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


My login’s too cold – it’s not all about TS and VDI

August 17, 2009

Goldilocks was hard at work managing “Three Bears Industries”. She added a default printer here, mapped a network drive there, and sorted out a few group policy settings. All in a days’ work for the over worked, under paid IT administrator.

She heard a noise a the front door – “The Bears are back!!!” she exclamed, and slipped quietly out through the back door and on to her next client.

“My Login makes me tooo Hot – Hot and bothered from waiting!!!!! ” yelled Papa Bear. “My Login makes me toooo cold – I feel like hibernating ! ” grumbled Mama Bear.

Baby Bear looked at his parents with big blue eyes and said “My Login just sucks !!”. You gotta love kids, they always say what they feel. But then, that’s the harsh reality in thousands of organizations – Logins suck!!

“Three Bears Industries” needs AppSense.

“But isn’t AppSense only useful in those environments? Why do I need AppSense if I’m a fat client site?”.  Think about it, If AppSense provides value in VDI and TS, then why would it NOT provide value in a real physical desktop?

In two weeks time, I start a rollout at a site who saw value in AppSense at the desktop level – around 3,000 of them to be precise.  AppSense has hundreds of desktop sites around the world – managing profiles, security and performance with our software.

These guys went through our ROI process a couple of months back. We found they were losing around 80 man hours per DAY while users sat around waiting to login – thats 10 people every day they were paying for nothing. We also found the Helpdesk staff were spending around 300 hours per month fixing profile issues.

I introduced them to ENVIROMAN – looking very Borat like in his bright green Budgy Smugglers. He showed them a couple of quick demos, rollback of personalization settings, streamed application settings from desktop to desktop, and the rest is history – Thank You ENVIROMAN – your subscription to “Geek Monthly” is in the mail :-)

But seriously Guys, checkout our value on the desktop – your wallet will thank you.


AppSense Technical University Training For Partners

July 22, 2009

I am excited about writing this one, the much awaited 2009 AppSense Technical University is soon upon us! It will take place in October and November!!  Following on from our previous events, there are some exciting new developments at AppSense that we would like to share with you; amongst other topics:

  • User Introduced Applications (UIA) Technology – do we need, and how do we enable, users to install applications into non-persistent VDI sessions, and have the applications (and settings and preferences) remain available in the next non persistent vdi session?!
  • AppSense Management Suite Version 8.1 Product RoadMap
  • ‘Policy & Personalization’ best practices across virtual and multi OS platform environments

Uni

 

Why attend the AppSense Technical University?

The AppSense University is a ‘free of charge’ event to our AppSense Certified Solution Partners, and is a great chance to meet up with the AppSense Technical teams, as well as your peers from within the community. As a valued member of our Certified Solutions Partner program, you are invited to this comprehensive technical update and networking event.

The 2 day event will include in-depth, hands on training designed to enable you to provide consultancy services and implement the AppSense Management Suite for prospects and customers.

Register for further information

As always, AppSense is hosting several Technical University events in locations around the globe. If you are interested in attending an AppSense Technical University, click on the country or region most relevant to you and we will keep you informed of the event details:

United States, November 2009 

United Kingdom, October 2009

Norway, November 2009

DACH Region, November 2009

BeNeLux, November 2009

Australia, October/November 2009

We look forward to seeing you there!

Best Regards,

The AppSense Technical University Team.

Website: http://www.appsense.com
Email: university@appsense.com
Telephone: +44 (0)1928 793 444


Review of AppSense Environment Manager 8 by vExpert Tom Howarth

July 8, 2009

Tom Howarth (a VCP/vExpert specializing in Thin Client & Virtualization solutions) and author of www.PlanetVM.net has published a comprehensive review of AppSense Environment Manager Version 8.0

Tom is well known and highly respected within the VMware and Citrix communities and as such, this positive review comes with high regards.  In Tom’s concluding words he describes AppSense Environment Manager as, “It is a Ronseal product – it does what it says on the tin.”

The article can be viewed at http://planetvm.net/blog/?p=122


Managing Roaming Users & Printers Across Desktop, Citrix & VMware

June 28, 2009

Managing user printers and printer policies across Desktop, Server Based Computing ( SBC – Microsoft Terminal Server & Citrix XenApp) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI – Citrix XenDesktop & VMware View) environments is becoming increasingly complex.

Administrators are spending huge effort (meaning they are also missing on investigating other projects) managing complex logon scripts to perform printer mappings, and, when printers are not available, for example if the user has roamed or changed desk or location or changed desktop delivery mechanism, IT must answer a support call and manually map the printer for the user.

AppSense Environment Manager solves this issue by automatically mapping the local or closest printer to the user and thier device (no matter how their desktop is being delivered to them), without the need for any complex logon scripts.  This not only reduces the time and costs associated with ongoing IT operations, but also improves the user experience and ensures all printed documents, including confidential data, is printed to the correct printer.

Using a combination of conditions (when an action is to apply) and actions (the application of a specific policy, in this case, mapping a printer) AppSense Environment Manager will dynamically map any pre-determined printer based on Client IP or MAC address conditions.  As an enterprise focused product, this all achieved and configured in a very simple and intuative management console as opposed to traditional complex logon scripts and policy actions.

Further more, it is common practice for many enterprise environments to have dedicated printers mapped and used exclusivly by specific applications, such as ERP or Finance applications.  AppSense Environment Manager is again used by thousands of organzations around the world to help provide a logical and cost effective solution to ensuring certain applications always print to the same secure printers. Please see the screenshot below showing that when the JD Edwards application is launched, and the user is running the application on a client within a set IP address range, then a specific printer is automatically mapped as the only printer available for the application.App_Printer

In this scenario, printers can be enforced as the only printer available for a specific application, based on either application name or, application IP address if it is delivered from a silo via streaming or publishing technology.   With that said, AppSense Environment Manager can also provide security in that the user can not change the printer, yet requried flexibility of allowing the user to change specific settings such as paper trays, paper sizes, formats & finishing etc..

In conclusion, printing can be a troublesome, time consuming issue, but it needent be.  AppSense Environment Manager is not only proven to resolve these issues, but also reduce opertional costs and provide a strong ROI.

For more information, please visit www.AppSense.com