A preview release of WN Help Desk 13 is now available for download. This new version of WN Help Desk is built entirely in C# using the new Blazor WebAssembly (WASM) technology from Microsoft to run C# code natively in the browser. Blazor WASM works using any modern web browser that supports WebAssembly. While this eliminates the ability to use the older Internet Explorer browser, all modern browsers support this new technology. This includes Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome (including on Android), and Safari (including on iOS).
Why a Preview Release?
Microsoft has currently only released a preview of Blazor WASM. While this does seem very stable and is running on the latest .NET Core 3.1, the official release for Blazor WASM is not expected until May of 2020. So, while we are comfortable with the stability of this preview software, until Microsoft offers official support for Blazor WASM we will only be releasing preview versions of WN Help Desk 13.
This version is not backwards-compatible with previous versions. When evaluating version 13 make sure to do so with a COPY of your SQL database, not with your live production data. The database will be updated to a format that will no longer work with the older versions of the software. Many of the new enhancements made to the software required significant changes to the schema of the database. The database will be converted automatically by this new instance of the software. If you wish to test with your current data make a copy of the SQL database first and test against that copy. Or, start the software with no database configuration and setup an entirely new database for testing.
While the preview release is fully ready for testing, some features are still not working due to issues with the current preview release of Blazor WASM. The most noted missing feature is the SignalR notifications when other users make changes. So, for now things are not updating in the interface when another user makes a change. Once this feature is working you will find that the list of tickets will refresh automatically when a ticket is added or updated that matches the current filter view. Also, changes made to a help request by other users will automatically be updated across all browsers viewing that request. And, changes made to settings in the application will automatically be pushed out to all connected clients. As soon as this feature is working a new preview release will be made available.
This new version runs under .NET Core 3.1. You will need to make sure the computer running the IIS application has the .NET Core Hosting Bundle installed. Visit the following Microsoft page for details and the download link for the bundle:
Use the following link to download the preview release of WN Help Desk 13:
WNHelpDeskPreview_2020.02.20.zip - Release 2/20/2020
WN Help Desk Client NuGet Package
A new NuGet client is now available to more easily consume the RESTful WebAPI endpoints that are available in WN Help Desk. This will allow for much easier customizations and integrations built around WN Help Desk.
Stand-Alone Active Directory Import Tool
A new command-line Active Directory Import Tool is now available with this version. Go to the AD Import Tool page for details.
LINQPad Exchange Email Processor
A LINQPad script built using the WN Help Desk nuget client package and code for interacting with Microsoft Exchange using Exchange Web Services. You can use this script in your environment to automatically monitor a specific folder of the specified Exchange email account to process emails from that folder into WN Help Desk. Using our new email templates that can be created from within WN Help Desk under the TBD Options menu the script can detect whether the email is a reply to an existing request or a new request. If it is a reply a new comment will be added to the existing request and any attachments to the email will be added to the existing request. If the email cannot be determined to be related to an existing request then a new request will be created and any attachments will be added to that new request. Feel free to customize this script to suit your needs. The script includes whitelist and blacklist options for a more secure solution. The top of the script contains comments about the specifics of using the script. You can schedule this script to run at a regular interval for a complete solution to process emails into your help desk.
LINQPad IMAP Email Processor
Just like the above script, but built for IMAP. This can connect to any IMAP email server, such as Gmail, and process messages into WN Help Desk from a monitored folder. Only unread messages will be processed and they will then be marked as read. The option to move items to another folder is not necessary, but still recommended.
If you find these scripts useful please purchase a full license of LINQPad from the author, as you will find this tool to be quite useful. The paid version will provide a much better interactive experience with the objects that are written out to the window.
If you have any issues while evaluating the software, any suggesions, or any feedback, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.