UltraKey 6 Local Data Server Software

UltraKey Data Server software product image.

 

Created and provided by Bytes of Learning

UltraKey 6 Data Server is a powerful software technology that can be operated on any Windows PC or server. The service can manage data for a whole school district! It is provided FREE with every 5+ station license of the UltraKey 6 desktop software.

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Details


The UltraKey 6 Data Server software is a Windows-based service that manages all the UltraKey records for your school, district or enterprise. Once installed, the service communicates with any UltraKey 6 desktop client (Mac and Windows) using Internet communication protocol (TCP/IP). The communication can occur through any network, intranet, or Internet connection.

Some districts and organizations are supporting over 10,000 student records using a single data server installation. In some instances, the district has enabled home users to log into their user records from home (UltraKey client required).

If your school or organization cannot host the data server software, or you prefer a cloud-based record-keeping service, the UltraKey Cloud is available. Cloud service is required for schools and districts who want to subscribe for home client and login use. It is also useful to schools and districts who use Macintosh computers exclusively.

Frequently asked questions...

  • I want students to be able to log into records from home. What are my options?

    To be able to log into UltraKey desktop records at any location, the student must have an installed copy of UltraKey 6 for Macintosh or Windows. There are a range of solutions for achieving this, from having students purchase the software from our store, to having students purchase the software through the school, to providing students free copies of the software by purchasing a home-use license.

    School and enterprises, such as hospitals and companies, have two ways to house the records:

    In Cloud Scenario One below, the licensed organization hosts the UltraKey 6 Data Server software on a server under its control. In effect, the organization creates its own UltraKey Cloud. Details are provided in the UltraKey Setup Guide, and assistance is available from Bytes of Learning.

    In Cloud Scenario Two below, the licensed organization subscribes for the UltraKey Cloud.

    In both scenarios, login capability is available inside and outside the organization. The only question is where the records are hosted and who is hosting them.

    Cloud scenario 1 shows how a server housed within the district can communicate with school and home installations of UltraKey.

    Cloud scenario 2 shows shows how the UltraKey Cloud enables communication with school and home installations of UltraKey.

  • How secure is the UltraKey communication?

    We have always taken security very seriously. In the many years since our first IP-based communication technology was released (2005), we have never had a single incident of security breach. Although we have bolstered the security since then, we have never had to release a security update.

    Security is achieved by following industry best-practices as follows:

    √ All communication is encrypted.

    √ All data stored on the server is encrypted.

    √ Data does not include personal identification beyond the user's name.

    √ Communication flows through a specific port, not used by other vendors, and not used by browsers.

    √ Communication is authenticated, meaning that the UltraKey 6 client and the UltraKey 6 data server software have to "shake hands" and exchange the necessary security protocols before any further communication takes place.

    √ The only commands the UltraKey data server software knows, are UltraKey-specific commands. Those commands do not include any system commands such as delete files or erase hard drives. In other words, if a person hacked the system and was able to talk with the UltraKey server, the person couldn't do any system harm.

    √ The UltraKey server software never transmits passwords to the client. We have been asked to enable UltraKey to print lists of passwords. We decline because it is not a good practice in the first place to print lists of passwords. Secondly, when a system cannot transmit passwords, it cannot be made to transmit them.

    We are happy to answer any other security questions. Please contact us.

  • If I have to enable a port for UltraKey, isn't this a security risk?

    Industry standards require all vendors who incorporate TCP/IP communication in their applications, to designate a port number for their exclusive communication. There are 65,000 ports on every computer and router, so there are plenty to go around.

    Home owners never have communication ports locked down, which is not to say they should. This is why no homeowner ever has to enable a port to permit UltraKey communication.

    Some organizations lock down all incoming and outgoing communication ports, and enable ports only as necessary. This is part of a pro-active security policy, which is commendable. Such organizations need to enable UltraKey communication as specified in the setup guide.

    Some people think that enabling a port is like opening a door or window, so any person or a virus can now enter through it and hack their computers. This is an inaccurate understanding.

    Every computer and router in the world always has some ports enabled. Otherwise, people could not browse the Internet or send any email. Computers cannot communicate in any way without some ports enabled.

    For example, port 80 is always enabled for Internet browsers. Internet browsers perform many functions including system writing and reading. The commands to operate browsers are public knowledge. So, hackers can communicate through port 80 and they can cause harm. This is why Internet browsers constantly receive security updates to repel the latest threats.

    As detailed in the previous section, in order for a person to breach security through a port provided for UltraKey, the person would have to intercept UltraKey communication, decrypt it, know how to handshake with the UltraKey server software, and know all the UltraKey server commands. These are held private and are limited to commands required for UltraKey. Generally the hacker has to perform at least a life's worth of research to accomplish nothing of particular use or harm.

    As original developers of technology (not just programs), we take security seriously. As such, we are required to know the subject. Given that no security breach has ever occurred, and UltraKey has never required a security patch since 2005, we think it is safe to conclude that enabling a port for UltraKey communication is not a security breach.

  • Can UltraKey be used without Internet connections, such as prisons?

    UltraKey was recently adopted by the Minnesota State Department of Corrections because UltraKey meets the very different needs of the corrections instructional environment. UltraKey is approved by the Federal Department of Corrections, and it is in use in many special education facilities.

    In the Minnesota system, they have installed the UltraKey Data Server software at a central location. Their facilities are inter-connected, so all UltraKey clients operating at any facility, communicate with the one central installation. Through all this connectivity, nothing touches or connects with the Internet.

    Likewise, a school that does not have Internet, can still install the server software on a local PC or server. UltraKey clients within the same building, communicate with the locally installed server software. 

    See Why UltraKey Belongs Behind Bars!

  • How much maintenance does the UltraKey Data Server need?

    If you subscribe to the UltraKey Cloud, no maintenance is required. That is one the services we perform.

    If you host your own installation of the UltraKey Data Server software, the need for maintenance is so low, you have to include it on your annual don't-forget list.

    We say this because it was several years after first release (2005), that any districts reported failures of the server software. It turned out that, with the automatic backup service turned on, the server software had run out of room on the server hard drive. When technicians reviewed their server hard drive, and deleted old data backups, they were up and running again.

    This is not to say that the server software requires a lot of data space. An entire district of over 60 schools requires about 1GB of data space.

  • Can Macintosh users log into cloud records?

    Yes.

    While the UltraKey Data Server must operate on a Windows computer or server, it communicates as easily with Macintosh computers as it does with Windows computers. So does the UltraKey Cloud.

    Some Macintosh schools have no PCs available to use as a server, so the UltraKey Cloud is their solution.

    Whether a data server installation or the UltraKey Cloud is in use, students can use Windows at school and Mac at home, or Mac at school and Windows at home -- whatever is convenient. They pick up their lessons and carry on from wherever they left off.

    The UltraKey 6 client or program is engineered for...

    • Mac OS X computers 10.6 to current.
    • Windows computers Vista, Windows 7 through Windows 10.
    Netbooks - automatically adapts to screen size.
    • Standard app servers - Novell, Windows, Mac OS X.
    • Terminal servers - NComputing, Microsoft Multipoint, Citrix, others.

    The UltraKey 6 Data Server Software is engineered for...

    • All Windows PCs or servers

  • What licenses are available and how much do they cost?

    The UltraKey Data Server is provided free with each UltraKey 6 multi-station license.

    The UltraKey Cloud is licensed according to the number of sites being served, up to 500 records per site. An annual license costs $100 per site. For example, a district with 10 schools will pay $1,000 per annum to have the UltraKey Cloud service provided for all 10 schools.

  • How can we evaluate the UltraKey Data Server software or Cloud?

    Satisfaction Guaranteed!

    For teachers, trainers and other educational professionals - Before you buy, we invite you to request a free 30-day trial of UltraKey. This includes whatever service you would like to evaluate --  UltraKey Data Server or UltraKey Cloud.

    This fully-enabled trial license will allow you to use UltraKey as if you already own it. Your UltraKey trial comes with our full technical support. When you purchase, just enter your license key and carry on with all your records and settings intact!

    To place a trial request, contact us (for schools, organizations and companies only).

For additional information or comments, contact us.

For specific pricing on an UltraKey license or subscription to suit your needs, request a quote.