Deciding What to Customize

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

You use the Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) wizard to do most of the customization for a connection profile. Before running the CMAK wizard, you need to decide what to customize and then provide the information and files needed to run the wizard and implement your decisions.

Although you can run the wizard and build your connection profile without providing any custom information except for the name of your service and a file naming convention to be used for your profile files, you can customize many other things to meet the needs of your service. For example, you can:

  • Reconfigure user routing tables with your connection profile in order to better manage your network traffic and security.

  • Reconfigure user proxy settings to ensure that the user has appropriate access to internal and external resources while connected to your service.

  • Merge previously created connection profiles into the one you are building, in order to incorporate phone books and other features from those profiles.

  • Provide customer-support contact information in the Connection Manager logon dialog box.

  • Provide a realm name (prefix or suffix) that is appended to the user name without requiring your users to understand or incorporate the information themselves).

  • Support virtual private network (VPN) connections over the Internet.

  • Specify dial-up entries to be associated with phone numbers in the phone book you provide to your users.

  • Incorporate custom actions that run at specific points during the connection process.

  • Incorporate your own graphics in place of the default graphics provided in Connection Manager logon and phone book dialog boxes.

  • Provide a phone book and phone-book update capabilities to your users.

  • Incorporate your own custom icons in place of the default Connection Manager icons.

  • Customize the menu associated with the notification area shortcut when your users are connected (only on computers that run Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 2000).

  • Customize the Help file provided with Connection Manager.

  • Include Connection Manager 1.4 in your profile.

  • Incorporate an end-user license agreement (EULA) in your profile that users must accept in order to install your profile.

  • Include additional support files in your connection profile, such as user documentation files and custom programs and files needed to support custom actions that you have defined.

  • Enhance security by enabling server callback to users.

You should consider each of these decisions for each connection profile you create. Depending on the target audience and other factors, your decisions will vary for each profile. Before you implement your decisions, you should also consider the effects of your implementation and any potential integration issues. For information on planning for integration, distribution, installation, and other implementation considerations, see Planning for Effective Implementation. This section provides the information you need to support effective and efficient planning and development efforts.


You must build profiles on an operating system that is designed for the same processor architecture as the client computers on which users will install the profile. For example, if you want to build a profile for users running the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7 then you must build that profile on a computer that is running an x64-based version of Windows. This includes Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition.
To create a profile for users running 32-bit versions of Windows, then you must build that profile on a computer that is running an x86-based version of Windows. This includes Windows 7 32-bit Edition, Windows Server 2008 x86 Edition, or Windows Server 2003 x86 Edition.

Additional references