PolicyPak and Microsoft UE-V – Better Together Story

Microsoft UE-V (User Experience Virtualization) is a great new offering from Microsoft to help users nicely roam settings between applications. But it doesn’t perform enforcement of settings to your important applications. In this video, you’ll learn where PolicyPak can dictate and enforce settings and Microsoft UE-V will properly roam all other settings. It’s a perfect match!

PolicyPak enhances Microsoft User Experience Virtualization 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 PolicyPak and Microsoft’s User Experience Virtualization, or UE-V, work better together. Let’s go ahead and understand what Microsoft’s UE-V tool does in the first place. If a user were to go to “Edit/Preferences…” and change something that was important to them – for instance here in “Acrobat Reader” we have the user changing their “Page Units” from “Inches” over to “Millimeters.”

They click “OK,” and then they close the app. Then we’re going to assume that they roam from one machine to another machine. Now that other machine could be a desktop, a laptop, a Microsoft Terminal RDS session or a VDI machine. It can even actually be a machine that has the same application installed with Microsoft Application Virtualization, or App-V. In fact, that’s how I have this one running. If you go to “Edit/Preferences…” on this machine, we can see that setting has roamed with the user, and now the “Page Units” are now changed to “Millimeters” on this machine, as well. If I were to change it from “Millimeters” over to “Picas” and click “OK” and close this out, what would happen when I roam to my next machine, which could also in fact be the first machine I was on? If I roam back there and I click on that same application and go to “Edit/Preferences…,” you can see that setting has roamed.

That’s exactly what Microsoft’s User Experience Virtualization tool does. Now let’s understand the better together story. The problem is that sometimes you – the person in charge of IT –have important security and business settings that you want to ensure are delivered to that application. For instance, how could you be sure that this important checkbox of “Enable Acrobat JavaScript” was forcefully unchecked? What about this setting, “Security (Enhanced)”?

If a user unchecks “Enable Enhanced Security” and then clicks “OK,” that just makes it less secure. If they roam to another machine and you run that application on the other machine, when you click “Edit/Preferences…” you’ve now roamed that insecure setting over to that other machine. That’s exactly what PolicyPak is going to help us eliminate. Let’s go ahead, and to alleviate this problem now is where PolicyPak comes in. We’ll go ahead and create a new Group Policy Object against where our users live. We’ll call that “Enforce Important Acrobat Settings.” Again, PolicyPak will work in the same way User Experience Virtualization will work with just about any application, so will we.

PolicyPak ships with 35 applications and more all the time in the box. You can see here that we’ve got “PolicyPak for Adobe Reader X” right here. We’ll go ahead and double click it, and we’ll go ahead and set our settings. For “JavaScript,” we said we wanted to uncheck that setting. Here is yet another additional PolicyPak superpower. Not only can we deliver the important setting – and in this case that setting is uncheck –we can also right click and “Disable corresponding control in target application.”We’re going to literally gray it out so the user can’t work around that setting.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the “Security (Enhanced).” If we were to check this setting, that would ensure that that setting would be delivered, in fact forcefully guaranteed and re-guaranteed to our target user. We’re just going to right click over that guy and also “Disable corresponding control in target application.”So we’re delivering the checkbox and enforcing it on using “Disable corresponding control in target application.” Now that we’ve locked and loaded our directive inside Group Policy, let’s just go to each of our machines. We’ll run GPUpdate on the first machine.

I’ll go over to the second machine, and I will do the same thing – run GPUpdate on each of these machines. We could have logged off or logged back on or just waited a little while and Group Policy would have kicked in and done the update, but we’re just using GPUpdate to accelerate things a little faster here. Now that that’s done, on our first machine let’s go over and take a look at Acrobat Reader (“Adobe Reader X”) and go to “Edit/Preferences…” here. Let’s go to “JavaScript” first. PolicyPak has delivered uncheck. This thing was checked; it’s now unchecked, therefore making it more secure. PolicyPak is also enforcing the setting by literally graying the UI out so the user can’t work around it. The same thing with “Security (Enhanced).”

If the user thought that they might want to uncheck this checkbox, now there’s no way to do it. PolicyPak is delivering the enforcement. If we take a look again at “Units,”PolicyPak hasn’t dictated a setting here. If a user decides they want to change this over to “Inches” and click “OK” and close out their application, that’s perfectly allowed. User Experience Virtualization for Microsoft will take that setting and roam it over to the next machine. Let’s go ahead and take a look at our second machine here.

We’ll run “Adobe Reader X” and we’ll see that the application is virtualized in Application Virtualization, Microsoft App-V. We’ll go to “Edit/Preferences…” and we’ll go over to “JavaScript.”PolicyPak will deliver settings to real and virtualized applications for Microsoft, VMware ThinApp and Citrix XenApp and XenApp streaming. You can see that PolicyPak has delivered the setting right here, unchecked the checkbox and guaranteed it to be the way we want it to. The same thing with “Security (Enhanced).”

We’re ensuring that security setting that we really need is really there. If we go over to “Units,” you can see that Microsoft User Experience Virtualization has roamed that setting from the first machine over to the second machine. That is the better together story. Let’s take it down to the 20-yard line one last time. You use User Experience Virtualization for Microsoft, or UE-V, to ensure that the settings that are important to users can roam with them from machine to machine. You use PolicyPak to guarantee and dictate the settings that are most important from a security or the IT and business perspective to ensure that users, in fact, cannot work around the settings.

We will actually deliver the setting and enforce it, where UE-V does a great job for when users manipulate the settings and you want those settings to roam from machine to machine. So PolicyPak for delivery and enforcement and UE-V for users’ preferences to roam around with them. If you have any questions about how these two tools make an awesome better together story, we’re here for you, just reach out. We’d love to get you the bits of PolicyPak and you can try it yourself and see how wonderful the better together story really is. Thanks so very much, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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