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We are currently lobbying to management to remove launching SharePoint in a users browser from our network login script, as we face numerous race conditions and other issues when users log into the network. In other words, when a user logs on to the network the last step of the network login script is to launch IE with the address of our SharePoint server.

Management has been presented the numerous technical reasons why this is a bad idea, but I need third party validation as to why the network login script should not be used to start SharePoint. Management's goal is to have SharePoint be the first application that you see when you log onto the network.

What I am looking for are resources / case studies that detail best practices for launching SharePoint, and if possible why this should NOT be done in a network login script. Ultimately the feedback I get should be in a form that the business unit - the end users - should be able to digest. I can certainly provide logs, configuration comparisons and other diagnostics but this will be meaningless to them.

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What do you mean by "launching SharePoint"? Do you mean, like, starting a browser w/ your SharePoint site as the target automatically during login? Ewww... – Evan Anderson Jul 8 '09 at 17:14
Yes this is a little confusing, are you launching the sharepiont server from a network login script (which would seem odd, and a little useless), or just launching a browser on login with sharepoint as the starting point, in which case its more of a windows/browser question. – Sam Jul 8 '09 at 17:17
For my own curiosity, what are the "numerous technical reasons why this is a bad idea"? – ThatGraemeGuy Jul 8 '09 at 17:34
what sort of "race condition" are you refering too, is the sharepoint server not responding fast enough or is the browser being launched too soon in the login process? – Jim B Jul 8 '09 at 17:56
All our issues are on the client side. The server is hardly breathing heavy. For the users that use Multi-network Manager we see huge delays completing log in, and MnM interrupts Sharepoint from displaying. We get the "Operation Aborted", and the IE screen is blank. – David Robbins Jul 8 '09 at 20:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is a bit of an unconventional kind of thing to start from a logon script. If I were asked to do it, I'd be doing it through the "legacy run" key of the user's registry or the "Startup" program group such that the browser was called after Explorer.exe started.

Having said that, though, I'm at a loss as to tell you why it's a bad idea, other than that it's ugly and rather uncouth, to my mind, to go launching a browser w/o the user's explicit consent.

I'm assuming there's some kind of motivation to get people interested in using SharePoint. I'd argue that forcing it down their throat, and potentially making their computer startup a bit slower, is not the way to build enthusiasm.

(I'd actually be interested in hearing your numerous technical issues, because I'm having a hard time coming up with any. Like I said, I wouldn't start it from the logon script because I wouldn't want to chance making Explorer.exe unhappy, but aside from that, it's perfectly feasible to start a browser automatically on each logon sessioin. I'd hate it, personally, but it's still feasible.)

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We have considered using the startup group solution. – David Robbins Jul 8 '09 at 20:11
Sorry - reputation of 1 does not allow me up vote you :( – David Robbins Jul 9 '09 at 13:41
That's alright. >smile< I've got enough... – Evan Anderson Jul 9 '09 at 14:09

There are no server side issues with starting it from a logon script, just the ones you are experiencing on the client side. From your comments, the problem seems to be with the MnM software. Maybe you could describe it as a conflict between that product and IE.

Edit: You haven't posted the relevant parts of your logon script, but would it be possible to time how long IE takes to start up? For example refer to this question for a timer. Then once set up in the script:

  1. Take timestamp
  2. Run start /wait iexplore.exe .....
  3. Take timestamp
  4. Check results

As an aside, this doesn't sound like a request that has been well thought through. I echo Evan's comments on this... As an end user, I can't imagine anything more annoying than my browser appearing when I didn't ask it to. I don't like a computer doing things when I don't ask it to. Maybe you can come up with some good analogies/examples that management can identify with that will emphasize the poor user experience this will give.

A good compromise would be to have the SharePoint site as the browser home page.

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I echo your answer - but what I need to do is to perform a due diligence and collect benchmarks that ensure removing launch from loging process is a standard practice. – David Robbins Jul 9 '09 at 13:36
Sorry - reputation of 1 does not allow me up vote you :( – David Robbins Jul 9 '09 at 13:39
See edited answer for an option to collect benchmarks. Hope it helps! – Alex Angas Jul 9 '09 at 14:18

Maybe have SharePoint "Warm up" each day alo, that way sharepoint will react much faster when users log into it (i.e. if a bunch of users are the first people to visit the sharepoint site and it hasn't "warmed up" sharepoint will be slow. )

Look on Google for some "SharePoint warm up script" related resources.

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Thanks for the input - we have isolated the issue to the desktop clients. That is, autoruns indicates we have way too many services etc. firing off at login. I am really looking for input from "case studies" for the business units to absorb. – David Robbins Jul 9 '09 at 14:44
Are you firing up those apps / services or is windows? I can imagine everyone having things like Acrobat Laucher etc. in there Run registry key. Maybe try to eliminate some of those? – Colin Dekker Jul 9 '09 at 14:49

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