Since the successful release of Scense 8, last November, our development teams have been very busy working on the service release of our next generation workspace management solution. We added scheduled feature enhancements and improvements as well as improvements based on customer and partner feedback.

Oracle support

Oracle still has the largest market share in the RDBMS market (source Gartner 2012) and we will keep supporting the Oracle platform for as long as our customers request us to do so.

  • Resumed Oracle support – Resumed Oracle support for Scense Workspace Management, Live Profiles and the Migration Toolkit. Scense 8.1 will offer full Oracle support from versions 9i and up.

Enhancements to improve BYOC support

Because of the increasing demand to support BYOC projects, we implemented a number of improvements to support this use case even better.

  • Improved delivery protocols for MSI- and generic applications. – Improved delivery protocols for MSI- and generic applications now support additional download files. This will address the challenges with external cab files or installing custom format generic applications in BYOC scenarios.
  • New scriptable access to AD User and Computer – Especially for unmanaged, on premises, workstations this is the only way of accessing the user’s Active Directory object in a safe way, without using an external system or exposing the user’s credentials. Access to the users Active Directory object allows retrieval of the typical AD attributes like Organizational Unit (OU) and the User Principal Name (UPN) which would normally be nearly impossible to do from a non-domain computer.

Enhancements for Value added Resellers

We implemented a number of enhancements that allow our partners to address complex desktop management challenges and help them to reuse the solutions the designed at other customer sites.

  • Live Profiles Filter Sets importexport. – Live Profiles Filter Sets can now be imported and exported directly from Scense Explorer. Previously an external tool was offered to handle the import and export of Live Profiles Filter Sets, now it conveniently integrated in Scense Explorer.
  • Custom Criteria importexport. – Custom Criteria can now be imported and exported directly from Scense Explorer. – In Scense 8.0 one could create custom criteria, but there was no way to save them or transport them to another Scense system. Now with Scense 8.1 these custom criteria can be exported and imported right from Scense Explorer, making it possible to freely exchange your custom criteria between Scense systems.
  • Improved Action Templates – Action templates now support multi-line textboxes. This makes it possible to manipulate file content as part of the Action.

Enhancements to reduce complexity and increase manageability in multi-site, multi-tenant and other complex environments

The more complex the environment, the more we shine. A large chunk of our development capacity was invested in functionality to further reduce the complexity in desktop environments.

  • Site determination supports domain and forest trusts. – This enhancement allows Scense to work with more complex domain- and forest structures to support for instance multi-tenant implementations.
  • Scense_UserInit is now more flexible. – Scense_UserInit is now more flexible towards previously installed softwareThe userinit ‘hack’ can be used by multiple products (e.g. Quest, AppSense or RES Software solutions). If this is the case Scense will now be very forgiving if the userinit ‘seat’ is already taken.
  • Standard windows performance counters implemented. – The new performance counters for the Scense Engine will allow more sophisticated monitoring of the Scense server. It will help to analyze trends and determine if measures need to be taken like the implementation of NLB.
  • All log files are now gathered in one location – No more searching for log files. In Scense 8.1 all Scense log files will be placed in a single logical structure; %Temp%ScenseLogFiles
  • Alternate TaskSet now supports error handling – This will allow a centralized error recovery, logging or monitoring as well as the feeding of third party management tooling (e.g. via snmp traps) .
  • New variable: UserSID – As requested by some of our customers, Scense now supports the UserSID variable. This variable makes it possible to identify a user using the SID rather than the account name, which can be used in Scense actions and scripts to address registry or file system areas.
  • Extended conditions for the Variable- and Registry criterion – New conditions ‘starts with’, ‘ends with’ and ‘contains’ are added to the Variable- and Registry criterion.
  • Database backup during upgrade is now optional – The mandatory database backup during upgrade is now made optional because in most cases the database was already backed up by the regular daily database backup plan.

User interface and performance enhancements

Feedback from partners and customers helps us to further increase the ease of use and performance of our solutions.

  • French language for Scense Client – Next to English, German, Italian and Dutch, the Scense Client now also supports the French language.
  • Demote from global scope to empty scope – We added an option to detach from a global scope directly to an empty scope. This makes it possible to detach an application or task from the Scense runtime system in just one step without disabling it.
  • Icons are now stored in global icon cache – Icons for globally created shortcuts are now stored in global icon cache. In case of shortcuts created for All Users, the related cached icons should be available for All Users as well. This enhancement makes it possible to include the creation of shortcuts in a machine-based pre-install, to further save time during user logon.
  • ‘Delete-enforce’ filters for Live Profiles control – Manually created filters now also support the ‘Delete Enforce’ functionality. To prevent Live Profiles to continuously restore deleted registry values the ‘Delete Enforce’ option can be switched on for a filter. This will remove all values from a registry key before Live Profiles will restore any application settings. Previously this behavior was available only to the self-learning filters, but now it can also be used by manually created filters.

Bug fixes

  • Pressing the [Enter] key in a multiline textbox will no longer close the property page
  • Problem with Multiple computer delete in Scense Explorer.
  • Problems with upgrade from Scense 7.5.
  • Problems with handling MSSQL named instances.
  • Several problems with Taskpad plug-ins.
  • Problems with shortcuts if the database was down.
  • Problems persisting manually connected printers in Scense Client.
  • Problem recovering from invalid IP-address cache entry.
  • The ‘AllowDesktopSync’ registry key for SLP now also controls the wallpaper.
  • Site determination based on AD group and AD Site fixed.
  • Scense Update Site determination fixed.