Applying custom settings in zScope AnywhereIn addition to using the Configuration Manager, z/Scope Anywhere offers a new way to easily set global parameters using custom settings.
Setting global parameters through a custom settings file is not new to our product line. We’ve already published an article presenting this functionality for Thinfinity Remote Desktop, and another one where we show how to configure its toolbar menu. Now, this feature will be included in z/Scope Anywhere as of the next release, due to come out really soon. Today, we will show you how we can use it for a very specific purpose, modifying the global security parameters.

The customSettings Configuration Object

Custom settings in z/Scope Anywhere are specified in the customSettings object. The customSettings object is a JSON structure defined within the customsettings.js file. Find this file in the z/Scope Anywhere installation directory, inside the ‘webzs’ folder. Like all javascript files, you can open it with any text editor, like notepad.
You will find that, by default, there are no global settings. The customSettings object is empty.

var customSettings = {

By adding attributes to this object, new global settings will be defined. This javascript file is loaded when z/Scope Anywhere is opened in the browser, applying the custom settings. Some of these settings can conflict with those set in the Configuration Manager. When this is the case, the custom settings will override the manager’s profile object attributes. Also, the custom settings will apply to all sessions.
It is highly recommended to always use the z/Scope Anywhere Configuration Manager.
The use of the customsettings.js file is recommended only for situations when many profiles are already created and it would take too long to modify them all. Besides, bear in mind that having the configuration in a file that is not seen in the Manager interface might lead to misinterpretation.

Changing User Permissions via customSettings.js

The customSettings object contains a hierarchical structure. The settings contained in the permissions attribute level will be applied to all logged-in and anonymous users. The anonymous attribute is contained in the permissions attribute level and it, in turn, contains an attribute level. Settings inside the anonymous attribute level be applied only to users accessing z/Scope Anywhere without authentication. If the settings specified in the anonymous attribute level conflict with those specified in the permissions attribute level, those specified in the anonymous attribute level will override the others.
The following table shows the current available permission settings:

permissionsThis structure contains permission settings for all users, authenticated and anonymous.
settingsToggles the visibility of the button that accesses Profile Settings.
macrosToggles the visibility of the macro options in the connection menu.
fileTransferToggles the visibility of the file transfer options in the connection menu.
printScreenToggles the visibility of the screen print option in the connection menu.
keypadsToggles the visibility of the keypad options in the connection.
navigationToggles the visibility of the navigator — the screenshot panel in the bottom of the interface that allows you to switch between the index page and the open sessions.
anonymousSecondary structure that contains permission settings required for anonymous users only. Their values will override global permissions values when the user accesses without authentication.


Custom Settings: an Example

Take a look at the following customSettings.js file example:

var customSettings = {
   "permissions": { // overrides permission settings for all users
      "macros": false,
      "fileTransfer": false,
      "anonymous": { // overrides permission settings for anonymous users
         "settings": false,
         "printScreen": false,
         "keypads": false

By applying these settings, macros and file transfer options will be restricted for all users. Unauthenticated users, then, will not have access to macros or file transfer, as stated in the permissions attribute level. Keypad and print screen access, as well as the the ‘Settings’ button, will also be restricted for these anonymous users, as stated in the anonymous attribute level.

The Power of Global Parameters

Through the appropriate use of custom settings we can quickly configure global connection and environment parameters, for all users and independently from the Configuration Manager settings. Today, we have learned how to reconfigure security settings. In upcoming posts we will review more ways in which custom settings can be used in z/Scope Anywhere, and in the rest of our products.

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