Environment Manager New Feature – Logoff

October 27, 2009

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2.0 has introduced some new Logoff functionality.

To enable all Environment Manager actions to complete on logoff and to prevent the logoff black screen from appearing on Vista and Server 2008, the Shutdown Windows API call is detoured.

This API call is called whenever a user logs off or shuts down the system. The detour allows Environment Manager to:

  • Trigger Environment Manager logoff actions
  • Prevent logoff continuing until all Environment Manager actions have completed

When Environment Manager actions are completed or a 60 second default timeout has been passed logoff continues allowing any remaining processes to shut down before Windows itself shuts down. You can override the default timeout by setting a millisecond value in the “LogoffActionWaitTimeout” registry key. Since Environment Manager has already completed its work, it will not be a cause of the Windows logoff black screen.

Whilst the Environment Manager logoff actions are taking place, the system is effectively stalled and the user may wonder what is happening. To alleviate their concerns, a custom screen can be displayed informing the user that Environment Manager is busy. The screen is activated when text for the screen is configured from within the Blocked Text Library.

Adding an entry to the Blocked Text Library with the Title Logoff Message will allow a custom message to be specified for display.

Note: Once logoff continues, Environment Manager has effectively finished for the user session, therefore no more Policy Configuration actions or User Personalization will take place. Additionally, if another application decides to misbehave at this point, the black screen may still appear for those applications.


NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions

September 17, 2009

This is the eleventh installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2.  (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 introduces new functionality to the Registry Hive action – Registry Hive Exclusions.

This feature allows the administrator to specify registry settings to hive out at a specific level and then exclude certain keys or values beneath that level in order to reduce the registry file size on disk. For example, you could hive out the whole Microsoft Office key, but exclude settings for Microsoft Access.

Note: You can use wildcards for the key name and you can explicitly exclude a key name with an embedded wildcard character by enclosing the key name with quotes “”. However, it is not possible to specify a key path with a leading wildcard such as *\Software”wildcardkey*”.

Note: It is not advised to use keys that start with HKEY_CURRENT_USER since the software does not use this key internally

Note: Registry Hive Exclusions currently only work when hiving out settings rather than hiving them in. This is the preferred method since it reduces the amount of required storage space on the network.

P:S
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:

NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As

NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As

NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol

NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis

NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once

NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event

NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions



NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

September 14, 2009

This is the tenth installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2.  (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 SP2 includes an automatic refresh of items which use the following registry keys, or subkeys:

control panel\accessibility\stickykeys
control panel\appearance
control panel\colors
control panel\cursors
control panel\desktop
control panel\international
control panel\keyboard
control panel\mouse
keyboard layout
software\microsoft\plus!
software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\policies\explorer
software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\policies\system\wallpaper
software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\themes

These registry keys are all refreshed by using the SystemParametersInfo win32 function to individually set known items.

In addition, any change to the desktop folders causes an icon refresh to be sent and AppSense Environment Manager also broadcasts a system wide policy update message.

Refreshes are sent after all other actions have taken place.

A broadcast message for environment variables is sent whenever Environment Manager updates any variables. Environment Manager listens for broadcasts from other programs, such as VBScripts, to pick up any environment variable changes from within them.

Tip: If the key you are setting requires a refresh but is not in the list above, try setting a dummy value that matches one of the above registry keys. This forces a refresh.

P:S
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:

NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As

NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As

NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol

NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis

NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once

NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event

NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions


NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

September 11, 2009

This is the ninth installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2.  (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 introduces new Application Categories in the User Interface to make it easier to identify applications added by the administrator, versus default applications created by AppSense Environment Manager at install time:

 personalization application categories (2)

P:S
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:

NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As

NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As

NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol

NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis

NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once

NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event

NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions


NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

September 7, 2009

This is the eigth installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2.  (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 introduces a new option – Stop If Fails.

In order to emulate functionality from earlier versions of Environment Manager, the Stop If Fails option can be utilized to prevent subsequent processing of child nodes. This does not alter the existing behavior of other actions and parallel nodes.

Note: By default, any action or condition that fails automatically stops the processing of subsequent child actions or child conditions.

On upgrading from a 7.x Environment Manager configuration, all rules are converted to reusable conditions and Stop If Fails is applied to each condition where referenced in the main configuration body.

Note: Stop If Fails is not available from within either reusable nodes or reusable conditions. Copying or moving nodes or conditions that contain the Stop If Fails option to reusable nodes or reusable conditions results in those Stop If Fails options being removed. However, Stop If Fails can still be applied to the reusable node when referenced from within the main body of the configuration.

P:S
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:

NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As

NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As

NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol

NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis

NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once

NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event

NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions



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