Exploring the AppSense PersInfo Tool

The PersInfo utility from AppSense presents a gold mine of information about your AppSense Personalization environment and activities from a user’s perspective.  Last week I was going through the AppSense Exchange on MyAppSense browsing through the configs and tools they have. I came across the Personalization Information Tool and thought it sounded really interesting so I downloaded it.

PersInfo Menu ScreenShot

After downloading the zip file and extracting it I noticed that it was just a single executable. So I  logged in to my XenApp environment and launched the Persinfo.exe executable. I noticed a green sphere in my systray and right-clicked the icon. I was presented with the menu shown to the right. There are many options and I won’t go through all of them. I will let you explore the other options.

I clicked on the Session Information option and was presented with the following window. Unfortunately I had to blur a lot of the information because it was executed on my work system so I will explain the various sections.

PersInfo Session Information

In the top left you have the username and SID of the user who is running the utility. In the top right you get the version of the AppSense agent as well as the Environment Manager config and version. Useful for making sure you have the correct configuration and version. In the bottom left you get information on the Personalization configuration. Cache Container is a clickable link to filesystem where your cache files are stored. Information about the Personalization group is also included. The last Active Link field is very interesting because it tells you the last Personalization server that was connected to. This is great for identifying a troubled Personalization server in a load-balanced rotation. The Link List lists all of the possible Personalization servers that it can contact to retrieve information.   On the right site you get can see the Whitelisted Applications and Network statistics. This is just the Session Information screen and I encourage you to check out the other options in the menu.

Link State graphic

Perhaps the best feature for my environment is the information generated with info bubbles in the systray itself.  When you first connect it lets you know the agent connected to the Personalization environment and lets you k now which site is currently active. Now let’s open Microsoft Outlook and see what happens. The PersInfo utility indicates that Outlook as been opened and that data is

being downloaded. After Outlook has started you will notice something different with it as well. Its surrounded with a colored border.

Now what is that about. Well the PersInfo utility actually puts borders around applications depending on its configuration within AppSense. In this case the green border means that the application is configured within the Personalization environment and settings are stored. There are colors for several different situations including Passive (unmanaged) and masquerading. Helpful identifying whether applications are configured.

 

The last piece of information we will look at is when you close the application. As shown below you will see a notice that the application’s data was successfully uploaded to the Personalization server as well as the amount of data and the throughput of the upload.

 

 

 

 

This was a really brief look at the PersInfo tool from AppSense but I  hope it peaks your interest enough to download it and run it in your environment. There are many features that I didn’t touch on like being able to control the debugging.