Unicenter can be used as a standalone remote control program or as part of the Unicenter management system.
As a standalone, it provides remote control and file transfer facilities between systems. The software has three installation modes – Locally Managed, Centrally Managed and Custom.
A locally managed deployment will use fewer resources, but every participating system needs to have its security policy configured individually. The Centrally Managed system, however, requires more resources from the server system, but allows security policies to be specified and enforced across the network.
A further upside to the Centrally Managed solution is that the remote control agent can be distributed and set up over a network.
Central management requires a relational database to store its data, and it can use either Microsoft SQL Server or Advantage Ingres Enterprise DBMS. Computer Associates provides a licensed copy of Ingres 2.6 with the Unicenter software.
Much from version five has been dropped to make way for new and improved features, but the software will operate with the earlier version for migration.
The software supports several remote control connection modes apart from the expected shared and exclusive modes. The Stealth mode allows the admin to observe everything that occurs on the remote system's screen while suppressing the normal connection warnings.
Secure mode is anything but unobtrusive, taking exclusive control and blanking the screen. There is also a Classroom mode that allows several systems to connect to a single target for training purposes.
The system offers chat, which can also operate in conference mode. File transfers are drag-and-drop operations, using an Explorer-like interface. Performance was acceptable, but not exceptional.
An unusual feature enables remote control sessions to be recorded and replayed later in full color detail, but this is information only, so it cannot be used to automate repetitive tasks.