DesktopCentral Standard

Windows Configurations

Over 25 predefined configurations helps to configure windows applications, system settings, desktop settings and security policies. It provides the flexibility to define target computers and users for the configuration using include/exclude criteria. Configurations pertaining to the same set of targert users/computers can be grouped as a Collection. Configurations will be applied during either user logon or computer startup. It also provides the status of the applied configurations.

Desktop Central, in addition to Windows Configurations, also offers various Desktop Management capabilities to meet the administration needs of a Windows network.

The Windows configurations falls under one of the following categories:

  • Desktop Configurations
    • Includes desktop configuration like setting path, Environment variables, display properties, drive mapping, managing shortcuts, configuring IP/shared printers, displaying message box, and launching applications.
  • Computer Configurations
    • Includes computer configuration like managing local users, groups, Windows services, scheduling applications, manipulating registry entries, installing software, configuring power schemes, and executing custom scripts.
  • Application Configurations
    • Includes configuring Windows applications, such as MS Outlook, MS Office, Internet Explorer, etc.
  • Security Configurations
    • Includes configuring firewall settings, security policies, displaying legal messages and alerts.

Remote Desktop Sharing

Desktop Sharing enables the administrators to connect and control remote Windows desktops in the LAN. It is a web-based tool enabling access from anywhere in the LAN without requiring any native client. It allows almost all operations to be performed on the remote desktop.

Remote Desktop Sharing
Desktop Sharing Features

  • Web-based tool enables access from anywhere in the LAN.

  • Automatically installs the desktop-sharing agent in each desktop.

  • No individual authentication is required to gain access to a remote desktop.

  • Supports viewing/accessing remote desktops using Active X and Java Plug-ins.

  • Prompts user confirmation before providing the access to a remote desktop.

  • Configurable screen resolution to fit the screen size.

Web-Based Remote Control

Desktop Central provides a web-based access to the remote computers. This means that a remote connection can be established from anywhere and does not require client software to be installed in order to access remote desktops. The administrators can also establish connection through a VPN to take control of a remote desktop.

Protects Users' Privacy

when connecting to remote computers using Remote Desktop Sharing, the adminstrators have an option to whether get user's permission before connecting to their desktop. Selecting this option would pop up a request window in the user's desktop seeking remote access. This is to ensure that the user's privacy is maintained.

ActiveX and Java Viewers

Desktop Central supports accessing a remote desktop either using ActiveX or Java plug-ins. This enables accessing a remote desktop from any browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, etc.

Desktop Sharing - Supported OS Versions

Desktop Sharing supports connecting to desktops running any of the following OS versions:

  • Windows 2000

  • Windows XP

  • Windows 2003

  • Windows Vista

Active Directory Reports

Active Directory is the heart of the Microsoft Windows 2000/2003 Network. It stores the complete information of the Windows domain such users, computers, OUs, Sites, Domain controllers, DNS, etc. Hence understanding the Active directory and its sub systems is essential for an administrator.

User Reports

Provides the list of available users in that domain with its creation time, contact information, last login time, etc. Desktop Central provides the following out-of-the-box user reports:

  • All User Accounts

  • Recently Created User Accounts

  • Recently Modified User Accounts

  • User Accounts without Logon Scripts

  • User Accounts in Multiple Groups

  • User Accounts that Never Expires

  • Active User Accounts

  • Inactive User Accounts

  • Disabled User Accounts

  • Locked User Accounts

  • Expired User Accounts

  • Soon-to-Expire User Passwords

  • Password Expired User Accounts

  • Password Never Expiring Users

  • User Accounts Password that cannot be Changed

  • Domain Admin User Accounts

  • User Accounts with Dial-in Permissions

  • Unused User Accounts

  • Recently Logged On User Accounts

  • Last Logon Failed User Accounts

Computer Reports

Provides the list of computers with its OS details, hardware details, DNS details, etc., available in the domain. The following Computer Reports are available:

  • All Computers

  • Windows Workstation

  • Recently Added Computers

  • Recently Logged On Computers

  • Recently Modified Computer Accounts

  • Disabled Computer Accounts

  • Computer Accounts by OU

  • Windows Servers

  • Member Servers

  • Domain Controllers

  • Computers by OS Service Pack
Group Reports

Provides the details of the available groups with their member users, member computers, and member groups. Desktop Central provides the following out-of-the-box group reports:

  • All Groups

  • Recently Created Group

  • Recently Modified Group

  • Groups by OU

  • Security Groups

  • Distribution Groups

  • Nested Groups

  • Groups with Member Details

  • Groups with Maximum Members

  • Groups without Members

  • User-only Groups

  • Computer-only Groups

Organizational Unit Reports

Provides the list of available organizational units with their member users, computers, groups, and other organizational units of the domain. Desktop Central provides the following out-of-the-box OU reports:

  • All OUs

  • Recently Created OUs

  • Recently Modified OUs

  • OUs with Child Details

  • OUs without Children

  • User-only OUs

  • Computer-only OUs

  • Nested OUs

Domain Reports

Provides detailed information about the domain along with available domain controllers, details of the directory information tree, and domain members. Desktop Central provides the following out-of-the-box domain reports:

  • Active Directory Sites

  • Active Directory Domain

  • Active Directory Printers

  • Group Policy Creator Owners

  • Users In "Users" Container

  • Groups In "Users" Container

  • Computers In "Computer" Container

  • Groups In "Builtin" Container

GPO Reports

Provides detailed information about the GPOs that are created, modified, linked to OUs, linked to domains, enforced, etc. Desktop Central provides the following out-of-the-box GPO reports:

  • All GPOs

  • Recently Created GPOs

  • Recently Modified GPOs

  • GPOs by OUs

  • GPOs Linked To OUs

  • GPOs Linked To Domains

  • GPOs Linked To Sites

  • Block Inheritance enabled OUs

  • Block Inheritance enabled Domains

  • Enforced GPOs

  • User Settings Enabled GPOs

  • Computer Settings Enabled GPOs

  • User and Computer Settings Enabled GPOs

  • Disabled GPOs

  • Unused GPOs

  • GPOs with Most Modified User Settings

  • GPOs with Most Modified Computer Settings

  • GPOs with Most Modified User & Computer Settings

Configuration Reports

Desktop Central maintains the history of the applied configurations and provides reports of the configurations that are applied on users, computers, and based on the configuration type. These reports can be used for auditing purpose.

For more details, refer to the Reports topic in the online help.

User Logon Reports

Today's enterprises uses multiple domain controllers in their Active Directory based network. The data synchronization between multiple domain controllers happens at regular intervals, mostly once a week. In this case, the user logon details retrieved from a domain controller may not reflect the current data. Moreover, it is limited as it only provides the user name and their last logon time.

User Logon Reports provides the detailed information about the users' login details along with their history. These agent-based reports are more accurate and also provides the details of the user, their logon time, logoff time, the computer from which they logged on, the domain controller they reported, etc., along with their logon history.

Refer to Securing Windows Desktops to see the ways to enhance desktop security using Desktop Central.

User Details

Logged On Users: Provides the list of users who are logged on to the domain with their login count, the computer from which they have logged on, the logon server they reported, and their last login time.

Frequently Logged On Users: Provides the list of users who logs on to the domain frequently. It is arrived when the average user logon to the domain is more than 1.

Rarely Logged On Users: Provides the list of users who logs on to the domain rarely. It is arrived when the average user logon to the domain is less than 1.

Inactive Users: Provides the list of users who have not logged on to the domain in the specified number of days. The administrator has an option to customize the report for a different period.

Computers with Frequent User Logon: Provides the list of computers with more user logon to the domain. It is arrived when the average user logon from the computer is more than 1.

Computers with Rare User Logon: Provides the list of computers with few user logon to the domain. It is arrived when the average user logon from the computer is less than 1.

Computers with No User Logon: Provides the list of computers where no user have logged on.

User Logon History: Provides the list of history of users who have logged on to the domain in the specified number of days. It also provides an option to customize the period to maintain the history, the default being 90 days.

User Logon History by Computers: Provides the list of computers and their corresponding user logon history in the specified number of days.

Domain Controllers with Reported Users: Provides the list of users and their corresponding domain contollers (logon servers) in the specified number of days.

User Logon History by Domain Controllers: Provides the list of domain controllers and their corresponding user logon history in the specified number of days.

User Logon Report

For more details, refer to the User Logon Reports topic in the online help.

Windows System Tools

For a smooth performance of a system, periodic maintenance is necessary. Tools like Disk Check, Disk Defragmenter, etc., helps in system maintenance. It is practically impossible for administrators to manually perform the maintenance on a regular basis.

Desktop Central provides an option to schedule these tasks at regular intervals to be executed on multiple computers simultaneously. It allows creating multiple tasks that can be created to execute various tools on different target computers at different intervals. Moreover, these tasks can also be done during off hours.

Windows System Tools
Disk Defragmenter

Disk gets fragmented as users create and delete files and folders, download files from internet, or install/uninstall programs. When a file or a folder is deleted from the hard disk, the space that was occupied by it will be used to store any new files. When a file gets saved, it uses the first contiguous free space that is large enough for the file and the remaining part of the file is saved in the next available free space.

The fragmented disk brings down the performance of the system as it takes a long time to retrieve the fragmented data from the disk even if the CPU or the memory is more than sufficient. Hence, periodic disk defragmentation is necessary to keep up the performance of the system. Desktop Central provides option to run the disk defragmenter tool on multiple machines simultaneously. It supports the following options:

  • Verbose: Displays the complete analysis and disk defragmentation reports

  • Analyze: Analyzes the volume and displays a summary of the analysis report.

  • Force Defragmentation: Forces disk defragmentation regardless of whether it needs to be defragmented.
Check Disk

Disk errors related to bad sectors, cross-linked files, directory errors, etc., create problems in I/O operations. The Check Disk tool creates a status report of the disk based on its file system. Desktop Central supports the following options to run the check disk tool:

Windows System Tools Wizard

  • Verbose: Displays the name of each file in every directory as the disk is checked.

  • Quick Check: This option is available only for the NTFS File system. Selecting this option will perform the check disk operation quickly by skipping the checking of cycles within the folder structure and by performing a less vigorous check of index entries.
Disk Cleanup

The Disk Cleanup utility helps in determining the unused files in the disk and deletes them to significantly increase the free space.

For more details, refer to the Windows System Tools section in the online help.

DesktopCentral Professional Edition

DesktopCentral Professional Edition Includes all the features of Standard Edition plus:

Windows Patch Management

Software vulnerabilities can create security weakness, corrupt critical system data or cause system unavailability that can be a nightmare to Network administrators. Administrators can't even think of a good patch management solution, without understanding how vulnerable the systems are. So, Administrators are constantly looking out for a solution that scans for vulnerabilities, identify missing patches and updates, apply them immediately and mitigate risk, not just a patch deployment .

Desktop Central's patch management solution handles every aspect of Windows patch management like System discovery, identifying the required windows updates, deploying relevant patches and patch reports to make network administrators job simpler. Administrators can also opt for a completely automated solution and don't have to worry about patching windows systems ever. Desktop Central's Patch Management solution works for both Windows Active Directory and Workgroup based network.

Refer to Securing Windows Desktops to see the ways to enhance desktop security using Desktop Central.

Patch Management Features

  • Uses a hosted Patch Database at AdventNet site to assess the vulnerability status of the network

  • Complete automated Patch Management Solution from detecting the missing patches to deploying the patches

  • Patch based deployment - Deploy a patch to all the systems applicable

  • System based patch deployment - Deploy all the missing patches for a system

  • Automatic handling of patch interdependencies and patch sequencing

  • Reports on System vulnerabilities, Patches, OS, etc.

  • Provides an update of the patch deployment status

Windows Patch Management
Automatic System Discovery

Desktop Central's Windows Patch management solution discovers Windows systems automatically using Active Directory. The Administrators can choose the systems that have to be managed using Desktop Central. Its agent gets installed in the managed systems for performing the actions initiated from Desktop Central Server. This agent is responsible for vulnerability assessment scan and patch deployment.

Online Vulnerability Database

The Online vulnerability Database is a portal in the AdventNet site, which hosts the latest vulnerability database that has been published after a thorough analysis. This contains the list of all Microsoft Windows updates that are available. This database is exposed for download by the Desktop Central server situated in the customer site, and provides information required for patch scanning and installation.

The Desktop Central Server located at the enterprise (customer site) scans the systems in the enterprise network, checks for missing and available patches against the comprehensive vulnerability database, downloads and deploys missing patches and service packs, generates reports to effectively manage the patch management process of the enterprise.

Automated Patch Management
Vulnerability Assessment Scan

The Patch Management module of Dekstop Central scans all the systems for missing patches in operating systems and applications and the level of vulnerability is reported. These missing Windows patches and Windows updates are identified from the local vulnerability database, which is periodically synchronized with the external online vulnerability database maintained by AdventNet.

Patch Deployment

The Patch Management module of Dekstop Central takes care of deploying the patches based on missing patches/updates or system vulnerability. Once deployed, the agent applies the relevant patches in the system and updates the status in Desktop Central. The installation process can be scheduled from patch settings option.

Patch Reports

Patch reports gives details about system vulnerability level, missing patches/updates, applicable patches, patch task status, etc. All these reports are available as pdf or in printer friendly version also.

Automated Patch Management Solution

Patch Management solution can be automated at various levels like, Automatically scan the systems, Automatically scan the systems and download missing patches, Automatically download the missing patches and draft a patch configuration and Automatically download the missing patches and deploy them. All these can be scheduled and the status is notified through mail.

Supported OS and Applications for Patch Management

  • Windows 2003 Server (Standard, Web & Small Susiness Server Editions)

  • Windows XP Professional

  • Windows 2000 Professional

  • Windows 2000 Server

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server

  • Internet Explorer

  • Windows Media Player

  • .NET Framework


  • DirectX

For more details about the Windows Patch Management, refer to the Patch Management topic in the online help.

To learn about the Patch Management Life Cycle, refer to the Patch Management Life Cycle topic in the online help.

Software Deployment

Software distribution and update in a large network is always a tedious process which involves lot of administrators' time and resources. Moving around and installing in each and every system reduces their productivity. Remote software installation and automated installation thus become very critical.

Software Deployment Features

  • Ability to create package repository. The packages created once can be reused any number of times to install or uninstall the software.

  • Supports installing both MSI & EXE based Applications

  • Option to install the application asuot;Run As" option.

  • Option to copy the installables to the lient computers before installing the software.

  • Supports executing pre-installation scripts/commands prior to installation and abort if not successful.

  • Ability to schedule software deployments.

  • Supports uninstalling MSI & EXE packages
Windows Software Installation

Desktop Central's Windows Installer feature improves the administrator's productivity by supporting remote MSI & EXE software/application deployment. Desktop Central can automatically install MSI & EXE software to users or computers at a scheduled time. Desktop Central supports software installation to users and computers or mass installation to OUs, Domains and Sites.

Creating Software Repository

Desktop Central allows to add software packages before deploying software to the network computers. Separate packages can be added for MSI and EXE based software applications. A software package added in Desktop Central will have the location of the installation files along with the installation and uninstallation commands. A package once added can be used to deploy the software any number of times by just defining a configuration.

Scheduled Software Deployment

Desktop Central allows administrators to schedule a software deployment to users and computers after a specified time. This is very useful in deploying the software after business hours to ensure users/computers are not affected due to this deployment. The network traffic will also be minimum at off hours.

Visibility on Software Installation Status

Desktop Central does not stop with just installing MSI/EXE software in the user machines; it also provides the status of the installation for the administrator to check whether the installation was successful in all the configured systems. The software installation status is made available in the Desktop Central client, which can be accessed from anywhere in the network through a web browser.

Uninstalling MSI- & EXE-Based Software

In addition to installation of Windows software, Desktop Central also provides an ability to uninstall the MSI software applications that have been installed using Desktop Central. The details of the installed software are maintained under the configurations. The administrator can just open the configuration, edit it and choose to remove the software that was previously installed.

For more details, refer to the Windows Installer topic in the online help.

Service Pack Installation

Desktop Central, in addtion to Windows Patch Management, also supports installation of Service Packs for Windows Operating systems and Applications. The Service Pack installation can be effected on multiple systems simultaneously, thus saving time and effort.

Deploying Service Packs using Desktop Central is a simple three step process: Download the required service packs, define, and deploy the configuration. As a first step, the selected service packs are downloaded and stored locally, which can then be installed on to the systems. A configuration once defined can be any number if times to deploy service packs to any number of systems. The status of the service pack deployment is made available in the reports for later verification.

Windows Patch Management
Service Pack Installation Features

  • Service Packs can be installed to multiple systems simultaneously

  • Use an already downloaded service pack for installation

  • Option to suspend and resume Service Pack installation

  • View the status of the Service Pack installation
Supported OS and Applications for Service Pack Installation

  • Windows 2003 Server (Standard, Web & Small Susiness Server Editions)

  • Windows XP Professional

  • Windows 2000 Professional

  • Windows 2000 Server

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server

  • Internet Explorer

  • Windows Media Player

  • .NET Framework


  • DirectX

For more details on deploying service packs, refer to the Installing Windows Service Packs topic in online help.

Software & Hardware Inventory


One of the Administrators' task is to keep an up-to-date information about the software and hardware used across the organization. Manual compilation and reconciliation of these details is effort-intensive and are error-prone. Desktop Central's Web-based Inventory Management not only helps to automate this task, but also provides out-of-the-box Network Inventory reports to get the required details in a very few clicks.

Inventory Management Features

  • Complete Hardware and Software Inventory

  • Scan the systems periodically to collect the hardware and software details

  • Manage Software Licenses

  • Detect Prohibited Software in the network

  • Provides software usage statistics

  • Alert on specific events

  • Comprehensive reports on hardware, software inventory and license compliance

Software Inventory Scanning
Software Inventory

The Software Inventory has the following features:

  • Software Metering: View the software usage details in each computer like, rarely used, occasionally used, or, frequently used.

  • Software Details: Provides details of the commerical/non-commercial software used in the network with details like Vendor Name, Installation Date, Software Version, etc.

  • Software License Compliance: Provides the compliant (including over-licensed software) and non-compliant(under-licensed) software used in the network.

  • Prohibited Software: Details of the prohibited software found in the network.
Hardware Inventory

The Hardware Inventory provides complete details about the hardware used in the network. The hardware inventory reports helps the administrators to get the details immediately. Some of the reports include:

Inventory Management Software
Scheduled Inventory Scanning

Desktop Central scans the Windows desktops/servers in the network periodically to collect the hardware and software details and stores them in the databse. The inventory scanning interval is flexible and can be configured to meet the real-time needs. This enables administrators to get an up-to-date asset / inventory information at any given time without any manual intervention.

Alert Notifications

Desktop Central enables administrators to get notified through email in any of the following events:

  • When a new hardware is detected in the network

  • When a new software is detected in the network

  • Non Compliance (under-licensed) of software licensing policy, i.e., the license is inadequate and have to purchase more licenses to be compliant

  • When a prohibited software is detected in the network.
Network Inventory Reports

Desktop Central provides out-of-the-box reports to view the software and hardware details of the network. These reports helps to get a quicker view of the network inventory details. The ability to export the reports into PDF or CSV formats helps to integrate with third-party reporting engines or print it out for future reference.

For more details on the Inventory Management feature, refer to the Hardware and Software Inventory topic of the online help documentation.