Friday, June 20, 2008

Introducing User Profile Wizard 3.0 - Part II

The profwiz.config file

User Profile Wizard is a very powerful desktop migration tool - and we have plans to make it even more powerful. However, the danger is that the more functionality you add to a tool the more difficult it gets to use. Say I want to my migrate my profile to my new domain account, join my workstation to the domain, and create the computer account in the "Workstations" OU. A typical command line would look like this:


Now, OK, if you are using the Deployment Kit to generate a migration script this complexity will be hidden from you. But if you are using User Profile Wizard to create your own migration process, or if you want to modify the script that the Deployment Kit created, simplifying the command line can only be a good thing.

If we look at the command line above, we can see that most of the parameters will stay the same for every machine that we migrate. The domain name, the administrator credentials, the log file, and in all likelihood the OU as well, will be the same each time. Only the user account details will change. User Profile Wizard 3.0 allows you to save the parameters that stay the same in its profwiz.config file so you don't have to enter them on the command line.

profwiz.config is a standard xml file. You can edit it in notepad or any xml editor of your choice. The job of profwiz.config is to provide default parameters for User Profile Wizard to use. Here's a profwiz.config file to provide the parameters needed for the migration above (click to enlarge):


Now the command line to migrate the profile and join the machine to the domain is just:

profwiz /ACCOUNT David /LOCALACCOUNT David

which has got to be easier! Of course, User Profile Wizard 3.0 can migrate machines remotely, so we could use:

profwiz /COMPUTER computer /ACCOUNT domain_account /LOCALACCOUNT accountname

for each computer we want to migrate.

One of the cool things about the profwiz.config file is that it is read by User Profile Wizard when it is running in GUI mode as well as when it is running from the command line. This means that you can pre-populate the fields in the Wizard with the settings you need, like the domain name and the options for disabling the local account or setting the default logon, etc. For the first time, you can add machines to a specific OU using the GUI by specifying the AdsPath in the profwiz.config file. This goes for the free version of the Wizard too. With the Corporate Edition you can even specify the administrator credentials so that the Wizard won't prompt you. It's all about making your migration easier.

You can check out User Profile Wizard 3.0 for yourself here.

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