Let’s take a step back and get some of the terminology of Group Policy down. I find that when I’m talking with IT folks, sometimes they “blur the lines” here and there.
I’m a “precise” kind of guy, so if you are too, hope you’ll enjoy these definitions.
() Group Policy: The mechanism in Active Directory which allows administrators to perform
change and configuration management and policy-based management.
() Group Policy Object: This is the “noun” of Group Policy. The “thing” you create which allows you to make the control happen.
() Policy setting: This is one possible setting within a GPO you can perform. For instance, “Prohibit access to the Control Panel” is one Policy Setting.
() Enabled: One of the three usual settings within a policy setting. Enabled means “do this thing at this level.” So if you “Enable” something, you’re saying to “do it.”
() Disabled: Disabled can have several meanings. But usually it means “if set at a higher level, then un-do it.” For instance, if at the Domain Level you ENABLE “Prohibit Access to the control panel” then at the OU level you “Disable” it, you’re effectively reversing the setting.
() Group Policy Preferences: Sometimes called Group Policy Preferences Extensions. In the book I call these GPPEs or GPPrefs for short. GP Prefs are 21 new superpowers which add to the original 18 “in the box” superpowers.
() Item: Any time you create a new “thing” with GP Prefs, you create an “item.” Items can be Shortcuts, drive mappings, ODBC settings and a whole lot more.
() RSoP: Resultant set of Policy. This is the “sum total” of all the settings a user or computer is supposed to get. You can run various tools to see RSoP reports, but not all reports work the way you would expect with the new GP Prefs.
() GPMC: Group Policy Management Console. There are several versions of this tool. The latest works on Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2.
() RSAT: Remote Server Administration Toolkit. Remember “Adminpak” for WS03? RSAT is kinda like the Adminpak, but it works on Win7 or Server 2008 R2 and has the newest GPMC.
() AGPM: Microsoft’s Advanced Group Policy Management tool. It’s an add-on to the GPMC you already know and love. It doesn’t add more “stuff” to the desktop, but adds “Change management” and workflow to Group Policy.
() GPanswers.com: Your secret place to get smarter in Group Policy. Pass it on. (Not everyone is on this super secret newsletter, but if you think they should be, please send them to GPanswers.com where they can just sign up.)
This is GP 101.. If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, join us in San Francisco on Dec 5th 2011 for a 5 day intensive GP training workshop!