What is WinClass?
This section explains what WinClass is and how it all started.
Some teachers or computer coordinators may be familiar with IBM's ICLAS software which was very popular on
Novell NetWare networks. ICLAS ran in a DOS environment, and NetWare was most comfortable in a DOS environment.
As schools started their migration to Windows, users soon found problems trying to run Windows applications.
Most schools set up a generic Windows on the server. They then set as much as they could to read-only. All
applications had to be set up and made available to all users. In some cases, passwords had to be maintained
for certain program groups. Others experimented with program groups based on the user's login script. All of
these solutions were somewhat effective, but hard to maintain. Making changes to the system required all users
to be off the system before any new software could be added, or old software removed. If there were multiple
profiles, the changes had to be duplicated for each configuration.
WinClass addresses these shortcomings by dynamically configuring Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP Workstations to access
the software Teachers have made available to the students.
When the computer is started, it loads Windows. A log in screen is presented to the user. At this point, Windows
is already running, but waiting at the log in prompt for a valid user to successfully log into a Windows NT Server
Domain. If the user fails validation, the log in screen is re-presented back to the user, and local Windows access
is denied. Once the user has been validated by a domain controller (or backup domain controller), the WinClass
Startup program deletes all previous program groups and icons which may have been left behind from a previous user.
A Microsoft Access database is queried to determine which icons to make available to the particular user. Windows
is configured based on the information retrieved. WinClass then releases control to Windows. WinClass adds Log Off
software to students and teachers Windows.
When the user logs off the Workstation, WinClass cleans up behind that user and proceeds to the Domain Logon Screen,
ready for the next user to log in.
That is just the workstation side of WinClass. With the WinClass 7 Enterprise Manager, you can control the creation of
all the users in your district and schools. With WinClass, the users are created and their home drive and rights
are all created.
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