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ShutdownPlus TSE

Another product of WMSoftware made for the TS environment. ShutdownPlus as the name implies is basically setup to shutdown the TS environment with additional options. Think of scheduling the restarts of the server, deleting temporary files, clean-up cookies, save open user documents. 

Installation

Like other installations of WMSoftware the installation of ShutdownPlus is easy process. When starting the installation you can choose the one-click installation or the advanced installation. With one click installation you don't have to fill in any information and the software will be installed in the default location. Choosing the advanced installation the only parameters you need to fill in during the installation are name, organization and installation location.

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WMSoftware installations are MSI based, so the installation can be run unattended using MSI parameters. The configuration settings can be exported in a single registry file, which makes importing using for example simple unattended scripts easy.

Configuration

After installation a first time configuration wizard appears on the screen. With the wizard the first simple configuration of two options is set up. After the wizard you just start the settings program to configure the complete environment. ShutdownPlus can be used for two purposes. Reboot the server with configured actions or execute the following actions when a user log-offs.

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First you need to add the needed programs or services which need to be run when shutting down the of when a user log offs. There are more than 20 built in functions, some examples are delete temporary internet files, clear map network drive history, close all open windows, delete unused spooler files, clear run history and clear recent document history. But if necessary you could using the external option add your own script. After choosing the function you can configure when the the function need to be carried out. Using the other tabs you can configure using which timeframe the function is active within the Timeframe tab, configure dependencies (like access to other machines or drive(letters) and at the last tab Display in which the function need to be displayed.




On the System tab you can configure the general options for ShutdownPlus. The most useful options on this tab are in our opinion Save Modified open file when at schedule auto logoff and Force hung programs to close. Also the logging within ShutdownPlus can be configured here, the default timeframe and the usage of the ShutdownPlus dialog boxes in stead of the standard Microsoft log-off and shutdown boxes.

Within the schedule tab you setting up the main purpose of Shutdown Plus, schedule the reboots of the Terminal server. At the server tab you can configure the reboot schedule of the server, a nice feature is the user notification option. For scheduling all the kind of cycles can be set up, just like the Windows Scheduler. On the user tab you can configure a schedule to logoff the users and disable logons. This schedule is nice one if you need to do (automated) maintenance whereby no useractivity is needed.  The enable logons and disable logons tabs are explaining their selves in their names, the scheduling options are exactly the same as the other tabs.

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On the session tab you can set a couple of settings about idle an disconnection sessions like action after x minutes of idle time, maximum, time limit and others. The Remote tab makes it possible to send e message so the selected user(s) or log off the selected users.

Management

On the System tab you can enable the (basic) logging for the ShutdownPlus product for two options. You can enable the logging for monitoring the log on and log off activity of the users. The second logging file shows the actions ShutdownPlus has been done, like starting the service, starting a function and finishing one of the functions. Unfortunately the logging does not show which user starts the function, so you need to associate the link between the user and action yourself using the two log files.

User experience

Users will notice the usage of ShutdownPlus if there are logged in when a server will restart of the server or when the logon are disabled. ShutdownPlus has good options to configure these messages time interval. Also users will notice (if you enable ShutdownPlus dialog boxes) an altered Log off screen, but they will become used to it quickly. Probably they will have less problems, because lots of settings will be cleaned regularly.

Conclusion

ShutdownPlus is a nice program to arrange the restarting of the server in combination with lots of tasks to keep your servers in a good shape. Nevertheless almost all options and functions can be done using command line tools using scripts and the Window Scheduler. Normally we judge a product not on the price element, but in this case we must mention the very high price for the product. Besides the server license you also need Client Access Licenses. Although ShutdownPlus is a nice product, the price is not in comparison with added value of the product.

WMSoftware