Improving Context Menu and Shell Performance
Hyena relies heavily on the right-click context menu when performing many functions. For some objects, such as computers and Active Directory items, the menu may include dynamic Windows shell functions that are created on-the-fly. This means that the menu cannot be displayed until the menu options are built, which can vary for each object.
The next three (3) tips below all can effect the amount of time required to display the context menu and many shell functions which are built into Windows and Active Directory. If making any of these changes, remember these guidelines:
1. Make the changes one-by-one, so that any performance change can be associated with a specific change.
2. After making any change, perform any action multiple times to properly see any performance change.
3. Finally, Hyena does not have to be restarted after making any of these changes. However, because Windows may load specific libraries the first time an action is performed, always gauge performance after the first time a specific function is used. For example, right clicking on an Active Directory user and selecting the "Account Functions > Shell Properties" menu option will cause a large number of Microsoft directory services libraries to be loaded the first time this menu option is selected. This can create a long and noticeable delay of several seconds independent of any settings. The next time the Shell Properties option is used, these libraries will be already loaded, and any change in performance due to settings will become apparent.
Using DNS-style names
By default, Hyena will usually use a Netbios-style name (sometimes referred to as a 'flat name') for most actions. This is mainly due to the flat-style name nearly always being available in Windows and it will generally work for 99.9% of customers. However, there can be instances with newer versions of Windows and other factors (ie company-specific network configuration) that can make a DNS-style name perform better. Using a Netbios vs. a DNS name can have a significant effect on the time it takes to display context menus and any Active Directory shell (built-in) dialogs and functions.
To change the type of network path used by Hyena, select Tools > Settings > Active Directory, and change the "Use DNS computer paths" option. Unchecking this option will make Hyena use a Netbios-style (flat) name. Note that this option will affect all actions performed by Hyena and not just the Active Directory-related functions. For example, displaying services and disk space are not Active Directory functions, yet rely on the computer path retrieved from the directory. To see the exact path used by Hyena to retrieve most information, look at the window title for Hyena's right window. When displaying services for a computer, for example, the computer path will be shown in the window title caption.
Disabling the Computer Shell Properties Menu
When displaying the context menu for computers, Hyena will add a menu option titled "Shell Functions". The options on this menu will vary depending on the o/s and installed software on the client computer. If the computer shell menu options are never used, turning this menu off will usually improve computer context menu display performance.
To enable or disable the computer shell properties menu, select Tools > Settings > View, and change the "Show shell context menu for computer objects" option.
Disabling the Active Directory Shell Functions Menu
Another menu that can affect performance is the Active Directory shell menu, which by default is added to all Active Directory context menus. This submenu is named "Shell Functions" and can either be found on the main context menu, or as a sub-menu under the Account Functions menu. Its contents will vary depending on the o/s, installed directory options, and type of directory object. If these shell functions are never or rarely used, turning this menu option off will improve menu performance.
To enable or disable the Active Directory shell functions menu, select Tools > Settings > Active Directory, and change the "Add shell functions menu to directory object context menus" option.
Getting the Computer Chassis Type and More
Unless you plan out your computer account naming strategy from the beginning (or should we say unless the person before you planned it out) to account for laptops being added to your network, it can quickly become a challenge to determine the difference between laptops and desktops when viewing a list of computers. Hyena's WMI integration makes this a fairly easy process by allowing you to see the ChassisTypes property of the Win32_SystemEnclosure WMI Class. This class may not be one of the default classes you see in Hyena, so here are some steps to add a class and run the query against a selection of computers:
Double-click on an OU, or on the Computers object to display a list of computers in the right-hand window. The right-hand window allows you to multi-select objects. Select the computers you want to run this query against, then right-click and choose WMI > Execute Query. You should then see a list of the default queries, and a New button where you can add your own. Click the New button and enter the following:
WMI Query Name - Enter a name such as "System Enclosure"
WMI NameSpace - Leave this blank for the default CIMv2 NameSpace. If you have a class you want to add that resides in a different NameSpace you can specify that location in this box.
WMI Class - Enter the name "Win32_SystemEnclosure"
Click OK and you should see the list of available properties for this class; choose the properties you want in your query by selecting them and clicking the Add icon between the two windows. For this query we would recommend at least to add the __SERVER, ChassisTypes, Manufacturer, and SerialNumber properties.
After you've chosen the properties you want, click the Execute Query button to run the query. This query can be executed by either selecting its name from the WMI object under any computer in the left window, or by selecting one or more computers in the right window, right-clicking, and selecting the WMI query from the list.
For documentation on the definitions of the properties for this class, including the chassis types, see:
Note: This tip is an Enterprise-Edition only feature as it relies on WMI. However, it represents just a small sample of the information available with Hyena WMI capabilities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to upgrade from the Standard Edition license to the Enterprise Edition license.