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Snap-Ins

A snap-in is the basic component of an MMC console. Snap-ins always work from within a console and they do not run by themselves. When you install a component that has a snap-in associated with it on a computer running Windows, the snap-in is available to anyone creating a console on that computer (unless restricted by a user policy).

Stand-Alone and Extension Snap-Ins

MMC supports two types of snap-ins:

  • Stand-alone snap-ins (snap-ins)
  • Extension snap-ins (extensions)

Add a snap-in to a console tree first, without adding another item. An extension is always added to a snap-in or to another extension. When extensions are enabled for a snap-in, they operate on the objects controlled by the snap-in, such as a computer, printer, modem, or other device. When a snap-in or extension is added to a console, it may appear as a new item in the console tree, or it may add context menu items, toolbars, property pages, or wizards.

Adding Snap-Ins

Add snap-ins one-at-a-time, or many-at-a-time along with other items. Multiple instances of a single snap-in may be added to the same console to adjust different computers or to repair a damaged console.

Each time a new instance of snap-in is added to a console, any variables for the snap-in are set at default values until configured otherwise. For example, when a snap-in is configured to manage a remote computer, the unique configuration is not transferred when adding a second instance of the snap-in. The second instance will be set to default values.

As a general rule, snap-ins can be added only to the local computer you are using. In Windows 2000, however, a computer that is part of a domain, can download any snap-ins that are not locally installed, but that are available in the Active Directory directory service.

For more information about distributing software by using Active Directory in Windows 2000, see Windows 2000 Server Help.

Taskpad Views and Tasks

Taskpad views are pages to which you can add views of the details pane of a console, as well as shortcuts to functions both inside and outside a given console. A taskpad view might make it easier for novice users to perform their jobs.

Use these shortcuts to run tasks such as starting wizards, opening property pages, performing menu commands, running command lines, and opening Web pages.

Configure a taskpad view so that it contains all the tasks a given user might need to perform a specific function. In addition, multiple taskpad views can be created in a console, so that tasks can be grouped by function or by user.

Here is an example:

The user is required to create a document in Microsoft Word (doc), then create and review an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) copy of the document. Add appropriate shortcuts to a taskpad view and then hide the console tree. The user can begin using the applications before they are familiar with the structure of the system directory tree. You may also use taskpad views to make complex tasks easier. For instance, if a user must frequently perform a task that involves multiple snap-ins and other tools, you can present tasks in a single location that open or run the necessary dialog boxes, property pages, command lines, and scripts.

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