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How to Limit PAX for Specific Remote Desktop Users

We have a client who operate remote desktop centrally for all their users – so most people don’t have, say, Microsoft Office installed directly on their local desktop. The exception is some laptops, but even then when they need to access shared resources, they need to connect to remote desktop to gain access to shared files. They needed to deploy Planning Analytics for Excel within the RDP environment, but did not want PAX to be loaded up as an add in for all thousand or so users. This explains how they solved the problem.

The Problem: Planning Analytics for Excel via Remote Desktop for Limited Users

This client runs Microsoft Remote Desktop for about a thousand staff. Users connect via RDP to one of about 25 servers and then use Office and shared folders from there. They only have about 10 TM1 licences and did not want the Planning Analytics for Excel add-in to load for all users.

The Solution

The client came up with this solution – not me. This is way above my Windows pay grade! This is for a 32-bit Office installation, so the instructions will vary for different versions of Office. It allows you to set specific profiles to get the PAX add in on a shared RDP environment.

Firstly, install Planning Analytics for Excel onto the Remote Desktop server as usual.

Create a new Group Policy object (‘GPO’) to add per-user registry keys to enable the adding for members of a specially-created Active Directory security group.

Remove the HKLM (per-server) settings (note this is three lines of code, each line starting with “reg delete”:

reg delete HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftOfficeExcelAddInsCognosOffice12.Connect /f
reg delete HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftOfficeWordAddInsCognosOffice12.Connect /f
reg delete HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftOfficePowerPointAddInsCognosOffice12.Connect /f

Add the HKCU (per-user) settings (done via a GPO but script would work, too):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOfficeExcelAddInsCognosOffice12.Connect]
"Description"="IBM Framework for Office"
"FriendlyName"="IBM Framework for Office"
"LoadBehavior"=dword:00000003

(Note that the above reg entries will enable the Excel addin – similar keys can be added for ‘Word’ and ‘PowerPoint’ if/as required.

Next Step: Roaming

The client is now pursuing two to have this set up on a profile so it roams with the user. When he gets that nailed, we will add that as another post.

Thanks Phill. Your Remote Desktop knowledge is awesome!

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