Talking to the XML Service (Update)

Haven’t we all tried to figure out why a setup of Presentation Server with Web Interface and Program Neighborhood Agent is not working as it was designed to be? And haven’t we all traced the network traffic using WireShark to expose the misbehaving component? Yes, to both questions.

Shadow Keys: A Relict from Ancient Times

I have already written about shadow keys in the past explaining the TermSrvCopyKeyOnce and how they are handled on Windows x64. So far, I have only provided descriptions of technical matters concerning shadow keys. This article contains a discussion whether shadow keys are still applicable in modern application delivery infrastructures.

Shadow Keys on Windows x64

Lately, I have been working with Windows x64 a lot. I am under the impression that few are really aware of the behavioural changes introduced by the Windows-on-Windows 64 (WoW64) layer enabling 32-bit applications to run on Windows x64. Therefore, I attempt to expand on some of the peculiarities of WoW64 in this blog.

Future Development of the User Profile Whitepaper

By now, you have probably read about sepago striking a deal with Citrix (see our press release as PDF as well as Doug’s and Thomas Kötzing’s article). Our product sepagoPROFILE is now owned by Citrix and released under the name of “User Profile Manager” or, short, UPM. I am really glad to announce that I will be able to maintain the whitepaper about user profile management which I have published in the last months.

Followup: Delaware / XenApp 5 Test Drive

You didn’t think that my first article about the early release of Project Delaware contained every change in there, did you? Thanks to my colleague Timm for pointing this out to me :-)

I completely missed the Special Folder Redirection, which I will expand on further down this article, as well as several minor changes.

Delaware / XenApp 5 Test Drive (Update)

Hooray, the early release of Project Delaware, the first version of the Presentation Server under the name of XenApp, has been released to web (RTW)! See this blog entry for details.

In this article I will provide a first impression of the changes introduced by this new release.

Performance Monitor Woes

Recently, I have been working with Performance Monitor a lot and have stumbled across several peculiarities. This article describes how PerfMon behaves on Windows x64 and how counter DLLs are managed by Windows as well as the difference in behaviour of real time monitoring and scheduled traces. I will be talking about the image type of processes. It denotes whether the process is launched from a 32-bit or a 64-bit binary. Unfortunately, Task Manager does not always show the image type correctly. Therefore, I recommend using

Process Explorer by Mark Russinovich to explore Windows x64.

Jailed 32-Bit Processes on Windows x64 (Update)

The Windows-On-Windows (WoW) subsystem has been included in Windows operating systems to allow for backwards compatibility. It has enabled the execution of 16-bit applications on modern 32-bit based Windows. This abstraction layer is located in user space translating API calls to 64-bit data structures and entry points. This is called API call thunking. Windows x64 Editions include a new variant of the WoW, called WoW64, subsystem thunking API calls for 32-bit applications on the 64-bit kernel.

How to Choose a Profile Solution (Version 1.5 of the User Profile Whitepaper)

The whitepaper about user profile management has been available for several months and has reached an astonishing number of downloads. Due to the evolving strategies for delivering applications as well as desktops, we decided to expand on the issue of evaluating user profile management solutions and the subtleties involved in this process.

Continue to this article for the latest version of the whitepaper.

Inside the Windows Update Agent

I am currently working on the design and implementation of a client rollout leveraging Windows Vista. The fully automated installation process takes care of the operating system as well as the corresponding applications.

As we are striving to preserve an almost pristine installation source (WIM file), we did not include any updates in the automated installation but wondered whether the Windows Update Agent can be forced to install updates during installation instead of having to wait for the next update cycle. The resulting mechanism would allow for the patch management to be performed only in the console of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).