NAL equivalent for AD?


I'm a very busy IT Manager who, with my last Company used to use a mixed Netware / Windows environment. This gave me the best of both worlds, one part of which I shall miss quite a lot in my new Microsoft only position! NAL.

Does anyone know of any way that I can deploy application icons to the desktop within a Windows environment?

Before answering, let me elaborate...I want to deploy icons only (not applications) for locally and network installed Apps. I want to be able to deploy icons based on user Groups and not have to allocate icons individually to each users roaming profiles. I would like to deploy my icons so that they are displayed in a separate, non-closable window in the order that I choose, not on the desktop in any one of 1000 randomly decided user layouts.

The Zenworks NAL (Application Launcher) window did this all very simplistically and allowed me to create 'application objects' within NDS (Novell's AD equivalent), to which I could apply security rights as if they were a part of the file system.

I cannot believe that, with the size of the Microsoft Empire there is not a method for doing the same job so I'm really hoping that someone out there can help me.

Looking forward in anticipation...


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Answers (2)

Posted by: Bladerun 18 years ago
Green Belt
Microsoft's tool that's comparable to Zenworks is SMS, and like Zenworks its not cheap.

If you don't have the budget for SMS, look into deployment through group policy (free).
Posted by: BobTheBuilder 18 years ago
Purple Belt
Intellimirror (aka GPO or Group Policy Object deployment) will do exactly what you are talking about. As long as your packages are MSI. As Bladerun said, You can use Active Directory to "Publish" the application. Only the Icon will appear in the start menu, and when launched the installation will take place. (You can also set the application to install at login if you like).

Read more about GPO deployment here.

Instructions at Microsoft for deploying Office.

There is a learning curve, but it is my favorite way of Deploying apps and I only use SMS to deploy if GPO won't do the job. We also deploy MSI exclusively. No Setup.exe apps these days.
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