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DarrenWhite99

Automate 12 - Should I Upgrade?

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I would like to ask that people please post their WORKING impressions on CWA12. Please no comments from people that are not using it and just want to say they hate it. Specifically:

  • How long have you been using CWA12?
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?

Now that CWA12 has been running for a couple of weeks for many admins, more admins want to know if they should update as well.  This thread should be able to serve as a place to get honest feedback on the changes, issues encountered, and solutions or workarounds that users should know about.

IF YOU ARE NOT RUNNING AUTOMATE 12 IN PRODUCTION OR DEV, DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC. If you would simply like to share your thoughts, please consider starting your own topic or adding to an existing topic such as https://www.labtechgeek.com/topic/3933-automate-12/

I'll start with my own little bit of feedback. From what I have seen, I believe that good impressions outweigh bad, I do not recall hearing of any showstopper bugs, failed upgrades or morning after regrets. The only thing I have seen mentioned more than once involved CWControl Integration not working correctly, and if I am correct the issues were successfully resolved by updating Control or the Control Plugin (or both). Hopefully some bona fide CWA12 admins can provide some additional details.

 

EDIT BY Kyle::::

Dataview Creator is not present in LT12.  Keep a lab of 11 to create Dataviews.

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I just did this so its really fresh in my mind, I am supposed to be on the way out already so this is going to be fairly messy. Someone can clean this up or I'll take care of it when I get back.

PreInstall

They warn you about this before you download, and the installer itself checks this for this however you MUST have SSL enabled and a valid certificate installed in order to install CWA12. Additionally you cannot be on CWA11 P19 (still in Pilot as of this moment) as the code base for P19 is newer than the code base for CWA12 P0. And finally you must be on the new Patch Management. 

If during install any of the above prerequisites fail the install itself will before any changes are made and your CWA will remain in a working state. You will be provided with doc links by the installer with the relevant information about what failed and how to fix it.

On a side note, the installer is literally like installing a CWA Patch, and the patch installers have been updated to NOT close out automatically once the install is completed until after you press a key

Regarding the SSL Requirement, this does not need to be a trusted SSL Certificate, just a valid one. Self signed works (although we're using LetsEncrypt in production as its quick, easy and free). You also do not need to USE SSL to connect to CWA on 12, you can still connect over HTTP or direct SQL.

Post Install

The install itself for CWA12 shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, expect to not have issues unless you generally have problems installing normal patches released by Connectwise for CWA. Once the install is finished, not all services may start back up. Specifically I've had issues even with other patch releases with the Solution Center services starting, the problem comes is that the patch will NOT consider itself successfully complete unless all services started back up. This can be a huge issue if everything completed but the patch installer thinks it failed and you end up NOT upgraded. A work around I found was to watch the services MMC console and constantly restart any failing service again and again until the installer detects that the service start was successful (it only needs a half a second) and moves on to the next service. Once the installer thinks the install was successful you can easily troubleshoot the service from the logs. If you miss this and the install fails, you are able to attempt to re-install the patch multiple times until successful but expect password issues with the system WCC accounts in MySQL.

Using CWA12

Issues you might encounter with your users, so far on day 1 I've had three of them.

  • Computers might not list properly in the main CC window, however opening a customer and going to the Computers tab allows you to see all of them.
    • This is caused by a lack of groups assigned as CWA12 actually is now relying on the Group based security as well as User Class Security, you need to have All Clients (I assign All Agents and All Clients) to any unrestricted users.
  • The Tools menu where the plugins are accessible does not appear for users.
    • This requires the Plugin Manager access under the User Class. SA will not have an issue obviously however non-SA users who up until now had no reason to access the Plugin Manager will require these privileges in order to properly see the Tools and plugins under that.
  • LT Backup Manager is no longer appearing anywhere in the CC even though it shows enabled and available in the Plugin Manager.
    • Yea, you're out of luck here. LT Backup Manager (different than Backup Manager) is really old and isn't supported anymore, many plugins are like that and aren't designed to work in CWA12 and are now useless. Recommended action is to disable and remove these plugins from CWA so as you don't slow your database down with modules that can no longer be used.
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  • How long have you been using CWA12? - 
    I've been testing it in Dev for a good few months
     
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?) -
    For those unaware you need an SSL certificate, using the upgrade Patch Manager and at least Patch 17. The LT12 upgrade functions like a regular patch as opposed to a massive upgrade (IE It's like installing CWA Patch 18 when you are on CWA Patch 17)
     
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?) -
    There can be numerous issues if you don't upgrade all items in your solution center immediately after upgrading. My advice would be to to upgrade everything in Solution Center following the upgrade, reboot all your servers, then re-scan the solution center and ensure everything was caught and upgrade anything that got missed/not detected in the initial solution center run. The report center has worked fine in my extensive CWA12 tests with the latest report center.
     
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst? - 
    I actually think ConnectWise have done well in delivery here. You cannot look on this change though as the same scale as 10.5 to 11 as nearly all of the underlying program has not changed. I really like being able to properly search through groups etc.
     
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs? -
    Significant - I have collated input from numerous partners and the overall consensus is positive. Make sure you setup favourites on the menus to your most commonly used items - they save a lot of time in searching for certain things.

I will be updating us in Production following the release ofCWA 12 Patch 1, the overall consensus for 12 is positive from most people in the LabTech Geek Slack.

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We've been running CWA12 for the last week and a bit.

Upgrade

We had no issues with the upgrade of the database etc, this went through fine and completed in around 10 mins.

Control Centre

Upon first boot and after updating the solutions in the SC, we had an issue where the Control option was missing from the Right Click context menu and also from the upper navigation bar.

image.png.7cf3e99ae79a45fe50a3155562e81652.png

After refreshing the SC, updating a few more times (Webroot V3 seemed to want to update several times), and restarting the CWA Server and clearing the local client Cache, this seemed to come back to life.

We had one issue with a techs workstation refusing to upgrade the local client, this was resolved by uninstalling, deleting the Cache in %ProgramData% and reinstalling

General Usage

General usage is fine, the techs don't utilise much of the basic interface and were able to navigate the new UI quite easily.

Only negative feedback I have found so far is a complaint about the change to the old functionality of "Right Click > Connect via ConnectWise Control" as this has been moved to a sub menu - not exactly a issue but it was something users had become accustomed do if they didn't need to access the computer screen.

image.png.83226f8278722b23826b7b615464ebec.png

Other than that, it's been pretty fine, just a case of figuring out where the things like templates had disappeared to and where the Reload System Cache had moved to.

Ed

image.png

Edited by Livid
alignment
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  • How long have you been using CWA12?
    • I've run it in Dev for a few months now.  After no major issues or dislikes, pushed it to production either on or the days following it going GA.
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • As others have stated, smooth sailing if you have SSL cert enabled, new PM enabled.  Unblock and run.
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • After upgrading, rebooted the server just to be safe and run Solution Center updates.  No issues.
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst? / What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?
    • The worst thing I got was a lot of crap for being one of the first (if not the first) brave soul(s) in LTG to push LT12 to production so early. :P
    • The heavy CWA users here (myself and a couple others) were more impacted than anything, but not enough to disrupt anything day to day.  I must agree with @Gavsto, setting favorites is a must, and a great help.  I find I can navigate just as quick now in LT12 than I was before.
    • The UI is a little slow at times, but for a first release, it's pretty decent.  I imagine this will be quickly fine tuned in upcoming patches.
    • The lighter users enjoyed the changes.  We did an internal demo of LT12 and for the most part, the changes were welcomed.  The general consensus was a lot of the new layout made much more sense when trying to find information about machines.
    • Our CWA is also accessed remotely, and paired with the new computer screen updates from one of the last LT11 patches, it is much better than it had been.  Once the computer screen slowness was mostly fixed in LT11, I started enforcing/encouraging my techs to start using the new computer screen more.
    • Overall, it was a pretty positive experience with nothing really standing out as a groundbreaking negative.

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I've been running it a few days now.

So far, I have had VERY VERY VERY few issues.  Everything has worked so far, and runs FASTER than before... so that's a huge plus. 

I also REALLY love the new interface.  Everything seems more "At my fingertips" instead of hunting.  I still hate the computer / machine screen, but the main interface is MUCH cleaner and gives me a lot of information I previously had to hunt for.

The ability to very quickly run Control from Automate - instead of having to hunt for the machine, wait for the computer page to open, then launch Control means my engineers and I might actually *use* the Automate client for routine support instead of going straight to Control's web interface each time.

So far, so great.....

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One Gotcha on Install (that took around 4 hours to work out with support)

If regional settings are not set to English (United States) you can receive the following Misleading error (Found on Build LT 11.017.418)

  •  Higher Server Version is Found 110.418.6481.26712

This lead to a rabbit warren of trying smaller patches to correct the version error

It wasn't a hard issue to fix, however, the misleading error made it a hard to locate the actual reason, especially when above this it reported Time/Date ok.

.

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How long have you been using CWA12?

We've been using it in production for several months now with 1800+ agents. (The Leroy Jenkins approach to Automate)

What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)

We had no issues with the upgrade, it performed just as a normal monthly patch would. We already had an SSL certificate installed and the new Patch Manager enabled.

What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)

We didn't have any issues post upgrade.

What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?

The new UI for the Control Center is a great improvement, especially the Computer List, with column filtering and choosing. The speed keeps getting better just as it had been with 11. With that being said there are still screens that will hang for long periods, but that's nothing new and I'm sure is being tweaked more.

What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?

The overall feedback has been positive from the entire organization. Only issues have been locating where some things are now, especially with users who use CWA less.

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  • How long have you been using CWA12?
    • Since release to Pilot
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • None on a single server.  I attempted on a tri-split and the installer tried to require Web service components on the Automation server, even though it recognized that the server was Automation-only.  Issues was raised with support, recently elevated to a KI (I can't find it on the KI board now, but it's under 9643524/9576254).  Needed to install the IIS roles required for CWA on the Automation server (not necessarily migrate services back to the Automation server) to work around it.
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • If you don't run Solution Center updates after the upgrade, you're going to have issues with a handful of plugins.  Remeber that you also need to update the Report Center to get it working in the right-click menu, AND you need to update all of your reports inside of the RC, as a large majority of them have changed for version 12.
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?
    • Definitely faster than 11.  I quite enjoy the UI changes, despite still fumbling around them like I don't know what I'm doing anymore.  That said, I spend most of my time in the database rather than the UI, and our use case is different than most.
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?
    • "This patch goes a lot more smoothly than many of the past upgrades..."
    • "This is a lot more intuitive than the old UI"

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  • How long have you been using CWA12?

Since monday 8th of january. Change freeze in december so held off a bit.

  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)

Non, before updating automate I had patched Windows to latest and rebooted. Also disabled incoming connections to our server from agents outside.

  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)

Just an issue with RAM where the database agent was using a lot of RAM for about 1h30 (1250 agents). Also the solution center updates that I had to run twice to get updated correctly.

  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?

I like the new look. I still get some not responding from time to time when clicking in some menus which is a pain. 

  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?

To be updated next week...

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  • How long have you been using CWA12?
    • Installed today 1/12 (didn't even realize it, but I made the jump to 12 on the 12th!)
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • No issues applying the upgrade. Completed in <10 min.
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    • One user reported losing the + sign beside clients after working for some time. Recommending he complete CC clear and reset steps (will share below)
    • Another user on Win10 had Control Center repeatedly crashing when launching, even after reinstalling with a fresh download. Complete CC clear and reset fixed the issue (thanks Wai Wong!)
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?
    • Feedback is positive so far, most of the things just work though I do miss some of the drag and drop functionality.
    • Ignite Manager still has some dialog boxes that don't work (Edit Alert Template... could have been broken before moving to 12.
    • Still getting used to things like Monitors and Searches opening up in a separate window.
    • Navigating from Scripts to Clients/Groups feels very slow compared to just scrolling up in the nav tree.
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?
    • "I didn't have any problems with the install"

Troubleshooting

If you run into issues with Control Center crashing, use the following steps to fully clear out and reinstall CC.

  1. Download the new Control Center from [YOUR_AUTOMATE_SERVER_URL]
  2. Uninstall Control Center
  3. Delete the Labtech Client folder in c:\programdata and c:\programfiles (x86)
  4. Open Regedit, delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\LabTech\Client
  5. Reinstall the Control Center
Edited by SteveIT

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I've added this to the OP but just in case:

 

LT12 Does not include the Dataview Creator.  Keep a Lab of 11 so you can create DV's and export/import them.

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  • How long have you been using CWA12?
    We updated 1/15/2018
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    Upgrade was fast and easy. We've had bit of a problem with Solution Center service taking a while to start after a server reboot. Apparently there's something to do with with the load balancing we have going over multiple ISPs and the license manager taking a while to pick up an updated IP address. That's not related to the upgrade, but I did reboot prior to the upgrade and so had to wait a bit before I could get into the Solution Center to update there, but once running that was no problem either.  
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    For some reason Tools menu item isn't visible to all users who should have it (ticket still open on that). The main issue with that is that the Report Center isn't visible, but users can right-click on clients/locations/agents and run reports that way, so it hasn't been disruptive.
    --> Added 1/25/2018 -- Automate support has reviewed and are escalating this to dev as a bug report. We had a custom user class we had created that had all the right settings but the Tools option was not displayed on the menu. We added one of the built in user classes (that had few permissions than the custom user class) and that made the menu item appear. 
    --> Added 2/2/2018 -- Automate support has confirmed there is an issue with custom user classes not porting with the update to 12. Another symptom of this was a custom user class for engineers who could no longer access the patch manager.
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?
    There are a few things that I've had to dig to find where they are in the new UI, but in general I find the interface cleaner but sometimes slow to open new windows.
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?
    We've had a little grumbling about losing the old interface (we only moved from 10.5 to 11 in September and a lot of folks relied on the legacy agent interface), but some folks really like the new interface. Mostly it's been a non-event and folks have just rolled with it. 
Edited by Ddralus
update

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Hi,

we did the update this weekend. Went smoothly even with database upgrade from 5.5 to 5.6. No real problems on day one.... but we receveid that notice:

 

Dear Partner— PLEASE UPDATE YOUR CONNECTWISE AUTOMATE INSTANCE

You have been identified as running the following Automate version: 12.0.1.255

Friday we received an support escalation that computer screens were not opening for some systems running in maintenance mode.  We have released an updated patch that addresses this issue.  We advise you run the following patch to update your Automate install.

Known Issue for those affected and running on 12.0.1.255:
•    Computer Screen will not load over http from remote agents
Download here: http://labtech-msp.com/release/AutomatePatch_12.0.1.256.exe

Steps to install the patch:
1.    Download (Ensure the download is unblocked before running)
2.    Run as Administrator on the Automate (LT) server 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
 

 

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Not sure if this is a bug or what but if I go into groups on V12 and select a machine then click "Control" it always connects to the same machine - anyone else notice the same?

Connecting to machines from the clients screen works fine.

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@szkoda: It does not seem to be a general problem. We can connect to different computers in Group-View.

But here the command to send a WOL Packet ( rightclick on Computer  - commands - Network - send Wake On Lan )seems to be broken. WOL via script works. We opened a Support ticket for this case.

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On 24/01/2018 at 12:34 PM, szkoda said:

Not sure if this is a bug or what but if I go into groups on V12 and select a machine then click "Control" it always connects to the same machine - anyone else notice the same?

Connecting to machines from the clients screen works fine.

We get this intermittently within Clients as well as Groups. Seems to go away after a CC restart, no cause found yet.

Post upgrade issues:

- Certain Windows 10 devices randomly lose "Microsoft" from the name and therefore disappear from Patch Manager. This has been confirmed by support as a known bug and escalated to Devs.

- Microsoft Update Policies with UI Disabled do not actually disable the UI in Server 2016. Does work for Windows 10. Again confirmed as a bug and escalated to Devs.

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It seems overall ok a visual improvement , but that is really the extent of it.

Post Upgrade Issues:

LT changed permissions and now you can’t move computers unless you have the update ticket permission. Doesn’t make any sense but there you have it.

We had LT perform a server split and found they had not configured our database server correctly causing the webroot update to fail.

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I'm new to Automate as we just switched over to Automate from Kaseya within the past few months and only went live mid-January.  The majority of my techs were really pushing for the v12 upgrade because it has more of a Kaseya look and feel.

Just upgraded to v12 Patch 2 last night from v11 Patch 19.  Had to get with support to get a link to the Patch 2 installer as the base v12 installer wouldn't work.

The install was quick and painless.  However, I had to go through at least 4 launches of Solution Center, reloading Solution Center, and updating from there to finally get everything updated and working properly.  

This morning, I had a few techs that would launch Control Center, let it update, and then they'd login a 2nd time and Control Center would crap out while loading.  I followed SteveIT's directions above for reinstalling Control Center, but that didn't work.  I eventually wound up changing the Server field in the login screen from the DB server name (which was working prior to the upgrade) to the https address and that fixed the issue.

As for other items/issues, last night my poor oncall guys got 30-40 alerts due to Automate wrongly detecting that some servers and even some workstations were SharePoint servers and were missing critical SharePoint services.  Support said that I must have lost some Ignite customizations during the upgrade, but being a new customer, I did not have any customizations for SharePoint monitoring.  I'm still looking into this.

I've also heard of some slowness from a tech or 2 and a complaint about not being able to have multiple dataviews open at a time.  

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  • How long have you been using CWA12?
    About a month now
  • What problems if any were encountered DURING the upgrade. How was it resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    We are on cloud hosted Automate currently.  Upgrade went smoothly.  The solution centre updates did not cause any issues with Automate overall or Ignite.
  • What problems if any were encountered POST upgrade. How was is resolved? (Or is it still an issue?)
    No real issues to speak of that you could pin on V12
  • What is your feedback on the changes? What do you like best/worst?
    I'm not thrilled with losing colour/icon based highlighting of information about agents.  It is easier to accomplish some tasks (ScreenConnect).  
  • What feedback did you get from your other users/techs?
    They all like the new UI and find it easier to get their jobs done

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For those of you having issues with the Tools menu and requiring the Plugin Manager class, CWA support provided me with a fix that does not require the plugin manager > access permission and allows us you to give access to just the plugins you define, instead of everything:

From Support. This has worked for me.

This issue is usually caused by the QuickConnect user class, this is a legacy option for VNC which has been depreciated. You will want to delete the user class all together and you should then see the menu. Also remove the following folders and relaunch the Control Center with a right click run as admin.
C:\ProgramData\Labtech Plugins
C:\ProgramData\LabTech Client\Cache

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The upgrade process was smooth and easy, but the product itself is terrible. The disdain for it is unanimous. The interface is usually slow and only randomly fast. And after a while, things stop working but not in a way that stops the entire interface, just parts. For instance, I just had to restart the control center again because it wouldn't launch any new computer management windows. I had some already open, and they were fine, but no new ones would launch. I've also seen issues where the plugins on the computer management stop working. The screenconnect icon won't show at all and the plugin icons stays grayed out. These types of issues require a restart of the control center. I've also had issues with error pop-ups that have required clearing some local control center cache files. 

And did i mention the interface is slow? We have a client with several hundred contacts. If you bring up the contracts tab in the new interface and scroll through it, it takes several seconds to load subsequent pages. If we open the Client window, which is still the old interface style, and go to contacts, they load instantly and scroll smooth.  

My techs also complain that things are deeply buried. Stuff they could get to in 1 or 2 clicks are now 4-5 deep. Also annoying is that you have to leave the computers section to get to the script and vice versa. Before we could have the scripts NAV open in the tree menu and just scroll up to find or edit a script. Now it's much more difficult to develop and test automation because you have to go back and forth between the 2 sections and the slow loading time makes it difficult. 

They also complain that the new interface uses a LOT of screen real estate without a lot of information. So it's a lot of wasted space and a lot of scrolling around to find a tile with the information they want, if it's even there at all.  

Overall, I regret upgrading. 

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On 8/4/2018 at 2:47 AM, shankwc said:

My techs also complain that things are deeply buried. Stuff they could get to in 1 or 2 clicks are now 4-5 deep. Also annoying is that you have to leave the computers section to get to the script and vice versa. Before we could have the scripts NAV open in the tree menu and just scroll up to find or edit a script. Now it's much more difficult to develop and test automation because you have to go back and forth between the 2 sections and the slow loading time makes it difficult. 

...

Overall, I regret upgrading. 

These are my sentiments exactly!

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On 8/3/2018 at 10:47 AM, shankwc said:

The upgrade process was smooth and easy, but the product itself is terrible. The disdain for it is unanimous. The interface is usually slow and only randomly fast. And after a while, things stop working but not in a way that stops the entire interface, just parts. For instance, I just had to restart the control center again because it wouldn't launch any new computer management windows. I had some already open, and they were fine, but no new ones would launch. I've also seen issues where the plugins on the computer management stop working. The screenconnect icon won't show at all and the plugin icons stays grayed out. These types of issues require a restart of the control center. I've also had issues with error pop-ups that have required clearing some local control center cache files. 

And did i mention the interface is slow? We have a client with several hundred contacts. If you bring up the contracts tab in the new interface and scroll through it, it takes several seconds to load subsequent pages. If we open the Client window, which is still the old interface style, and go to contacts, they load instantly and scroll smooth.  

My techs also complain that things are deeply buried. Stuff they could get to in 1 or 2 clicks are now 4-5 deep. Also annoying is that you have to leave the computers section to get to the script and vice versa. Before we could have the scripts NAV open in the tree menu and just scroll up to find or edit a script. Now it's much more difficult to develop and test automation because you have to go back and forth between the 2 sections and the slow loading time makes it difficult. 

They also complain that the new interface uses a LOT of screen real estate without a lot of information. So it's a lot of wasted space and a lot of scrolling around to find a tile with the information they want, if it's even there at all.  

Overall, I regret upgrading. 

I might suggest your techs use the web interface if they don't need to create scripts etc...it is much faster from my experience and my techs actually prefer it now over the thick client. I agree that the interface is slow and annoying for the thick client but unfortunately until they actually make the Control Center 64-bit instead of 32-bit and continue adding stuff the speed probably won't get better...

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