Table of Contents

Differences Between different Desktop Portal version

Jason He Updated by Jason He

Portal V5

Portal v2~v4 was build based on Electron. Electron is a framework to create desktop application based on web application. The kernel of Electron is Chromium and Node.JS. It is used by many modern desktop applications. Such as Microsoft Enterprise version of Teams.

Portal v5 is build based on Microsoft's WebView2. The kernel of WebView2 is Chromium and C# (.Net). Compare to Electron, WebView2 is more secure. The script from web application can no longer have access to target operating system. The only way to communicate between C# managed code and Chromium in WebView2 is through communication protocol. Where application created by old version of Electron, it is possible to allow front-end script to direct communicate with Node.JS which open up backdoor. contextIsolation setting


  • Highest security. Web Application can no longer talk to system through Node.JS. They can only communicate through strict communication channel.
  • Native Azure AD support. Same as Microsoft Edge. As long as your OS is logged in through your Office365 account, then you are good to go.
  • Better chat integration. New message arrived, new chat been initialized will all broadcast through windows notification.
  • Better notification. V5 uses Windows 10 and 11's native notification. It allows more capability. Such as mute notification from windows. Different to v2~v4, sticky notification also achieved through windows notification. Where you can see actual notification message, not notification for notification eixt.
  • More functionality. When creating ticket with v5, application is able to submit detailed device info. Such as OS version, network IP addresses etc through internal note.
  • Chromium is always up to date. No longer require v3 to v4 update. WebView2 is installed separately, you can choose to install evergreen version
  • Branding is done locally. You no longer has to wait on branding system to package your installer. You can get universal installer and attach any branding image you wish for.
  • Desktop shortcut can be adjusted through installer. Similar to repair.
  • Same capability as Portal V3 and V4.


  • Any bug fix for communication protocol or native logic will require redeployment. Which is true for all desktop portal versions.

Q: Do I need to uninstall old portal before install new?

A: If target PC has portal v3 or v4, you can install directly. It will replace old portal. If it is v2 or older, you will need to run our uninstaller.

Q: Should I deploy v5 now?

A: We would encourage you to start using our TECH desktop portal first. In case we have any bug fix that requires redeployment. Since we have rewrite the whole desktop, it will take a month or two before we can call it is stablized.

Q: What kind of bug v5 could have? Security bug?

A: No. Nothing to do with security. Different to Node.JS (JavaScript), C# as managed code, the environment is more strict. If any exception is not handled, the application could crash.

Q: What is TECH desktop portal?

A: Desktop portal for TECH similar to client portal, it allow you to login with ease. Since it has deep integration with Azure AD. Different to client portal, it also has support on vertical tab.

Q: Version 5 for MacOS is not available. When will DeskDirector release it?

A: WebView2 is currently only available for Windows. Microsoft is planning on release it for MacOS around Oct 2022. GitHub issue

Portal v3/v4


  • Single install location - Program Files
  • Single app inside uninstall application list
  • Portal is always up-to-date with Web Portal. The Web Portal directly is directly embedded into the desktop App rather than bundled with the installer. The web Portal is desktop-aware, so everything still works as you would expect.
  • Supports terminal server
  • The application logo will always be up-to-date (fetched at app startup), so there's no need to wait for auto-update cycle
  • Easy to uninstall. Hit uninstall and everything related to Portal is removed. It can be easily done with RMM.
  • Installation plays well with RMM tool
  • Single installer, no brainer


  • Desktop shortcut icon, application name, or hotkey combination won't be automatically updated. It requires re-deployment.
  • Any fixes or updates to desktop portal specific features require re-deployment. Such as
    • Active Directory login
    • ScreenConnect integration
    • Sticky notifications
    • Screenshot functionality
    • Any update to rendering engine of Portal for Desktop requires re-deployment

We expect to have less version updates for v3 in the future. Generally one or two releases per year, it is also your choice to update when new versions are released. For example, if you don't use sticky notifications and the fix is only for sticky notifications, then you don't have to upgrade. Or if the fix is only to upgrade rendering engine and you don't see anything broken from your end? You don't have to re-deploy.

Portal v2


  • Auto-update: Any changes to desktop specific code (screenshots, AD auth, etc) will be deployed automatically
  • Auto-update Branding: Any logo, icon, or hotkey changes will be deployed automatically


  • Multiple portal installations appear inside installed app list
  • Multiple install locations. There is an application installed inside Program Files and and app installed under user's Local App Data folder.
  • When uninstalling, some leftover data remains
  • Problem with windows permission restriction during installation or update
  • Portal for desktop is always behind Web Portal's release cycle
  • Terminal Server is not supported (due to the install location being inside Local App Data)
  • Multiple installers for the same portal, not easy to figure out which one for which situation

How did we do?

Portal Release Notes - Windows/macOS

Portal Release Notes - Web Client