As a long time user and developer of enterprise software, I am fully aware of the dichotomy that often exists between software being intuitive and easy to learn for the novice, yet being flexible, customizable and ‘have everything at your fingertips’ that power-users frequently demand.
In the past we’ve received feedback that our products, while being incredibly powerful to those who have mastered them, may have been somewhat daunting to those users installing and using them for the first time.
Over the last couple of releases the Application Manager team (of which I am a member) has strived to improve the feature set while trying to remain true to the challenge described in the first paragraph- to balance simplicity with the sophistication that our users require.
On Monday 14th October, Application Manager 8.7 was announced and I want to highlight a couple of the features that take us closer to that elusive goal of helping customers manage their desktops as effectively and as simply as possible.
Firstly, Group Policy Deployment allows system administrators to save an Application Manager Configuration directly to a Group Policy Object (GPO). This allows Application Manager to utilize the infrastructure provided by Group Policy, and with it harness the speed, flexibility and scalability and provide a familiar experience through which to deploy configurations quickly and effectively. In addition, with Configuration Merging, configurations can be applied at different levels in the Group Policy hierarchy and Application Manager will intelligently order and merge them during the next update cycle.
Secondly, as of version 8.7, Application Manager supports Regular Expressions in the rules engine, giving system administrators access to the power they bring, increasing the speed and ease in which configurations can be created. An example of this would be for pattern matching within a rule that is created for a path which contains a random component. The rule is applied to a child process in a path which contains 4 random digits in a row. Regular Expressions support lets you create a rule which ignores the random digits / defined part of the path.
Simplification was a high priority during the design and development of AM 8.7 and I look forward to you trying it. The development of AM 8.7 has been another great example of collaborative work with our customers and partners. We worked closely with our community through our Agile Sprint showcases, alphas and betas to define and refine the new functionality.
I would love your feedback- please feel free to share your thoughts to the comments section on, simplification, workflow or indeed any aspect of Application Manager and we will keep them in mind during 8.8 development and beyond.