From the Nuts&Bolts Dept. November 2014 saw the release of Workspace Manager 2014 Service Release 2. You may have read the initial post over at RES, but as always here at RESguru.com we like to kick the tires and take it for a spin around the block. There’s several items in this release that are important to know about and I’m going to highlight some and give you my view on them.
From the About-Damn-Time Dept. One of the most popular articles on RG is the Registry reference for RES Workspace Manager. Unfortunately it’s been sitting on the backburner for a while, but no more! As of this weeks release of Workspace Manager 2014 FR2, the guide has been updated with all published registry settings available from the base 2014 release notes and up to. If you come across missing or any other spooky settings, feel free to contribute in the comments section on the article.
From the NostraRanzau Dept. This article describes some very interesting developments which I came across in in the Service Release 4 for Workspace Manager 2012 back around end of 2013. We’ve been used for for eons that new managed applications would contain a reference to RES’s own launcher, pwrgate.exe. With this well hidden change, it’s actually possible to let shortcuts retain their original exe+path. There are some caveats as this is early code – nevertheless this is worthwhile knowing about
From the Look-Somebody-Had-To-Write-About-This Dept. It’s been a couple of weeks and fairly unannounced the Service Release 4 was released on Nov 11th. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in training so blogging’s been kinda put on the backburner a while. Anyway, here is an overview of selected items I found interesting in the this SR. You can download the full releasenotes at the end of this article and have a closer look yourself.
- Several performance enhancements in both the console and the agent. Pretty much all the Composition items have received a noticeable performance overhaul and things load faster into the console in general. License processing, Drivemapping and many other things have received a tune-up. Of special notice is the Context | Directory Services, where there now is a new option to “Get group membership using tokens (faster)”. You’ll want to look into this option for multi-domain environments, especially if there’s cross-domain resolving going on.
- The App-V integration has also seen several overhauls. When you do a Execute Command configuration|action on an App-V managed app, you now have a checkbox to run outside the virtual bubble. In application UserSettings, it’s now also possible to edit what’s being picked up in the Targeted items to capture. Previously WM would grab everything but the kitchen sink for a virtual app. User Restore of App-V items have also been improved however there’s no details as to the specific improvement.
- A new Lockdown and Behavior option to hide log off in startmenu has been added. Let’s hope this feature isn’t on per default as hide shutdown on workstations is in SR3 (for further details, see Things WM does per default)
- Registry modification under Composition now has the ability to ignore registry redirection on x64 platforms. This is quite useful if you want to make sure a given registry key goes where it’s supposed to without interference from the OS.
- Special registry types like OutputReport, ReportStyle, REG_NONE are now supported. I have no idea what these do just yet, but I guess we’ll find out along the way.
- User Settings now support a direct path for specifying the location of the Personal Settings folder. Check the releasenotes for further info. This is important.
- Application Icons either pinned or in the startmenu have received yet another overhaul. Hopefully the old blocky icons are now a thing of the past.
- New registry setting to control if the User Settings caching process is launched (if you’re not using laptops, use this reghack to turn it off). See the updated WM registry guide here. Note, there are several other registry items in this release under the fixes section. I’ll update the registry guide with these asap.
- There is however one particular new setting which stands out. Look for InterceptManagedApps in the releasenotes. From SR3 Update 8, an interesting new feature has been added to preserve the original command line of managed applications. This is one to watch as it effectively will no more PwrGate.exe shortcuts. Expect a future article about this particular item once I’ve tested it.
In summary this service release is mostly performance enhancements, and the obligatory bugfixes – yet there are several interesting thing to dig into. For more information, go have a look at the releasenotes.