Updated on 20 September 2021

Check regularly for additions and updates to these release notes.

What's New September 20, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • SSO authentication

    VMware Learning Platform also supports user authentication from various third-party authentication providers. You can enable this for VMware Learning Platform user interface and administrator interface login. Some of the supported authentication providers areFacebook, Google, VMware Workspace One and every OpenId provider.
    See Working with Authentication Provider.
     
  • Custom user messages
    Administrators can push custom notification to all, or selected users logged in the end-user interface.
    Administrators can create a “user message” which will be pushed to all the logged in users for a specified time. The message can be broadcasted to All Accounts/Logged in users/ Accounts in the lab console. To setup a user message, navigate to Security>User messages and create a new user message.
    See Create Custom Notification Messages.
     
  • Variable tags in lab manual
    The lab manual content creators have ability to display some of the important information in lab manuals with help of variable tags. Lab manual content creators can create and inject certain data in lab manuals when a user takes a lab. The variables are injected when the step is first rendered and do not update dynamically if they are changed. Ensure the variable tags are within double curly brackets {{}}.

    Some of the supported variable tags are:​
    • lastName: lastName
    • firstName: firstName
    • labSku: sku
    • classId: {{classId}}
    • className: {{className}}
    • entitlementId: entitlement-id

           For more information, see  Inserting Variables into a Manual.

  • Administrator account creation without VMware ID. 
    Previously, a new administrator account was created only from VMware Cloud Services console. Now, new administrator accounts can be created from VMware Learning Platform.
    See Create a User Account.

 

What's New August 17, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • Class:
    • Improved the class video conferencing feature to enable seamless integration of Zoom with a class. To enable this feature, contact the VMware Learning Platform support team.
      See Create a Class.
    • Administrators can now edit the start time of a started class. The new start time for a class will be effective from the following day.​
      See Modify a Class
       
  • Notification alerts for cloud resource usage threshold:
    Added notification alerts when cloud resource usage is at 90%. This will help administrators to avoid a production issue and will provide enough time for administrators to contact cloud administrators to increase or clean up the resources. 
    See Create Notification Subscription
     
  • Added Notification menu in the side navigation panel:
    We have added a new menu for notifications under Tenant Management>Notifications. On this page administrators can see all the notifications. You can perform various actions such as acknowledge, flag, and subscribe to notifications.
    See Working with Notification Alerts.
     
  • Parallelly power on VMs in Lab Builder:
    • Previously, when you had multiple VM’s in the Lab Builder editor, the VM power-on operation was sequential and time consuming. Now you can power on all the VM’s parallelly, which will save time and allow you to work on one of the powered-on VM and reboot another VM at the same time.
       
  • User accounts:
    • Ability to modify usernames:
      The username field is an email address that cannot be modified. Now, modifications and corrections are allowed in usernames.
    • Administrators can merge user accounts:
      We have added an ability to merge user accounts. This is useful when a user has changed their email address and wants their transcripts to be transferred to a new account.
      See Edit User Accounts.
       
  • Administrator user interface:
    Improved administrator user interface listing pages by providing a uniform view of titles, search bar, filters, sorting icons, bulk action options for all the listing pages.

What's New July 19, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • Exam module:
    The exam feature allows administrators, instructors, proctors to grade entitlements (users) and provide certification on passing exams. You can define the exam in VMware Learning Platform and add grading options in the system. Administrators can customize email templates to send the exam report to the users. 
    See Working with Exam Module.  
     
  • Power on vApps from the entitlement list:
    Support to power on a vApp of an entitlement from the VMware Learning Platform administrator interface is added. To power on a vApp assigned to an entitlement, click Entitlements>User Entitlements. Click on the three ellipses of an entitlement and select Power on Cloud vApp.
    See Managing Lab Entitlements.
     
  • Simplified lab creation wizard:
    Create new labs with a new interface for simplified lab creation. A simple and easy-to-use lab creation form that lists only the required fields for a lab. This option is useful when administrators want to create a quick lab.
    See Working with Tenant Settings.

What's New June 15, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • Network visualization diagram: 
    With the network diagram feature, administrators can create and modify lab templates with suitable network configurations across virtual machines. A network diagram provides a graphical view of virtual machines and networks in a vApp. 
    See Edit a Lab Template with the Lab Builder
     
  • Import template from any cloud: 
    Lab creators can import a lab template from a cloud (vCloud Director) that is not registered in VMware Learning Platform (VLP). 
    See Import Lab Template Another Cloud.   
     
  • Improved backup monitoring:
    Enhancement are made to improve the backup monitoring process with appropriate system messages. Several useful visualizations, alerts, messages, and tooltips during lab builder operations are added to enhance the user experience of VLP.  
     
  • CC a support email address: 
    This feature enables you to CC all the class related email notifications to a particular email address. Administrators can add an email address to get all the class related notifications from Tenant Settings> Add support email in cc in class emails.
    See Working with Tenant Settings.
     
  • Skip provisioning: 
    We have added an option to skip provisioning of resources for classes. This option can be used when administrators want to save the resources and not assign it to students unless the lab is launched. 
     
  • Improved notification experience:
    For better customer experience, the user interface elements of notification alerts are enhanced. The new View all Notification list page can be used to see all the alerts and perform actions like AcknowledgeAcknowledge AllMark as readFlag etc.   
    See Working with Notification Alerts.
     
  • Power off vApps from the Entitlement list:  
    Support to power off a vApp of an entitlement from the VLP admin interface is added. To power off a vApp assigned to an entitlement, click Entitlements>user entitlements. Click on three ellipses of an entitlement and select Power off Cloud vApp
    See Managing Lab Entitlements
     
  • Power reset:  
    The power reset option resets the power cycles for all the VMs in a vApp, except for entitlements that have Awaiting Grade status.  
    See Managing Lab Entitlements
     
  • Quick load of listing in deployment pool:
    Added improvements to the Deployment pool list page, which helps in loading and editing of deployments quickly. The template selection list for a deployment pool is also improved with appropriate warning and listing.  

For detailed information about the features, see the VMware Learning Platform Administrators Guide.

What's New May 13, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • In-App notification for admin interface
    • Get easy access to all alerts and errors with the in-app notification feature in the admin interface. Real-time pop-ups of alerts can help you to fix the issues on the go. 
    • Option to subscribe for alerts based on various categories and priority for effective monitoring of the platform.
       
  • File uploader: Upload a file (of any type) while you build or modify a template in Lab Builder. The uploaded files generate a temporary link that can be used to download the file within a VM to help you build a lab quickly. 
     
  • Warning for powered on labs: While creating a class, if resource-saving option for a class is not enabled, the system displays a warning alert before you can publish the class. To save resources, by default the resource management setting is set to suspend the vApps of a class after 30 minutes, at the end of each day.
     
  • Duplicate a running class: Now you can duplicate a running class. This feature is useful when you have to duplicate an existing class for recurring instances. Administrators and instructors can duplicate a class from the Class list menu option. 
     
  • Clone entitlements: Support to clone entitlements from an existing student's entitlement for another student is added. Suppose a student’s lab is corrupted or the student is running behind the class schedule. Instead of starting an afresh lab, students’ entitlement can be cloned with one of the existing student’s entitlement. Administrators can clone entitlements from the Entitlements>User Entitlements list menu option.  
     
  • Log in without a password: Administrators can allow pre-registered students or end-users to log in to VMware Learning Platform student interface without providing a password. This is useful for on-demand lab access during a large event, such as conferences. Administrators can enable this feature from Tenant Settings>Events>Allow users to login without providing a password.
     
  • Compact view for end-user interface: You can modify the student interface to be compact and unobtrusive and provide maximum screen space to work on the virtual machine. Administrators can enable this feature from Tenant Settings>Console Interface>Compact Panel option.
     
  • Customize the side menus: You can optimize the admin interface by hiding the less frequently used side navigation menu items. Administrators can show or hide the required menu items from the Tenant Settings>Side menu option. 

What's New March 28, 2021

The following new improvements are included in this update:

  • Login changes: Login process for administrators, instructors, content creators, and users, who are a part of a multi-tenant is changed. This means, that a user account is unique per VMware Learning Platform (VLP) tenant. Users are prompted to enter the “Organization name” when they access the VLP Admin interface from the https://admin.prod.learningplatform.vmware.com/  URL. Changes to the user account is reflected only for the current tenant.

    The organization name is your unique tenant name. Tenant names are case sensitive. A tenant is a company or institution (or a department within a company or institution) that has purchased access to VMware Learning Platform.

  • API integration: If you are using VLP APIs in your application or Learning Management System (LMS), ensure that you pass the tenant_name along with the username in all your authentication calls.  
    Existing username for Authentication: user@company.com
    New Auth username for Authentication: user@company.com@tenant_name (notice the two @ symbols).

 For more information or support, contact the VLP Support team.

What's New March 18, 2021

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Resource use and cost estimation:
    • Widget to view cost per lab per user: The Download Entitlement Statistics widget in the Dashboard provides cost (in USD), compute, and storage utilization data for each entitlement.
    • Entitlements: Get resource usage and cost estimates of an entitlement in real-time. The More Details option in the Entitlements page provides the storage, compute units, and cost (in USD) data for an entitlement. You can also use the API to monitor the resource usage of an entitlement in real-time.
    • Transcripts: The More Details option in the Transcripts page displays the storage, compute units, and cost (in USD) inputs associated with a transcript.
    • Class: The More Details option in the Class page provides the storage, compute units, and cost (in USD) inputs associated with a class.
      This feature is currently available to all commercial customers with VLP owned Cloud. For more information, reach out to the VLP Support team. 
       
  • Create lab from the Create Class menu: Now you can create a lab for a class from the Create Class menu. The Create New Lab is accessible from the Create Class menu. You can choose an existing lab from the list view, or from the Recently created labs view, or create a new lab from the Create Class menu.  
     
  • Send email to students before or after starting a class: Instructors can send emails to students with a link to join a class before or after the class has started. To use this feature, on the Class page, click on the three ellipses next to a student's name and select Send Notification Email.
     
  • Quick launch emails: For existing entitlements or enrolments, administrators can send an email to user or student with a quick launch URL in one click.
     
  • Send keyboard shortcuts to console: In the end-user interface, you can send a prompt with several new frequently used keyboard shortcuts to the console from a student's keyboard. The new shortcut user interface replaces the Ctrl+Alt+Del button that is above the console. Enable this feature using the Show Shortcut Keys button in the Tenant Setting>Lab Console page.
     
  • Delete vApps in an error state: In a scenario, when a running vApp or a prepop fails to deploy because of an issue in cloud, you can delete such vApps in the Cloud Vapps page. Enable the Delete prepops in error state after specified hours and Delete vapps for entitlements in error state after specified hours options in the Tenant Management>Settings page. All vApps in error state are not billed.
    A running vApp is your lab instance deployed for a user (entitlement) or a prepop by VMware Learning Platform deployment pool using a lab template in a cloud.
     
  • Improved admin interface: Improved admin interface for better user experience. With this enhancement, overlapping of tooltips issue is resolved and it provides better scrollbar experience. 
     
  • API guide under the Support menu: Administrators can access the VMware Learning Platform API guide from the Support menu.
     
  • New notification subscription page: The severity levels in the email Notification Subscription List are represented as Low, Medium, and High. To subscribe for notifications, use the Create Notification Subscription option. 

What's New February 19, 2021

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Backup lab template: With the Backup feature, an administrator can easily create a backup for a lab template. The Backup option displays the template file name, creation date, and the validity period for the backup. Click Lab Builder, and select the template for which you want to create a backup and click on the plus sign to add a backup. Use the Content Migration widget to view the status of the backup.
     
  • Import and upload virtual machines, ISOs or vAPPS: Import virtual machines (VMs) and media (ISOs) to your VMware vCloud Director catalog through the VMware Learning Platform Admin UI. OVF, OVA, VMKS, VMDK, MF, NVRAM, and ISO file types are supported. The import process is a two-phase process, where you first upload the file and then import it in the template. Click Lab Builder, and click the ellipsis next to the New Lab Template button. In the Upload VMs/ISOs window, click Attach Files, and upload the required files. The upload progress information is displayed. After the file is successfully uploaded, you can import it for a lab.
     
  • Copy and move templates: Copy and move lab templates from one catalog to another catalog in using the Lab Builder menu. 
     
  • Compute and storage units information: Administrators can now view compute and storage unit information from the Transcripts menu for a lab or a user. Go to Entitlements> Transcripts and click on the ellipsis next to the transcript file to view the compute and storage details. 
     
  • Allow management of user roles from VMware Learning Platform: VMware Cloud Service users of VMware Learning Platform can use the Admin interface to manage all roles, except for the administrator role. 
     
  • Support menu: For better support accessibility, the Admin interface is updated with hyperlinks for the Support site, Documentation, YouTube and Compatibility test results. 

What's New October 14, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Introducing the billing dashboard: Keep track of current usage with the Billing Dashboard (Tenant Management > Billing). Storage and compute utilization for labs are presented in an easy-to-read graphical representation. 
     
  • Audit log: We’re excited to announce a new log that keeps an audit trail for every administrator including Create, Update, and Delete actions. (Security -> Audit History)
     
  • Class resource capacity forecast: Streamline resource planning with the Upcoming Classes Resource Usage widget. The widget provides a timeline graph of estimated resource usage for upcoming classes.
     
  • New email tenant setting for class-related notification: Send customized VLP alerts to students and instructors when a new class is created. 
     
  • Faster lab provision on reset of an existing entitlement: We have improved the algorithms to quickly provision a new vApp when an existing entitlement is reset.  
     
  • Deployment-based on geo location (API): Control where entitlements are deployed when you have multiple clouds.
     
  • Compact manual and console tab: Lab users have more options to choose on how the full-screen mode should be handled.
     
  • Intercept paste: Copy text from the clipboard and paste it directly to a VM console.
     
  • Fix non-ANSI US keyboard layouts: Remap the keys pressed on your keyboard to send US ANSI key code equivalents to the console. 


What's New August 26, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Detailed entitlement history: More information is always better than not enough. Administrators can now see a detailed event history for each stage of an entitlement, including timestamps. This gives admins a more comprehensive view when troubleshooting issues that are affecting multiple students, or when providing more specific information for a request for support.

  • Lab Builder - running workload identification: After stability, cost-consciousness is at the forefront of every cloud user's mind. Keeping this in mind, users can quickly and easily identify which templates in the Lab Builder have a VM or draft powered on. If the dot next to the template name is green, it is running. If it’s gray, it’s powered off.

  • Improved LTI interface: LTI v1.1 and v1.3 tool settings have been consolidated into a single interface for easier navigation and integration between VMware Learning Platform and your LMS of choice.

  • Deployment delay notification: Know if your students are having deployment issues as soon as they do. Template deployment delay alerts are now included in the Notifications widget. You can read more in the Working with Widgets documentation.

What's New June 09, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update: 

  • Bitnami: A catalog of possibilities at your fingertips. Bitnami provides no-cost, pre-packaged templates for standard applications such as WordPress, Redmine, GitLab, MariaDB, and over 100 more. These templates can be used directly from the VMware Learning Platform to build, deploy and launch new labs quickly. Bitnami applications are always secure, up-to-date, and packaged according to industry best practices. Check out what we have to offer at the VMware Cloud Marketplace

  • Suspend vApp: If you do not use it, snooze it. The Suspend feature allows the administrator to hibernate a vApp upon exit, keeping its existing state in memory and ready to go after a lunch break or the next day of class while lowering compute costs for the time that it is not used. Less waiting and lower charges, the best of both worlds.

  • Console connection monitor: A number of improvements have been made to the Console Connection monitor with respect to sensitivity, and the amount of information available to the instructor about the state of a student's connection to the console. If the connection is determined to be unstable from the student’s side, this information will be conveyed to the instructor in the class overview page, or when viewing an individual student's console.

  • Class duplication
    Saving time is always in everyone’s best interest. That is why we have introduced the ability to duplicate an existing class, targeted towards recurring classes. Go to the Classes section in the Admin UI. Choose a class from the list and click on the ellipsis on the left. Select Duplicate from the sub-menu and confirm. A window for class creation will appear and all fields should have the same values as the original class (except date and time zone fields).

  • Speed test improvements: Performance and latency issues are always aggravating, especially when it is difficult to determine where in the network path the issue resides. The VLP Speed Test will help students in determining where the issue is by looking at the connection to both the VLP servers and the Cloud where the lab is being hosted, which in turn will assist administrators and instructors to mitigate the issue as quickly and effectively as possible. The UI is improved making it easier to understand where the connectivity issue might lie, as well as being able to run the test manually as opposed to only during the Compatibility test before launching the lab. Lastly, the administrator can also specify which Cloud to run the test against in a multi-cloud environment. For further information, see The VMware Learning Platform Speed Test.

  • Instructor vApp cloning: The ability for an instructor to clone a vApp can now be restricted via a newly added Tenant setting.

     Remember to keep a lookout for the new Admin User Interface if you are not already using it, as the old UI will be deprecated within the next few weeks!

What's New April 22, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Active lab template update: Lab (vApp) Templates can now be easily updated in-flight without any disruption to existing students (active entitlements) via Lab Builder. This functionality is very convenient in situations where an improvement is identified and introduced to a Lab template, but existing students are still active on the previous iteration of the lab. Once the lab template is updated and distributed, and new lab entitlements will be off and running on the newly released iteration.

  • Media management: Media uploaded through Lab Builder can be managed through a new menu in the UI called Cloud Media under Cloud Management, removing the need to manage it through vCloud Director.

  • Cloud catalog management: Cloud OvDC catalog administration can now be performed directly from the Admin UI. This provides the capability to create, update or delete catalogs, removing the need to manage it through vCloud Director. Go to Cloud Management > Cloud OvDC Catalogs and click on the ellipsis next to the catalog name for menu options.

  • Deactivate console controls: Console controls visible in a student lab can be enabled or deactivated on a per lab basis, allowing the administrators or class instructors to decide whether or not they are fit for purpose. Go to Tenant Management > Settings and search for console header buttons.

  • Student interface quick launch: If you want to see how the changes made by you will impact the end user console, we have the quick launch capability in the Admin UI which leverages your existing credentials to save time while testing. The link is located at the very bottom of the main menu.

  • Class start time auto-calculation: When creating a class, the administrator or instructor can choose to set the start and end time in either their local time, or the time where the class will be taking place. Updating one automatically updates the other, so no more referring to a time zone calculator.

  • Deactivate on-screen manual: For those courses that do not require any on-screen instructions or additional materials for students to follow, administrators can now choose to deactivate the instructions panel to avoid confusion for the students and free up screen real estate. Go to Tenant Management > Settings and search for Hide Instructions panel when no manual.

  • vCloud Director vApp identification: This feature allows an administrator to easily identify a template that was created in vCloud Director as opposed to VLP Lab Builder. Development of this functionality is part of an ongoing process to consolidate management interfaces into a single pane of glass. In addition to identification, vCloud Director vApps can also be deleted from the platform, putting more aspects of capacity management at your fingertips. Go to Cloud Management > Clouds and select Sync cloud vApps from the ellipsis menu next to the relevant org.

  • API additions: Instructors can now be added, removed or changed in the same way as students via API.

What's New March 26, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • PDF lab manuals
    VMware Learning Platform now supports the PDF document format for student lab manuals. This feature enables content creators to use external authoring tools to develop lab manuals for use in VMware Learning Platform. In addition, it provides customers who have preexisting content an additional import option. Go to Lab Management > Lab Resources > Create Lab Resource.

  • Detailed billing
    The new billing dashboard provides granular usage metering of on-demand service usage. This dashboard enables administrators to optimize usage of the service to help control cost. The new billing dashboard is available in the Tenant Management module > Billing.

  • Lab replication
    With replicas, an administrator can easily and reliably replicate lab templates within the same region or to other geographical regions throughout the cloud. This feature helps enable several key use cases including distributing templates for high availability, remote backups, and improving performance for students by providing labs in-region.

  • Create user during entitlement creation
    This functionality introduces the ability to create a user during the entitlement creation process, without the need for the user to register for or create an account in VMware Learning Platform. This feature can be useful in one-time lab use situations, or to provide a quick hands-on demo without having the user go through the standard registration process.

  • Class self-registration
    Instructors now have the capability to enable a class for student self-registration. This feature is advantageous in scenarios where an instructor may not have the student roster well in advance of a scheduled class. During class creation the instructor simply configures the number of seats the class is intended to support, and then provides their students with a self-registration URL. No account creation is required beforehand.

What's New January 23, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

A new tenant option called Send Mail to User on Entitlement Creation is included with this update.  An administrator can use the option to send an email that notifies a user that their entitlement has been created. Parameter values for the option are set from the Tenant Management>Settings page on the admin user interface. 

What's New January 9, 2020

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

You can now import Microsoft Word manuals directly into VMware Learning Platform, by using a process similar to the one used for ScreenSteps.  See  Upload and convert Word documents in the VMware Learning Platform Content Engine guide for more information.

Administrators can now include a quick launch link when sending email to a user from the manual entitlement option.

What's New December 2, 2019

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

Correction to the feature announcement for Quick Launch URL: administrators do not generate a quick launch URL. Instead, they access the Quick Launch URL that is automatically generated when a lab is assigned.

What's New November 21, 2019

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Additional pages of the Admin UI are available in an updated UI style, including Survey Configurations, Entitlement Callbacks, Tags, Products, Network Topology, and Badges.
  • A new interface for options controlled by administrators is available along with several new options. See Tenant Management>Settings and VMware Learning Platform tenant options in the VMWare Learning Platform Administrators guide for complete information.
  • Administrators can access a Quick Launch URL containing an access token directly from the Entitlements page on the Admin UI. This is in addition to using the API to generate a token.
  • You can create an entitlement for a user from the Admin UI at Entitlements>User Entitlements>Create Entitlement.
  • You can install VM tools from Lab Builder.
  • The start and stop order and boot delay of VMs can now be modified in Lab Builder.
  • You can resize the console window in Lab Builder.
  • The Tenant Management Settings page replaces the Tenant Options form. You can display settings organized by function or with detailed information and enable or deactivate settings from either view. Searching on settings and filtering on fields is supported.
  • You can bulk upload users by class from the Admin UI at Security>User Control>Account Bulk Upload.
  • The tenant user interface includes an enhancement to notify users when prepops are not available.
  • VMware Learning Platform supports LTI 1.3 integration.

What's New July 17, 2019

The following new features and improvements are included in this update:

  • Customize completion criteria for labs. Additional features for setting completion criteria for labs are included with the latest update.  For more information, see: Setting completion criteria for a lab in the VMware Learning Platform Administrator Guide. As an administrator, you can set values for the following settings.

    • Set a minimum time a student must spend on a lab before it can be considered finished.
    • Set the percentage of steps in a lab that a student must complete before the course can be considered finished.
    • Set tenancy-wide behavior to link End button availability to lab completion criteria.
  • Pre-provisioning ‘prepop’ values are now configured on the Update vApps Template screen.

 

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