As some of you are aware I’m a tech guy. I work as a help desk tech, in a mac environment. But although we are mostly a mac shop, all of our systems get their accounts and password authentication from a Microsoft’s Active Directory system. If that previous sentence doesn’t make sense, the rest of this probably isn’t for you. However, if you have so far understood what I said, and happen to have an iPhone or iPad… boy do I have an app for you.
AD HelpDesk ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ad-helpdesk/id366597535?mt=8 )
$7.99 – Version 2.0 Works natively on iPhone, iPod Touch, & iPad
I’ve been using AD Help desk since May, about 3 months back. Was $4.99 for version 1 but the additions of groups, as well as what it already did… I’d still gladly pay the extra $3. It’s saved me tons of time, and has even supplied me with a more streamlined and faster help experience. Something you don’t normally associate with “mobile” versions of full-blown applications. At this point I don’t even launch AD on my machine. I just grab for my iPad.
OK… so what does this actually do?
AD HelpDesk handles about 90% of what you ever have to do in AD. In fact for some it’ll cover everything. There’s 4 big sections of AD HelpDesk. Here’s a quick run down of them:
- Find a user on AD
- Find a computer linked in AD
- Find Groups
- Find locked accounts
First you need to log in. You will need an account with AD editing privileges in order to do that. You also need the ability to access your AD server, so you’ll need to be on the network or take advantage of the iOS VNC feature to log remotely in.
Once in, all the above these features pretty much boil down to two functions. Users & Groups. User has all the information that you typically see in all the different tabs in AD. Groups gives you all the members and members of sections. Everything is editable. There’s more, but most people are going to concentrate on those two sections.
So let’s walk through using this thing…
A user calls in, says their account is locked out. In a Window’s console you’d have to look them up, open them, navigate, unlock, blah blah blah… In AD HelpDesk you select the locked out tab. This finds everyone in your domain that is locked out… Think about that for a second. You can find out people are locked out before they do… Yes seriously.
Then once you select their account, you’ll see the giant RED MESSAGE saying the account has locked. Just press the unlock button in the upper right corner and you’re done. Yup that’s it.
User not locked out but still having issues? Still can use it. First look the user up, and choose them. If the user’s password has expired you will see another giant RED MESSAGE saying it’s expired. You can set in the preferences a default password, or you can type in your own (trust me… set a default, saves tons of time and typing). If you’re on your iPhone you even have the option to send out a password to the user’s phone. Bonus!
Still not enough for you? You say that you need to add someone to a security group or distribution list? AD HelpDesk has you covered with that as well. Select groups and find the one you’re looking for. You can either add/remove people to the group, or add/remove the group to other groups. Want to do that from the user’s panel? No problem. Select the groups tab from within the user, and do the same.
That’s the majority of what you will use AD for. There is also a field to look up computer information. Any computer bound to the domain will show up here. I haven’t used it much but anything that AD has collected on your user’s computers will be listed.
You can also edit anything within the user’s profile. Descriptions, names, numbers, email address… anything you can edit in AD with your account you can edit here. Very handy.
TLDR… Do I Want it?
If you have made it through this and 1)it’s made sense for you, 2)you deal with AD in a daily fashion and 3)you have an iOS device… you are going to want to get this now. Don’t wait, click here and buy this. The amount of time it’s saved me is small but very noticeable. Just the ability to see all locked accounts in one panel and unlock them all right after the other is incredibly handy. It’s gotten to the point if the phone rings I bring up the locked pane before they even say something is wrong. Yes, that’s how often people tend to lock themselves out. The flow of the app is well designed and easy to navigate. Simply put, if you have to deal with an AD environment, this app is a must have.
OK this is a bit… uhm… dry I think is the word I’m looking for, but the only video I could find walking through the app.