Connection Manager Features

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Foundation, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

Connection Manager 1.4 and its Administration Kit provides support for remote connections to your network using a variety of connection types, such as dial-up modems, or virtual private network (VPN) connections over broadband networks like the Internet.

General connection support

Connection Manager supports a variety of features that both simplify and enhance implementation of connection support for you and your users. These features can be incorporated using the Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) wizard:

Feature Support

Routing table updates

You can reconfigure the routing tables on the client to help manage your network traffic and security.

Automatic proxy server configuration

You can configure user proxy server settings to ensure that the user has appropriate access to internal and external resources while connected to your service.


You can customize the graphics, icons, messages, Help, and phone book support in Connection Manager to provide an identity and support that are unique to your service or corporation. You can include custom logos, customer support, and phone book information to identify and represent your company.

Custom actions and monitored applications

You can incorporate custom functionality, including your own programs to enhance the connection experience for your users. These programs can be automatically run at various points during the connection process, such as when users log on or disconnect. Connection Manager also supports pre-connect and pre-tunnel actions. And you can set up monitored applications to automatically disconnect after the program ends.

Multiple user support for each service profile

You can provide support for users who share computers. User profiles allow two or more people to use the same computer and the same service profile. Credentials are maintained, based on the logon ID of the user, so users do not have to re-enter them for each connection.

Simplified distribution

Using the CMAK wizard to automatically build your service profile (the customized software required for your users to run Connection Manager), you create a self-installing executable file that can be distributed on compact disc or downloaded by your users.

Custom phone books

You can specify the phone books to be provided to your users. You can download your phone book to users and provide automatic phone book updates when your users log on. And to simplify maintenance, you can combine existing phone books by merging existing service profiles.

Custom Help

By default, a connection profile uses the connmgr.chm Help file that is included with Windows. You can instead specify a customized .chm file that is displayed whenever the user presses F1. Support for context-sensitive links to the correct topic in the .chm file is included.

VPN connection support

In addition to the support for dial-up connections, you can also use the CMAK wizard to incorporate support for VPN connections using a tunneling protocol to tunnel through the Internet to a VPN server on the perimeter of your corporate network. Connection Manager can create a VPN connection through a pre-existing dial-up session, or a local area network (LAN) connection.

Feature Support

VPN server selection

You can allow your users to choose a VPN server to use when connecting to your service.


You can specify whether or not to support VPN, which enables your users to connect to your service using any of the following tunneling protocols:

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

  • Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) with IPSec encryption

  • Secure Sockets Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), if you are running Windows Vista or later

  • Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), if you are running Windows 7.

Additional references