Flex Profile Kit 4.0 is now available! (And it's still free!) - Brian Madden - BrianMadden.com
Brian Madden Logo
Your independent source for desktop virtualization, consumerization, and enterprise mobility management.
Brian Madden's Blog

Past Articles

Flex Profile Kit 4.0 is now available! (And it's still free!)

Written on Mar 04 2005
Filed under:
48,525 views, 15 comments


by Brian Madden

Jeroen van de Kamp's Flex Profile Kit is hands-down the most useful free utility for Terminal Server and Citrix environments. The all-new version 4 builds upon the previous version and adds many new features. (If you're not familiar with the Flex Profile Kit, it's a free kit that combines the flexibility of roaming profiles with the small size, speed, and control of mandatory profiles. It has easily become the de facto standard profile solution for almost every Terminal Server or Citrix MetaFrame environment.)

Flex Profile Kit 4.0 introduces the Flex Framework 1.0. This is a complete and fully functional framework based on several tools (like Dennis Damen's FlexRefresh) and the valuable feedback posted after the release of FPK 3.0 in the Log*in Consultants tooling forum.

One of the biggest advantages of the Flex Framework is that the setup and configuration process of Flex Profiles is dramatically simplified. In addition, many known issues reported in FPK 3.0 have been fixed, and brand new features have been introduced to improve performance, flexibility, and ease of deployment.

With the introduction of the Flex Framework, the Flex Profile concept has become a mature and serious alternative to any other standard or commercially-availalbe profile management solution. Here'is a quick run-down on the key features of FPK 4.0 & Flex Framework 1.0:

  • No license costs. FPK and the Framework are completely free to use in any environment. The FPK is a nothing more then a concept, and the Framework is based on an intelligent vbscript and freeware/opensource tooling.
  • No backend servers required. There is no need for expensive SQL or IIS servers to run Flex Profiles. The profile data is stored in the user's homedrive and the configuration of Flex Profiles is done with a few INI files. Flex can be introduced into any Windows environment without investments in additional hard- or software.
  • Any application is supported. A common misconception is that the FPK is limited to Office 2003, since it's based on the profile wizard from the 2003 Office Resource Kit. This is not true. Flex Profiles can be configured for every Office version or any other type of application.
  • FPK is lightning FAST. When you use the Framework, all requirements for optimal performance are automatically met. Using a mandatory profile makes a big difference in loading times in comparison to roaming profiles, and FPK loads or saves within seconds!
  • Support for Profile Files & Folders. In addition to user's custom registry information, FPK 4.0 also manages files and folders from the profile. Folders like "Application Data" can be processed though the Flex Profile Kit. While this will increase loading times it will still outperform a roaming profile.
  • Robust operation. When configured corrected, FPK has proven to be a very stable profile solution. The documentation provides some basic guidelines to help set up a problem-free and reliable configuration of Flex Profiles.
  • [NEW] Simplified Configuration. Previous versions of the FPK required some basic scripting skills. Flex Framework 1.0 lets you tailor a fully managed profile solution without scripting in no time. 95% of the Flex Framework is configured through INI files!
  • [NEW] Per-application Configuration. The Flex Framework makes separate configuration of applications not only easier, but performance is much better as well. The big advantage of this modular setup is that it allows granular control over application settings. This adds the possibility to reset settings for a single application or to introduce a new application without changing the existing configuration for other applications.
  • [NEW] Support for Silo's or Server Groups. Configuration for separate application silos is now straightforward and does not require additional scripting. The configuration of server or even workstation groups is stored in a single location and can be easily managed.
  • [NEW] Easy & lightweight deployment. The Framework is packaged in an MSI format to make deployment easy. It does not require "install-mode," a reboot, or a service insteall. Only few registry keys and files are added, and the MSI is just 500KB.
  • [NEW] Compression. The Framework can be configured to use the 7z compression algorithm for the storage of personal settings. This dramatically improves transfer times through WAN environments or when copying large OPS files. A 15x compression ratio is realistic for registry settings. Files and folders from the profile are compressed up to 7x.
  • [NEW] Windows appearance support. Dennis Damen has released FlexRefresh.exe to re-activate Windows colors, sizes and fonts for Flex environments. Users can now customize their desktop to their own needs even when they are using a mandatory profile!
  • [NEW] Certificates support. Thanks to feedback of "Jakobo" and many others in the Log*in Consultants forum, the Flex Framework now has an option to store and load certificates available. (Root certificates are not supported though, although these can be easily configured and distributed through Group Policies.)
  • [NEW] Support for Passwords. FPK 3.0 did not support Windows and IE passwords. The Framework now introduces the possibility to store Windows related passwords with a "flick of the switch".
  • [NEW] Error Handling. Configuration and troubleshooting of the Flex Framework is simplified with new options to generate clear warning messages when an error occurs.

Download the Flex Profile Kit 4.0 from the link at the top of this article.


FPKv4.01.zip
 
 




Our Books


Comments

Josh Holst wrote Switching From
on Fri, Mar 4 2005 10:24 AM Link To This Comment
Does anyone know if there can be a smoothless switch from standard windows roaming profiles to the flex profile kit?
Dennis Damen wrote My thoughts on switching to Flex
on Fri, Mar 4 2005 10:29 AM Link To This Comment
1. Implement Flex (Really easy now)
2. Configure INI files for the setting you would like to save
3. Run with roaming profiles AND flex working together for a while
4. Configure a lean and mean mandatory profile
5. when sure you've captured all the user's settings --> make the switch from roaming to mandatory.
6. Sit back!
Dennis Damen wrote Suppl.
on Fri, Mar 4 2005 10:49 AM Link To This Comment
During step 3 running logoff script is enough. You can add the Flex logon script in step 5.
Guest wrote Lean and Mean
on Sun, Mar 6 2005 11:56 PM Link To This Comment
How small is a lean and mean mandatory profile?
Guest wrote Re: Lean and Mean
on Mon, Mar 7 2005 10:04 AM Link To This Comment
Well, the mandatory profile can be as small as 500 to 600 k. Not much more than a default user profile - only a few more registry settings and maybe some additional links... - thats it, because most of the directories are redirected - and thats important, because otherwise all users have the same desktop and so on.

So I agree with dennis steps but you must add a step where you configure the redirected folders if you havent them now.
Guest wrote A little update: FPK 4.01
on Mon, Mar 7 2005 4:47 PM Link To This Comment
Hey guys, FPK 4.01 includes a fix: when using the ServerType value for server or workstation groups, Flex_Frameworks.vbs will actually use the INI files in corresponding folder from Flex_Config. Just needed to add one line of code (line 221): " Config = Config & "\" & ServerType ".

Hmmm... who is responsible for that sloppy scripting?? ;-)

Brian has updated the dowload link at the top of this page. Please excuse me for any inconvinience or confusion.

Jeroen
Guest wrote Well done Log-in
on Tue, Mar 22 2005 5:44 AM Link To This Comment
Well done Jeroen et al for a top bit of software. We are implementing this for a huge global Citrix farm and so far it cuts the mustard! as they say!

thanks for your efforts both in development and support

Brianos
Guest wrote Flex, MySettings.ops
on Thu, Jun 2 2005 3:29 AM Link To This Comment
Hi everyone.

I have a problem during the "create prosess" of MySettings.ops.
When i try to run the logoff script i can see the file getting created in the temp folder. And then it dissappear. And i get an error when the script try to copy MySettings.ops to the Appdata folder.

It seems to me that the MySettings.ops file is deleted from the tempfolder before the script try to copy it.

What can i do to fix this?
Guest wrote ColOr Schemes
on Fri, Feb 17 2006 2:59 PM Link To This Comment
Does anybody know how to ensure color schemes are applied with Flex? My taskbar and start menu settings do not save?  Windows Server 2003, Citrix Presentation Server 4, Themes enabled. If I change from XP blue to Olive green the settings do not load..Thanks
Guest wrote Flex Profiles
on Fri, Feb 24 2006 12:12 PM Link To This Comment
I've put the flex framework to use on a test server, i have:
- a clean man profile
- Redirected folders - statically mapped in the Man profile
- Flex_Config.ini and profile settings set in a network share - i used the flexconfig.exe to create all ini's and servertypes
- Login scripts are set in the local policies to run the flex_Framwork.vbs
- Tested using my admin account - all is good
- when trying to use a normal (STD user) account to login the Flex_framework.vbs will not run, i receive an access denied error. If i put the user account into the local admins group then it works fine.
 
Does anyone have an idea of what is wrong with this?
Guest wrote RE: Flex Profiles
on Fri, Feb 24 2006 1:26 PM Link To This Comment
Update - I have found the issue for this and corrected the problem - all works wonderful now.
Solution: When loading the Clean MAN profile into regedit i missed setting the permissions for Authenticated users to full control. Once this was done the FLex profiling worked great for all users.
Guest wrote RE: Flex, MySettings.ops
on Sun, Sep 17 2006 9:48 AM Link To This Comment
instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat instat
Guest wrote Obsolete Article
on Sat, Dec 22 2007 7:12 PM Link To This Comment
This page is outdated and comes up as the first result on a Google search for Flex Profile Kit.
Guest wrote Re: Obsolete Article
on Wed, Jan 23 2008 9:46 AM Link To This Comment
not sure if it is even still availabe.  Here is another free Windows User Profile tool and it works on XenDesktop and Citrix.  www.scriptstart.com
Guest wrote outdated version
on Fri, Mar 21 2008 2:50 PM Link To This Comment
flexprofile version 5 is already out.
and this solves some issues

(Note: You must be logged in to post a comment.)

If you log in and nothing happens, delete your cookies from BrianMadden.com and try again. Sorry about that, but we had to make a one-time change to the cookie path when we migrated web servers.