Migrating GPOs to RES Workspace Manager (Part 5)

Deploying new GPOs via RES Workspace Manager is incredibly simple. Unfortunately, as was highlighted in Migrating GPOs to RES PowerFuse (Part 1), it can be messy due to each RES Workspace Manager registry policy can only being based on a single ADM or ADMX/ADML file. A single Office GPO (if implemented via RES Workspace Manager registry policies) could look like this:

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Opening the ACCESS14.ADM policy within the RES Workspace Manager Management Console only provides us with the ability to control the Access 2010 settings, e.g.

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If we need to apply different settings for different users then we have to duplicate the required ADM/X policies and assign the access control as required. Over time this becomes increasingly hard to manage. With the updated Beta 2 release of the Virtual Engine Toolkit (VET) we can merge ADM files or ADMX/L files into a single file. This enables more effective use of RES Workspace Manager registry policies rather than having lots and lots individual policies. This in turn means a more simple model of administration and control. Note: it is still recommended that registry policies be applied at the application level rather than globally. The example used here is for demonstration only!

The Virtual Engine Toolkit will only extract and merge the “USER CLASS” and “[Strings]” entries within the ADM files. It does not merge the “CLASS MACHINE” entries in any way. Once you’ve downloaded the Virtual Engine Toolkit (registration is required), fire it up and navigate to the “Merge ADMs” tab.

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Once you have the “Merge ADMs” tab open, perform the following:

  1. Drag’n’drop all the required ADM files into the top box.
  2. Select your file output location.
  3. Specify the filename (no need to append .ADM as the Toolkit will do this for you).
  4. Click the Toolkit button in the bottom right.

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If all goes well then you should see something like this signifying that everything worked OK:

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The “Merged_ADMs.adm” file can now be uploaded into RES Workspace Manager directly (it might have been better to call the merged ADM something like “Office2010.adm”!)

Now when we edit the the Merged_ADMs.adm registry policy it should look a little more intuitive! It’s a lot easier to manage settings for various groups of users when all settings are in one place. Remember that we can also do this with ADMX/L files too (in Part 6).

In the RES Workspace Manager Management Console all the settings are in one place and now look like this:

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