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Planning for Effective Implementation

Updated: April 8, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Foundation, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

When you make decisions about customization, you should be aware of how your decisions affect Connection Manager implementation methods. When developing plans for a service profile, consider implementation impacts on:

  • The number of connection profiles to be developed.

  • The distribution methods to be used.

  • Streamlining installation with additional components.

  • The size of the connection profile.

  • Phone book support to be implemented.

  • Maintenance and update requirements for the service profile, including all files included in the profile.

  • The operating systems and processor architecture types of the client computers for which you want to create connection profiles.

The following sections discuss how customizing your service profile can affect how it is implemented. For additional information on setting up multiple profiles and how each service profile is set up and maintained, see Setting Up Your Connection Profiles.

You can create additional connection profiles to support specialized needs of specific groups or personnel. For example, if you support multiple geographic locations, you might want to create separate profiles for the specific locations, incorporating a unique local phone book in each. Or, you might want to create separate profiles for each operating system supported by your service.

If a user installs more than one connection profile, each profile is installed to a separate folder. All profiles share the same copy of Connection Manager software.

To provide support for a different language, you must run the Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) wizard on a computer that is running an international version of Windows that uses the appropriate language.

ImportantImportant
You must build profiles on an operating system that is designed for the same processor architecture type as the client computers on which users will install the profile. For example, if you want to build a profile for users running the 64-bit version of Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, then you must build that profile on a computer that is running a 64-bit version of Windows Server.

You can distribute your connection profile by removable media, a downloadable file (over a private network or the Internet), or by using a software distribution system such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. You should consider the size of your customized profile, including all files that you add to it, when you determine which distribution method to use. Remember that download time can significantly affect users, especially those running modems at relatively slow speeds.

It is important that the size of your connection profile be compatible with your distribution method. Consider the features you want and how you plan to distribute the profile.

For example, if you distribute by download from either a file share or a web page, consider how the download time affects users. In some cases, you might decide to use or offer users an alternate distribution method.

A connection profile that includes the Connection Manager software uses about 800 kilobytes (KB) of disk space. A profile without Connection Manager can use as little about 200 KB. The total size of your profile depends on your customization options, such as the method you use to provide phone books, whether you include custom actions or other optional programs, and which graphics you incorporate.

noteNote
If disk space allows, include Connection Manager in the service profile to ensure that your users always have the latest version. This applies only to profiles that are for computers running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 already include Connection Manager 1.4, and the software is not included in profiles that are for those versions of Windows.

You can simplify installation and updates for your users by incorporating programs and files that can be automatically installed and configured as part of the Connection Manager installation package. You can tailor these features to the individual needs of specific user groups to control the size of the profile that you distribute and to promote the effective use of your service. For example, if you support a corporate account with marketing and accounting departments, you might provide separate profiles for each department, so that you could provide the marketing department with a phone book covering the entire sales area, and you could provide the accounting department with a phone book containing only the numbers of the local access points.

For dial-up users, you can provide a single phone number for user connection, or you can provide additional support for roaming access by providing a phone book of access numbers. Using Connection Point Services, you can provide phone book support with automatic updates, but you need to create the initial phone books and decide how the phone book support is to be implemented before running the CMAK wizard. For more information, see Connection Point Services and Connection Manager.

You can incorporate many types of files in a connection profile. You can edit or merge existing profiles, include executable program files to support custom actions and monitored applications, and provide user documentation to customize Connection Manager appropriately for your users.

In order to maintain these profiles so that you always use the appropriate version of an incorporated file, you should understand how the CMAK wizard incorporates and uses such files. For information about how files and folders for your profile are set up, see Setting Up Your Connection Profiles.

When you edit a profile that contains a merged connection profile, the CMAK wizard attempts to use the latest version of the merged profile. If the CMAK wizard cannot find the merged profile in the appropriate \Program Files\CMAK\Profiles\ServiceProfileFileName folder, it defaults to the current version of the merged profile that was originally stored with the profile being edited.

Plan your profiles, especially those with incorporated files, so that the information and elements are easily maintained and updated as needed.

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