Caroline Arakelian
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Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End User Computing, VMware. Caroline started as a technical writer at VMware in 2006, working on the VMware Workstation 6 User’s Manual, for which she won an STC (Society of Technical Communication) award. What can one do with a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Creative Writing – Poetry? One can discover a surprising affection for technology and happily make a good living communicating that zeal in the form of reference architectures and quick-start tutorials.

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What’s New with VMware User Environment Manager 9.6

December 18, 2018

VMware User Environment Manager 9.6 is now available! This release’s highlights include enhancements to folder redirection, Horizon Smart Policies, environment variables used for scripting, administrative change logging, and conditions based on OS version. Also, User Environment Manager is now supported for Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS. 

User Environment Manager delivers a consistent, personalized desktop and app experience across devices. With User Environment Manager, administrators can manage Windows settings, application settings, and user preferences from a central console. Because User Environment Manager decouples personalization from the OS, users can log in to a different Windows OS and retain their settings.

Enhancements to Folder Redirection

Rather than using Microsoft Group Policy, many administrators find it simpler to use User Environment Manager to implement folder redirection. With folder redirection, end users’ personal user data, documents, pictures, and so on are redirected from specific folders inside the VM. Until now, however, one obstacle was that User Environment Manager was limited to hard-coded folder names, and all redirected folders went to a single share.

With User Environment Manager 9.6, you can now specify different paths for each redirected folder. You can also change the name of each folder. For example, when configuring a folder name for users in another country, you can change the default folder name Documents to use the localized folder name.

Logging of Changes Made to the Flex Configuration File

The Configuration Changelog feature helps you troubleshoot by keeping a list of which administrators made a change to a particular configuration file and what type of change: file creation, import/export, rename, deletion, and so on. Changelog entries record that an action occurred and the type of action, but not the specific settings modified.

You can choose whether to log events to the Windows event log of the system where the management console is running, to disk, or both.

Logging events to disk directs changelog entries from all administrators to a central location, and automatically creates a new Changelog tab the first time a configuration change is made.

Enhancement to the Horizon Smart Policy for Printing

Previously, the Horizon Smart Policy for printing referred only to the virtual printing feature, which uses a ThinPrint driver so that users can print from a remote desktop to any local or network printer installed on their client system.

With this release, Smart Policies also support the new VMware Virtual Print redirection feature introduced with Horizon 7 version 7.7. This feature is an alternative to ThinPrint virtual printing. If you enable the Smart Policy for printing, the policy will apply to either the ThinPrint virtual printing feature or the VMware Virtual Print feature, depending on which component is installed on the virtual desktop.

The new VMware Virtual Print feature supports client printer redirection, location-based printing, and persistent print settings:

  • Client printer redirection allows users to print from a remote desktop to any local or network printer installed on their client system.
  • Location-based printing allows IT organizations to map remote desktops to the printer that is closest to the endpoint client device.
  • Persistent print settings mean that settings a user configures, such as black-and-white mode, are persisted from one session to the next.

New Environment Variable for Users’ Profile Archives

The User Environment Manager agent (Flex agent) dynamically creates several environment variables that can be used in scripts to provide automation. User Environment Manager 9.6 adds a new environment variable called UEMProfileArchives. This variable resolves to the end user’s profile archive folder location.

Support for Using Conditions Based on Windows Server 2019

One of the biggest strengths of User Environment Manager is its ability to apply settings based on conditions such as the user’s location, user group, and type of device. With this release a new OS condition has been added for Windows Server 2019.

For more information about these new featues, check out this What’s New video by Josh Spencer.

For all the latest content, be sure to stop by Digital Workspace Tech Zone.

December 18, 2018
Caroline Arakelian
Read More from the Author

Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End User Computing, VMware. Caroline started as a technical writer at VMware in 2006, working on the VMware Workstation 6 User’s Manual, for which she won an STC (Society of Technical Communication) award. What can one do with a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Creative Writing – Poetry? One can discover a surprising affection for technology and happily make a good living communicating that zeal in the form of reference architectures and quick-start tutorials.

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