Anyone else disgusted with reduced functionality in version 7.0?

(imported topic written by mikehuntley91)

Prior to version 7, I was able to run a blank action to effectively shutdown the computers on my network. In addition to keeping my computers running smoothly, the nightly shutdown also allowed me to be a greener company (and save money). Let me explain how I used a blank action in versions prior to 7:

I created a blank action called “Daily Shutdown”. On the Execution tab I set the action to run between 9:00pm and 9:05pm every day of the week, automatically reapplying the action after 12 hours so it would always be revelant. On the Post-Action tab, I selected Shutdown computer after action completes. This next part is where the reduced functionality hits. Prior to version 7, I could set a time to automatically shutdown the computer (I used 30 minutes to give the user time to see the pop up window if they were still at work). I could also allow the user to “postpone” the shutdown for up to an amount of time that I set (I used 8 hours so that if someone was getting to work when the action ran, they could postpone it for the length of their shift). So here’s how it worked: if a user left work for the day and didn’t shutdown their computer (happens way too often), at 9:00pm a pop up would appear explaining that the computer was going to shutdown. Since the user was gone, after 30 minutes it would shutdown automatically. If a user is still a work at 9:00pm, they would see the pop up screen and be able to postpone the shutdown for up to 8 hours. At the end of the postpone period, the computer would be shutdown automatically if the user left it on.

In version 7, there is a “Deadline” for when the shutdown will be forced on the user, and you can allow the user to “Snooze” the shutdown, but this functionality is BROKEN!! You can snooze the shutdown, but at the deadline it will shutdown anyway!!

This means that BigFix has effectively broken my Daily Shutdown custom action.

So now my money-saving, energy-saving, Daily Shutdown custom action works this way: if a user left work for the day and didn’t shutdown their computer, at 9:00pm a pop up would appear allowing them to snooze the shutdown. The snooze wouldn’t work anyway, but since they’re not in the office the computer shuts down at the deadline. No harm, no foul. If a user is still at work, or working from home on a VPN, they get a pop up at 9:00pm and hit snooze for some amount of time (usually a few hours out) and the computer shutsdown at the deadline anyway. How many upset users do you think called?

After working with support at BigFix, it’s apparent that:

  1. They know that the “NEW” functionality is broken and are prepared to fix it in a later version.

  2. They had no idea that their users are so creative and wouldn’t care if they completely changed how the Post-Action tab worked.

If anyone else has found an effective work around, please let me know. Also, feel free to complain to support and maybe they’ll replace their BROKEN new code with the PRE-7 code that works!


(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hi Mike,

We changed the restart / message box behavior in BES 7.0 because it had many confusing options and many people complained about the confusion. In BES 7.0, our goal was to still allow flexibility, but to make sure the dialog was simple to understand. We surveyed some of our customers to see what sort of behavior they expected and how we might address some of the confusion and came up with the new layout. It sounds like in the process of doing this, we changed a behavior that you came to rely upon… but luckily, I think you can use a slightly different set of options in BES 7.0 to get the same functionality.

Here is what you did in 6.0 (to recap and make sure we understand properly):

  • Create “daily shutdown” action
  • “Run between 9:00pm and 9:05pm”
  • “Auto reapply unlimited every 12 hours”
  • “Force restart after 30 minutes”
  • Allow “postpone for up to 8 hours”

Here is what you would do in BES 7.0 (different behavior in bold):

  • Create “daily shutdown” action

  • “Auto reapply unlimited every 12 hours”

  • Set “deadline to 30 minutes”

  • “Run between 9:00pm and 5:00am” (or whatever times you might want the shutoff to occur)

  • “Allow user to cancel”

  • Set “On failure retry 999 times wait 8 hours” (or wait a shorter amount of time if you want to re-prompt them after 2 hours, 4 hours, or whatever)

  • Small trick to prevent the agent to stop running the action on first cancel: On the success criteria tab, change the relevance to:

now - boot time of operating system > 15 * minute

To make it easier for you, I attached an export of this action.

This should accomplish the same behavior that you had before with some very slight differences:

  • User needs to hit “cancel” instead of “postpone”
  • By canceling, they effectively postpone for 8 hours (or 2 or 4 or whatever you chose)

Note that the reason this works is because the “retry” behavior in this case replaces the old confusing behavior of “postponing independently of a deadline”. Hopefully those changes are reasonable for your users…

And there is an important note here, which you alluded to in your post… In BES 7.0.1, there is an issue where the user is allowed to postpone past the restart deadline (and then it restarts at the deadline). This is the problematic behavior that I believe you noted in your point #1 above and that should be fixed in the upcoming point release, but it shouldn’t affect the procedure I gave you.

I haven’t explicitly tested this scheme, but I will try to do that shortly to make sure I didn’t miss a piece in there.

One more thing: Have you looked at our BES Power Management Fixlet site? It may simplify your life considerably as it allows you to manage settings to put the computer into standby mode after X minutes of no user activity to save power, but also allows you to start the computer up quickly (not waiting for the full restart) and users won’t lose any work that they have open. You can contact me or your salesperson if you are interested in trying this new site.

If anyone else has any questions about restart behavior and how you can use the new dialog layout to accomplish the same behavior, please post (preferably with a new topic) because the two versions allow for the same restart options in almost all cases.


(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hey Mike,

I ran through a basic set of tests with this and it appears to work as I indicated… I would suggest that you do a test and make sure it meets your needs and works as expected on your system.

Let me know if something needs to be changed or if you have any questions,


(imported comment written by mikehuntley91)

Thanks Ben, I will test your Action and see if it does the trick. By the way, you shouldn’t imply from my post that I’m unhappy with BigFix. I’m very happy with the software. I was just frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to make it work like version 6, and it took a couple of phone calls to support and others to figure out that parts of the new code were broke. I wasted a lot of time testing different actions because the code didn’t behave as expected.