Jeroen van de Kamp's Flex Profile Kit 3.0 is Now Available

Note: Flex Profile Kit version 4.0 is now available.

Note: Flex Profile Kit version 4.0 is now available. Click here for details.

Flex profiles combine the customizability of roaming profiles with the speed efficiency of mandatory profiles. Jeroen van de Kamp of Login*Consultants in The Netherlands has just released version 3.0 of his flex profile kit. Once again, it's available at no cost!

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In typical Windows environments, whether client-server or server-based, choosing the right profile strategy is never easy.

Many organizations prefer roaming profiles for those essential personal settings. But, as always, managing roaming profiles consumes a lot of resources. Because the profile content is controlled by the users themselves, roaming profiles remain a fragile component to administer and manage.

In many MetaFrame environments, applications are pooled into application silos. (Silos are separate sets of servers that host different applications.) In environments like these, users simultaneously logon on to different servers to use their applications. When using a single roaming profile, profile corruption or loss of personal settings is bound to happen. When the user’s roaming profile is updated and loaded on different servers at the same time, profile-related problems increase dramatically.

Windows 2003 allows a separate profile path for terminal servers via a GPO. This is a fine solution in small environments. However, separate profile paths for each silo have a big impact on the number of profiles you must manage. If a site has three separate application silos and 5000 users, that could possibly mean that 15000 terminal server profile are created.

Mandatory profiles seem like the appropriate answer to issues mentioned. Properly configured mandatory profiles are very fast, easy to manage, and cannot be corrupted. Mandatory profiles are (from an administrator’s point of view) a very robust component in the Windows NT environment.

There is only one big disadvantage of mandatory profiles—no personal registry settings are saved. It’s easy to redirect the profile folder content (such as My Documents and Application Data) to the user’s homedrive. This allows personal files that normally reside in the profile folder to be saved in the user’s homedrive. However, personal registry information cannot be redirected or saved when using a mandatory profile.

Nowadays, personal settings are considered essential. It is almost impossible to create a user-friendly working environment with mandatory profiles. Until now, mandatory profiles seem only suitable for users with generic activities.

The solution is the "Flex Profile." You can configure a Flex Profile Solution in seven easy steps:

  1. Configure a single empty mandatory profile for all users.
  2. Configure policies for profile folder redirection.
  3. Create INI file(s) from the Template.INI file(s) to designate which registry keys should be saved as personal settings.
  4. Copy ProflWiz.exe and the new .INI files locally to all Terminal Server or Citrix servers.
  5. Configure a logoff script to save the designated personal settings with proflwiz.exe.
  6. Edit the logon script to load personal settings with proflwiz.exe.
  7. Configure the user’s accounts terminal server profile to be the newly created mandatory profile.

These seven steps are all that's needed to setup Flex Profiles!

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This message was originally posted by Roland van der Kruk on June 30, 2004
Good concept, it works well, especially when brought into the Thin Client concept BEFORE testing all applications.
However I don't see how Flex Profiles can solve issues of a user losing settings at logoff because he was logged on to several servers simultaneously. Any information on this subject is more than welcome!
This message was originally posted by Tom Kent - on September 12, 2004
1. Set the Terminal Services profile and Home Directory as follows:
TS Profile - %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\local\<username>
TS Homedirectory - %userprofile%

2. Create a “Local” directory under “C:\Documents and Settings”. Set permissions as follows:
· Uncheck: Allow inheritable permissions from parent to propagate to this object.
· Select the copy option when prompted.
· Under advanced permissions add another entry for “users”.
Apply onto: This Folder only
Permissions: Allow – Create Folders / Append Data (this is the only box checked)
· Apply changes and verify results.
This message was originally posted by Marc-André Lapierre on September 17, 2004
This kit speeds up my login process, cut my profile size from 1.2 to 2.0MB down to 800kb. I feel that i have a complete control on my environment and on my users. I recommend this kit to everyone who's starting a new environment (i would say it's shouldn't be easy to implement that kind of solution in an environment that's already using standard roaming profiles or no roaming at all)
This message was originally posted by Bob Barrett on September 17, 2004
Tom, are you saying that what you wrote is an alternative to flex profiles and not an answer to Roland? I am in teh same boat as Roland, if we have a user logon to two separate published apps regardless of server, when they logoff the first app settings get saved and then get overwritten when they logoff the second app. What you seem to be proposing also does not make sense to. If you save the settings locally on say TS1 and then the next login brings the user to TS5 what happens to the settings, they are still on TS1 in the local directory. Please help me understand this.
This message was originally posted by Brian Madden on October 15, 2004
This is something that we cover in my class in depth, so I can put together an article about this. The short version is that you simply create a separate INI file for the specific registry areas you need for each server, and then save multiple OPS files in each user's home drive. It's easy to do and works great. I personally like silo environments, and I have users who simultaneously log in and out of four or five different servers. This solution works great.
This message was originally posted by suggestion on October 14, 2004
nuff said
This looks good. Im pretty new to this kind of configs.

Do you have a simple and good guide for a "newbe" like me?

I will ask the same question I have a new installation three xenapp servers in one farm and am worried about bloated profiles any other suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.  Really need to get this correctly configure on 2008 servers