To function optimally, UpSlide needs to communicate with the user database on our server. This article describes the nature of the exchanges and how to configure them.
UpSlide communication to our server is done through HTTPS (TLS 1.2) and encrypted with AES256.
With this feature, UpSlide is automatically activated after users enter their email addresses during their first use. The license is automatically updated when the UpSlide contract is renewed each year.
If communication is blocked, users must manually request and enter their license using the manual activation procedure. UpSlide will direct them to one of our webpage, where they can enter their mail address to receive an activation code. They will need to complete it again each year. So that you know, the page still transmits the same user information as an automatic request.
Our team configures team settings before UpSlide deployment. If one of those settings is changed after deployment, its new value can be pushed automatically to all users.
Examples of available settings:
- Shared folder location for the libraries and the templates updates
- Link options
- Default support mail address
When a new version of UpSlide is available, it will be installed automatically. We highly recommend enabling auto-update to ensure UpSlide is compatible with the latest version of Office and to receive new features and bug fixes.
Please look at our auto-update process and security article for more information.
Like all certificates, UpSlide certificates expire regularly, and we have implemented a system to renew them automatically. These communications are necessary to ensure that UpSlide updates are still available after our certificate has been renewed.
Every user machine sends usage information (number of clicks on features) to a centralised server. The push is made once per day at a single Office application startup. This information can later be retrieved in the form of dashboards detailing the most valuable features for your company and the percentage of users who are, in effect, using UpSlide.
This feature can be turned off for all users. The user will not be affected if communication is blocked, and the statistics will not be collected.
How it works
The UpSlide add-in makes web requests (HTTPS: GET) through the host application (Excel, Word or PowerPoint) on port 443. To make it work:
Authorise HTTPS requests to the domains and all subdomains of upslide.net
- The Windows firewall must not block Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
We've included the details of the data exchanged between UpSlide and the server. All data is encrypted using an AES 256 algorithm.
- License Request and Renewal - https://license.upslide.net
- Data sent: User Information*
- Data retrieved: license code.
- Usage statistics - https://stats.upslide.net
- Data sent: User Information* & UpSlide usage statistics.
- Data retrieved: list of processed stats.
- Team settings - https://autoupdate.upslide.net
- Data sent: contract ID, user email.
- Data retrieved: account settings (library paths, default Linking options, etc...)
- UpSlide upgrade - https://autoupdate.upslide.net
- Sent data: contract ID, user email, installed UpSlide certificate, installed UpSlide Service, UpSlide auto-update channel, User Information*
- Data retrieved: URL of the latest update compressed as a .zip file, later downloaded using BITS protocol.
- Certificate Renewal - https://portalapi.upslide.net
- Sent data: contract ID, user email.
- Data retrieved: information about the latest version of the certificate, the certificate installer and UpSlide Plus.
- Autoupdate & Certificate Renewal Storage - https://upslideautoupdate.blob.core.windows.net
- Sent data: none
- Data retrieved: latest versions of UpSlide, certificates, certificate installer or UpSlide Plus, depending on what was requested.
* User Information comprises: user email, contract ID, computer ID, computer name, domain name, user name, OS version, Office version, UpSlide version, and last usage dates.
What happens if communication is blocked?
At first start, UpSlide retrieves the user email and sends it to our server. If the user is referenced in our database, UpSlide will be activated automatically.
If communication is blocked, UpSlide reverts to a manual process. Users must log in to our website and will receive an automated email with a license code to paste into the UpSlide activation window. Users will need to complete this once a year to renew their licenses.
UpSlide can deploy default settings with the setup. If you have different teams with different settings or if any change is needed (like the library path, for example), you will have to deploy configuration files to every machine, or each user will need to change them manually.
Without auto-update, you will have to redeploy a new setup to all users to benefit from the new features and bug fixes.
Please note that contractually, the users must use the latest version to get Support.
Without this communication, the auto-update will stop working when we renew our certificate (every three years).
With these statistics, we conduct periodic business reviews where we go over the actual usage of UpSlide. Without this system, you'll have a more challenging time estimating the return on investment of UpSlide.