On April 28, 2017, ManageEngine released version 9.0 of their Password Manager Pro privileged account management solution. The standout feature is the totally revamped user interface (UI) for both the web and mobile platforms.
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Timothy Warner

Timothy Warner is a Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management Most Valuable Professional (MVP) who is based in Nashville, TN. Check out his Azure and Windows Server video training at Pluralsight, and feel free to reach out to Tim via Twitter.
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Back in January 2017, I wrote a comprehensive review of ManageEngine Password Manager Pro v8:
ManageEngine Password Manager Pro - Keep, protect, and manage high-value credentials

If you're not familiar with Password Manager Pro (PMP), please read that article to gain fundamental product knowledge. Today I'd like to show you PMP v9.0, released in April 2017. The release's most important new feature is a greatly enhanced user experience. Let's have a look!

NOTE: ManageEngine is a trademark of Zoho Corporation. I recently published a review of Zoho Vault, a password manager that is free for personal use.

What the product does ^

As a reminder in case you need it, Password Manager Pro is a lightweight web application that you install within your network perimeter and use as a secure password vault. PMP integrates into your Active Directory domain. It can perform automated account discovery on Windows or Linux physical or virtual machines, as the screenshot below shows.

Configuring automatic account discovery

Configuring automatic account discovery

Password Manager Pro goes beyond simple password keeper functionality, however. You can create privileged remote access sessions directly from within the web console, build compliance reports, and even integrate PMP with your existing Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform.

How the new UI works ^

In their v9 release notes, ManageEngine explains that the overhauled user interface (UI) is the biggest new feature. I installed Password Manager Pro on one of my member servers and loaded the web console using the Chrome browser and its native developer tools. In my testing, it looks like the huge performance improvements are largely due to carefully chosen JavaScript libraries.

  • Ajax Tree: Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is a methodology that provides for web page updates without having to redraw/reload the entire page
  • Ember: A JavaScript framework that uses AJAX to make fast-loading single page web applications
  • jQuery: Another AJAX implementation that provides for high-performance, interactive websites
  • Bootstrap: A JavaScript framework for developing responsive web applications that work great on desktop browsers

Do you get the idea here? Password Manager Pro embraces the modern web development ideas of (a) responsive design that adapts to different user agents, (b) client-side scripting, and (c) AJAX. In doing so, PMP gives you, the administrator, a much better navigation experience than you had with prior product versions.

ManageEngine makes a live demo environment available; you can log into the console using one of four built-in role-based access control (RBAC) user roles:

  • Administrator: Full control of the environment
  • Password Administrator: Full control of resources (data plane) but no application-level (control plane) access
  • Password Auditor: Can generate compliance reports
  • Password User: Can define and use their own resources

The PMP web interface is fully security trimmed, which means that each user sees only user interface elements to which they have access. For example, the next screenshot shows you the portal view from the administrator's perspective.

Administrator view

Administrator view

And the screenshot below depicts the password user's view:

User view

User view

Notice how fewer options the password user role has compared to the administrator.

Informative dashboard ^

The Dashboard page is another new feature added to Password Manager Pro v9. The idea here is to give you a fast, "at a glance" rollup of high-value account information. Take a look at this screenshot, and I'll explain what's going on.

Password Manager Pro Dashboard

Password Manager Pro Dashboard

  • A: The Policy Violations metric shows you which users currently have passwords that fall outside your defined policies. The Conflicting Passwords metric shows you passwords that are out of sync between PMP and the actual resource.
  • B: You can scope your password activity chart from minutes to hours to days to months.
  • C: See at a glance the distribution of passwords across device types
  • D: View recent or permanently stored resource entries and potentially open a remote connection to those devices directly from the dashboard
  • E: See a live feed of resource audit events

Mobile applications ^

Provided you allow incoming TCP 7272 traffic to your PMP server, your administrators can access the Password Manager Pro infrastructure via their mobile applications. The figures below show you the Android and iOS user interfaces:

PMP Android app on left and iOS on right

PMP Android app on left and iOS on right

Besides the mobile apps, Password Manager Pro is also available as a:

  • Browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)
  • Virtual network appliance (Azure and AWS)

Wrap-up ^

Password Manager Pro v9 is available as a 30-day free, fully functional trial. I encourage you to download the solution and to kick the proverbial tires. Visit the ManageEngine pricing page to get licensing "dollars and cents" and the licensing page to learn the differences between the Standard, Premium, and Enterprise editions.

Overall, Password Manager Pro is a powerful, scalable privileged account management solution. Once again, read my detailed review for a description of specific product features. Today we learned that PMP v9's new user interface allows security administrators to navigate the tool faster and more efficiently than ever before.

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