FileWave Version 15.4.1

The FileWave endpoint management suite allows you to manage your devices wherever they are, wherever you are, whatever they are, and all in one platform!

In version 15.4, we are thrilled to present a range of new features and enhancements, including seamless Microsoft WinGet Integration, additional Chromebook commands in Anywhere, Apple Software Update improvements through Declarative Device Management (DDM), and enhanced Kiosk functionalities. These updates are designed to streamline device management and enhance user experience across various platforms.

FileWave Official Version Support

FileWave supports the two latest major versions at any time. For example, if the current version is 15.4.x, we support versions 15.4.x and 15.3.x. Major releases occur roughly every quarter.

What does “officially support” mean?

We will investigate and patch significant issues in these versions. We do not produce patches for versions older than N-1, focusing instead on current versions and future improvements. If an issue is found in an older version, remediation will be in the form of an upgrade or a patch to a more recent version.

You can still contact our support teams about earlier versions. They will assist you to the best of their ability but won’t escalate tickets to our development teams. Upgrading is recommended to access the latest features and bug fixes.

Your existing FileWave Server must be version 13.3.1 or higher before you can upgrade to FileWave 14.7.2 and then from 14.7.2 you can upgrade to 15.4.1.  The minimum memory requirement for FileWave 14+ is 8GB.

Compatibility

A Note on Compatibility

A note on the Compatibility charts:  There are several states of compatibility for FileWave clients:  

  • "Compatible" (the first table) indicates that we have run QA regression tests against these operating system versions, and they are fully supported
  • Not being on the Compatibility chart (such as macOS 12) does not mean that platform is not supported...it just means we did not actively test against it, but we do expect it to function
    • Support of any issues experienced specifically on these platforms would be considered on a case-by-case basis (but these cases are exceedingly rare)
  • "Legacy" versions mean that we don't test, but we do provide a retro-version of a client so that the device can still report in  
    • There is NO support for these platforms beyond the availability of the older client, and in almost all cases these are for OSes that are no longer supported by the developer in question
  • Lastly, items do fall out of support, such as Windows XP and probably soon the older Android APK client as examples, but we always include these items in our release notes

An additional note on third-party software inclusion, such as TeamViewer:

  • Partnerships we have with third party providers have their own set of system requirements for those released applications.  We test against their most recent versions, and support of those applications is limited to third-party vendor specifications. 
FileWave Server Platform Support

fwserver-icon.pngFully Tested by QA

  • macOS 13, 14 (Intel and Apple Silicon)
  • Debian 12.2 x86_64 (Note that any Debian 12.x is expected to work, and applying security updates may move you to a higher version.)

Expected to work

  • macOS 11, 12 (Intel and Apple Silicon)

Virtual Appliances

FileWave Clients Platform Support

fwclients-icon.pngFully Tested by QA

  • macOS 13, 14 (Intel and Apple Silicon)
  • Windows 10 (Ent/Pro 21H1 and above), 11 (Ent/Pro 21H2 and above)

Expected to work

  • macOS 11, 12 (Intel and Apple Silicon)

Legacy

FileWave Mobile Clients Platform Support

fwmobile-icon.pngFully Tested by QA

  • iOS 16.1, 17
  • iPadOS 16, 17
  • tvOS 16, 17
  • Android 13, 14 (EMM Client)
  • Chromebook

Expected to work

  • iOS 14, 15
  • iPadOS 14, 15
  • tvOS 14, 15
  • Android 8 to 12 (EMM)

Legacy

FileWave Central (Native) Platform Support

fwmobile-icon.pngFully Tested by QA

  • macOS 13, 14 (Intel and Apple Silicon)
  • Windows 10 (Ent/Pro 21H1 and above), 11 (Ent/Pro 21H2 and above)

Expected to work

  • macOS 11, 12 (Intel and Apple Silicon)
FileWave Booster Platform Support

fwbooster-icon.pngFully Tested by QA

  • macOS 13, 14 (Intel and Apple Silicon)
  • Windows 10 (Ent/Pro 21H1 and above), 11 (Ent/Pro 21H2 and above)
  • Debian 12.2 x86_64 (Note that any Debian 12.x is expected to work, and applying security updates may move you to a higher version.)

Virtual Appliances

FileWave Imaging Virtual Server Platform Support

fwivs-icon.png

The FileWave Imaging Virtual Server (IVS) is a special appliance that provides imaging support for Windows 10 and 11 UEFI and non-UEFI devices.

Virtual Appliances

Features and Updates in this Release

FileWave Management Suite

Bug fixes and security update

FileWave 15.4.1 brings bug fixes and 3rd party open source component updates.

Unified backend for Model Update (Technical Preview)

Model Update is one of the key features of FileWave; Model Update allows you to apply complex changes to your organization only when you’re ready to deploy them and to revert unwanted changes. FileWave 15.3.0 brings a new Model Update mechanism, now running in a single component. This is the first step before new features and improvements can be added to Model Update. In this version, we focused on consistency with existing Model Update (to make sure nothing changes in your deployments) and on shortening update times. Model Update “v2” is a Technical Preview in 15.4.0, so it is not enabled by default.

Minor improvements (Central) 

  • It is now possible to filter any table of Client Info dialog.
  • Inventory Queries can now be imported and exported.
  • Inventory Queries can easily be exposed to Grafana Dashboard
  • json file format is now part of default editable file format list

More Dark Mode (Central)

Stand-alone assistants (Client Assistant, Booster Monitor...) now support dark mode

Apple-Specific Changes

Software Update revisited

With the introduction of Declarative Device Management, Apple announced having fixed several issues related to OS update management, mainly on macOS. This is the opportunity for FileWave to revisit how Apple updates are handled, to remove old mechanisms which are either decommissioned by Apple or known to be not reliable, in order to simplify the user experience.

GDMF (Global Device Management Framework) as unique source of truth

One major issue with Software Update Apple side is the multiplicity of sources:

  • Legacy systems (older macOS version) rely on an online sucatalog file containing metadata about updates, and used by softwareupdate command line system.
  • MDM capable devices can report Available OS Updates at the time they are requesting it.
  • GDMF is the new, simplified online catalog, about OS updates for Apple devices.

To ease the support of a broader set of devices, FileWave would combine all sources into one, which could lead to confusions for updates available in multiple sources, as they would show multiple times due to different identifiers.
Starting with FileWave 15.4, the only source of truth will be GDMF.

Which means:

  • no more duplicated entries as long GDMF has unique entries per update
  • only OS updates will be displayed - while old legacy catalog could contain system apps or system items like XProtect.

On macOS DDM replaces MDM
Legacy macOS versions allowed fine control on how to install updates using softwareupdate command line tool ; using this tool has been made deprecated by Apple several years ago and using MDM protocol was the recommended approach. Unfortunately, this mechanism was not only giving very limited control (MDM can kindly ask device to install the update, that’s it), but was not as reliable as it should. Unfortunately (again), Apple has not been able to fix reported issued with the MDM protocol, preferring a complete rewrite using the new DDM system.

Therefore, starting with FileWave 15.4, macOS OS updates will be managed only using DDM - older not supported or not working mechanisms are decommissioned. Which means:

  • macOS OS updates can now be triggered and managed
  • only OS-Update DDM capable devices can be managed, so macOS 14 (Sonoma) is the minimum version


Apple Spring Release 2024 support

New restrictions : 

  • Allow Live Voicemail (iOS 17.2)
  • force preserve ESIM on erase (iOS 17.2)
  • allow market place installation (iOS 17.4, EU iPhones)
  • allow web installation of apps (iOS 17.5, EU iPhones)

DEP new skip item (and corresponding Setup Assistant): Wallpaper

Installed Application List now reports Distributor Identifier to identify MarketPlace (EU iPhones)

Declarative Device Management (DDM)

FileWave 15.3 introduced the first support of Apple new DDM protocol. With 15.4, this support is expanded to:

  • OS update (see above)
  • Application Management (Technical preview as the functionality is still in developer preview Apple side and not complete)
  • Status report expanded:
    • FileVault status
    • Battery Health report

Minor improvements

FileWave Central will now check, when renewing APN certificate, if the Common Name of the new certificate matches the one from the existing one, to avoid communication break.

Chromebook-Specific Changes
API Changes

The most important thing to talk about is the change to the Chrombook APIs. When going to 15.4 you will need to make sure 2 APIs are enabled.  Firebase Cloud Messaging API and  Firebase Management API are required. In fact if you do not upgrade to 15.4 the old APIs will be disabled by Google on June 20, 2024 so you should be sure to upgrade. If you miss upgrading in time, it's ok. Just upgrade and then enable the APIs. Confirming Firebase APIs are enabled for Chromebooks (15.4+) has a script that on-premise customers can run but the easiest thing is just to click https://console.developers.google.com/flows/enableapi?apiid=firebase.googleapis.com,fcm.googleapis.com and make sure your Firebase project is picked and it'll enable the 2 APIs. You can do this before or after you update to 15.4. 

Chromebook commands in FileWave Anywhere

1. REMOTE_POWERWASH Command

  • Description: System administrators can remotely powerwash ChromeOS devices, resetting them to factory settings for efficient troubleshooting and maintaining device security.
  • Execution: Initiates the powerwash process, erasing all user data and configurations.

2. WIPE_USERS Command

  • Description: System administrators can remotely and securely wipe user data from devices, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and maintaining organizational security.
  • Execution: Initiates the data-wiping process on all user accounts.

3. REBOOT Command

  • Description: Introducing the REBOOT command, enabling system administrators to reboot devices for troubleshooting remotely and applying system updates.
  • Execution: Initiates the remote reboot process on the selected devices.

4. Command History tab

  • Description: Users can now view all information related to sending REMOTE_POWERWASH, WIPE_USERS, and REBOOT Commands in the Command History tab for Chromebook devices.

More details available → Powerwash / Wipe Users on ChromeOS (15.3+) & Reboot for ChromeOS (15.3+)

Error handling in case of missing permissions

If the user doesn’t have right permissions or looses permissions in the middle of executing an action, the appropriate error message will be shown in both FileWave Anywhere and Central:

image.png        image.png

Annotated fields in FileWave Anywhere

Admins using FileWave Anywhere now have the possibility of editing and bulk editing annotated fields in FileWave Anywhere.

Select device(s) → Actions → Edit Fields

image.png

Android-Specific Changes

Network Policy

It is now possible to set DomainSuffixMatch and UseSystemCA settings for EAP configure networks.

USB data transfer restriction

USB File transfer option has been added to both Default Policy and to Restriction Policy to allow USB data transfer on managed Android devices.

Windows-Specific Changes

Winget integration - third-party patching made easy

Deploying applications available via Microsoft Winget was already possible using FileWave, but it required script manipulation and some steps to set up properly. FileWave 15.4 introduces a much simpler way to deploy applications to Windows devices.

Welcome new Winget Fileset