We have a lot of great Group Policy docs out there - and many have been there for a loooonnnng time. But we can probably do a better job on the discoverability front! I've presented at TechEd for the last few years and like to take a pulse of whether people know about the documentation efforts we have made. Here's a good example...

For YEARS now (at least 6) we have published what we call Group Policy Common Scenarios. These are downloadable GPOs that illustrate specific, common Group Policy scenarios like kiosks, highly managed workstations, "appstations" (machines intended to run one specific application) and so on. Many customers like these - if you are starting out with Group Policy they are a great place to get some ideas on the types of policy settings that might be relevant.

A couple of years ago (some time after we released GPMC), I updated the Common Scenarios to include a spreadsheet listing the policy settings of each scenario, a little installer to get them into your test environment easily (including creation of a sample OU structure to support them) and moved from monolithic GPOs to ones that leveraged Group Policy inheritance. Better and stronger Common Scenarios!

So, what has this to do with TechEd? Well, at 2005's TechEd I asked 1,000-odd people who had heard of the Common Scenarios. Two hands went up. The good news is that we had a 100% increase this year (the bad news, of course, is that took it to just 4 hands!!). Anyway, not many people know about this stuff...

So, where can you find the Common Scenarios? Well rather than just give you a direct link, let me teach a man (or a woman) to fish! The starting point for all such docs - the Group Policy Home Page, if you will - is http://www.microsoft.com/technet/grouppolicy. We have some excellent docs there - I'll mention many of them on this blog in due course - but take a look at that page and you'll find a link to the Common Scenario's package (at the time of writing it's the fifth link down in the center of the page). I hope you like it but PLEASE browse around the rest of the page. The wizards in our User Assistance (UA) team have put some great docs together so get fishing...

OK - I'll cave! Here's the direct link to the Common Scenarios...

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=354B9F45-8AA6-4775-9208-C681A7043292&displaylang=en

Mark Williams: Program Manager, Group Policy