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The role of Administrative Templates

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The role of Administrative Templates

In the Windows Server 2003 family, Administrative Templates use the .adm file name extension, as they did in Windows NT 4.0. However, their role is slightly different.

Role in earlier versions of Windows

In earlier versions of Windows, Administrative Templates were ANSI-encoded text files. They created a namespace within System Policy Editor for convenient editing of the registry. Administrative Templates provided a friendlier user interface than the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). They also added a degree of safety by exposing only the registry keys that are explicitly mentioned in the .adm file.

Role in the Windows Server 2003 family

The Windows Server 2003 family of products include several .adm files, which are listed in Administrative Templates included with this version of Windows. You can also write additional .adm files. The new version of the .adm language is a superset of the previous version--older templates can create a user interface in Group Policy, but new templates cannot create a user interface in System Policy Editor. For more information on the new .adm language, see "Implementing Registry-based Policy" at the Microsoft Web site.

The Windows Server 2003 family supports Unicode-based .adm files.

For information about using Windows NT 4.0 .adm files in a Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP 64-bit Edition (Itanium), or Windows Server 2003 family environment, see Windows NT 4.0 system policies.

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