Policy Editors and Downloaders

There are two administrative components involved in specifying policies: a policy editor and a policy downloader. A policy editor is an application that lets administrators specify registry settings for particular computers, users, and user groups, and a policy downloader is a small program installed on every client computer that merges the administrator's settings into the local registry.

The policy editor uses a template file, which is a text file describing registry settings and specifying how the settings should appear in the policy editor's user interface. The policy editor creates a policy file, which is a single file containing policy settings for a number of computers, users, and user groups. The policy file is a registry hive that is created and manipulated using Microsoft® Win32® functions. Windows 95 includes a policy editor, the System Policy Editor. Developers may create their own policy editors, but the editors must be able to read template files and be able to read and write policy files.

Windows 95 provides a policy downloader, which is built into Multiple Provider Router (MPR). Developers may also create their own policy downloaders. Policy downloaders may be installed so that MPR will call the installed component to do the downloading rather than doing so itself. Because the policy file format allows for extensions, developers may provide additional functionality.

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