Friday, 4 April 2014

Deploying AppSense agents and configurations using Active Directory Software Installation Policies - SQL-less fun!

I wrote an article recently across at The VirtualizationPractice regarding installing AppSense DesktopNow onto your endpoints without having to utilize the Management Center or SQL database. This article concentrated on SCCM as the delivery mechanism, but given that System Center Configuration Manager is (in my opinion), a big, complex and expensive beastie to get up and running, I thought I would do a feature on deploying AppSense agents and configurations using nothing more than Active Directory, which is by far a more ubiquitous technology to find - especially in smaller environments.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Deploying per-user file type associations in a shared-session Windows environment

Today's subject sits a tad off the AppSense track, but it's still very relevant to all of you out there with modern Windows-based computing environments. I get asked this question quite a lot when I'm consulting or doing project work. How can you deploy per-user file type associations (FTAs) in a shared session Windows environment? By this I mean primarily users on RDS or Citrix XenApp, where altering the per-device FTAs simply doesn't cut it.

Monday, 31 March 2014

A handy hint for troubleshooting PowerShell Actions in AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager

Verifying that scripts have run successfully in any software is often tricky. AppSense EM is no different. As it has such a powerful integrated scripting capability, you often find yourself doing lots of things with PowerShell and the like. During your test phase, it is often tricky to identify whether a script has run successfully, and even trickier to find the errors if it doesn't.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Identifying wired or wireless connection types using AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager

Recently I came across an Environment Manager configuration where different printers were required depending on whether a user was connected to the wired or wireless networks in an office. At first, the only way to tell seemed to be querying the client IP address(es) and matching them against wired or wireless subnets, but this didn't sit too well with me. Normally, when I solve an issue, I prefer it to be modular, so that it can be reused without having to reinvent the wheel, so I set to thinking about how to solve it in a slightly different way.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Changing the Windows 8.x default logon screen image in AppSense Environment Manager

For today's instalment of AppSense-y goodness, I'm going to quickly run through how I used AppSense EM to change the Windows 8 startup screen image - not that you particularly need EM to do this, it just happened to be the tool I used.

Monday, 24 February 2014

How to modify the location of the APPSENSEVIRTUAL folder

The AppSenseVirtual folder is used by Personalization Server to write file and Registry changes locally, before committing them to the Personalization Server database as required. The time of commitment will depend on when the application exits, whether it is part of an application group, and whether Offline Mode or Offline Resiliency is in action. This folder normally sits at %systemdrive%\AppSenseVirtual, and for most cases it will function quite happily in the default location. However, there may be instances - and I am thinking that these instances will be limited, it's not a standard enhancement - where performance could be increased by moving the folder to another drive.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Two years of being an AppSense bigot's been two years now since I put my first post out. (I only remember because it's my dad's birthday on the same day, I don't sit around and wait for the anniversary!) Lots of things have happened in that time, but it's still a bit of a buzz to get people reading my articles (over 250,000 page hits and counting), commenting on them, and asking me for help and advice. Thanks all!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

AppSense DesktopNow Enterprise Auditing settings

I still look at lots of AppSense implementations and see the Enterprise Auditing for the Deployment Groups set to the defaults. The defaults are useful - if you'd like to know whether you're using an old configuration or there isn't a configuration applied. All joking aside, in the default configuration you're not going to see much useful. I've lost track of the amount of AppSense admins who tell me "well there wasn't anything in the logs" - that's because you haven't set anything up!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

AppSense Performance Manager 8 FR 2 released

Happy New Year all!

Just a quick one today. Over on the AppSense blog, the release of AppSense Performance Manager 8 FR 2 has been announced. Us Twitter-zens are informed by AppSense's marketing bod Gareth Kitson that the software should be available for download on MyAppSense at approximately 4pm UK time today (15 January).

Monday, 23 December 2013

It's Christmas - some festive tips and tricks for AppSense administrators

Christmas is here seems to come around much faster these days. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. It's not going to be too much longer now before I have to edit my bio page to stop describing myself as "thirty-something" - how depressing :-)

Anyways, in the spirit of the season of goodwill to all men (and women), let's quickly compile a short list of little tips and tricks to give you AppSense administrators out there something nice for the holidays! These are just a quick list of things that I have in my notes that don't justify posts in themselves - hope some of them are useful to you.