Announcing the Group Policy Search service

Announcing the Group Policy Search service

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Hello, Kapil here. I am a Product Quality PM for Windows here in Texas [i.e. someone who falls asleep cuddling his copy of Excel - Ned]. Finding a group policy when starting at the "is there even a setting?" ground zero can be tricky, especially in operating systems older than Vista that do not include filtering. A solution that we’ve recently made available is a new service in the cloud:

Group Policy Search

With the help of Group Policy Search you can easily find existing Group Policies and share them with your colleagues. The site also contains a Search Provider for Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 as well as a Search Connector for Windows 7. We are very interested in hearing your feedback (as responses to this blog post) about whether this solution is useful to you or if there are changes we could make to deliver more value.

Note - the Group Policy search service is currently an unsupported solution. At this time the maintenance and servicing of the site (to update the site with the latest ADMX files, for example) will be best-effort only.

Using GPS

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In the search box you can see my search string “wallpaper” and below that are the search suggestions coming from the database.

On the lower left corner you see the search results and the first result is automatically displayed on the right hand side. The search phrase has been highlighted and in the GP tree the displayed policy is marked bold.

Note: Users often overlook the language selector in the upper right corner, where one can switch the policy results (not the whole GUI itself) to “your” language (sorry for having only UK English and not US English ;-) [Whut the heck ur yoo tawkin' 'bout - Ned])

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Using the “Tree” menu item you can switch to the “registry view”, where you can see the corresponding registry key/value, or you can reset the whole tree to the beginning view:

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In the “Filter” menu, you can specify for which products you want to search (this means, if you select IE7, it will find all policies which are usable with IE7, not necessarily only these only available for IE7 and not for IE6 or IE8; this is done using the “supported on” values from the policies):

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In the “copy” menu you can select the value from the results that you want to copy. Usually “URL” or “Summary” is used (of course you can easily select and CTRL+C the text from the GUI as well):

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In the “settings” menu you can add the search provider and/or Connector.

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Upcoming features (planned for the next release)

  • “Favorites” menu, where you can get a list of some “interesting” things like “show me all new policies IE8 introduced”:

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  • “Extensions” menu:

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  • We will introduce a help page with a description for the usage of the GPS.

GPS was written by Stephanus Schulte and Jean-Pierre Regente, both MS Internet Explorer Support Engineers in Germany. Yep, this tool was written by Support for you. :-) 

The cool part – it’s all running in:

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Kapil “pea queue” Mehra

  • Thanks Kapil for posting about the GPS!

    As one of the authors of this tool I want to encourage everybody to test it and give feedback (feature requests [please be serious! ;) ], bugs, questions, ...) here in the comments, we will try to respond quickly.

    Btw. the search works for administrative templates only! Currently we have no plans to integrate the software or windows settings!

    And yes, we plan to have the update for Office 2010 policies asap.

  • Very nice. I can finally copy the policy path. I like the summary copy function, I can see myself using it instead of sending screen shots from GP editor and copying data from group policy settings excel sheets.

    Could you guys add links to group policy settings excel sheets, that make the Tree complete. :)

    Also any plans on adding other Microsoft products such as OCS.

  • As a new Network/Systems administrator, this is going to be one of my top tools! Thanks!!

  • @KAPes8:

    1. good idea adding the link to the excel sheet, I will try to add this to the next release

    2. we will add other products (no time frame yet). First we wanted to have the "basics" out there and see whether it is used and if so, increasing the functionality! ;)

  • Hi,

    With the introduction of numerous new group policy settings in Windows 7 /Server 2008 R2 , i was wondering whether someone has managed to use this tool to export all these group policy settings in a excel spreadsheet.

    The spreadsheet that Microsoft has provided at www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx , is only listing all Administrative templates. However there are various other settings in both computer and user configuration ( Policy and preferences) nodes and it will be good to capture them all in a excel spreadsheet for recording purpose.

    regs,

    Ravindra.