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A Monthly Newsletter – January 2009

Whatever else we do, in the end it comes down to satisfying you, the customer, with our software and service. We enjoy hearing your feedback, and we especially appreciate learning what SecureCRT® helps you accomplish, how you want SecureFX® or the VShell® server to be improved, and what you don't like or what isn't working. You already know about our surveys, beta releases, and product forums – now we want to share with you the inner workings of the system we have built to deliver bug fixes and pre-alpha test versions for your evaluation. Then it's back to our stock in trade: tips on using SecureCRT as a SOCKS proxy and setting up VShell server to use Kerberos Protocol Transition.


1. Inside VanDyke Software: Pre-Beta Delivery Process
2. Tip: Using SecureCRT as a Secure Shell SOCKS Proxy
3. Setting Up VShell To Use Kerberos Protocol Transition
4. New And Current Releases

Online Resources

1. Inside VanDyke Software: Pre-Beta Delivery Process

With calls for pre-beta testers appearing regularly in the newsletter, we want to show you how we quickly distribute fixes and new features for comment and feedback. The way we take user input on software problems and requests, filter it through our support and development staff, develop new software solutions, and deliver them to customers is the core of the VanDyke Software development and support lifecycle.

A key element of our development approach is to test new capabilities early, gaining insight from pre-beta testing to zero in on the right implementation. We do that by showing real software to real users, even if it is still rough around the edges. We make pre-beta software releases available to users who report problems, request features, or express interest in testing new software. It's the same for bug fixes; we get each one out as quickly as possible to the customers who reported the issue, rather than save them up for a later beta release.

Managing the volume of problem reports, enhancement requests, customer contact information, test releases, and e-mail demands a software-based system to help our busy product directors, Chris and Maureen. The system starts by taking in some kind of user feedback: a survey, feature request, technical support e-mail, sales call, or forum post. Support and development staff enter, review, and follow up on hundreds of items.

Once your issue results in a test version, the product director adds you as a tester, creates an account for you, and assigns you to a release distribution group. When the software build is ready, we send you e-mail with a link to your release (there may be multiple releases in review at one time). You follow the link to download the new release from the VanDyke Software website, review the changes, and then e-mail your assessment to the product directors. We use your feedback to confirm our design or to make needed changes, repeating the cycle as necessary.

While many companies only test software through beta and official releases, our early delivery system offers advantages in software quality and rapid turnaround. Read what a customer writes below to understand why rapid release delivery is so important.

"Thank you for this new build to resolve the issue I reported with the Connect dialog. It is perfect and everything is working as expected. I am very impressed with the way you deal with customer problems and the short time to find a solution. I am very happy with SecureCRT now."
– Alexandra Major, OBV SG

2. Tip: Using SecureCRT as a Secure Shell SOCKS Proxy

Have you ever needed to securely access multiple servers or devices on a network behind a gateway server? While you could chain Secure Shell connections together, a better way is to set up a Secure Shell SOCKS proxy that can forward connections to any device behind the gateway. This month's tip walks you through configuring the master proxy connection as well as the client sessions that connect through the proxy.

To read this month's tip on configuring a Secure Shell SOCKS proxy, please visit the VanDyke Software Support pages.

Setting Up VShell To Use Kerberos Protocol Transition

Previous to VShell server version 2.6.4 and Windows 2003 Active Directory, Windows file shares have not been easily available to Secure Shell users who authenticate using public keys, as they are with password authentication.

However, if the VShell server and Windows resources are running in a properly configured Windows 2003 Active Directory domain, file shares can be made available to accounts that authenticate using public keys.

Versions 2.6.4 and later of the VShell server support a Windows capability called Kerberos Protocol Transition (KPT), which is part of the infrastructure created by Microsoft to support Kerberos. The VShell server takes advantage of Windows KPT to create the user's credentials, but does not use Kerberos authentication.

We have added a detailed page to the VanDyke Software website that explains how to do this, including all the steps necessary to configure the domain and VShell server.

Visit the VanDyke Software website to read the complete tip on setting up Kerberos Protcol Transition for Windows file share access under public-key authentication.

4. New And Current Releases

The VShell 3.5 official release delivers three new editions that protect your FTP transfers with FTP over SSL. Also new are a Control Panel makeover, additional logging enhancements including W3C extended log file format, an internal user database, and a new remote exec RunAs capability.

SecureCRT 6.1 official extends your ability to customize workflow and automate routine tasks with new search, session management, and scripting capabilities. Search from the Connect dialog, disconnect or reconnect all tabbed sessions, launch a remote command or application when you connect to a session. Scripting enhancements include support for accessing session options, accessing the clipboard, and sending special keys. Additional logon options allow you to save usernames and passwords with keyboard-interactive authentication and enter Secure Shell logon
credentials in the terminal window.

The SecureFX 6.1 official version delivers a synchronize database for faster, simpler site synchronization, and active sessions can be used for synchronize operations. SecureFX also
has session search and the option to save username and password with keyboard-interactive authentication. New context menu items let you quickly navigate back, forward, to the parent, home, and root folders, as well as to the current local Explorer folder.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.1.3
  SecureFX 6.1.3
  CRT 6.1.3
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.1.3
  VShell 3.5.2 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.5.2 Server for UNIX
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
     Solaris 10 (SPARC)
     Solaris 8 (SPARC)
     FreeBSD 7.0 (Intel x86)
     FreeBSD 6.1 (Intel x86)
     HP-UX 11
     Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel x86)
     Mac OS X 10.2
     AIX 5.3

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and access to our expert technical support. Licenses for three years of upgrades and support are also available.

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IT professionals who are responsible for network administration and end user access where security is critical rely on VanDyke Software's rock solid and easy to configure software. VanDyke Software consistently delivers accurate, responsive support, and addresses our customers' evolving needs with timely product enhancements.

Mailing Address

  VanDyke Software, Inc.
  4848 Tramway Ridge Drive, NE
  Suite 101
  Albuquerque, NM 87111 USA

Do you have questions, comments, or ideas? E-mail or use one of our web forms.


VanDyke Software, CRT, SecureCRT, SecureFX, and VShell are trademarks or registered trademarks of VanDyke Software, Inc.

All other products and services mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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