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ZENworks for Desktops 4 Ships

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 27 Aug 2002

Version: ZENworks for Desktops 4

Heads Up: ZfD 4 is now officially shipping. Here's an overview of the new features in this release:

New in Application Management

  • Novell Application Launcher no longer has a dependency on the Novell Client. If a user's workstation has the Novell Client installed, Application Launcher will use the Client to access Novell eDirectory and NetWare servers. If not, access to eDirectory can be provided through the ZfD Management Agent (installed on the user's workstation) and the ZfD Middle Tier Server (installed on a network server).
  • Terminology for Application Launcher has been changed to alleviate confusion when referring to different views that can be used with Application Launcher, and a new Web browser view has been added.
    • Novell Application Launcher or Application Launcher refers to the core application that must run on a user's workstation in order to distribute applications to the user.
    • Application Launcher includes three views that the user can run to display and launch distributed applications:
      1) the Application Window, which is the standalone window that was previously referred to as Application Launcher or the Application Launcher window
      2) Application Explorer, which is the standalone window plus the Start menu, desktop, task bar, and system tray integration
      3) a new Web browser view, the Application Browser, that enables distributed applications to be displayed and launched from a Web browser.
  • The ZfD Management Agent installation program installs the Novell Application Launcher files to the user's workstation and places an Application Window shortcut and Application Explorer shortcut on the Start menu (Start > Programs > ZENworks for Desktops 4). It also places an Application Browser button on the Web browser's standard button bar.
  • The Novell Application Launcher Web installation program, which can be used in place of the ZfD Management Agent installation program, enables users to install Novell Application Launcher (NAL) from a Web server. When Application Launcher is installed this way, only user-associated applications are supported because Workstation Manager and the Workstation Helper are not installed. In addition, only the Application Explorer and Application Browser views are available.

    Because the application launcher service is not installed, the user needs admin rights to install or run NAL if the installation is completed using this method.
  • Novell Application Launcher now supports three modes: local, remote, and disconnected.
    • Local: Used when Application Launcher is connected to eDirectory through a fast connection (for example, a LAN connection).
    • Remote: Used when Application Launcher is connected to eDirectory through a slow connection (for example, a modem connection).
    • Disconnected: Used when Application Launcher does not have access to eDirectory (or when a user chooses to work offline). All directory information is retrieved from the workstation's local cache.
  • Several features have been added to support Novell Application Launcher's new remote mode:
    • Terminal server applications and Web applications, which work across slower connections better than standard applications, can be used while in remote mode. Creation and configuration of Application objects for both terminal server applications and Web applications have been simplified.
    • Checkpoint Restart provides users with a time estimate of how long it will take to download a standard application during distribution and enables users to postpone an in-progress download. When a user resumes a postponed download, Application Launcher resumes the download at the point it left off rather than starting over at the beginning.
    • Remote Alternate Application enables you to specify an alternate application to use when a user is in remote mode rather than local mode. For example, when a user is accessing an application while in local mode, you may want the application run from a network server installation. However, when the user is accessing the application while in remote mode, you may want it run through a terminal server. You would accomplish this by specifying the terminal server version of the application as the remote alternate application for the network server installation version.
  • Application Dependencies lets you establish a list of applications that must be installed before an application can be distributed. For example, assume that Application A requires Application B and Application C to be installed on a workstation before it will run. You can create a dependency list for Application A that includes applications B and C. During distribution of Application A, if either Application B or Application C are not installed, Application Launcher will install them as part of the Application A distribution process.
  • Application Launcher can generate event reports (install, uninstall, launch, cache, and so forth) in XML format and send the reports via standard HTTP or HTTPS protocol to a specified target URL. ZfD includes a Java* servlet, called the Application Management Reporting servlet, which can receive the XML reports, parse the XML data into an SQL query, locate the appropriate ZENworks Database object in eDirectory, and submit the SQL query to the database.
  • Application Launcher supports script engines in addition to the Novell Client script engine, which means that you can specify the script engine you want used when running a distribution script or launch script.
  • The Application object for an MSI application now lets you define patches you want applied during the distribution process. It also lets you specify the actions (reinstall all files, reinstall old files, and so forth) you want to occur when a user verifies (repairs) an MSI application.
  • When Application Launcher starts it immediately reads eDirectory to get information about the applications associated with the user. The new Random Refresh feature instructs Application Launcher to retrieve its application information from the user's local cache directory during startup and then refresh that information from eDirectory at a later time. This allows you to reduce network traffic (generated by Application Launcher reading eDirectory) during peak times such as the morning login period.
  • Rogue Process Management lets you find out about and stop application processes not launched by Application Launcher.

New in Policies and Workstation Management

The new Novell iPrint policy lets you install the Novell iPrint client to users' workstations. After it is installed, users can use a Web browser to install printers on their workstations. Users can then print to iPrint printers through applications just like any other printer, regardless of the printer's physical location. This policy replaces the Printer policies of earlier versions of ZENworks.

The ZENworks for Desktops Management Agent policy lets you configure the ZfD Management Agent. The ZfD Management Agent lets you use ZfD 4 without using the Novell ClientTM. The ZfD Management Agent lets users access the ZENworks for Desktops Middle Tier Server by using a DNS name or an IP address.

The following policies are no longer shipped with ZfD 4:

  • Client Configuration
  • RAS Configuration
  • Restrict Login
  • Earlier ZfD Printer policies

If you are upgrading from a previous version of ZENworks and are using these policies, ZfD 4 supports them.

New in Remote Management

  • Remote Management no longer has a dependency on the Novell Client. You can initiate a Remote Management operation with workstations where Novell Client is not installed.
  • Enhanced performance of remote control.
  • You can start Remote Management operations through Password-Based Remote Management. For ZfD 4 Remote Management, you do not need to register the workstation in eDirectory and import it as an eDirectory Workstation object. You can imitate a Remote Management operation using Password-Based Remote Management.
  • You can start Remote Management operations from the User object as well as from the Workstation object.
  • You can configure the Wake-on-LAN policy to perform a scheduled wake-up of a group of managed workstations
  • Remote Management operations work across the firewall. You can perform Remote Management operations on the workstations that are outside the firewall if port 1761 is open for the Remote Management operations.
  • ZfD 4 has centralized audit information through the audit log All the Remote Management audit information is stored in a centralized Inventory database. You can view the audit record of all workstations from ConsoleOne.
  • ZfD 4 has audit reports for Remote Management sessions You can generate a predefined report to filter the Remote Management audit information from the Inventory database through Crystal Reports.

New in Workstation Imaging

  • Performance enhancements for restore time on IDE hard drives.
  • Support for USB keyboards.
  • Preboot Services is included on the ZENworks for Desktops 4 Program CD so that you do not need to switch to a different CD during installation.
  • Ability to start a multicast session from the server console
  • Simultaneous multicast sessions. (In previous versions of ZfD, multicast sessions started at the same time were performed sequentially.)
  • Utilities (zisview and zisedit) for viewing and editing image-safe data are available from the Linux prompt.
  • Support for workstation DNS information in the policies/image-safe data.
  • The Linux kernel now is 2.4.18.

New in Workstation Inventory

  • Workstation Inventory no longer depends on the Novell Client.
  • Roll-up of inventory information across eDirectory trees.
  • Roll-up of inventory information across firewall.
  • Support for the Inventory database on MS SQL Server 2000.
  • Support for scanning for the user-defined attributes. ZfD 4 lets you collect workstation information that is not part of the default hardware inventory. The Inventory scanner uses the Inventory database to store the user-defined attributes and the corresponding values along with the non-user-defined inventory attribute of the class in the Inventory database.
  • Support for scanning of the product identification number of the Microsoft applications installed on the workstations.
  • Support for scanning of the approximate installation path of the applications installed on the workstations The Inventory scanner scans for the approximate installation path of the product executables that are installed on the workstations and stores the scan data in the Inventory database as the product location. If an application has more than one component and the components are installed to many levels of subdirectories, the Inventory scanner will scan for the path that is common to all the components.
  • Support for configuring Microsoft's Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Desktop Management Interface (DMI) scanning and reporting.
  • You can view the scan status of the workstation in eDirectory and the Inventory database from a specified time.
  • Interoperability with ZENworks for Servers 3 (ZfS 3) Support Pack 1 (SP1).
  • Predefined reports to filter the workstation inventory information from the Inventory database through Seagate Crystal Reports.
  • Scans hardware and software information for all workstations that are registered to eDirectory but are temporarily disconnected from your network.

    If the Inventory scanner is scheduled to collect the inventory for a workstation that is registered to eDirectory but not connected to the network, the Inventory scanner will wait until the workstation is reconnected to the network. After the workstation is reconnected, the Inventory scanner will collect the inventory of the workstation and will update the information to the Inventory database.

    This helps the administrator to gather the inventory for the users who connect to the network less frequently but want their machines to be inventoried.

Wise InstallTailor

ZENworks for Desktops 4 also includes Wise InstallTailor from Wise Solutions, which allows you to simplify Windows software installations.

Wise InstallTailor lets you easily customize Windows Installer-based installations by simulating the application's installation, capturing the customizations you make, and automatically generating a transform (also known as an .MST file) that incorporates these customizations. A transform is a special kind of Windows Installer database that can be applied at runtime to a Windows Installer package to customize the installation for a particular group of users or for conformance to corporate standards.

When you run Wise InstallTailor, it launches the installation you want to customize and allows you to step through the installation, changing the default options as desired. Wise InstallTailor records the installation options you choose, such as the features to install and the destination directory, and automatically generates a transform that incorporates those options. The transform can be used as-is, or can be further customized using a Windows Installer editing tool such as the one included with Wise Package Studio.

More Info

For complete info about installing and using ZENworks for Desktops 4, see the documentation.

To order ZENworks for Desktops 4, check here for all your options.

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