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IEAK Profile Manager

Cc961382.chap_22(en-us,TechNet.10).gif Cc961382.image(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Before Internet Explorer is installed, you can use the Internet Explorer Customization wizard to preconfigure your custom packages to include automatic browser configuration and Automatic Detection. With these features, the users' computers can automatically locate the auto-configuration .ins file (which is maintained on your server) and use it to update browser configuration settings at a specified interval.

After Internet Explorer is installed, you can use the IEAK Profile Manager to maintain browser configuration settings on your users' computers. With the IEAK Profile Manager, you can open any auto-configuration .ins file and change settings, such as digital signature and security zone options.

You can also use the IEAK Profile Manager to enable automatic browser configuration if you didn't preconfigure this feature before installation. The Automatic Detection feature (if enabled) will locate the updated auto-configuration .ins file, or you can set the automatic browser configuration manually on client computers.

For more information about setting up automatic browser configuration and Automatic Detection, see Chapter 21 , "Using Automatic Configuration and Automatic Proxy." For more information about setting up your servers for automatic browser configuration and automatic detection, see Chapter 13 , "Setting Up Servers."

Updating Browser Configuration Settings

The Internet Explorer Customization wizard creates an auto-configuration .ins file for each custom package you build. By default, this file is named Install.ins, but you can rename the file for each custom package.

After you install the browser, you can use the IEAK Profile Manager to update configuration settings by opening the auto-configuration .ins file, changing settings, and then saving the file. The IEAK Profile Manager also keeps the companion files current each time you save the auto-configuration .ins file.

You can change two types of configuration settings:

  • Wizard settings - These settings correspond to browser and component options that you initially configured in Stages 2 through 5 of the Internet Explorer Customization wizard.

  • Policies and restrictions - These settings correspond to options that you initially configured on the System Policies and Restrictions screen in Stage 5 of the Internet Explorer Customization wizard.

Cc961382.prcarrow(en-us,TechNet.10).gif To change configuration settings by using the IEAK Profile Manager

  1. On the Start menu, point to Programs , point to Microsoft IEAK , and then click IEAK Profile Manager .

  2. On the File menu, click Open , and then open the auto-configuration .ins file for your custom package.

  3. On the Platform menu, click the operating system for your custom package.

  4. On the left side of the window, click Wizard Settings or Policies and Restrictions .
    The following illustration shows the Wizard Settings screen.
    Cc961382.Ch22_01(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

  5. On the left side of the window, click each category you want to change, and then on the right side, change the options you want.

  6. On the File menu, click Save as . Type a name for the file, keeping its .ins extension.

The default location for saving the auto-configuration .ins file is the \ build directory \Ins\ operating system \ language folder. For example, an English version of the .ins file that was created for the Windows 32-bit platform might be saved in the \Build1\Ins\Win32\En folder.

Before updating the configuration settings on your users' computers, you should copy the auto-configuration .ins file and the companion .cab files generated by the IEAK Profile Manager to a working directory and test the configuration. After you validate your changes, copy the new auto-configuration .ins file to your production server. The automatic browser configuration feature then updates the configuration settings on the users' computers.

Files Generated by the IEAK Profile Manager

When you update and save your configuration settings, the IEAK Profile Manager generates the following files:

  • Auto-configuration .ins file - This file contains the browser and component settings that Internet Explorer uses to update the browser configuration on users' computers. You can specify these settings in the Wizard Settings section of the IEAK Profile Manager.

  • Cabinet (.cab) files - These files are used to organize the installation files that are downloaded to the users' computers. You should digitally sign the .cab files created by the IEAK Profile Manager. For more information about signing your .cab files, see Chapter 12 , "Preparing for the IEAK."
    The auto-configuration .cab files also contain information (.inf) files.

  • Information (.inf) files - These files contain the system policies and restrictions that the operating system uses to update the system configuration on users' computers. You can specify these settings in the Policies and Restrictions section of the IEAK Profile Manager.
    Each .inf file also contains version information. When you change configuration settings, the IEAK Profile Manager updates the affected .inf files and their version information and repackages the companion .cab files.

Internet Explorer downloads and processes the contents of the auto-configuration .ins file and makes the necessary configuration changes on the users' computers. Internet Explorer also downloads and unpacks the companion .cab files for the operating system to process. If the version number of the auto-configuration .ins file does not change, new .cab files are not downloaded. The version number consists of the date the .ins file was modified and the number of times the file has been revised.

Creating Unique Configurations for Different Groups of Users

If you have users with different needs or if you want to change some users' configuration settings independently of others, you can create multiple auto-configuration .ins files. You can use the IEAK Profile Manager to specify different configuration settings for each group and save them as individual usergroup .ins files, where usergroup is a unique name for each user group. The IEAK Profile Manager automatically generates the companion .cab files. For example, you could specify a unique configuration for the Finance Department and save the configuration as Finance.ins. The IEAK Profile Manager would then generate the necessary companion .cab files.

Note If you create multiple auto-configuration .ins files, make sure that your custom packages are configured to use the correct file. You can also use an automated server solution, which enables you to use multiple .ins files without rebuilding your custom packages. For more information about using an automated server solution, see Chapter 17 , "Time-Saving Strategies That Address Diverse User Needs."

Using Custom Policy Templates

The IEAK Profile Manager uses a default set of Windows policy template, or administration (.adm), files to define the rules for system policies and restrictions. The .adm files and system policies and restrictions are standard features of Windows 32-bit and Windows 16-bit platforms. If you are familiar with .adm files, you can create your own templates to define additional restrictions. For more information, see your Windows documentation.

Using the IEAK Profile Manager, you can import your own custom .adm files and include them with your updated configuration settings. The IEAK Profile Manager generates an associated .inf file, using the file prefix for the custom .adm file that you import. For example, if you import a file named Custom.adm, a Custom.inf file is generated and added to the companion .cab files. For more information about using custom .adm files, see Appendix E , "Setting System Policies and Restrictions."

Changing the Location of an Auto-Configuration .ins File

If you need to move the auto-configuration .ins file to a different production server, you can use the IEAK Profile Manager to update the URL for automatic browser configuration. If you set the auto-configuration .ins file to update at a specified interval, you must allow for two intervals after you update the URL for automatic browser configuration before the change takes effect.

Cc961382.prcarrow(en-us,TechNet.10).gif To update the URL for automatic browser configuration

  1. On the Start menu, point to Programs , point to Microsoft IEAK , and then click IEAK Profile Manager .

  2. On the File menu, click Open , and then open the auto-configuration .ins file from your custom package.

  3. On the left side of the window under Wizard Settings, click Automatic Browser Configuration .
    The following illustration shows the Automatic Browser Configuration options.
    Cc961382.Ch22_02(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

  4. On the right side of the window, type the new server path in the Auto-config URL (.INS File) box.

  5. On the File menu, click Save as . Type a name for the file, keeping its .ins extension.

  6. Type the new server location for your .ins file to match the URL that you entered, the URL to your .cab files, and the names of your .cab files.
    You must copy any .cab files that are created in the build folder to the same folder that contains your .ins file.

When the user starts the browser and the configuration settings are scheduled to be updated, the pointer to the URL for automatic browser configuration is then updated on the user's computer. At this point, the browser is still using the settings from the original auto-configuration .ins file (for example, http:// existing path /Default.ins).

When the user starts the browser a second time and the configuration settings are scheduled to be updated again, the browser reads the new auto-configuration .ins file (for example, http:// new path /Default.ins). When you are sure that the settings on all users' computers have been updated, you can remove the copy of the auto-configuration .ins file from its original location.

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