Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Personalizing Desktop aka Shell Settings

Talking about Desktop Settings within AppSense DesktopNow always leads to a long drawn out debate on what to do with these.

There are several options for these and each option has pro's and con's. This post will describe what desktop settings are, the options available as well as the pro's and con's of each and I'll finish with a conclusion on what I think is the best option is.

Desktop Settings are typically Windows Shell settings most of which directly impact the look and feel of the users desktop. Most often customers are more worried about applications and getting application Personalization right assuming the desktop will sort itself out but then will be haunted by that decision because the very first thing a user notices before they've even launched Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes or Internet Explorer is that their wallpaper of their family pet or the children is missing and that their Windows taskbar has reset itself to the default icons. For this reason is it really important to spend some time and effort thinking about desktop settings before you start worrying about applications. 

As I described in the introduction there are several options for managing Desktop Settings, including but not limited to:
  • Using the Desktop Settings menu within Personalization Server
  • Using Registry Hiving and Folder Copy actions within Environment Manager Policy
  • Using a standalone tool - EMP_P2V
  • A hybrid approach

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Stop If Fails

Stop if Fails is one of the most mis-used and mis-understood items within an AppSense Environment Manager Configuration.

Stop if fails has absolutely nothing to do with actions or conditions immediately dependent on another action or condition. It does however have everything to do with the child (or sub) nodes that are dependent on a specific node.

Consider the following configuration snippet:

Stop if fails in enabled on the re-usable condition which is applied to the U1.1_User Profile node. This effectively means that the sub nodes U1.1.1_Create User Folders and U1.1.2_ProfileChange will not run unless the re-usable condition has been met.

Stop if fails has no impact on the actions that are dependent on the initial action or condition. These will run or not depending on whether the initial action or condition fails or succeeds.