Some days ago, Microsoft released Standard User Analyzer,a free tool for software vendors, developers and IT professionals who want to diagnose applications running with standard-user rights.
As a system administrator, you often want to know if an application works correctly with standard-user rights. Before you deploy a new program, it is common practice to log on as a normal user to check if any problem occurs. With Microsoft's Standard User Analyzer you can theoretically run this test while you are logged on as an administrator.
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This tool is supposed to tell you, the rights an application requires. For this, you launch the application using Standard User Analyzer. After performing typical tasks, you close the application again. The Microsoft tool logs all the activities of the application, i.e. what files were accessed, what Registry Keys, etc.
I tested this on a Windows XP computer using Internet Explorer 7 as my test application and on a Windows Server 2003 with Internet Explorer 6. In both cases, I got tons of error messages, many of them telling me that Administrator's rights were required to run Internet Explorer.
Well, we all know that IE works perfectly fine with standard-user rights. It is highly probable that I misinterpreted the output. You can check the screenshot, maybe you are smarter. I think, most of the messages can only be interpreted by developers.
It is time-consuming to check every application in your network with this tool anyway. There are simply too many cryptic messages. However, if you realize that an application has problems in a standard user environment, you can try to find out, what went wrong using this tool.
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Standard User Analyzer works with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. Before you install it make sure that you have the .Net Framework 2.0 and Microsoft Application Verifier on your testing machine.