VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 – Components

In a previous post, I explained how to do the initial install and configuration of UEM 9.2. This blog post explains the different components a bit further.

UEM Profile Archive Share

The UEM Profile Archive Share contains a subdirectory per user which stores all the UEM configuration data for this user. The UEM Agent (FlexEngine) stores and reads profile information to and from this share

  • Profiles for users are stored in the archive subfolder
  • Backups of profiles are stored in the backup subfolder
  • Log files are stored in the logs subfolder
  • Typically only 100MB per user, the helpdesk tool can show what the size of the profile is.
  • UEM profiles are segmentized and different settings are stored individually

UEM Configuration Share

The UEM Agent (FlexEngine) reads information from this share

  • Stored in .ini or .xml based files
  • Configured via management console

The structure of the UEM Configuration Share is the same as the structure you see in the UEM Management Console.

UEM Client Agent (FlexEngine)

The UEM Client Agent (aka FlexEngine) is installed on the VDI or client PC

  • Communicates with file shares
  • Configuration can be done in two ways:
    • Standard installation: through AD via GPO
    • NO-AD mode installation: reads configuration parameters listed in a configuration file stored in configuration share. The NO-AD mode does not require Active Directory (GPO). See VMware KB 2148324

UEM DirectFlex

DirectFlex is a technology within UEM which allows you to load settings in real time at application startup and written back to the datastore at application close

  • Benefit = less load on file share during boot (boot storms)
  • Downside = file shares need to be available ==> solution for this is sync tool

UEM Application Profiler

The UEM Application Profiler is a tool which helps to create application setting files

  • Use a separate UEM Application Profiler machine (=reference machine) with Application Profiler installed and the UEM Agent uninstalled
  • Install the application that you want to profile
  • Start up UEM Application profiler
  • Click “start session”
  • Browse through your startmenu and select the shortcut of the application you want to profile
  • Click OK (the application profiler application will move to the background) and it will launch the application
  • It is recommended to make at least one change to the application in order to force the application to write information to the location the personal settings are stored.
  • Close the application
  • Application profile will wait until the process is closed (if it takes too long you can force to stop the analysis by the application profile (e.g. this happens a lot in chrome))
  • you will see a message appearing saying “Profiling Finished”
  • Click OK
  • Registry section
    • The Application Profile will show which keys/files were changed for the application you are profiling, but it shows it in an optimised way (e.g. it shows the root path and not all the individual keys underneath it)
    • When de-selecting “optimisation level” in the “registry” section you will be able to see which individual registry keys the application touches. Storing the application profile with “optimisation level” de-selected is not a best practice as you could miss a specific key that is only being written when you change one specific setting. The optimisation level (1, 2, 3, …) will just go a number of levels deeper into the registry tree. This can be useful if you have multiple applications from the same vendor that store their settings under the same main key
    • The “manage exclusions” button shows the keys that the system by default excludes as the locations configured here are locations developers should never use to store registry keys or files in. However some applications are not well written and do use these locations
    • Go to the tab settings and uncheck the box “Enable Registry Exclusions” to see what has been written in the default excluded locations.
    • Analyse each individual entry and if you are sure this does not need to be captured, you can simply remove the line
  • File System
    • The same principle for the “Registry” as explained above also applies to the “File System”
  • Saving
    • Click “Save Config File” and save the generated files to your UEM Configuration share
      • Only saves the configuration file, icon file and .flag file as a zip file
    • Click “Save Config file with predefined settings” and save the generated files to your UEM Configuration share
      • Saves on top of the configuration .ini file, icon file and .flag file all the settings that you have predefined in the application while it was running so each user will get these setting as their initial settings as a .zip file.
    • Click “Save predefined settings only” and save the generated file to your UEM Configuration share
      • Only saves the settings that you have predefined in the application while it was running so each user will get these setting as their initial settings as a .zip file.
    • The zip files that are generated contain information regarding registry keys, app data files, … that are changed, and have the same structure as the structure used by UEM to store the user profiles. 
  • With the settings tabs there are a few more checkboxes:
    • Support HKLM
      • Shows you where the application tried to write/read HKLM information. However, as UEM only manages user info, it can not do anything with this (unless user is local admin), but at least it gives you some more insight
    • Show unsupported File Access
      • Does the same as the “Support HKLM”, but then on file level. Anything that is written outside the user profile will be shown here

The VMTN community site for UEM contains some profiled applications that you can download and use. To use the profiles applications within UEM, simply copy the content of the zip file to the “Applications”subfolder in your UEM configuration share.

UEM Management Console

  • Import/Export TAB
    • Allows to import/export setting at start/stop of an application
  • Profile Cleanup TAB
    • Not needed. Only for specific cases
  • Predefined Settings TAB
    • Here you can add the predefined settings file (.zip) created with the application profiler or a setting from a profile share that was created by a specific user
    • The type can be Default, Fully enforced or Partially enforced
  • Backups TAB
    • Enables you too overwrite the global settings defined in the GPO
  • DirectFlex TAB
    • When you enable direct flex for an application, UEM will ask you to identify the application (exe)
    • It is possible to export the settings at logoff in stead of stop of application
    • Enable Thinapp support ==> at launch of the application, the UEM engine will detect if it is a virtualised application and will do some special things so the UEM engine is capable of injecting personal settings into the virtualised application. As soon as the application stops, UEM will be able to extract the settings out of the virtualised application again. This allows UEM to save and manage personal settings on thinapped applications.
  • Advanced TAB
    • Self explaining
  • Conditions TAB
    • Self explaining
  • User Environment TAB
    • Only available when DirectFlex is available
    • To be able to add a drive mapping, printer mapping, registry keys, custom tasks, …. when an application starts and can be undone when the application exits
  • Information TAB
    • Self explaining

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