PolicyPak: Re-Deploy Settings at application launch

PolicyPak 3.5 and later supports re-delivery of settings, simply by re-launching the application. This is configurable per Pak and demonstrated in this video.

PolicyPak: Re-Deploy Settings at application launch video transcript

Hi, this is Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, we’re going to see a new feature for PolicyPak 3.5 and later, which goes like this.

Let’s say you’ve got “WinZip” here, and you’ve delivered your settings using PolicyPak. You can see that I’ve got the “Passwords” tab here in WinZip. I’ve delivered “33” “Minimum password length” characters. All four checkboxes, you can see I’ve also grayed some UI out and removed some UI. “Cameras” is unchangeable.There we go. That’s not new. PolicyPak has been able to do that for a while.

What’s new is that if the user decides they want to go in and change something that you are enabling them to change, like they change this from “33” to “2,” the very next time the user reruns the application – no GPUpdate required, no PPUpdate required – just a relaunch of the application will redeliver the application’s settings. This function works if it’s online or if it’s offline.

One of the use cases for this is for applications we can’t perform UI lockdown on. “OpenOffice” is a good example. We can deliver the settings for OpenOffice, but we can’t lock it down. Here on “Memory,” you can see here that PolicyPak is delivering “Number of steps.” The default is 100, and I’ve set it to “8.”

If the user sets it to some value that they shouldn’t set it to, they can do so in the session but the very next time the user runs the application and goes to “Tools/Options,” goes to “Memory,” PolicyPak will ensure that is going to be redelivered.

Now this is the new default behavior for PolicyPak 3.5 and later. If you want to turn a particular Pak’s redeploying of settings every time off, it’s super easy. Let’s go over to my management console, and I will turn it off for OpenOffice.

I’ll click on the directive here for “OpenOffice Settings,” dive down under “PolicyPak/Applications.” Here is the directive here. There’s a lot of stuff you can possibly configure in OpenOffice, and that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

What we’re looking for here is under the “PolicyPak” button. There’s a checkmark that says,“Always re-apply settings when application runs.” If you uncheck the checkbox, you’re now turning it off for just this Pak.

Let’s go ahead and go over to the target machine. We’re going to run “gpupdate” to just get the flag, the thing that we just changed. Now after GP downloads the latest setting that we’ve made there, the directive will go forward the way we expect.

Now that that’s done, let’s go ahead and rerun “WinZip” first. Let’s go to “Options/Configuration….” We didn’t touch WinZip so if the user changes it from “33” to “2” and clicks “OK” and reruns “WinZip,” what’s our expectation. It will continue back to “33” at launch time, which is exactly what it did.

Let’s go to “OpenOffice.” That’s the one we just tweaked. If we go to “Tools/Options…” and go to “Memory,” it sets it to “8.” If we change it as a user to some number we shouldn’t do it, which is in this case “76,” our expectation is the next time “OpenOffice” runs it will maintain that value at 76.

Let’s go to “Tools/Options….” We’ll go to “Memory,” and there it is, “76.”

Now what will also happen, what is also true is that the next time Group Policy refreshes – either with a GPUpdate if you’re online or a PPUpdate if you’re offline – what’s true is that as soon as we run GPUpdate or PPUpdate (so GPUpdate for online or PPUpdate for offline) then those values will in fact be redelivered if that’s what you wanted. You can see, it’s been reset to “8.”

The new thing for PolicyPak 3.5 is that even if you’re offline and have no connectivity and you’ve delivered a setting that you want the user to have, PolicyPak will redeliver it over and over and over again even if the user is offline. All they need to do is close the application and relaunch it. If you want to turn off that behavior, it’s configurable per Pak.

If you have any questions about this, we’re here for you. Feel free to reach out.

Thanks so much.

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