Monday, 1 September 2014

Disabling the Internet Explorer "Automatically detect settings" checkbox using AppSense DesktopNow

I worked at a client recently where the presence of a check in the "Automatically detect settings" box in the Connections | LAN Settings part of Internet Explorer Options appeared to cause no end of problems. Long delays loading websites and poor logon performance of published applications were the primary issues observed. There's probably some network-based reason behind this, but given that when the box was unchecked everything worked fine (because we'd deployed all the proxy server settings and the like through Environment Manager), the obvious answer seemed to find some way to uncheck the box for all users, and everything would be fine.

Customizing the visible Libraries in Windows 7 and up

This is a bit more of an EUC post rather than a specifically AppSense one. It deals with one of the most annoying bits of the user interface when upgrading users to Windows 7 or higher - that of the Libraries feature.

Libraries are a way of aggregating views in Windows Explorer (or File Explorer, as it's now known in Windows 8 and upwards). They simply bring together a collection of folders into one view. Removing folders from the Library doesn't remove the files from disk - effectively, they are just linked views that can connect to multiple locations on the same or many computers.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

AppSense EM 8 FR 5, AM 8 FR 8 and AMC 8 FR 6 are now available for download!

Just a quick spot of news today....the new versions of AppSense software we discussed in a previous post are now on GA and available on www.myappsense.com for download. There are over 250 new features available in this release, most of them in response to customer feedback, so there should be a level of maturity and stability in this release that will make it a lot more palatable to some of the hardened AppSense admins out there.

The biggest change, as I alluded to previously, is the Windows Personalization section. As soon as I've downloaded the GA version and had some time to check it over, I should have an article out discussing the finer points of this change.

Happy installing and/or upgrade planning!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The DesktopNow APPSENSESPECIAL command switch

I still get a lot of emails and queries from people about how to manipulate Personalization Server data. So today, although to many of you this may be basic stuff, we will have a quick run-through of how to make sure your use of the APPSENSESPECIAL command switch is correct, and a few troubleshooting techniques you can use with it.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Winds of change - AppSense DesktopNow EM 8 FR 5, AM 8 FR 8 and AMC 8 FR 6 are approaching!

I've been pretty quiet recently because I've been very busy doing (amongst other things) beta testing on what will very likely turn out to be a very big release for AppSense DesktopNow, Environment Manager 8 FR 5, Management Center 8 FR 6 and Application Manager 8 FR 8. It's quite an exciting release, as there are loads of new features and improvements - some of which can be covered adequately in this article, and others that are big enough changes to warrant articles of their own (coming soon!)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Getting to grips with Windows 8.1 #1 - Using AppSense DesktopNow to eliminate the Charms Bar

Wow! I've been so busy lately, I've been unable to complete some of the articles I've been drafting for ages. I've got some great stuff in the pipeline, but in between doing presentations, writing articles, attending conferences, beta testing, day-to-day work and of course trying to spend time with my family, blogging has been sadly neglected.

To counter this, I've decided to try and do a bit of a series on something I seem to be seeing more and more questions about - Windows 8.x, and managing it from an EUC perspective (using AppSense obviously, but not exclusively). Rather than hammer everything into one article, I thought I'd flesh it out a bit, simply to try and avoid another period of sad neglect for my loyal readers!

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.