Overview of SMA Connect Agent in SMA release 8.5
03/26/2020 28 19305
The Browser Plug-ins (NPAPI, ActiveX, and Java Applet) are used to launch native applications such as Net-Extender, Virtual Assist EPC, and so on. For security reasons, popular browsers block theses Plug-ins. The Chrome browser, for example, has disabled all NPAPI Plug-ins, and the newest Microsoft Edge browser does not support ActiveX. As such, the ease-of-use ability of launching directly from the browser is no longer functional, and a new method for seamless launching is necessary.
There is another application to launch that will open a specific Scheme URL. There are some Schemes already defined in the Windows/OS X, such as mailto. The SMA Connect Agent is a new feature to use the Scheme URL to replace the Browser Plug-ins. The SMA Connect Agent is just like a bridge to receive the Scheme URL request and launch the specific native application.
Supported Operating Systems
The SMA Connect Agent supports Windows (7, 8, and 10) as well as the Macintosh (OS X) operating systems.
Downloading and Installation
On the Welcome page, the download and install notification displays when the user needs to use the EPC or PDA features:
On the Portal page, the download and install notification displays when the user attempts to launch Net-Extender, Virtual Assist, Virtual Meeting, RDP Bookmark (Native), or Citrix Bookmark (Native):
Download - the Browser downloads the SMA Connect Agent Installer.
Installed - the notification does not appear again.
Continue - closes the notification and continues the action.
[Details] - opens a window to introduce the SMA Connect Agent.
After the download is complete, it includes the Installer. The Windows installer is SMAConnectAgent.msi, the Macintosh installer is SMAConnectAgent.dmg. The Windows installer needs your permission to install, the Macintosh installer guides you to put the SMA Connect Agent to the /Application directory.
The SMA Connect Agent can setup the proxy by user.
There are four options to setup the proxy configuration:
There is a Log tray on the system toolbar. You can right-click the tray and select the popup menu to view the logs.
When the Scheme URL tries to launch the SMA Connect Agent, the browser could popup a warning message to confirm that you want to launch the SMA Connect Agent:
With a Firefox warning window, press OK to launch the SMA Connect Agent.
In a Chrome warning window, press Launch Application to launch the SMA Connect Agent.
In an Internet Explorer warning window, press Allow to launch the SMA Connect Agent.
End Point Control
The SMA Connect Agent supports doing an End Point Control (EPC) check from the browser. If you enable the EPC check in the login page, the browser launches the specific Scheme URL requesting the SMA Connect Agent do the EPC check.
The SMA Connect Agent checks the EPC Service on the machine. If the EPC Service is not on the local machine or if there is a newer version on the Appliance, the SMA Connect Agent downloads/Installs or upgrades the EPC Service. After installing or upgrading, the SMA Connect Agent does the EPC check.
If the EPC feature (Appliance side) enables the "Show EPC failed message in detail at client side, " the SMA Connect Agent records the detailed fail message in the log. Then, you can view the tray Log.
Personal Device Authorization
Personal Device Authorization (PDA) is a new feature. The SMA Connect Agent helps the PDA feature get the local machine's information. In the login page, if the user enables the PDA feature, the browser launches the SMA Connect Agent. SMA Connect gets the information of the local machine and sends the information to the appliance.
On the portal page, there are buttons you can click to launch supported SonicWall Applications, including Net-Extender, Virtual Assist, and Virtual Meeting.
Net-Extender cannot run on Macintosh. Therefore, the SMA Connect Agent does not support the Net-Extender connection on Macintosh.
Remote Desktop Protocol Bookmark Native
Introduced in 8.5 release is a new feature, Bookmark auto detection. For the SMA Connect Agent, there is also a new Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) type that has been added into the RDP Bookmark Native.
If you select "Native " to launch the RDP bookmark, then the SMA Connect Agent launches the RDP Client on the local machine to do the RDP connection.
The SMA Connect Agent launches the "mstsc.exe " executable to complete the RDP connection.
The SMA Connect Agent searches for the "Microsoft Remote Desktop " App. The SMA Connect Agent launches the "Microsoft Remote Desktop " to do the RDP connection. If you have not yet installed the App, the SMA Connect Agent pops up the App's web page for installing it. So far, the SMA Connect Agent on Macintosh cannot support the SSO.
Citrix Bookmark Native
If you select "Native " to launch the Citrix bookmark, then the SMA Connect Agent launches the Citrix Receiver on the local machine to do the Citrix connection.
The SMA Connect Agent tries to open the ICA file to launch the Citrix Receiver. If the Citrix Receiver is not installed, the system pops up a message.
The SMA Connect Agent searches for the "Citrix Receiver " App; to be sure you have installed the App. The SMA Connect Agent launches the "Citrix Receiver " to make the Citrix connection. If you have not yet installed the App, the SMA Connect Agent pops up an alert message for you to start the installation.
You can access three interfaces by accessing the URL: supportLogin, vmLogin, and vmLoginCreator. The SMA Connect Agent replaces the Active-X and Java-Applet on these pages to launch the Virtual Assist and Virtual Meeting (on Windows and Macintosh). There is a notification button bar on the pages for you to install the SMA Connect Agent.