AppSense Application Manager 10

Back in June (2016), AppSense released Application Manager 10 and in doing so skipped Application Manager 9 altogether. Personally, I am not a fan of this. I think it was them trying to jump on to Microsoft’s Windows 10 coat tails and trying to ride that wave. Microsoft can be excused for doing this because they had a valid technical reason for doing this… As far as I know AppSense don’t have a technical reason for doing this.

Nevertheless, its still a software release and as such there are some changes that need to be discussed.

Application Manager 10: What’s New

The first change you will notice is the distinct lack of colour in the console which is down to the re-skinning of the product consoles. I’m not a fan of this change whatsoever! Sure the consoles looked dated and desperately in need of a refresh but removing the colour and adding hand drawn icons isn’t really what people were talking about. In fact, I find the colourless consoles more difficult to use.

The main new feature added to Application Manager 10 is the replacement of the custom rules. In the Application Manager 8.x days a custom rule effectively meant a combination of device and user / group. To provide an example, I could create a rule that would allow the finance user group on a specific set of machines to run a specific application. This was good as it was more flexible that a standard group or device rule however it was never quite granular enough. Application Manager 10 has extended the custom rules engine to use a subset of the Environment Manager conditions engine for custom rules. So I can now create extremely granular rules, for example, the finance user group can run sapgui.exe, when they are on a console session of a Windows 10 machine and a sap.ini file exists.

Application Manager 10

In addition to this custom rules engine, other subtle changes have been made. Accessible and Prohibited items have been renamed to Allowed and Denied items. Not sure this really counts as a V10 feature but some people seem to think it does. In addition to this change, browser control has been added which includes the URL Redirection capabilities from Application Manager 8.x as well as Website elevation. Neither of these are new features however URL Redirection has been extended from only supporting 32-Bit Internet Explorer in Application Manager 8.x to supporting both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. In addition to this, Browser Control has also been made available on a “Per Rule” basis instead of globally so I can configure specific browser options based on a condition set.

Legacy Windows Support

Support for the following operating systems has been dropped:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2008

Licensing

In addition, AppSense have updated their licensing to their V2 licenses. A point to note here is that a legacy Management Center cannot deploy a V2 license. This means that the first action to take when thinking about an upgrade is to get the Management Center updated so that you can deploy V2 license files to your endpoints.

In addition, you will need to contact AppSense to obtain your V2 license files.

Should you upgrade?

This is the question on everyone’s lips! If you’re running Application Manager 8.8 or below, you should definitely start planning an upgrade to Application Manager 10. If you want to make use of any of the new features described above you then you should also upgrade. That being said, if none of the abovementioned features are of any interest and you are already running Application Manager 8.9 then there is no reason for you to upgrade.

By all means, implement Application Manager 10 in your test environments to familiarise yourself with the items in this article but I wouldn’t rush it into production.