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Sharing in PDQ Deploy has Been Superseded by the New Central Server Feature

Purpose:
With the introduction of the Central Server feature in PDQ Deploy 13, the Sharing feature (Options > Preferences > Sharing) had been deprecated. With the release of PDQ Deploy version 14, the Sharing feature is no longer available.

Resolution:
Current users of the PDQ Deploy Sharing feature (version 13 and earlier) should migrate to the Central Server feature as soon as is reasonable. In order to migrate from the Sharing feature to Central Server, a basic understanding of Central Server is necessary. This change is covered in the following sections:

Feature Overview
Important Menu Changes
Background Service and Credentials
Firewall
Configuring Server Mode
Configuring Client Mode

Feature Overview:
Central Server addresses the need to share packages between PDQ Deploy consoles by creating a server/client relationship. In this model, the PDQ Deploy consoles in Client Mode initiate all deployments, post-deployment notifications, and Wake-on-LAN events on the PDQ Deploy console running in Server Mode, using the Server’s database and repository. The PDQ Deploy console in Server Mode may also initiate deployments and all other tasks; however, they are initiated in the same way a standalone, locally-installed PDQ Deploy console would.

In the Server/Client relationship, only one server is possible, but there may be multiple client PDQ Deploy consoles. There may be multiple relationships, however, meaning an organization may have multiple server/client relationships, but those relationships are discrete (see the notes below).

NOTES:

  • If you are migrating an existing Local Mode (standalone) console of PDQ Deploy to Client Mode, be aware that custom packages and other packages and scripts will not be migrated over to the server automatically. In order to move those packages, please see the instructions in the Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations That Use Custom Packages article (pay special attention to the warning regarding exporting/importing schedules).
  • While the PDQ Deploy console in Server Mode performs the majority of tasks initiated from the PDQ Deploy Client Mode consoles, certain limitations apply, such as running Remote Repair and local command, both of which are initiated from the local PDQ Deploy console console.
  • It is possible to have multiple PDQ Deploy consoles operating in Server Mode, but it is not possible for a PDQ Deploy console running in Client Mode to connect to more than one server.
  • Connections from a Client to the Server are limited by the number of concurrent client connections as defined by the quantity enumerated in your Enterprise license.
  • When using PDQ Inventory 12.3 or higher, post-deployment scans will be initiated on both the PDQ Deploy Server Mode console and the Client Mode console. With PDQ Inventory 13, the post-deployment scans will only be initiated on the Server.

Important Menu Changes:
Changes were made to the PDQ Deploy menu bar to include the Options menu item, which now includes the following:

  • Credentials (previously under File > Preferences > Credentials)
  • Variables (previously under File > Preferences > Variables)
  • Console Users (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Central Server (new item with PDQ Deploy 13)
  • Background Service (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Preferences (previously under the File menu item)

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Additionally, license information was moved from
File > Preferences > License to the Help menu item (Help > License).
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These changes were made to follow industry standards and separate items that need to be saved/applied versus those that do not need to be saved in order to be applied. For example, the Options > Preferences window contains the Save toolbar item:
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Background Service and Credentials:
PDQ Deploy consoles in Client Mode do not run the background service and therefore do not need access to this option. Instead, the PDQ Deploy clients use the background service running from the Server console.

Firewall:
The firewall is automatically configured if the setting, "Create exception in firewall service executable," is checked (default) in the Switch to Server Mode or Edit Server Settings windows:
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This setting is equivalent to running the following commands (assuming the same default port of 6336):

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="PDQ Deploy" dir=in action=allow program="C:\Program Files[ (x86)]\Admin Arsenal\PDQ Deploy\PDQDeployService.exe" enable=yes localport=6336 remoteport=6336 protocol=tcp profile=[domain|private]

Configuring Server Mode:
1. Before beginning the server setup, turn off Sharing. Sharing and operating a PDQ Deploy console in Server Mode are not compatible.
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2. On the PDQ console that will house the Central Server repository, go to Options > Central Server and click on the Server Mode button. NOTE: In existing PDQ installations, PDQ Deploy consoles configured in Server Mode will retain all packages, including custom packages. On the other hand, PDQ Deploy consoles configured in Client Mode will not retain any packages, imported or custom (see the Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations That Use Custom Packages article).
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3. In the Switch to Server Mode window, make any changes to the parameters and put in the credentials for the Background Service user.
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4. Application of the settings, by clicking Finish, will require a restart of the PDQ Deploy application.

5. Once the application restarts, the PDQ Deploy console is configured in Server Mode. Changes to the server settings can be made by going to Options > Central Server and selecting Change Settings. PDQ Deploy functional modes can also be changed in this window by clicking Switch to Local Mode or Switch to Client Mode.
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Configuring Client Mode:
1. Before beginning the console setup, turn off Sharing. Sharing and operating a PDQ Deploy console in Client Mode are not compatible.
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2. On the PDQ Deploy console you want to use as a client, go to Options > Central Server and click on the Client Mode button.
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3. In the Switch to Client Mode window, use the DNS hostname of the PDQ Deploy Central Server you set up above.
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4. Application of the settings, by clicking Finish, will require a restart of the PDQ Deploy application.

5. Once the application starts, the PDQ Deploy console is configured in Client Mode. Changes to the client settings can be made by going to Options > Central Server and selecting Change Settings. PDQ Deploy functional modes can also be changed in this window by clicking Switch to Local Mode or Switch to Server Mode.
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PDQ Deploy consoles in Client Mode do not run the background service and therefore do not need access to this option. Instead, the PDQ Deploy clients use the background service running from the Server console.
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See Also:
Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations That Use Custom Packages
Configuring Central Server
Windows Firewall Ports and Exceptions

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