UltraKey 6 Cloud
Created and provided by Bytes of Learning
UltraKey 6 Cloud is an optional record service for any multi-station UltraKey 6 desktop license. An indefinite number of schools, and classes can be designated. Subscriptions are annual, and the charge is by the school or site (up to 500 student records per site).
Choose the number of schools or sites (Qty).
Choose the number of years.
The UltraKey 6 Cloud is the alternative solution for customers who cannot maintain a local installation of the UltraKey server software. Or they want to make their records more easily available to students who are off site. The Cloud service incurs a modest annual charge, additional to the cost of the desktop license.
Cloud service is required for schools and districts who want to subscribe for home use of UltraKey 6.
UltraKey Online is a service completely different from the UltraKey Cloud. UltraKey Online is a web-based variation os UltraKey that operates in any html5 compliant browser on PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and iPads. Subscribers to the online edition of UltraKey automatically receive cloud-based record keeping with the subscription. The UltraKey Cloud is for customers continuing to use the desktop software, who want cloud-based record keeping.
UltraKey Cloud subscriptions can be purchased in 1-year, 2-year, up to 5-year increments.
Most subscriptions are sold to schools, so they automatically end June 30 of each year. A grace period is always provided to August 31, before the subscription is actually turned off.
If you purchase a subscription July through December, the subscription ends the following June 30. For example, a subscription purchased May 2017, ends June 30, 2018.
If you purchase in January through June, the subscription ends the following June 30. For example, a subscription purchased October 2017, ends June 30, 2018.
We realize subscribers can get additional months of use, or get some fewer months of use, depending on the month in which they purchase. We neither charge more for the extra months, or charge less for the fewer months because it really is not time we are selling. It is the use of the service and the provision of instruction that is the value rendered.
That said, if you are purchasing a new subscription, and you want a subscription expiry to end on a particular month-end, just ask us to adjust it. We reserve the right to charge an adjusted fee where it makes sense.
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 6DS 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.
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 Macintosh at home, or Macintosh 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 6DS Software is engineered for...
• All Windows PCs or servers
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.
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 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.
No. 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.
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.
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.
For teachers, trainers and other educational professionals - Before you buy, we invite you to request a free 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).