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Windows Server 2008 R2 : Managing Active Directory with Policies (part 3) - Extending Group Policy Functionality

3/26/2011 7:01:40 PM

Extending Group Policy Functionality

When the settings included in Group Policy do not provide the necessary settings or configuration options, Group Policy can be extended by adding additional administrative templates. Many third-party software vendors, and Microsoft, provide administrative templates that can be imported into group policies to add functionality.Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 support a new administrative template format consisting of an ADMX file that contains the administrative template settings, and a corresponding ADML file that contains the language-specific information that allows for the editing of the administrative template settings in the local language of the system administrator. To extend Group Policy functionality to manage Office 2007 settings as an example, perform the following steps:

1.
To create a domain central store.

2.
Download the Office 2007 administrative templates from Microsoft.

3.
Execute the download and select a target folder.

4.
Open this folder to locate the ADMX folder and open it to reveal the ADMX files and the language-specific subfolders that contains the respective ADML language files.

5.
For this example, our Group Policy management will only be performed using the English language templates. Select all of the ADMX files at the root of the folder and also select the en-us folder, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Selecting all of the Office 2007 ADMX files and the English United States language-specific folder.

6.
Copy the selected ADMX files and the en-us folder to the Clipboard by right-clicking and choosing Copy.

7.
Navigate to the domain central store network location and open the folder. For the domain companyabc.com, the location of the central store is \\companyabc.com\sysvol\companyabc.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions.

8.
Right-click on a blank spot in this folder and choose Paste to copy the ADMX files and the en-us ADML folder to the central store. Because an en-us folder already exists, a prompt opens stating that if any files exist in the folder with the same name as the files being placed in that folder they will be merged. Check the Do This for All Current Items check box, and click the Yes button.

9.
Close the window and open the Group Policy Management Console.

10.
Create a new policy named Office2007TestGPO and open it for editing.

11.
Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates settings node and select it.

12.
In the Settings pane, if the process worked correctly, there should be several new Office 2007–related settings nodes, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9. Reviewing the new Office 2007 Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates.

13.
Navigate to the User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates settings node and select it.

14.
Note all of the new Office 2007 user settings.

15.
Close the Group Policy Management Editor and close the Group Policy Management Console.

The main reason to use the central store when extending group policies with new administrative templates is so that any administrator who attempts to create, view, or edit a domain policy will be able to view all of the available settings.

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