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Configuring Server Settings for Casper Focus

Overview

This article explains how to preconfigure the JSS URL setting in Casper Focus so the app can connect to the JSS automatically. With the JSS URL preconfigured, teachers can log in and use Casper Focus without having to manually configure this setting themselves.

This article explains four methods you can use to preconfigure the JSS URL:

  • Method 1: Use the JSS to specify the JSS URL.
  • Method 2: Use Apple’s Bonjour networking technology for automatic service discovery.
  • Method 3: Add a DNS service (SRV) record.
  • Method 4: Create a custom URL and distribute it to teachers.

The following table lists the pros/cons of each method:

Use the JSS to specify the JSS URL. Pros:

  • Fast response time
  • Network settings are not affected

Cons:

  • Casper Focus must be managed by the JSS
  • Teacher devices are limited to iOS 7 or later

Use Apple’s Bonjour networking technology for automatic service discovery. Pros:

  • Fast response time
  • Works well for small networks
  • No teacher-side configuration necessary

Cons:

  • Only recommended for small networks

Add a DNS service (SRV) record. Pros:

  • Fast response time
  • Works well for small, medium, and large networks
  • No teacher-side configuration necessary

Create a custom URL and distribute it to teachers. Pros:

  • Can accommodate a setup with multiple JSS web applications
  • Flexible distribution options (email message, webpage, SMS message)
  • “By invitation” approach gives you more control over when teachers begin using Casper Focus

Cons:

  • Requires manual distribution of the custom URL
  • Adds an extra step for teachers

Products Affected

Casper Focus

Method 1: Use the JSS to Specify the JSS URL

This method uses App Configuration in the JSS to allow Casper Focus to automatically discover the JSS URL.

Requirements

To use App Configuration in the JSS, you need:

  • Teacher devices with iOS 7 or later
  • Casper Suite v9.1 or later
  • Casper Focus v9.1 or later Casper Focus must be deployed as a managed app by the JSS.

To use App Configuration for specifying the JSS URL:

  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.
  2. Click Mobile Devices at the top of the page.
  3. Click Apps. On a smartphone, this option is in the pop-up menu.
  4. If you have not deployed Casper Focus v9.1 to devices yet, do the following: a. Click New (+). b. Select App Store app and click Next. c. Add Casper Focus from the App Store catalog. d. On the General pane, select Manage app when possible and configure any additional settings.
  5. If you have already deployed Casper Focus v9.1 to devices, ensure that the app is deployed as a managed app by the JSS.
  6. On the App Configuration pane, specify the JSS URL in the Preferences field based on the configuration dictionary tags. For example: <dict> <key>JSS_URL</key> <string>https://mycompany.com:8443/</string> <key>JSS_ID</key> <string>$JSSID</string> </dict>
  7. Click Save.

Once the App Configuration is saved, the JSS URL is populated in Casper Focus when a teacher opens the app on their mobile device. Casper Focus verifies the connection to the JSS and displays the Log In screen.

Method 2: Use Apple’s Bonjour Networking Technology for Automatic Service Discovery

This method uses the JSS Bonjour Service Installer (JSS Bonjour Service Installer.pkg) to create a Bonjour service that allows Casper Focus to automatically discover the JSS URL.

Requirements

To use the JSS Bonjour Service Installer, you need a computer with macOS 10.8 or later that is connected to the same local domain as the teacher mobile devices.

To use Apple’s Bonjour networking technology for automatic service discovery:

  1. Download the JSS Bonjour Service Installer ZIP file from http://jamfsoftware-content.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/JSSBonjourServiceInstaller.zip.

  2. Extract the JSS Bonjour Service Installer ZIP file.

  3. Double-click the JSS Bonjour Service Installer.pkg file, and follow the onscreen instructions to create the Bonjour service.

Once the Bonjour service has been created, the JSS URL is populated in Casper Focus when a teacher opens the app on their mobile device. Casper Focus verifies the connection to the JSS and displays the Log In screen.

Additional Information

For more information on Bonjour, see the following Apple webpage:
http://www.apple.com/support/bonjour

Method 3: Add a DNS Service (SRV) Record

This method adds a DNS SRV record that allows Casper Focus to automatically discover the JSS URL.

Requirements

To add a DNS SRV record, you need administrative access to your DNS server.

To add a DNS SRV record:

  1. Add an SRV record to your DNS server using the following parameters:

    Service: _jss
    Protocol: _tcp
    Port: <port used to connect to the JSS> 
    Host: <JSS hostname>

    For example:

    Service: _jss
    Protocol: _tcp
    Port: 8443
    Host: jss.mycompany.corp

    Note: On the Mac platform, the JSS runs on ports 8443 and 9006 by default. On Linux and Windows platforms, the JSS runs on 8443 and 8080 by default.

  2. If your JSS is not running at the root of the host server, create a text (TXT) record that defines the path to the JSS using the following parameters:

    Record Name: _jss
    Protocol: _tcp
    Text: path=<path to the JSS>

    For example, if your JSS URL is https://jss.mycompany.corp:8443/mycompany, you would use:

    Record Name: _jss
    Protocol: _tcp
    Text: path=mycompany

Once the DNS SRV record has been added, the JSS URL is populated in Casper Focus when a teacher opens the app on their mobile device. Casper Focus verifies the connection to the JSS and displays the Log In screen.

Method 4: Create a Custom URL and Distribute it to Teachers

This method uses a custom URL to populate the JSS URL in Casper Focus when a teacher taps the custom URL link from their mobile device.

You can distribute the custom URL to teachers in an email message, webpage, or SMS message. Make sure to instruct teachers to tap the URL link from the mobile device with Casper Focus installed.

To create a custom URL:
Create a custom URL using the following URL scheme:

jss://?url=<JSS URL>

For example:

jss://?url=https://jss.mycompany.corp:8443/

When a teacher taps the link from their mobile device, Casper Focus opens and the JSS URL is populated in the app. Casper Focus verifies the connection to the JSS and displays the Log In screen.

Additional Information

For information on preparing Casper Focus for use in the classroom, see the "Preparing to Use Casper Focus" section in the Casper Suite Administrator's Guide.