Design recommendation: Application management

RES Workspace Manager supports many levels of application management. In this post, I will provide configuration guidelines to address the level of application management for your organization.

First let’s summarize the options that are related to application management.

Windows Shell shortcut creation
‘Replace all unmanaged shortcuts’ takes full control over the start menu and desktop shortcuts of your Windows desktop.
‘Merge with unmanaged shortcuts’ merges RES Workspace Manager managed applications with the start menu and desktop shortcuts. Any unmanaged shortcut that has a similar command line as a RES Workspace Manager managed application will be replaced with a managed shortcut.
‘Do nothing’ does not add or merge any shortcuts.

Process Interception
Process interception allows IT administrators to manage configuration and personalization of an application, without managing the shortcut.

User Installed Applications
In case you want to allow users to install software themselves, you might want to manage a list of authorized software.  The security feature User Installed Applications allows you to manage a list of approved or blocked installation.

The key of selecting the right options is to understand the level of freedom you want to provide your customers (formerly ‘users’). Another criteria that impacts your configuration is the platform used. You might want to provide more freedom on laptops then on hosted desktops.

Three simple questions
Question 1 – What is the average amount of applications per platform?
Question 2 – How many applications require configuration by IT?
Question 3 – Are users allowed to install some or any application(s)?

Based on these three simple questions, you could create a graph to visualize the level of freedom based on applications managed by IT, applications managed by the user and self-installed applications.

Rules of thumb
80/20 managed/unmanaged: In case you have many applications of which configuration and personalization is managed by IT, using ‘Replace all unmanaged shortcuts’ is most suitable for your environment. Application installation can be  prevented by Application Security feature.

In the scenario (graph) above, the Hosted desktop can use this configuration. You can still configure the application, to the user controls settings of the application, instead of IT.

20/80 managed/unmanaged: In case you only want to manage only a few applications for its configuration, using ‘Do nothing’ in combination with ‘Interception’ is ideal. The user has full control over the application and start menu, but those few managed applications are automatically intercepted and configured correctly for the user.
In the scenario (graph) above, the Laptops can use this configuration.

50/50 managed/unmanaged: In case of a 50/50 split in managed applications and inmanaged application, combined with controlled software installation permissions, ‘Merge with unmanaged shortcuts’ allows you to managed pre-defined applications and merge these applications with unmanaged applications in the start menu and on the desktop.
A list of authorized software the user is allowed to  install can be managed with the User Installed Applications feature.
In the scenario (graph) above, the Desktops can use this configuration.

Summary
It is important to decide on the level of freedom and the appropriate configuration, before building your environment. Sometimes IT professionals start with ‘Merge with unmanaged shortcuts’ and then try to configure personalization of desktop and taskbar shortcuts with User Settings, while Intercept might do the trick by default.

80/20 =  Replace all unmanaged shortcuts + Application Security
20/80 = Intercept
50/50 =  Merge with unmanaged shortcuts + User Installed Applications (optional)

Have fun building the best environment for your customers!

Posted in Tech Tips and tagged .

Leave a Reply