Saturday, 30 January 2016

Custom triggers in AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager - user-initiated and auto-refresh (and fun with Scheduled Tasks)

Let's get back to some AppSense content for a change. You may have noticed I've been trying to broaden the scope of this blog (despite the name!) and concentrate a bit more broadly on the EUC sector. However, it's time we paid some attention back to the core subject for our first post of 2016.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

QuickPost: Customizing Office and Outlook 2016 using AppSense DesktopNow

As well as being dumped unceremoniously with Windows 10 for deployment recently (regular readers may have noticed), I'm doubly on the bleeding edge because we're also pushing out Office 2016. I've had to personalize this using AppSense Environment Manager Personalization Server, so here are my notes on getting this up and running.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Windows 10 part #5 - have Microsoft declared war on the UEM sector?

I know I come across as a rabid Microsoft basher sometimes, what with the fun we had with IE10+ Cookies and the like, but I am prepared to give any tech company a good tongue-lashing should I feel they deserve it. However, in light of early testing with Windows 10 in roaming enterprise environments, and some of the things I'm hearing on the grapevine, I am starting to feel more pressing concerns regarding Microsoft's latest entry into the operating system market.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Windows 10 part #4 - secure your privacy with AppSense DesktopNow

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, I'm sure you've encountered the general hubbub about Windows 10 and how it uses advanced "telemetry" (one of the most wonderful euphemisms for "logging" or "monitoring" I've ever heard). Now we all know there's no such thing as a free lunch (unless you're at a Citrix User Group), and with Windows 10 being a free download, it was always to be expected that they'd use a tried-and-tested monetization model to make it worth their while to deliver a new operating system free of charge. Ever since I started my current deployment of Windows 10 (which is running across a mix of physical desktops and XenDesktop 7.6 thin clients), privacy, telemetry and compliance are words I've been hearing in focus meetings more and more often.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

QuickPost: How to automatically mute the volume on XenDesktop sessions

Recently I was deploying a few XenDesktop instances into thin clients on open-access (library) areas. One of the requirements was to automatically mute the volume on these Windows 10 machines so people couldn't disturb their neighbours.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

IE10 and IE11 Cookies and History persistence in roaming/Citrix situations, a deep dive, part #3

You may recall I did a couple of articles a while ago talking about how IE10+ Cookies and History behaved for roaming users - mainly those on Citrix platforms, although the concepts were perfectly applicable to other roaming situations as well. You may recall that Microsoft had shunted these settings out to a Jet Blue database - a typical modus operandi for them these days, Windows 10's basic profile comes with three of them as standard - and it was very difficult to roam these settings because of various OS hooks.

Monday, 26 October 2015

QuickPost: Launching StoreFront Internet Explorer sessions maximized

I'm still not finished with these damned Cookies and History...however, I think I've found a way to reliably persist them, with some jiggery-pokery involved. So while I collate all the results, time for another QuickPost of something I find myself doing fairly regularly but always having to look up - how to launch IE (StoreFront sessions, specifically) fully maximized.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

QuickPost: Logging XenApp server session durations

I'm knee-deep in a revisit of the Internet Explorer 10+ Cookies and History debacle (and I'm already wishing I hadn't!), so it's an apt time for a QuickPost just to stop me from going completely and utterly insane. I had a request recently to log the durations of XenApp server sessions during a PoC. Now, this is something that I'd normally do by using a report from EdgeSight/Director or other monitoring tools such as Lakeside SysTrack or ControlUp, but sometimes this can be fiddly or time-consuming to set up, or you may not even actually have the tools required. The requirement was fairly simple - create a comma-delimited log file that simply recorded the userid, date and duration of the session which would then be loaded and manipulated in Excel - so I set off to quickly knock one up. As a requirement, it's not that strange - I've worked in a few places where staff and management wanted to know how much usage PoCs and pilots were actually getting, so it is fairly relevant.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Deploying per-user file type associations (FTAs) on XenApp 7.6 Server 2012 R2 (slightly reloaded)

OK. I did an article recently on how to deploy file type associations (from hereon in, referred to as FTAs) on Windows 8.x/Server 2012 R2. However, the method I finally settled on in that article turned out to be a little hit-and-miss, particularly when using security groups from AD, as borne out by the comments and emails that I received regarding it. Fortunately, myself and Mr Duncan Murdoch (who deserves a whole load of credit for doing a very comprehensive deep-dive on the inner mysteries of FTAs) put our heads together and had another stab at this, mainly looking at it from a perspective of XenApp systems (specifically, Server 2012 R2 running XenApp 7.6 Feature Pack 3).

Thursday, 17 September 2015

QuickPost: Windows 10 RSAT installed but no snap-ins or shortcuts available

In my unfortunate adventure delving deeply into the unholy under-the-hood mess that is Windows 10, I've been wanting to load up the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) so that I can take advantage of the latest Windows 10 ADMX files. For some reason, if I install the Windows 10 ADMX packages on my 2012 R2 DCs, I don't see any Windows 10 settings in there. In these situations (I can still remember running RSAT on Windows 7 clients to get the new-at-the-time Windows 7 settings for my old 2003 domain) it's normal to go to a client of the required OS and install the RSAT package on there. Then you can connect up to a DC and manage your GPOs (and everything else you want to manage as well) from the client. Simples.