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Links that could be integrated into Thunderbolt's Portal?

I had an idea last night - what if there was one place that I could log into that autologged me into the plethora of sites that we use on a daily basis.

I use Mint.com for my personal and my business finances - it logs into my banks and credit cards, mortgages, etc and tracks my finances for me - if Thunderbolt could give be my portal into my client's networks - that would be fantastic - along with all the other things it'll do for me.

This Web 2.0 approach seems like it might be a great framework for this...  I'm curious what the other Thunderbolt users use as well?

If you build your tool to be modular so it’s EASY to add links to all the various portals I routinely use – that would have huge value to me.  One login to rule them all?  :-)

I’m thinking something along the lines of Mint.com – but for VARs.

Links/tabs I could see that many VARs routinely use:

MSP tools:
Zenith (what we use)
Level Platforms (hosted)
Kaseya
N-Able
Ingram Micro Services
Logmein.com

Industry websites that we use for troubleshooting:
Dnstuff.com
Expertsexchange.com
Whatismyip.com
Speedtest.net
Cisco Community Site
Microsoft 4 hour Newsgroups (have to be a SBSC or better to have access)

Distributors:
Ingrammicro.com
Dandh.com (our primary)
Synnex.com

Blogs/RSS Feeds:
Smbnation.com
Sbsdiva.com
Smbtn.com

Microsoft SBS Team

PSAs:
Connectwise (we use the hosted version)
Autotask
Tiger Paw

I would LOVE to have one login to rule them all - this would also make it much easier to move from computer to computer for me and my techs but keep all the info we need close at hands - particularly our PSA for tracking time against tickets.

Aaron Booker

Hardlines Company

http://www.hardlines.com

Video for VARs and their Vendor Partners at: http://www.varvid.com

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Thanks for the insight, Aaron. So, youre looking for a well-known, easily accessible (one-click to reach) page to which you could add, delete, edit and organize frequently used links related to your day's work? Correct?

Dave

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Beginner

Hi, Aaron. Welcome aboard.

From your description, it appears that youre looking for something like an "SSO" application, where SSO = Single Sign On. You log on once to the SSO application - as presented by a link to the SSO site within the Thunderbolt portal. A series of links/icons that you have previously added to the SSO app are displayed for which authentication credentials to those links are stored securely by the SSO application. When you click on any of these links, the SSO application grabs the (encrypted) userid/password combination from the SSO cache for that target link, decrypts the credentials and supplies the to the target site. What you see as a user is just click and the requested page shows up. If you log off of the SSO application, you an still access any individual site by going directly to the login page URL, but you have to supply the userid/password credentials through the login page's user interface. Is this the sort of functionality you have an interest in? Would your customers also have an interest in such an SSO as a Service capability?

Thanks,

Dave Corley

Director, Engineering

SBTG

Cisco

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Dave,

SSO is interesting, but unnecessary for me.  I use LastPass.com as my SSO tool.

I'm more thinking about a way to have a portal that would give me access to all the webbased tools I need I need in one place - plus tools I may not be aware of.  I see it as a great way to build community into the product.

Aaron

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Thanks for the insight, Aaron. So, youre looking for a well-known, easily accessible (one-click to reach) page to which you could add, delete, edit and organize frequently used links related to your day's work? Correct?

Dave

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Exactly.  But also factor in some recommended links - so that the community aspect would go to work.  That original list I posted are ones that we use daily, but I'm sure that others have ones that they love.

Aaron

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All they need to do is create another page were VARs can add their own links.  Sould be simple enough.

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Yep, just presenting a page of user-editable links doesn't sound too tough.

From a developer prospective, the SSO option is a bit scary, as we would need to store passwords in a retrievable manner in the cloud, something that we go to great lengths to avoid.  I'd like to point out some under-the-covers security stuff here about how we deal with password storage in the cloud and on the TBA (ThunderBolt Appliance).  When the TBA is activated, it generates a public-private key pair and sends a copy of just the public key up to the portal.  Any passwords typed into the portal are immediately encrypted with the public key and are then stored in the database.  Only the TBA is capable of decrypting and using the stored passwords, for example things like SNMP community strings or login credentials to switches and access points.

-mike

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