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Planning Which Applications to Synchronize with UE-V 2.0

Updated: February 14, 2014

Applies To: User Experience Virtualization 2.0

Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0 uses XML settings location templates to define the desktop applications settings and Windows desktop settings that are synchronized between computers that run Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. In addition, the UE-V Agent includes a list of Windows 8 apps. The settings of these Windows 8 apps are synchronized by default. UE-V also includes a set of predefined settings location templates for desktop applications. In addition, it enables administrators to create custom settings location templates for third-party or line-of-business applications that are used in the enterprise. For Windows 8 apps, UE-V includes Windows PowerShell and Group Policy settings to manage which Windows 8 apps are synchronized, if any. The administrator can use Group Policy to enable users to specify which applications synchronize their settings.

As an administrator, when you consider which desktop applications to include in your UE-V solution, consider which settings can be customized by users, and how and where the application stores its settings. Not all desktop applications have settings that can be customized or that are routinely customized by users. In addition, not all desktop applications settings can safely be synchronized across multiple computers or environments. Synchronize settings that meet the following criteria:

  • Settings that are stored in user-accessible locations. For example, do not synchronize settings that are stored in System32 or outside the HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) section of the registry.

  • Settings that are not specific to the particular computer. For example, exclude network or hardware configurations.

  • Settings that can be synchronized between computers without risk of corrupted data. For example, do not use settings that are stored in a database file.

Settings location templates in UE-V

UE-V settings location templates for desktop applications

The UE-V Agent installation software installs the agent and registers a default group of settings location templates for common Microsoft applications. These settings location templates capture settings values for the following applications.

TipTip
Microsoft Office 2013 Settings Synchronization – A UE-V settings location template for Microsoft Office 2013 is available for download from the MDOP Template Gallery. For more information about the Office 2013 template, see Synchronizing Office 2013 with UE-V 2.0.

 

Application category Description

Microsoft Office 2007 applications

Microsoft Access 2007

Microsoft Communicator 2007

Microsoft Excel 2007

Microsoft InfoPath 2007

Microsoft OneNote 2007

Microsoft Outlook 2007

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007

Microsoft Project 2007

Microsoft Publisher 2007

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007

Microsoft Visio 2007

Microsoft Word 2007

Microsoft Office 2010 applications

Microsoft Word 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Outlook 2010

Microsoft Access 2010

Microsoft Project 2010

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Microsoft Publisher 2010

Microsoft Visio 2010

Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010

Microsoft InfoPath 2010

Microsoft Lync 2010

Microsoft OneNote 2010

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010

Browser options: Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, and Internet Explorer 10

Favorites, home page, tabs, and toolbars.

Windows accessories

Microsoft Calculator, Notepad, WordPad.

Application settings that are stored in the local storage location are applied when the application is started. They are saved to the local cache when the application closes, and, if a network connection is available, they are then saved to the settings storage location. When the scheduled task synchronizes settings, then the application settings in the local storage location are synchronized with the settings storage location. In the Company Settings Center, click the Sync Now button to synchronize the settings in the local storage location with the remote settings storage location.

UE-V-supported default Windows 8 apps

The UE-V Agent installation software installs the agent and registers a default list of enabled Windows 8 apps to synchronize. Listed applications synchronize settings as defined by the app. By default, the following Windows 8 apps are enabled.

 

Application

Package family name

Bing Finance

Bing Maps

Bing News

Bing Sports

Bing Travel

Bing Weather

SkyDrive

Reader

Photos

Xbox

Music

Video

Microsoft.BingFinance_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.BingMaps_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.BingNews_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.BingSports_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.BingTravel_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.BingWeather_8wekyb3d8bbwe

microsoft.microsoftskydrive_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.Reader_8wekyb3d8bbwe

microsoft.windowsphotos_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.XboxLIVEGames_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.ZuneMusic_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.ZuneVideo_8wekyb3d8bbwe

You can use Windows PowerShell, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, or Group Policy to add or remove Windows 8 apps whose settings synchronize. The Package Family Name is required to define the Windows 8 app list. You can also use Windows PowerShell, System Center Configuration Manager, or Group Policy to specify that no Windows 8 apps synchronize by default or to synchronize all Windows 8 apps, not just those apps that are listed.

Settings are applied to Windows 8 apps when the app opens. They are saved when the app loses focus, for example, when the app switches to another app so that the app is not visible. For more information about adding Windows 8 apps, see Planning for Windows 8 App Settings Synchronization for UE-V 2.0.

noteNote
As of Windows 8, UE-V does not synchronize Windows 8 app settings if the domain user links their sign-in credentials to their Microsoft Account. This linking synchronizes settings to Microsoft SkyDrive so UE-V only synchronizes the desktop applications.

UE-V settings location templates for Windows settings

User Experience Virtualization includes settings location templates that capture settings values for the following Windows settings.

 

Windows settings Description Apply on Export on Default state

Desktop background

Currently active desktop background or wallpaper.

Logon, unlock, remote connect, Scheduled Task events.

Logoff, lock, remote disconnect, Sync Now click, or scheduled task interval

Enabled

Ease of Access

Accessibility and input settings, Microsoft Magnifier, Narrator, and on-Screen Keyboard.

Logon only.

Logoff, Sync Now click, or scheduled task interval

Enabled

Desktop settings

Start menu and Taskbar settings, Folder options, Default desktop icons, Additional clocks, and Region and Language settings.

Logon only.

Logoff, Sync Now click, or scheduled task

Enabled

 

Settings group Category Capture Apply

Application Settings

Windows 8 apps

Close app

Windows 8 app settings change event

Start the UE-V App Monitor at startup

Open app

Windows 8 App Settings change event

Arrival of a settings package

Desktop applications

Application closes

Application opens and closes

Desktop settings

Desktop background

Lock or logoff

Logon, unlock, remote connect, notification of new package arrival, user clicks Sync Now in Company Settings Center, or scheduled task runs.

Ease of Access (Common – Accessibility, Narrator, Magnifier, On-Screen-Keyboard)

Lock or Logoff

Logon

Ease of Access (Shell - Audio, Accessibility, Keyboard, Mouse)

Lock or logoff

Logon, unlock, remote connect, notification of new package arrival, user clicks Sync Now in Company Settings Center, or scheduled task runs

Desktop settings

Lock or logoff

Logon

By default, Windows desktop background settings are synchronized between computers of the same operating system version. To optimize the logon experience, these settings are not synchronized by default. Desktop and Ease of Access settings can be enabled by using Group Policy, Windows PowerShell, and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

UE-V does not support the synchronization of settings between operating systems with different languages. For example, synchronization between English and German is not supported. The language of all computers to which UE-V synchronizes user settings must match.

noteNote
If you edit or modify the settings location templates that are provided by Microsoft, User Experience Virtualization might not work correctly for the designated application or Windows desktop settings.

Windows 8 app settings synchronization

UE-V manages Windows 8 app settings synchronization in three ways:

  • Sync Windows 8 Apps: Allow or deny any Windows 8 app synchronization

  • Windows 8 App List: Synchronize a list of Windows 8 apps

  • Unlisted Default Sync Behavior: Determine the synchronization behavior of Windows 8 apps that are not in the Windows 8 app list.

Prevent unintentional user settings configuration

UE-V checks for new user settings information and downloads that information accordingly from a settings storage location. It applies the settings to the local computer in the following cases:

  • Every time an application is started that has a registered UE-V template.

  • When a user logs on to a computer.

  • When a user unlocks a computer.

  • When a connection is made to a remote desktop computer that has UE-V installed.

  • When the Sync Controller Application scheduled task is run.

If UE-V is installed on computer A and computer B, and the settings that you want for the application are on computer A, then computer A should open and close the application first. If the application is opened and closed on computer B first, then the application settings on computer A are configured to the application settings on computer B. Settings are synchronized between computers on per-application basis. Over time, settings become consistent between computers as they are opened and closed with preferred settings.

This scenario also applies to Windows settings. If the Windows settings on computer B should be the same as the Windows settings on computer A, then the user should log on and log off computer A first.

If the user settings that the user wants are applied in the wrong order, they can be recovered by performing a restore operation for the specific application or Windows configuration on the computer on which the settings were overwritten. For more information, see Restoring Application and Windows Settings Synchronized with UE-V 2.0.

Custom UE-V settings location templates

You can create custom settings location templates for desktop applications by using the UE-V Generator. After you create and test a custom settings location template in a test environment, you can deploy the settings location templates to computers in the enterprise. Custom settings location templates must be deployed with an existing deployment infrastructure, such as enterprise software distribution (ESD) method such as System Center Configuration Manager, with preferences, or by configuring an UE-V settings template catalog. Templates that are deployed with Configuration Manager or Group Policy must be registered by using UE-V WMI or Windows PowerShell. For more information about custom settings location templates, see Planning for Custom Template Deployment for Desktop Applications in UE-V 2.0. For more information about using UE-V with Configuration Manager, see Configuring UE-V 2.0 with System Center Configuration Manager 2012.

For guidance on whether a line-of-business application should be synchronized, see Checklist for Evaluating Line-of-Business Applications for UE-V 2.0.

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