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Application Explorer

How it works The Application Explorer is part of the Novell client software that is used to access the network. App Explorer uses your network identity to present you with Drew licensed software you are allowed to install and use. Academic Technology also uses the Application Explorer to "push" updates to computers, such as security patches, virus scanning updates, and configuration changes.
Installation and Running

Application Explorer Issues


How the Application Explorer Works

When you first log in to the network you will see a "Novell Application Explorer" splash screen appear, and then a small delay--anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute depending on the speed of your computer and network connection--as the Application Explorer configures itself based on your identity, what applications are already installed on your computer. Some updates (for instance, the F-Updater which keeps F-Stop's virus signatures up to date) will be launched automatically at this time, and may prompt you for installation.
  • Once the Application Explorer finishes loading, you will have a special folder, named "Application Explorer," on your desktop:
  • Double clicking on the Application Explorer will open a window with two options displayed, Drew and All. Double click on the Drew folder. [All] shows all applications to you unsorted.
Hint: It's okay to periodically check the Application Explorer for new or updated applications (although there often will be email announcements or updates on the Computer and Network Services web page when new programs are available.)  
  • Clicking on the "DREW" icon will give you another list of folders:
  • You might see different folders depending on the objects that have been assigned to yout, as applicable. Most new software packages will be under "Install Software". Clicking on that will bring you to icons for individual software packages:
  • You'll notice that there's more application folders for subclasses of applications, and icons for many packages. You will not see the same applications as above--which applications you see is dependent on who you are and what has been assigned to you.
  • You'll notice that some icons (in this case, the Microsoft Office XP icons) will be visible, but "grayed out." This means that while you have rights to the application, there's something that will prevent it from running. To see what, right-click on the icon, select "Properties", and then look at the "Requirements" tab. In this case, you can clearly see that the reason the Microsoft Office XP installation will not run on this computer is that it does not have at least 128 MB of RAM. You can also click the "General" tab and see a detailed description of the application if available.



Installing and Running Applications

Most Application Explorer icons only install the application, which is then available via the Start menu or desktop icons. Some run applications that need little configuration on your computer. Others will install the program the first time they are double-clicked, and run the application thereafter. Which a given icon does is dependent on how the software is designed. If an icon is install-only, repeated selections after the software is installed will do nothing.
If you've installed an application, and it is not working anymore for some reason, you can use the Application Explorer icons to reinstall the application. Simply right-click and select "Verify."
This will reinstall the application as if it were run for the first time. If you're still having problems with an application after that point, you should call the CNS Helpdesk.


Application Explorer Refresh Rate

Every 90 minutes, the Application Explorer will automatically refresh. This means it will scan the network for newer versions of software and place them into your Application Explorer. In the event of an update set to automatically run (e.g., virus signature updates) the application will start running automatically. This is done to ensure that security patches and virus updates are distributed to you in a timely fashion. In the event of a virus hitting the Internet, a few hours can make a tremendous difference in the amount of damage to your files and our ability to reduce impact to the network and our Internet connection. This also assures that you'll have the latest versions of software available for you to install.

Application Explorer Issues

In general, the Application Explorer should run and do its work without any configuration or intervention on your part. There may be times when this will not be the case.
A simple problem that often happens is that the Application Explorer icon is not visible on the desktop.
  • The first thing you should check is that it is not being covered up by another desktop icon. This is most easily accomplished by arranging your desktop icons by right-clicking on an empty spot on your desktop and selecting "Arrange Icons", and picking a way to arrange them. Selecting "Auto Arrange" will always ensure that icons never are placed on top of each other.
  • If you cannot find the Application Explorer folder (for instance, you may have inadvertently exited the Application Explorer) you may also try to manually start Application Explorer by going to the Start menu, selecting "Run" and simply typing in "naldesk" at the prompt. You should see the startup screen and the folder appear as if you were logging in.
  • If you are unable to use Application Explorer after trying the above suggestions, please call the CNS Helpdesk at x3205 for assistance.
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