My Server phone app for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Hi, I am Chungang Liu, working as a program manager with Windows Server 2012 Essentials team.

In this post, I would like to show you how My Server app for windows phone is designed and how it can be used to boost the efficiency of managing and accessing your servers.

The My Server phone app is designed to help you keep seamlessly connected to your servers through smart phones while working on the move. It is one of the various ways of accessing Windows Server 2012 Essentials, covered by the Anywhere Access feature. A previous version had been released during the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials time frame. For Windows Server 2012 Essentials, we have delivered an updated application with new features including file browsing and opening, server quick status, recent history of file operations, as well as a new appearance.

You can find the My Server app in the Windows Phone store.  There’s no need to install anything on the server side for My Server to work with Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

Overview of the functionalities

After the startup of My Server, you will be presented with 5 panels as shown in the following image. The panels you’ll see depend on the permission level of your account and how your server is configured. Basically, administrators will see all 5 panels while standard users will only see a limited server panel, files panel, recent panel, and media panel.


Quick Status panel: Provides administrators with a quick summary of the server’s running status. In this case, you can figure out how everything is going on your server without logging on to the Dashboard.

Server panel: Provides the user interface (UI) entry for light server management and monitoring, enabling you to manage alerts, devices, or accounts.

Files panel: Access to files is one of the major new features for this version. Customers can now access shared folders and files.

Recent panel: Keeps a history of the files that users have recently accessed so that they can reopen these files without navigating to a folder.

Media panel: A centralized library for media playback that already existed in the previous version. In this version, we have optimized the streaming logic to deliver a better media experience over networks with differing bandwidths.

How to manage Windows Server 2012 Essentials by using My Server

My Server enables you to manage your servers from your phone if you are the administrator. You can perform the following operations:

  • Address alerts: You can check alerts by using My Server and ignore or repair them accordingly.
  • Manage accounts: My Server allows you to disable or enable any user account that you think is not in good status. You can also change the password of user accounts when necessary.
  • Manage devices: This function helps you keep track of the devices that have joined your server domain. You can start or stop the backup process for any device online.

As many of our customers can see, along with the conveniences brought by the management ability of the My Server phone application, your server may be at risk if your phone is unfortunately lost or accessed by someone else. Therefore, we recommend that every My Server user set a PIN code on their phone.

How to access shared documents and media by using My Server

You can access your folders and files anywhere when your phone has a network connection. The Files panel on the home panorama is actually designed for a better touch experience. You can tap any of the folders on the Files panel to browse files, or you can launch a search box to find particular files from server shares.

The new application provides a tap and hold context menu and an application bar to help you access files and folders through My Server. The operations provided include:

  • Browsing and opening files
  • Renaming and deleting files
  • Sorting files by name, date, or size
  • Switching between details view and icons view
  • Searching files globally or within a folder

For media, we have added new logic and UI to improve the playback experience for this version. Note that the Media panel can only be seen on the condition that the digital media function is enabled on the server.

That’s it

This is My Server for Windows Phone. We hope that My Server can help you manage Windows Server 2012 Essentials!