By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-04-19 Print this article Print

ScriptLogic 5.5, slated to ship this month, costs $19.50 per seat for 251 to 750 users with one year of maintenance. Prices for smaller quantities range as high as $49 per seat and can go as low as $8.25 per seat for larger quantities.

eWEEK Labs tests showed that ScriptLogic 5.5 has advanced well beyond just creating and managing log-on scripts for Windows. The product strips away nearly all the tedium of those mundane, utterly basic tasks. During our tests, it was simple to create a hierarchy of log-on scripts that redirected folder locations, mapped drives, made registry changes, created and removed desktop shortcuts, and displayed instructional messages.

For IT staffers who oversee Windows workstations with few changes, however, we believe virtually free scripting methods, including Perl scripts, are a better choice than ScriptLogic.

Much of the administrative oversight now offered in ScriptLogic 5.5 overlaps with single-purpose patch management systems and user provisioning products. Although usually more expensive, these specialized systems, in most cases, work better than ScriptLogic for distributing updates and setting up user access to such enterprise resources as e-mail.

At numerous IT shops, log-on scripting is often treated as something between a folk art and a hazing activity. ScriptLogic 5.5 will make it much easier for command-line junkies and up-and-coming junior IT staff alike to focus on more-difficult user support issues by eliminating the time devoted to the care and feeding, so to speak, of log-on scripts and Windows desktop configuration.

The most significant new feature in ScriptLogic 5.5 is an inactivity monitor, which we think is a good idea. The monitor allows ScriptLogic 5.5s desktop agent to perform tasks when the user wont be interrupted—for example, during predefined periods of time when an office is closed. We were able to install service packs and simple applications, then shut down our PC systems.

In earlier versions, most ScriptLogic actions happened at startup time—which, of course, is usually the time when users are just coming to the office to start work.

It is clear that ScriptLogic was first developed at a time when IT productivity, not security, was the driving motivation for product development. For example, there is no access control to ScriptLogic 5.5s manager GUI. There is also no granular access to the product.

We hope ScriptLogic will add both these features in the near future. ScriptLogic wields such powerful controls over the log-on and log-off processes that we could envision a scenario where a hacker might try to use the products central location to wreak havoc on an organization.

We appreciated several other ScriptLogic improvements. For example, the mail profile settings let us skip mail profile creation if a mail profile already existed. The settings let us enable a personal address book and specify where personal folders should be created and accessed. We could also enable offline address books and folders.

As with all other areas of ScriptLogic 5.5, we were able to govern these client configuration properties depending on the type of system—for example, desktop, notebook or terminal server client.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

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Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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