On-Demand Assist FAQ

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Are you a technician needing help with On-Demand Assist? See our technician's guide here.

This article answers some frequently asked questions about On-Demand Assist. 

Can an On-Demand Assist technician and end user chat, or leave a message?

Yes, when connecting to an end user on Windows or Mac. Either a technician or end user can send a (text-only) chat message at any time.

Note that the technician sees two chat interfaces; their own, and the end user’s on the remote desktop, so they need to type their message in the right box.

The end user’s chat dialog stays visible after the session ends, so the technician can leave a message if the end user is away from their computer at that time. The end user can also review the activity log post-session.

Can an On-Demand Assist technician transfer files?

Yes, in either direction, when connecting to an end user on Windows or Mac. The end user cannot see file transfer operations being performed, but is notified they are happening via the chat/activity log.

To transfer files, the technician needs to click the Transfer files button on the VNC Viewer toolbar:

Toolbar3.png

The Remote file browser dialog opens. The technician can upload files and folders to the remote computer, or download files and folders from it.

Can an On-Demand Assist technician see their own session history?

Yes. Instruct a technician to sign in to their RealVNC account and navigate to the Sessions page.

By default, a technician cannot see sessions conducted by other technicians. If you need to make this possible, promote that technician to be an Administrator or a Manager on the People page of the online portal.

Can I monitor an in progress On-Demand Assist session?

No. Only the technician who starts a session can control the end user’s computer. No other technician or supervisor can connect in at the same time.

Every session is logged and a session history stored online. Depending on your subscription, you can drill down into a particular session and review a detailed activity log.

Can an end user stop an On-Demand Assist session?

Yes. On Windows and Mac, the end user retains the ability to control the keyboard and mouse while a session is in progress, and can click the always-available End Session button at any time:

User end session.png

On Android and iOS, the end user retains control of the device while a session is in progress as the technician's connection is view only. The end user can end the session at any time by opening the VNC Server app and tapping Disconnect.

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What happens if an On-Demand Assist session is interrupted?

If either technician or end user end a session deliberately (by closing the session window, or clicking the End Session button), then the session cannot resume. The technician must start over with a new code, if necessary.

If the technician reboots the computer in the recommended way (using the VNC Viewer toolbar button) the session should seamlessly resume.

We make a best effort to recover from transient network errors. By default, VNC Viewer will attempt to resume for approximately 20 minutes.

If we detect no keyboard or mouse input for one hour, we’ll assume the session is idle and close it. The technician must start over with a new code.

Which On-Demand Assist session events are logged for review purposes, and how do I view them?

Every session is logged and a session history stored online.

To view session history, sign in to your RealVNC account and navigate to the Sessions page. By default, all sessions completed in the last 7 days are listed, most recent first. Use the filters to see earlier sessions.

Depending on your subscription, you can drill down into a particular session and review a detailed activity log.

The following activity is recorded:

  • Session start and end times
  • File transfer operations
  • Elevation requests
  • Reboot attempts
  • Chat transcripts
  • Screen recording start and stop events

Chat transcripts are encrypted-at-rest on RealVNC’s servers. Privacy policy

Can I customize On-Demand Assist branding for the end user?

Yes, depending on your subscription.

Note: Branding is not available during a trial. Please contact Sales if you would like to discuss this.

You can specify a company name, brand logo, and app icon on the Branding page of your RealVNC account. These appear:

  • On the web site visited by the end user to download the disposable app.
  • In the disposable desktop app itself. Branding is not available for the VNC Server for Mobile app.

You can also choose a slug for the download web site so your name appears in the URL, for example realvnc.help/acme.

Note: Branded download sites and apps can take up to 24 hours to go live.

How should a technician reboot a remote computer during an On-Demand Assist session?

This feature is only available when controlling Windows computers

It’s best to instruct the technician to click the Reboot remote computer button on the VNC Viewer session toolbar:

ODA Reboot toolbar.png

This will elevate the technician if not already, which means the session can seamlessly resume on reboot.

If the technician uses the standard reboot facility on the remote desktop before elevating, then the session is unlikely to resume. The technician will need to generate a new session code and start over.

How should a technician log out or lock a remote computer?

It’s best to instruct the technician to click the Elevate session permissions button on the VNC Viewer session toolbar:

ODA Elevate toolbar.png

This will elevate the technician if not already, which means the session can seamlessly resume on unlock or log back in.

If the technician uses the standard lock or log out facility on the remote desktop before elevating, then the session may not resume correctly, especially on Windows computers.

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