MDM & GP Tips Blog

Apr 2008

Busy busy busy

Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows Vista

If you want to dump every language under the sun into the Central Store, the GP team released ALL the ADMX files in one big fat download. Pour into your Central Store. Click here.

Group Policy Management Console Sample Scripts

Vista ships with the GPMC built in. (Though adding Vista + Sp1 when it's released will remove the GPMC... see another blog post for more on that. ) Meanwhile, people have asked me about a billion times -- where are the GPMC scripts that used to be installed with the GPMC? Finally, finally.. they're here.

Apr 2008

GP Health Model

I get questions all the time like "Why isn't GP working?" Well, that's not often the easiest question to answer because there's a lot of moving parts to GP. With that in mind, Microsoft has some new documentation called the "GP Health Model" / GP Infrastructure. It's really an "Anatomy of GP" so you can say "Doctor, when I move my arm it hurts!" and see that it's really your shoulder and not your arm. Anyway, check out the doc. Very interesting stuff.

Apr 2008

Help out the GP Team!

Want to help out the GP team at Microsoft directly?

The Microsoft Group Policy team would like to hear from you! Please take a few minutes and complete the survey on how you use Group Policy to help Microsoft enhance the manageability Group Policy provides to your organization. The survey can be found here and is completely anonymous. The survey will remain open through Friday, September 28, 2007. Thank you in advance for your time and input!

Apr 2008

Vista + SP1 = Gbye GPMC

Right. So, here's the deal. Let's talk about yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Today, the GPMC is part of Vista. That's great. One less thing to load.

But what's also (now) true is that if you install SP1 for Vista (not yet available) the GPMC will be uninstalled. Why?

Because this allows for something that I've personally advocated for. That is, when new goodies are ready to be launched in Group Policy land, let's GET IT OUT THE DOOR. And it used to be this way. The GPMC was a simple download and simple install. When bugs were found in the GPMC, that meant it was a quick fix to jam the fixes in, and re-upload the file for the masses.

But now (today) the GPMC is part of the Longhorn and Vista operating systems. Is this good? Not really, in this one dude's opinion. Because what if some new whiz bang feature is suddenly available? Then you'll have to wait until MAYBE an operating system service pack, or at worst a full operating system revision until it's updated.

But it seems going forward the team has made a decision. That is, the GPMC will "break free" from the operating system. This is good and bad. Good because bug fixes and updates will most certainly happen quicker. It's bad because, dang, the GPMC is so great it just feels like it SHOULD be part of the OS. Also bad because the poor GP team has the wrap up their own changes (called Out of Band) changes, where they could rely on different Microsoft build teams to keep it updated inside the operating system.

So, it's a little more work for the GP team, but in my opinion, a really good change. So, Vista + SP1 = no more GPMC. Until you download it (which will have more features anyway.)

So, are you freaked out? Or are you okay with it?

Send me an email. Would love to hear your opinion. (Note I may not be able to respond to all opinions, though I promise I will read it.) Thanks!

Click here for a link to my email.

Apr 2008

ADMX Converter and NetIQ Whitepaper and SEARCH !

Two quick notes:

Note #1:

In my testing of FullArmor/Microsoft's ADM to ADMX migrator tool, I encountered a bunch of issues. Namely, all sorts of ADM files I had hanging around wouldn't properly convert to ADMX. Actually, they WOULD convert, but then in the GPOE editor they would bomb out. So, after I reported these errors to FullArmor/Microsoft, I'm happy to say I got a great response for others in the same boat: "We've been working on a new release of ADMX Migrator and have resolved most of the issues including all of the issues raised by Jeremy. We will be feature complete in the next week and a half and expect to release beginning of October 2007. "


Note #2:

I have a new NetIQ sponsored whitepaper out called "Why GP Matters -- For Servers". Click here for that paper.


Note #3: now has a search engine. Check it out on the main page !