Product Reviews

Getting It Right

ScriptLogic configures desktops, launches apps and more.

Every once in a while a product comes along that just seems to get the pieces right, providing both simplicity and power. ScriptLogic fits the bill on both counts. It addresses the needs of managers of small to large enterprises that need an easy way to ensure that user settings are properly applied and software updates and service packs are deployed as necessary. With ScriptLogic’s Validation Logic technology, you can be very precise as to which settings get applied to computers or users.

Installing ScriptLogic is relatively simple. One thing to watch out for, and the manual does warn you about it, is the need to create two user accounts—one that’s a member of the Domain Admins group and another that’s a member of Domain Users. These accounts are used by the various services ScriptLogic installs and during operation. You need to create these before you start the install process, as there’s no way to create them during installation. While you need to install ScriptLogic on one domain controller, you should install it on all to ensure full coverage in the enterprise—a task easily performed, as the install program allows remote installs.

After installing ScriptLogic, you need to create one or more profiles with appropriate settings. The creation of profiles is a simple point-and-click affair, with myriad options to ensure that the profile only applies to the users or computers specified. ScriptLogic makes a distinction between different operating systems, terminal services clients, network and remote access clients, and more when determining to whom a profile should be applied. In fact, the ability to be very precise in configuring a profile and having it apply to specific computers or users is so powerful that you may get lost in all the choices.

This brings me to the most interesting aspect of ScriptLogic, its ability to configure so many aspects of a computer or user profile. Within a profile, you can configure the kinds of things you find in Group Policy, such as display properties, desktop settings, folder redirection, registry settings, security policies and so on. You can also map network drives and attach printers and other things for which you would use scripts. But ScriptLogic isn’t content to leave it at that, allowing you to configure Outlook profiles, Microsoft Office settings, and even install service packs and patches on the computer. If the choices available aren’t enough, you can also create custom scripts.

Following profile creation, you assign them to users. In my excitement, I forgot to do this and wondered why scripts weren’t running and profiles changing. The task of assigning or removing scripts from a user is straightforward and performed using ScriptLogic Manager, a tool you also use to create scripts and profiles and replicate them to other DCs.

Configuring ScriptLogic for Outlook
ScriptLogic allows for configuration of Outlook settings for users regardless of the Outlook version installed.

All in all, this product works as advertised. Some of the profile settings can be a bit confusing, as features of Windows 98 are listed when they don’t apply to Windows 2000 and vice versa, though this shouldn’t prove a major problem for an experienced administrator. Especially with a 45-day free evaluation, this one is worth a look. ScriptLogic is $400 for a 10-seat CAL; the Professional Edition is $350 for a 10-seat CAL; and the Small Business Edition is $495 for a 25-seat.

About the Author

Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.

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