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Testing Administrative Template Files

Applies To: Windows Server 2003

This section provides recommended procedures for testing .adm files. You should always test policy settings before deploying them in GPOs. Your test plan should examine and document the following for each policy setting:

  • The default behavior

  • The behavior when the policy setting is enabled, disabled, or not configured

  • Changes in the user interface when a policy setting is enabled, disabled, or not configured

  • The possible settings that the policy setting can be configured as

  • The associated behavior. For example, does configuring the policy setting affect other policy settings, or is one policy setting dependent on another?

  • Any associated preferences

  • The behavior of the associated preferences

  • The behavior in the event of invalid input by an administrator

First, test your new policy settings individually. Next, test how each policy setting interacts with other policy settings that are similar, or policy settings that are also designed to manage the affected component.

Suppose for example that you create a policy setting to configure the wallpaper that is displayed on your clients' desktops. The list of policy settings that ship with Windows Server 2003 includes other wallpaper policy settings. In this scenario, you should test how these policy settings interact. Any issues that arise should be addressed or documented in the Explain text.

Testing should ensure that the user interface is policy-aware. If the user interface is not aware of the policy setting, the user experience might be confusing. For example, if your policy setting restricts access to a certain item in a component, then no access to this component and its configuration should be available in the user interface. Some ways to achieve this are:

  • Removing the item completely visually

  • Gray-out the item and disable it

Creating an .Adm Test File

To simplify testing, create a sample .adm file for your policy setting. By doing this step, you can isolate testing of the new policy settings until they are ready to be merged into a larger .adm file, if appropriate.

Your test plan should include the following validations:

  • Your policy settings display and can be configured in Group Policy Object Editor, and can be set to all pertinent combinations of values.

  • The settings are configured properly on the client when configured in a GPO, and the component responds appropriately to the policy setting.

  • You can generate settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) reports for your policy settings by using Group Policy Management Console.

  • The Explain text for the policy setting is accurate and thoroughly explains how your policy setting works. It should describe the behavior for all states of the setting: Enabled, Disabled, and Not Configured.

Loading an .Adm File into the Group Policy Snap-in

After you create an .adm file, you can load it into the Administrative Templates section of Group Policy Object Editor by performing the following procedure.

To load your .adm file into Group Policy Object Editor

  1. Open Group Policy Object Editor.

  2. Under either Computer Configuration or User Configuration, right-click Administrative Templates, and then click Add/Remove Templates.

  3. In the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Add.

  4. Navigate to the folder containing the .adm file that you would like to add. Select the file, and then click Open.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • If your .adm file was successfully loaded, in the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Close. Your policy template has been added successfully.

    • If your .adm file was not successfully loaded, a dialog box is displayed, showing the error and line number of the error. Make a note of the errors that were found, and click OK. Although your .adm file was not successfully loaded, it still appears in the list of .adm files loaded. Select your .adm file, click Remove, and then click Close. Edit the .adm file and correct any problems.

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