PolicyPak: Manage Autocad using Group Policy

PolicyPak doesn’t deploy Autocad using Group Policy. PolicyPak manages and locks down Autocad using Group Policy. Here’s a video to show you we can help you deliver almost all the Autocad settings, and truly lock them down to ensure users can’t work around them. This means less calls to the help desk, and less troubleshooting for you and your staff, and higher productivity and less errors.

Manage AutoCAD with Group Policy and PolicyPak Video Transcript

Hi, everybody. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, we’re going to learn how to configure and manage AutoCAD 2012 using Group Policy and PolicyPak.

Let’s get started. This is AutoCAD. If you go to the little “A” and then “Options” here,AutoCAD is a big place. There are a lot of settings a user can mess up here. Any one of these settings could mean a delayed project, a botched drawing, recovery and who knows what. But I don’t want to be in the situation where my AutoCAD isn’t configured correctly.

What PolicyPak can do is that we can guarantee the settings for your AutoCAD drafts people. For instance, if you go to “Open and Save” here, maybe the default behavior of “Automatic save” of every “10” minutes isn’t enough.Maybe you want to configure that to every 4 minutes. Even if it is configured to every 4 minutes, how do you prevent them from going around the settings and unchecking a checkbox that maybe they shouldn’t? We’re going to show you how to do that using PolicyPak in a second.

Also maybe“Create backup copy with each save,” that sounds pretty important too. We want to make sure that thing is in fact clicked on and guaranteed to the right setting. Let’s go over to “Plot and Publish” here. There are a lot of settings here that a user can mess up. For instance“Plot to file,” you probably want to make sure this is going to the right location. Maybe it’s a network location. How do you guarantee that “Plot to file” location is going to be dictated correctly to all of your AutoCAD users so that it’s not going to this local location? It’s going to some network location that maybe makes more sense.

If we go over to, say, “User Preferences” and we take a look at “Insertion scale,” I’ve heard stories of people messing up the units here and blowing up drawings. So we’re going to change it to our company standard here and then guarantee that those settings are turned on. We’ll do that in just a second.

Also, this “System” tab, this “System” stuff here, most AutoCAD users should not have to deal with this stuff at all. We’re just going to shield them from all of this all at once. I’m going to show you how to do that using PolicyPak.

Let me go ahead. I’m going to close down AutoCADright here, “Exit AutoCAD 2012”. Then I’m going to jump over to my Group Policy Management Station. You’ll get PolicyPak for AutoCAD 2012 as part of our free and included “PreConfigured PolicyPaks.” Here it is, “Autocad 2012.”

I’ll open it up. You can see our preconfigured Pak here, “pp-Autocad 2012.dl.l” On your Group Policy machine, you’re going to simply “Copy here” to your “C:Program FilesPolicyPakExtensions”folder. I’ll just go ahead and copy that in. There we go. That’s it. You’re ready to go. As soon as you copy that file, you are ready to manage AutoCAD using Group Policy.

What we’re going to do for all of our “East Sales Users” we’re going to “Manage Autocad using Group Policy and PolicyPak.”We’re creating a new Group Policy Object there. We’ll go ahead and click “Edit…” here. Once we’ve got the Group Policy editor open, we’ll dive down under “PolicyPak/Applications/New/Application.” There it is, “PolicyPak for AutoCAD 2012.” You can see all of our other Paks that I’ve copied in are available for me right there.

I’ll go ahead and click on the item here, which will open it up. You’ll see that there’s very little learning curve. This looks exactly almost like AutoCAD itself. Almost every tab is here. Almost every setting is available for you to dictate and manage. It is a very comprehensive way to manage your AutoCAD en masse using Group Policy.

Let’s go over to the “Open and Save” items. As we said, if a user were to uncheck “Automatic save,” we want to guarantee that it’s on. We want to click that. A checkmark plus an underline means we’re going to deliver a checkmark. We want to set this to “4” “Minutes between saves.”

We’ll also make sure that these settings are guaranteed on. We can right click over them and “Disable corresponding control in target application.”We can disable that. We can also right click and disable “Minutes between saves.” Now the setting is delivered, and it’s locked down.

Same thing with this “Create backup copy with each save.” Let’s go ahead and right click over that again and “Disable corresponding control in target application.”We’re setting the checkmark and locking it down.

Let’s go over to “User Preferences.”Like I said, if we want to, we can dictate these settings as “Centimeters” and maybe“Millimeters.”Maybe this is the corporate standard for the length of a project or something. Once again, we can right click and “Disable corresponding control in target application.”We’re delivering the setting and disabling it so a user can’t possibly screw it up.

Let’s go over to “System.”Maybe we don’t want anything in “System” to be touched, nothing at all. We can right click and “Disable whole tab in target application.”The whole shooting match is going to be locked down, everything in “System.” That’s it. We’ll go ahead and click “OK” here.

Let’s dive over to our draftsman machine here. We’ll run “gpupdate.” We’ll get the latest, greatest Group Policy setting. You could be logging on for the first time. You could be changing machines. If somebody roams from machine to machine, you want to guarantee that those settings are going to be consistent on all those machines, or they get a new laptop or a desktop. You don’t have to worry about what those settings are. They’re always going to be delivered using Group Policy and PolicyPak.

With that in mind, let’s go ahead and we’ll rerun “AutoCAD 2012 – English” at this point. Alright, so we’ve got AutoCAD running at this point now. We’ll go back to the “A” here and go to “Options,” and let’s see the magic happen.

We’ll go over to the “Open and Save.” You can see here that if it were to have been unchecked by the end user, it’s going to be delivered using Group Policy and locked down so a user can’t mess it up. There we go.

If we were to go to “User Preferences” here, look. We’ve dictated “Centimeters” here and “Millimeters” there just like we said and also locked it down so a user can’t possibly screw it up.For “System,” you can see that the “System” tab is completely grayed out, there’s nothing a user can do to get around this.

PolicyPak will also guarantee that this will push through to all profiles, not just this one unnamed profile. If you have multiple profiles, the settings that you guarantee using Group Policy and PolicyPak we have some extra magic and it will guarantee to be pushed through to all profiles. If you allow them to create their own profiles, that’s great. We will guarantee these settings in all profiles. If that’s something that’s interesting and important to you, PolicyPak is the way to do it.

Again, if you’re interested in using PolicyPak to deliver your AutoCAD 2012 settings using Group Policy, we’re here for you. Just click on the big old “Download” button or the “Webinar” button, or just pick up the phone and make contact and you can get started and try this out yourself.

Thanks so much. Remember, with PolicyPak, what you set is what they get.