Merging Phone Books and Other Features from Existing Connection Profiles

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

If you have information in existing connection profiles that you need in the profile you are building, you can use the CMAK wizard to merge much of the information from existing profiles into the profile you are building. A profile that contains information from other connection profiles is called the top-level profile. A profile that has its information merged into another connection profile is called a component profile.

Why merge connection profiles?

Merging connection profiles is especially useful for incorporating information from multiple phone books, including service types, Point of Presence (POP) names, and access numbers, and to consolidate different Internet access points that are covered by more than one of your phone books. By merging existing profiles into the connection profile you are building, you can make several dissimilar networks appear to be a single, cohesive service.

For example, you can merge profiles from different geographical locations to create a worldwide profile. Or you can create profiles that have specific administration requirements and network configurations, including authentication and TCP/IP characteristics and, after they are created, you can merge them together within a top-level connection profile. Merging profiles is especially useful where multiple entities, whether corporations or Internet service providers (ISPs), share in providing a service. The following examples show how you can use merged connection profiles to simplify network access through diverse access points:

  • Example 1: Creating a service profile to support access to the Internet from remote service areas. If a local ISP contracts with a roaming consortium to provide dial-up services outside the ISP's primary service area, the local ISP could create a top-level connection profile containing the local ISP's network information and merging the profiles of the other members of the roaming consortium. Each component profile could contain the individual phone-book and network attributes, including a unique realm name, of an individual ISP. Merging all of the component profiles would support the need for users of the local ISP service to roam outside of the ISP's primary service area by enabling them to connect through the cooperating ISPs. All ISPs can maintain their own connection profiles, simply redistributing profiles to other members of the consortium whenever they are updated. The consortium itself might also create a top-level connection profile aggregating the services of all member ISPs.

  • Example 2: Implementing a corporate virtual private network (VPN). Corporations using VPN connections for a session by establishing a tunnel through the Internet to the corporation often use ISP-provided dial-up access to support corporate access from remote locations. By merging connection profiles, the corporation could combine its own phone book of internal dial-up numbers with those of remote ISPs contracted to provide access points for the remote corporate users, enabling VPN connections to be established even for dial-up connections through the public network access point of the ISP. The corporation and each ISP could maintain its own connection profiles, but the corporation could merge all of the ISP connection profiles into the corporate profile. The distribution of the top-level profile by the corporation to all corporate users would support access from multiple locations. This access would appear to users as if it were made using the corporation's own access points.

What information is merged?

The following table shows which features of a component profile are merged into the top-level profile and how the CMAK wizard incorporates the merged information. Only the items from the component profile that are listed in the Merged features column are recognized and used by the top-level profile.

Merged features Implementation notes

File name

Files contained in the component service profiles retain the names used by the component service profiles.

Merged profiles

You can merge only one level of connection profiles. For example, if you merge profile A, which contains component profiles B and C, these second-level component profiles (B and C) are ignored.

Realm name

If a realm name is specified in the top-level connection profile, it will be used in all instances, and all realm names specified in the component profiles are ignored. If no realm name is specified in the top-level service profile, the realm names specified in the component profiles are used for connections that are made using entries from the component profiles.

Dial-up entries

The script specified for each dial-up entry must have a unique name than all other scripts contained in the top-level profile and any component profiles.

Phone books

If the same service types exist in more than one profile, the information is merged. If duplicate states (or provinces), or POPs exist among top-level and component profiles, Connection Manager removes the duplicates when it runs the top-level profile. Connection Manager treats two phone book entries as duplicates if they display the same information in the user interface (except that Connection Manager is not case sensitive). If two phone book entries appear as duplicates but have separate configuration data in the POP, Connection Manager still removes one of the phone book entries.

Download phone book

Each time the user establishes a connection, Connection Manager automatically checks for the phone books with each server that is running Phone Book Service (PBS). PBS checks the phone book version and, if necessary, downloads phone book updates to the user. Phone books specified in the top-level and component phone books are downloaded, as appropriate to the respective connection profiles.

URL for downloads

The URLs specified in the top-level and component profiles are used for downloads to phone books for the respective connection profiles.

The top-level connection profile does not merge information related to the following features of the component profile. To affect these features, you must specify them in the top-level profile:

  • Service name

  • Support information specified for the logon dialog box

  • VPN support

  • Custom actions

  • Monitored applications

  • Custom graphics for the logon dialog box and Phone Book dialog box

  • Message to display next to the More access numbers box when alternate access numbers are available for the selected geographic location

  • Custom icons

  • Customization options for the notification area shortcut menu

  • Custom Help files

  • Option to include Connection Manager 1.4 software in the connection profile

  • License agreement

  • Additional files


To support VPN connections for component profiles, in the VPN Support pane of the CMAK wizard, under Establish a virtual private network (VPN) connection when the user dials a phone number from these phone books, select Phone books from the merged profiles.

Where the files are located?

When you create a connection profile, the CMAK wizard copies all files referenced in the profile, including the component profile files, into the \Program Files\CMAK\Profiles\ProfileFileName folder for that profile.

When you use the CMAK wizard to merge features, the top-level profile includes references to the component (merged) profiles. For example, for phone books in merged profiles, the resulting profile installs multiple files in the folder specified for the profile rather than combining the phone books into a single file. However, when users select a POP involving phone books merged from two other profiles, the users see the information from all the phone books as a single phone book.

When you edit a top-level connection profile, the CMAK wizard attempts to use the latest version of the component profile. If the CMAK wizard cannot find the merged profile in the \Program Files\CMAK\Profiles\ServiceProfileFileName folder (for the top-level profile), it uses the current version of the merged profile that was originally stored with the service profile being edited.

Special considerations for building merged profiles

When building merged connection profiles:

  • If you merge a connection profile created with an older version of CMAK into a Connection Manager 1.4 connection profile, the CMAK wizard automatically updates the merged information to Connection Manager 1.4. Any changes you have made manually to the .inf file (using advanced customization techniques) will not be retained in the upgraded file. However, the CMAK wizard creates a backup of the old .inf file before creating the updated file.

  • You should provide separate connection profiles for each network that has unique characteristics or requirements.

  • You must ensure that all scripts specified for dial-up entries in the merged connection profile are available when you build the top-level profile.

Additional references