer.
B) Administrator access will also be required in order to write changes to the configuration files, as the SimpleHelp files are normally stored in the Program Files folder.
C) Running NetHelpDesk as an administrator with access to this directory is recommended.
D) If SimpleHelp is on a different machine to NetHelpDesk, you can setup a network share on the SimpleHelp directory, and ensuring it is accessible from other machines on the network.
If it is possible for this criteria to be met, and the SimpleHelp button in the Remote Support Integration section was switched on, the Enable SimpleHelp integration checkbox will be checked, and the path to the SimpleHelp directory is required on the SimpleHelp integration page.
If it is not possible for this criteria to be met, you can configure everything in SimpleHelp manually. Click HERE to read the manual setup guide.
Upon entering a path, if the SimpleHelp files are found, proceed to the Section 4. Automatic Setup to SimpleHelp to continue.
Upon entering a path, if the SimpleHelp files are not found, see the basic troubleshooting section below.
When looking at the integration, a number of small issues appear, and these are worth noting.
A. Make sure the path line you enter points to the share, and not the folder itself. So: \\Myserver\SimpleHelp\ and not \\MyServer\Program Files\SimpleHelp or C:\Program Files (x86\SimpleHelp\.
If NHD can find the directory, but not the SimpleHelp files inside it, this is likely to be a permissions issue between the machine NHD is running on, and the machine where SimpleHelp is installed on.
Make sure you can browse to the folder on the machine where SimpleHelp is installed on, which contains all of the SimpleHelp files.
B. If all are installed on the same machine, a restart may be necessary.
C. If this fails, click HERE to read the manual setup guide, and/or call the NHD Support team for further assistance.
D. If you will be supporting customers external to your network, and are using a Public IP address, not a Local IP address, there are a few things to check.
E. Make sure your Firewall allows for SimpleHelp to have inbound traffic allowed on both the TCP and UDP protocols.
The most common Firewall is the Windows Firewall, accessed through Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Windows Firewall. Click to Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.
F. Add 2 new Inbound Rules for both the TCP and UDP protocols for the SimpleHelp program.
This section covers setting up the integration if you ARE able to access the SimpleHelp files from NetHelpDesk. If you ARE NOT, click HERE to read the manual setup guide.
Upon entering the file path, a message showing SimpleHelp files found will be shown. At this point, the URL of the SimpleHelp server will be automatically populated, and if this is incorrect, type the correct URL here. Once done, a number of settings on the screen will become available (not greyed out).
A username and password is required for your Agents to use the SimpleHelp application, to join remote sessions for support of end-users.
The integration with SimpleHelp creates a sync of your NHD Agent accounts with SimpleHelp Agent accounts, using their names and email addresses. The accounts in SimpleHelp will become the sames as those in NetHelpDesk, and remote sessions will auto-populate the Agent name when launching SimpleHelp from NetHelpDesk. This is necessary for the integration to function properly.
The data sync includes:
NHD Agent Name
SimpleHelp Agent Name
NHD Agent Name
SimpleHelp Agent Full Name
NHD Agent Email Address
SimpleHelp Agent Email Address
NHD Agent Enabled/Disabled
SimpleHelp Agent Enabled/Disabled
The setup screen allows you to sync all Agents at once, and future changes or new Agent accounts will be included in the sync also, as long as the Agent making the changes has network access to the SimpleHelp files.
NetHelpDesk will not allow for Agent passwords to sync to SimpleHelp for security reasons. However, this setup screen allows you to set a default password for Agents, which they will be asked to change once an Agent logs into SimpleHelp for the first time.
After the Sync NetHelpDesk Agents to SimpleHelp checkbox is selected, NHD will asks you if you would like to sync Engineers to SimpleHelp now. If you click no, there is a Sync Technicians Now button to perform the initial sync when ready.
If you are not running the NetHelpDesk Windows program as an Administrator, as detailed in the prerequisites, a message may appear if it is unable to write to the SimpleHelp folder. It will launch a command prompt screen and temporarily escalate for you, so this can be achieved without any further intervention.
Once performing a successful sync, a message will appear showing what account is currently syncing.
Once completed, all of your NetHelpDesk Agent accounts will be available in SimpleHelp.
A. Try and log into SimpleHelp Technician Access executable using the NetHelpDesk Agent account name, and default password specified previously.
B. Make sure that the URL you are downloading the program from is your local server. If not, you may be connecting to a Simple Setup version.
When editing an existing NetHelpDesk Agent, the changes will be synced immediately if the SimpleHelp files are accessible.
When adding a new NetHelpDesk Agent, the changes made or new Agent will be synced immediately if the SimpleHelp files are accessible.
If either of these are not synced automatically, you will need to return to this setup screen, and click Sync Technicians Now button.
The remote support feature can be hidden per Agent in NetHelpDesk. Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Agents > Edit Agent > Features Visible.
Hopefully, everything will be plain sailing, and you won't need to use this part of the guide. But, in case you do:
A. If the message below appears, that NHD is unable to write to the SimpleHelp Configuration folder, there may still be a permissions issue.
By clicking OK, NHD will launch an elevated command prompt to move the updated SimpleHelp configuration file (..\configuration\serverconfig.xml) to the SimpleHelp folder in Program Files. To check if NHD has successfully managed to update the configuration file, browse to this folder, and check the modified date and time stamp against the serverconfig.xml file.
Open the file in an editor program, such as Notepad, and you should see Agent logins added to this file.
B. If this has not worked, log onto the Server as a local Admin, or if you already are, a Domain Admin. Make sure to right click the program, and run as Administrator.
C. If the .xml file still doesn't update, try setting the program up on a local laptop or workstation, and see if the permissions of the server are stopping this file from being updated.
D. If the situation remains the same, switch to the Manual guide to put these in manually, or speak with the NetHelpDesk Technical Support team to assist you.
To get NetHelpDesk to recognise remote sessions as a particular client, site, user or request, set up fields in SimpleHelp, and map them to NetHelpDesk fields, so that data captured in SimpleHelp can be associated with their corresponding NetHelpDesk fields.
Once done, the SimpleHelp fields will be filled in automatically when invitations are sent from NetHelpDesk, where applicable. The user will not need to enter any details when starting a session. When accessed through a link without an invitation, the user will fill these details in themselves before they join the queue.
A. Setup Field mappings grid/Automatically add recommended fields – When no mappings have been set up, an option to use the recommended setup will appear here. When there is one or more mappings, a table with the mappings will be displayed.
B. Add/Edit/Delete Field Mapping – Allows you to manage the mappings manually.
C. Sync to SimpleHelp – Allows you to sync the fields to SimpleHelp.
By clicking the link in the Field Mappings grid, to automatically add the recommended fields, a message will appear for you to confirm Would you like to sync Fields to SimpleHelp now?
If the sync is successfully completed, the SimpleHelp Fields and Mappings will show mapping results.
If the message below appears, that NHD is unable to write to the SimpleHelp Configuration folder, there may still be a permissions issue.
By clicking OK, NHD will launch an elevated command prompt to move the updated SimpleHelp configuration file to the SimpleHelp folder in Program Files (..\configuration\serverconfig.xml).
To check if NHD has successfully managed to update the configuration file, browse to this folder, and check the modified date and time stamp against the serverconfig.xml file. Editing the file in a notepad program, you should see the fields have been imported OK. If not, go to section 4.7 for troubleshooting, or speak with the NetHelpDesk Support Team.
You can map SimpleHelp fields to the following NetHelpDesk fields, and they will have the following uses:
Used to match to a User. Must match to a Site first.
Used to match to a Client, Site and User. Also used to match to Active Calls.
Used to match to a Client
Used to match to a Site. Must match to a Client first.
Used to match to a Request already in NetHelpDesk. Also matches Client/Site/User.
Our recommended settings are to have a field mapping for User name, Email Address (bold = mandatory), Customer name and Request ID. Email Address is mandatory, as this is the most reliable way of matching to the correct end-user in NetHelpDesk. The email address for each user in NetHelpDesk should be unique. If the Email Address is not found, it will also try a match on email domain to match to the Client and Site.
Email Address is also a mandatory field in SimpleHelp, so the user will need to specify one to join the support queue. Remote Invitations will only be able to include the parameters to auto-complete the fields in SimpleHelp, if all mandatory fields are filled in.
The last part of the setup, is SimpleHelp Events. For NetHepDesk to be able to show SimpleHelp Support Sessions data, and record session times in NetHelpDesk, a SimpleHelp Event will be need to be configured in SimpleHelp.
To do this:
1. Launch the SimpleHelp Technician Console, and log into the console as SimpleHelpAdmin, the default login which comes when SimpleHelp has been installed. On first log in to the console, the program asks you to change the password, so if you have changed it, you will need to use it now.
2. Click Alerts > Events > New Server Alert.
3. Enable the events that are enabled in the below screenshot.
4. To select how you wish to process your selected events, click the green "Play" icon.
5. Select “Send to Web Site” from the "Action to take" drop down menu.
6. Enter the HTTP Web Address shown in the SimpleHelp Events screen, and select Post event details in XML.
Example URL: (http://yourdomain.com/richtext/upload_simplehelp_sessiondata.php)
To confirm that this is working, go to another PC or Laptop, and browse to the URL of the machine you have installed SimpleHelp on. Three options will appear:
A. Customer Access - Customers use this file download to connect to your SimpleHelp server, to establish on demand support sessions.
B. Technician Access - Technicians use this file download to log into your SimpleHelp server, to connect to customer and remote access computers, and to host presentations.
C. Remote Access - Do not use this file yet. This is a placeholder for future developmental use only.
Launch option A to start a remote access session, and join the queue.
Back on the original machine, launch option B to start the Technician Console. The Remote Session should display in the queue, waiting for you to connect.
Simply double click on the entry on the queue, to complete the connection, and the remote session will begin.
You should see a session in the queue in NetHelpDesk from either the Remote Support screen or Remote Support sidebar on the main screen. Click HERE to start using the SimpleHelp integration as an Agent to support an End-user.
The integration also allows you to customise the HTML for the embedded SimpleHelp link on the Remote Support page (covered later in this guide). In the template, where you see the $REMOTELINK placeholder, a button is produced using the code in this template.
This can be used if you wish to add extra parameters to the SimpleHelp sessions or alter the appearance of the embedded download link. By default, this will be as recommended.
In the NetHelpDesk Web Portal folder, a new RichText folder has been added, with a Logs folder inside (..\NetHelpDesk\Web\RichText\Logs)
Inside the log files, make sure that the SimpleHelp Event has both a Started and Finished action.
If you have migrated SimpleHelp from one machine to another (a laptop to a server, for example) SimpleHelp produces a very specific string which is related to the machine it is installed on. So, in this example, the Laptop would have 1 specific identifier string, and the server one, another.
If you see this message:
...this is related to the issue caused by migrating. The More Information link will suggest a few things in an online guides, but a few things to check with the NHD SimpleHelp install:
a) Uninstall the SimpleHelp Technician Console from your machine, and make sure that all SimpleHelp files are gone, including those in your %APPDATA% folder. If you are not sure what this is, the other path is something like: C:\Users\...\AppData\Roaming\JWrapper-SimpleHelp Technician\ folder.
b) Also in the %APPDATA% area, go to the NetHelpDesk folder. Please don't delete everything in this folder! Just scroll to the very bottom, and you will see a local copy of the SimpleHelp Technician executable, which is created when you first launch SimpleHelp from the NetHelpDesk interface.
c) Once completed, restart your machine, log into NetHelpDesk again, and launch SimpleHelp from the NHD interface. NHD will then start the Technician Console installation for you, and attempt to connect to the Server again. If the above two steps have been followed exactly, the issue should resolve itself.
SimpleHelp also installs on port 443, and if you already have a website using port 443 with a https:// certificate, this may cause a Socket Error 443 error. Move the SimpleHelp server install to a new port. Add relevant port forwarding as you would any other website, and update the ServerAddress.txt file in the SimpleHelp folder to include the new port.
Click HERE to install SimpleHelp setup manually, instead of the automatic way in the above guide.
Now that the integration with SimpleHelp has been set up and configured, we will now look at the settings relating to Remote Support in NetHelpDesk that are relevant for the SimpleHelp integration.
To access the settings for Remote Support, go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Remote Support. You will need to be a NHD Administrator level user to see this option.
Ensure that the Switch is on for Remote Support on the Main Configuration Menu, and the Remote Support Integration is also switched on for SimpleHelp.
The NetHelpDesk Self Service Web Interface is run by a program, which produces a Remote Support "page" in the portal. It is not a HTML page, and displays in the End-user and Agent LoggedIn.html pages. The "page" shows a link to download the SimpleHelp Customer Access application for End-users, and the SimpleHelp Technician Access application for Agents.
The integration has been written into NetHelpDesk to provide a nicer user experience. As such, the applications Agents and End-users download from the NetHelpDesk Self Service Web Interface will include parameters in order to match sessions to records in NetHelpDesk, and so that the appearance of pages on the portal is consistent. It is not necessary to use the programs that can be downloaded from the standard SimpleHelp Welcome page.
These methods are covered in more detail in the SimpleHelp Usage Guide.
The appearance of the Remote Support "page" can be customised using Option A, the Edit Remote Support Page HTML.
Clicking this will show a screen where the HTML for the End-user remote support, Agent remote support, and the remote access pages can be edited. (Remember, Remote Access is a placeholder for future development).
A link can be added to the web interface HTML pages, as follows:
End-user Self Service Web Interface
Agent Remote Web Interface
$LINKTOREMOTEACCESS (Not Yet In Use)
If you want to set up an easy, simplified URL, such as http://support.nethelpdesk.com/remote, to give to users over the phone to access the remote support page, a URL rewrite mapping can be setup in IIS for “/wb2.nhd?f=remote&remotetype=0”. This is advanced in nature, and should be carried out by a technical web integration expert. Speak with our Support Team for more information.
Access through a link on the Dashboard can be enabled using option B, or when disabled, this will stop users from joining the SimpleHelp Support queue without an invitation.
If you wish to send Remote Support invitations to your customers, inviting them to join a remote support session, NHD allows you to add:
A - Canned Text Invite - Forms the $REMOTEINVITE content, To insert content manually into any Action button, whenever you need to.
B - Email Template - Used when sending an invitation via the Remote Support button on the main screen. Will contain the $REMOTEINVITE content created in step A.
These invitations will contain a personalised, customised link ($LINKTOREMOTE) for the user to click, which will open a browser, and allow access the Remote Support "Page" to start a session.
The canned text invitation can be used both on emails to end-user, and on the Live Chat feature. The Email Invite is Rich Text, the Chat one HTML. The text will need to contain $LINKTOREMOTE as either text, or as a hyperlink in order to generate the unique link, which takes the user to the Remote Support "Page".
The customisation of the Email Template allows you to change the subject of the email, and the body content. If you add $REMOTEINVITE to this template, it will replace it with the canned text set up above, meaning you only need to change the text used in the invite in the canned text.
The Remote Sessions visibility can be customised in several ways:
A. Users invited to a Remote Session through a ticket Action, will only be visible to specific Technician options.
B. Users starting a Remote Session through the link in the Self Service Web Interface, will only be visible to specific Section options.
NHD allows particular sessions to only be visible to particular Agents, so that the queue does not show every session to every Agent.
Invitations that are sent from a standalone email, or from the Call screen will always be private. In other words, the user in the queue will only be visible to the Agent that sent the invitation.
Option A - Invitations sent from the new action screen (invitations for existing requests) can be visible to following:
a) All Agents.
b) Just the Agent who sent the invite.
c) Just the assigned Agent.
d) All Agents in the assigned section.
Option B - If the User Dashboard link is enabled, NHD will allow the session to be visible to all Sections, or a single Section.
The Remote Session screen allows you to see additional information about the matched user for the session, make notes on an active session and choose what happens when the session is Completed.
There are a few options which can allow you to customise the use of this screen:
A. Choose what happens when the logged in Agent joins a remote session with a User – Either Nothing happens, or Pop-up the Remote Session Screen.
B. Choose what happens when a session for the logged in Agent ends – Either Nothing happens, Pop-up the Remote Session Screen, or Automatically Complete the Session.
C. Choose a default selected outcome for sessions regarding new requests.
D. Choose a default selected outcome for sessions regarding existing requests.
Using these settings, you can make the integration behave differently according to your requirements. Examples:
Detailed Usage - Using Pop-up the Remote Session Screen in A and B will show the remote session screen when a session starts and ends. This will allow an agent to make notes on the remote support screen, and select an outcome depending on what they want to happen once the session is finished (Section 10). Manual input will be required by the Agent.
Simple Usage – Using Automatically Complete Session in B, and setting Outcomes in C and D will mean that the session is automatically completed when it is finished, and will not require input from an agent. This can be used if you just want to log time spent on remote sessions.
Session Outcomes are similar to Call Outcomes. They are used to determine what happens when a session is completed. A request can be logged with particular attributes, or an existing request updated with particular attributes. A Session Outcome can be have shared usage (Call and Session) or be independent.
To add, edit or delete an outcome, use the options in the Adding or Editing will display the Call Outcome setup screen.
On this screen you can choose the Name and Sequence of the outcome, and choose whether it is for New Requests or Existing Requests. When the outcome is selected, Assigned Section/Agent, Status, SLA, Request Type, Categories and whether an email is sent can then be customised.
Click HERE to start using the SimpleHelp integration as an Agent to support an End-user.
Should you have any questions regarding any steps in this guide, please speak with the NetHelpDesk Support Team.
NetHelpDesk is available on a range of devices with industry-leading functionality available throughout.