Create user profiles easily

Automated Profile Management's Profile Maker 2.7 is an administration tool you can use to automate profile creation and management in user-executed applications. For example, you can create profiles for your Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook users and provide configuration information for such applications as Netscape and HP OpenMail.

Profile Maker has two components. The first component, Profile Manager (profmgr.exe), is a GUI interface you use to configure profiles. The second component, Profile Maker's workstation configuration component (profmkr.exe), reads the configuration data you create in Profile Manager and modifies the workstations' configuration.

Installing the software was simple. Because Profile Maker runs on servers and workstations, I used several machines in my test lab. I used my Windows NT Server 4.0 system and several other computers running NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows 9x. I installed the product on my server, then rebooted the server.

I wanted to test the product's automated configuration of email capabilities, including configuration of Exchange Server default settings and personal folders. To begin, I launched Profile Manager from my server's Start menu. Profile Manager's appearance is similar to that of Outlook's Inbox Properties screen: a tabbed dialog box with command buttons. Profile Manager's tabs correspond to services you configure the application to control. For example, if you use Profile Maker to create a Netscape profile, you will see a Netscape tab.

When the program launches, Profile Maker's Services tab opens by default, so you can immediately add or delete services. I started my profile configuration by adding three services I wanted Profile Maker to control: Exchange Server, Personal Address Book (PAB), and Personal Folders. When I clicked Add, Profile Maker presented me with a drop-down list of options. I selected the service I wanted to add and clicked OK. By following this procedure, I added the services to my configuration, along with three new tabs: Exchange Server, PAB, and PST. Screen 1 shows Profile Manager after I added these services.

To provide additional configuration data, I clicked the tabs of the services I added. For example, I clicked the PAB tab to provide the PAB filename, a Display name for the address book in my Exchange client, and the sort method for the address book's entries.

To institute the profile configuration on my workstations, I had my workstations run Profile Maker's workstation configuration component. You can accomplish this setup in several ways. I recommend setting the executable to run automatically as part of a user's logon script whenever the user logs on to your NT server. This approach is the easiest to implement and gives you flexibility in using Profile Maker.

After I completed all the configuration steps, I logged on to my server from a workstation, and the logon script automatically executed profmkr.exe. Then, I ran the Exchange client and viewed the services I installed to see whether I had configured them correctly. The software worked without a hitch.

Profile Maker's price is reasonable. If you calculate how much time you spend manually configuring Exchange Server or Outlook on client systems, you might find that Profile Maker more than pays for itself by drastically reducing that figure. You can download a 30-day evaluation version at the company's Web site.

Profile Maker 2.7
Contact: Automated Profile Management * 603-433-5885
Web: http://www.autoprof.com
Price: Starts at $229 for a 100-user license
System Requirements: Windows NT 3.51 or later, or Windows 9x