Application delivery window, migration from ZenWorks
Hi all, I have searched high and low but have not found a suitable answer to this questions. We are planning a migration from Novell ZenWorks 7 to SCCM and from XP to Windows 7. We heavily rely on the Novell Application Window to organise our applications and give users visibility of them. We do not allow users to store icons on the desktop and we do not show our applications in the start menu. Applications are only visible via the NAL window and associated tree structure, please see this link Is there anything out there, either in SCCM, or Windows 7, that can emulate the Novell Applications Window?
October 20th, 2010 1:38pm

You would need to control the icons either via the install method or via GPO. The same goes for the Start menu. Either via the install tell it not to place icons there or you can use a script at the end to delete the setting so you don't see it. Then if you created a custom folder structure on the desktop you can place the icons there. This might make the users happier since they are use to that kind of window. The problem is that you just added 10x the work to the packaging and desktop support. I know Admins that moved from Radia or Altris and they are looking at a smooth transistion for everyone and you can't. To teach a person to drive an automatic transmission and then a Stardard transmission takes a bit getting use to but after a while it becomes second nature. Don't short change the users ability to change.
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October 20th, 2010 2:03pm

All good advice and I accept what you say however, the NAL window application is a very slick method of delivering application icons, grouped on business need, to the user. It keeps desktops control and tidy.
October 20th, 2010 4:34pm

Novell created a completely unique method/paradigm of managing application shortcuts (and applications) which noone else has ever adopted. Understand that they did something completely unique that is a vast departure from the way Windows was designed to work with applications. I understand your desire to emulate the same look and feel because it works for your environment, but that is just not how the rest of the Windows world has ever done things and trying to emulate it on your own will cause huge amounts of work and headaches (as Matt said). One thing to explore though is App-V. App-V also represents a huge paradigm shift in the way applications are managed and deployed and it does allow you to control where an application's icons are presented to the user. App-V integrates nicely with ConfigMgr also.Jason | | | Twitter @JasonSandys
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October 20th, 2010 4:46pm

Thanks Jason, alongside of our physical migration from Zen to SCCM, XP to Windows 7, Office 2003 to 2010, Exchange 2007 to 2010, we are running a parallel project for desktop virtualization using App-V. Being a law firm, we have many legacy and bespoke applications that so far do not sit well in the virtual world hence running this is in parallel. You are right that Novell came up with a very "different" approach to application icon delivery and deployment and I am not knocking SCCM however when your users have been controlled for so long and they are used to a application centric desktop we are loathed to change things too much. I think what we may end up doing is developing our own "dock" style launcher where our core apps can sit.
October 20th, 2010 4:54pm

I actually worked once for a major utility company that had built a custom app that looked very similar to what your screen shots look like. They were an SMS shop but I really don't know how all the backend pieces of it worked. The users went into that application (called webicons) and launched all apps from there. If the app wasn't already installed on the machine it would install when it was launched from that app. It was pretty slick, they had several thousand apps in there. Seeing your screen shots makes me think it must have been modeled after Novell. This company had an extremely standardized computing environment. No application was allowed on any machine unless it was delivered through this model. The company consisted of about 25,000 computers in many companies and it was a well oiled machine. Of course the amount of development time and effort that goes into something like that likely had ROI for such a large company because it made support very easy. For a smaller company who likely lacks the resources to develop something like that it wouldn't make sense. Your users probably all have computers at home and they are used to seeing desktop icons and they know how to use them. I'd say this is a perfect opportunity to shift direction. If you want Novell look and feel stick with Novell. If you want to move to SCCM take this chance to shift how things are being done. It's not like you are doing something that's not industry standard so I don't think it will come as a huge shock to the users. Interestingly enough if you google for "webicons" there's some limited info out there about it. John Marcum | |
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October 20th, 2010 6:00pm

What you are looking for can be duplicated to a certain extent but requires some addtional work. You would want to have a share location with icons (with access-based enumeration, so they see only what they are permitted", say \\\shared\applications\ and in that location you would have cmd/bat or other script files named after an application... e.g. "Paint .NET". You would grant access to this icon via AD Groups.. say "APP_Pain.NET". The script would do a check to see if "Paint .NET" is installed on the PC, and if not it would run install with your transform file". If it is already installed, it would simply launch the executable on the person's PC, say "C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\PaintDotNet.exe". In the end you would have a window (via Explorer.exe) displaying icons for application the user is authorized to use/install based on AD group memberships... wihtout the client overhead of the Novell Application Launcher"
January 24th, 2011 11:27pm

Hey , we use the exact same setup here at my company. Did you ever find an answer to your question?
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February 14th, 2011 9:05pm

Hello John, I tried to google "WEBICONS" and I did'nt find nothing about it :-| Is the any link I can download it from or get more information about it? Thanks Jacob
November 7th, 2011 2:40am

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