Network Operations

The Network Operations tutorial provides a network operator with the tools required to monitor and maintain a digital signage network.

We have created a video playlist for our Network Operations Tutorial. It covers the same material as our online documentation, along with some advanced features.

These are the videos in the Network Operations playlist:

In Broadsign Administrator, you can create multiple users with varying levels of access. Then, you can place users into groups to manage them.

User groups serve two purposes:

    • assign privileges to each of the resources in the software
    • provide access to specific folders in the domain

We will configure a group that will give members the ability to generate the network status report.

To add a user group:
  1. Select User Groups from among the resources on the left.

User Groups from the resource tabs

  1. Select the Operations ribbon.
  2. Click on the Folder icon.
  3. On the Welcome page, give the folder a name, e.g., “Reports”.

Adding a user group folder

  1. Click Finish.
  2. Once you have created the group, while in the tree panel view, right-click on the Reports folder, and then select Add User Group.

Adding a user group to a folder

  1. In the Add Group Wizard, on the Welcome page, give the group a descriptive name, e.g., “Network Status Report”.
  2. Click Finish.
      • To verify the creation of the user group, click on Reports in the folder panel. You will see the group in the list panel, on the right.

Verify creation of user group in list panel

  1. To add privileges to the Network Status Report folder, double-click on it in the list panel. The Group Properties dialogue box opens.
  2. Click on the Privileges tab, and then click Add.

The Group Properties dialogue box

  1. To provide the privileges needed for the network status report, add the following privileges:
      • container_mgr_list
      • host_mgr_list
      • location_mgr_list
      • monitor_poll

Add privileges to a user group

  1. Click OK. The privileges for this user group will appear in the Privileges tab.

List of privileges added to a user group

  1. Click OK.
To add a user:
  1. Select Users from among the resources on the left.
  2. In the Operations ribbon, click on the User icon.

The User icon in the Operations menu

  1. In the “Select a folder” dialogue box, select Users.
  2. Click OK.
  3. On the Welcome page, give the user a name.
      • We recommend naming the user after the individual employee, e.g., Odie Cleghorn, or the job position, e.g., Administrator.
      • The resource name, provided on this page, is different than the username, which you will add on another page.

Naming a user resource

  1. Click Next. The Password Setup page appears.
  2. Create a password. It must:
      • be a minimum of eight characters in length; and,
      • contain a minimum of one non-alphabetic character.
  3. Click Next. The Username page appears.
  4. Enter a username, e.g., “administrator”.

Give the user a username

  1. Click Next. The Groups page appears.
  2. Expand the Reports folder, and then select the Network Status Report group.

Add a user to a user group

  1. Click Finish.

To test the new settings, log off, and then log back on with the new user settings. Select the Operations ribbon, and then click the Network Status report icon.
The Network Status report icon in the Operations menu
For more details about the report, see Network Status Report.

Broadsign provides a contact book in Broadsign Administrator for two purposes:

    • Collect contact information for all users (and relevant external connections) in a central location.
    • Send monitoring notifications to the relevant email addresses.

Once you enter a name in your contact book, you can assign it to the top level of your domain or to selected resources, depending on that contact’s responsibilities.

To add a contact:
  1. Select the Operations ribbon.
  2. Click on the Contact icon.

The Contact icon in the Operations ribbon

  1. In the “Select a folder” dialogue box, right-click on the Contacts folder, and then select Add Contact Folder from the menu.
  2. On the Welcome page of the Add Folder Wizard, give the folder a descriptive name, e.g., “Network Operators”.

Naming a contact folder

  1. Click Finish. The Network Operators folder appears.
  2. Select the folder named Network Operators, and then click OK. The Add Contact Wizard appears.
  3. On the Welcome page of the Add Contact Wizard, enter the contact’s name or title, e.g., “Admin”.
  4. Click Next. The Contact Information page appears.
  5. Enter as many details for the contact as you want.
      • The email address is the most important detail. Your system will send notifications, when needed, to a contact’s email address.
      • For our example, we will set the contact type as “Networking”.

The Contact Information page

  1. Click Next. The Address page appears. We will leave this blank for now.
  2. Click Next. The Notifications page appears.
      • You can decide which notifications your contact will receive. Select them based on your job function. In our example, we will select all of them. For more details, see Contacts – Notifications.
  3. By clicking the box to the left of “Notification Types”, select all of the types.

The Notifications page

  1. Click Finish.
  2. To verify that you have added the contact, from the Domain Options menu, select Contact Book (see below).

Select Contact Book from the domain options menu

To set up a domain contact:
  1. From the domain options menu, select Edit Domain.

Select the Edit Domain option

  1. In the Domain Properties dialogue box, go to Settings > Contacts.

The Settings - Contact tab

  1. Click Add. The Select Resources dialogue box opens.
  2. Expand the Network Operators folder, and then select the Admin contact.

Adding a contact to the domain

  1. Click OK.

Now, as incidents occur on the domain, Broadsign Administrator will send an email notification to this contact. For more information, see Email Notifications.
Your domain contact

Scoping occurs when you restrict users’ access to only network areas they need to perform their tasks. Privileges, which we covered in “Add Users and User Groups” above, configure what a user can do. Scoping configures where they can do it.

In this example, we will scope a user to have access to a single display unit folder: “DU – Network 1”. This section has the following basic steps:

    • Add an “access control” user group folder.
    • Scope a user group.
    • Add a user to the user group.
To add an “access control” user group folder:

We are going to configure groups with network access. As a result, we will add a new user group folder and call it “Folder Access”.

  1. From the resource tabs on the left, select User Groups.
  2. From any ribbon up top, select the Folder icon.

  1. Call the folder “Folder Access”.
  2. Click Finish.
To scope a user group:

Next, we will create a new user group and configure its scoping properties.

  1. From the operations ribbon, select User Group.
  2. On the Select a Folder page, select Folder Access. Click OK.
  3. We will use this group to restrict access to a display unit folder. Call this user group “DU – Network 1”.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. From the User Groups list panel, select DU – Network 1.
  6. From the view bar, select Edit.

  1. In the User Group Properties, go to the Scoping tab. Click Add.
      • The Add Folder Scoping Wizard opens to the Folder Scoping Type page. Here, we select the type of resource to which we want to give access.

  1. On the Folder Scoping Type page, select Display Unit.
  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Folder Scoping page, select the folder to which we want to give access: “Network 1”.
  3. Click OK, and then click Finish.

To add a user to the user group:
  1. From the resource tabs on the left, select Users.
  2. For this example, select the user you created in “Add Users and User Groups”, above.
  3. From the view bar, select Edit.
  4. Go to the Groups tab, and select Add.
  5. Select DU – Network 1.
  6. Click OK, and then Apply.

Now, when this user clicks on Display Units from the resource tabs, they will only see the “DU – Network 1” folder and its contents.

The most important part of running a successful digital signage network is ensuring that it remains operational. That way, your content displays as planned.

In this section, we will focus on the following basic steps:

    • Add a contact for player monitoring.
    • Assign the contact to players.
    • Configure thresholds (this step stands independent of the first two).

You can also monitor your network using the dashboard, as well as HTML reports.

To add a contact for player monitoring:

Let us say that a contact only needs notifications for certain players. We can assign that contact directly to the players.

First, we will add a contact that represents an installer responsible for a certain location, e.g., a mall or airport.

  1. From the Operations ribbon, click on the Contact icon.

  1. To add a folder, right-click Contacts, and then select Add Contact Folder.
  2. Name the folder “Client Watch”, and then click Finish.
  3. Select our new folder, and then click OK.
  4. Name the contact “Network 1”, and then click Next.
  5. On the Contact Information page, add the following information:
      • Contact Type: “Installer”
      • Company: “123 Installs”
      • Email: “JD@installs.com”
      • Any other details you want.

  1. Add an address, if you want. Click Next.
  2. On the notifications page, select the following incidents related to network problems:
      • “Missing in action incident notifications”
      • “Difficulties polling incident notifications”
      • Any other notifications you want.

  1. Click Finish.
To assign the contact to players:

Now that we have configured the contact, we need to assign it to the resources in which they are interested.

For this example, we will use the screen at Location 1.

  1. From the resource tabs on the left, select Display Units.
  2. From the folder panel, select Network 1.
  3. From the list panel, select Location 1 – Main Lobby Screen.
  4. From the view bar, select Edit.
  5. In the Display Unit Properties, go to Settings > Contacts, and then click Add.

  1. Expand the Client Watch folder, and than select the Network 1 contact.

Now, if this display unit has issues, Broadsign Administrator will notify our installer of the problem (even though he is not a user in the network).

To configure thresholds:

Another important part of our monitoring and notifications system is thresholds. Thresholds allow each network to configure its “warning” and “critical” levels.

Thresholds apply to the whole domain. Notifications will go to the default domain administrator, along with any other contacts that you have added to the domain.

In this example, we will set a Missing in Action (MIA) threshold. A player is considered MIA when the it has not connected with Broadsign Server.

We will set up the following thresholds:

    • Warning: Notify contacts after one hour, if the issue remains active.
    • Critical: Notify contacts after three hours, if the issue remains active.
  1. Go to the domain properties menu, and select Edit Domain.

  1. Go to Settings > Monitoring, and then click Add. The Add Incident Threshold Wizard opens.

  1. On the Incident Type page, from the drop-down list, select MIA.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Incident Threshold Settings page:
      • Select Escalate incident to warning. Set it to “After 1 Hours”.
      • Select Escalate incident to critical. Set it to “After 3 Hours”.

  1. Click Finish.

We provide a training video that outlines reports in Broadsign Administrator.

For more information in our online documentation about reports, see Monitoring and Reports.

You can control some of a player or edge server’s settings by assigning them a configuration.

Each configuration contains one or more configuration profiles. A profile is a collection of settings pertaining to a particular range of Broadsign Suite product versions.

To begin with, we will show you how to:

    • add a configuration;
    • add a player to the configuration;
    • add a profile to the configuration; and,
    • set up versioning.

Broadsign offers many different ways to configure your network. For a full explanation of each setting in a configuration profile, see Configuration Profiles – Players or Configuration Profiles – Edge Servers.

To add a configuration and a profile:
  1. Select User Groups from among the resources on the left.

Configurations in the resource tabs

  1. Select the Operations ribbon, and then click on the Configuration icon.

The Configuration icon in the Operations ribbon

  1. In the “Select a folder” dialogue box, select Configurations.
  2. Click OK.
  3. On the Welcome page, give the configuration a descriptive name.
      • We recommend that your configuration name include the name of the player or edge server involved, its location or its main function. Possible names include “Synchronization Montreal Office”, “20 min Poll Frequency – NY NW #1”. For our example, we will use the name “Player 1 – New York”.

Naming your configuration

  1. Click Next. The Configuration Type page appears.
      • You can create a configuration for either a player or an edge server. In our example, we will create a configuration for a player.
  2. Click Finish. By default, your new configuration will appear in the work area, under the list panel.

A configuration in the list panel

  1. To add a profile to this configuration, double-click on it. The Configuration Properties dialogue box appears.
  2. Go to the Configuration Profiles tab, and then click Add.

Adding a configuration profile

  1. On the Welcome page, give the profile a descriptive name.
      • As profiles are set up according to a minimum version number, we recommend that its name correspond to that number, e.g., “Version 11.0.0”.

Naming your configuration profile

  1. Click Next. The Configuration Profile Version page appears.
  2. Specify the minimum supported version of the player (or edge server), e.g., 11.0.0.
      • This feature permits you to create multiple profiles, within one configuration, aimed at different versions of a player or edge server. As a result, you can target display units containing players of different versions.
  3. Click Finish. The profile appears in the Configuration Profiles tab.

A profile in the Configuration Profiles tab

  1. To access the profile’s properties, double-click on the profile. The Configuration Profile Properties dialogue box appears.

Configuration profile properties

We have documented all of the properties of a configuration profile. See Configuration Profiles – Players or Configuration Profiles – Edge Servers.