FastTrack Scripting Host - the one-stop shop for scripting admins
FastTrack Scripting Host can easily replace your VBScript, PowerShell,
KiXtart and other scripting tools scripts. Create powerful
Windows 7 deployment scripts,
and anything else you use scripts for
- with a very short learning curve.
And you can compile your script into an exe file or
msi file by a single mouse click.
Scripts will be much easier to construct, considerably shorter and you can use the
pre-build graphical components
like splash screens and graphical menus that
allow you to create professionally looking interactive scripts. All this without requiring
any programming or graphics skills.
FastTrack Scripting Host also offers seamless encryption
and deployment. Passwords in scripts are always encrypted, and
scripts themselves can optionally be encrypted with your own custom private key. Deployment of the engine
and public encryption key is completely automatic, without requiring local admin rights on target
If you don't have a management system, there is also a zero-installation cloud based inventory system
that is free to use, when your clients are licensed. On this page some of the most important features
are summed up. For a full list of features, please consult the main documentation page.
By admins - for admins
FastTrack Scripting Host is based on real-world experiences and
tries to solve one of the major problems in the world of a systems administrator:
Scripting has always been a hybrid between development and administration.
While Microsoft moves scripting more and more towards actual programming, FastTrack Scripting Host heads in the
opposite direction. A good systems administrator is one that knows about infrastructure and configuration, not programming.
While FastTrack Scripting Host is a scripting language, it's so high-level and easy to use that it resembles configuration
more than actual programming. This is why the cornerstone paradigm of FastTrack Scripting Host has always been:
One operation - one script line, which is completely unmatched by other scripting languages. Please refer to
our Comparison Chart for examples.
To see this demonstrated live, consider joining our free weekly
The webinar is hosted by Binary Research International, the distributor of FastTrack Scripting Host and
also the inventor of Ghost, the world's first and most commonly used cloning software.
The webinar session lasts about an hour and allows you to ask questions at the end of the demonstration.
If you have a management system like SCCM, you can use FastTrack Scripting Host to handle tasks that SCCM cannot do. For example:
- Handle some installations outside SCCM based on Active Directory groups. More info
- Create public exe-based install packages for computers not available for servicing. More info
- Create SCCM deployable MSI packages from non-MSI based installers without using snapshots. More info
- Create SCCM deployable MSI based scheduled tasks that for example backup your SQL Servers. More info
- Add custom tasks and security to your MSI packages and repackage them back to MSI format. More info
- Automatically re-use computer names based on MAC addresses when re-installing operating systems. More info
- Add custom tasks to your operating system deployments. More info
- Handle scripting tasks that SCCM cannot do for you, like LAN and VPN logon scripts and laptop backups.
Watch the FastTrack Scripting Host walkthrough
Video tutorials are available here,
offering a quick-start to FastTrack Scripting Host.
Watch senior technical writer Steve Dodson from Binary
Research International go through the basic mechanics of FastTrack Scripting Host.
Steve will take you through the setup process, the editor, debugging, error handling,
setting up logon scripts, basic scripting tasks and more.
Press play on the video to the left to hear Binary Research International CEO Annette Dow
and Senior Technical Writer Steve Dodson explaining why FastTrack Scripting Host is
a must-have for any systems administrator. More videos are available
The next sections on this page will quickly go through a few of the areas you can cover with
FastTrack Scripting Host. For general documentation, please refer to our online documentation.
Or visit our forum pages to talk
to other people about FastTrack Scripting Host.
Logon scripts for your domain
One of the many things for which you can use FastTrack Scripting Host, is the creation of powerful logon
scripts, unlike anything you have seen before.
You can easily replace your logon scripts with FastTrack scripts and show your users some great looking graphics
while the script is running. And you don't have to deploy anything to the clients; just put our free
FastTrack Logon in your NetLogon share and point your Users' logon script to the exe. FastTrack Logon will automatically distribute
the FastTrack engine and all of your scripts to your clients and execute them. Your clients can now execute FastTrack scripts in general
without doing anything else. It's that simple! Take a look below.
The splash screen requires just one FastTrack script line:
It will resolve the users' full name from the nearest Domain Controller and you can even use your own company
logo if you wish.
While the user only sees the splash screen, you can do the actual work in the background, which could be
connecting shares and printers based on Active Directory groups or physical location (IP tables),
synchronizing corporate files to the users' profile, backing up files, setting user hive registry settings
based on installed applications, etc. All these things can be done with very simple script lines.
For instance, connecting a share based on group membership would look like this
If UserIsMemberOf SalesStaff Then
Take a look in the logonscript guide
for more details about Setting up logon scripts.
Backup and replication
One of about 250 available commands is SyncDir.
It's a lightning-fast data-synchronizing command to replicate or backup data.
In the movie in the previous section, a backup was performed with this single script line:
Then SyncDir [UserDocumentsDir],[UserHomeDrive]\Backup
This would automatically once a day resolve the root of the user's documents folder, resolve the user's network share drive
and synchronize changes, ensuring a quick full backup of the users' documents. All with just a single,
understandable script line.
In the example below, a script is constructed to synchronize over 37000 files, only copying those files that have been changed.
In a typical scenario, few files are actually changed from one execution to the next, and synchronization with SyncDir will
only take a few of seconds to execute.
Most inventory systems come with a long and troublesome setup procedure, a heavy price tag
and require you to have internal infrastructure to store and maintain the inventory data.
FastTrack Scripting Host 7 comes with a cloud-based inventory system that
can be set up in minutes and requires no internal infrastructure and is free for licensed customers. By issuing just
one simple command in for example your logon script or through group policies, your
network's inventory information is automatically uploaded in encrypted format from
the executing computers to your personal FastTrack Inventory web pages, which you can
then access from your laptop, iPad or mobile device.
The inventory system uses the FastTrack Scripting Host engine to collect hardware, software and
user information and you can add your own script-based custom information.
In other words - it is the only inventory system that gives you the flexibility
of true script-based inventory. And there is no additional cost using FastTrack Inventory as long
as your executing computers are licensed and within a maintenance period. Click
here to read more or here
for a live demo.
Windows 7 deployments
FastTrack Scripting Host can help you to make custom modifications to unattended Windows deployments.
Often what is offered out-of-the-box with unattended deployments is not enough to avoid manual
steps after the installation is complete. Actions like creating additional accounts or modifying
client security can easily be scripted with simple FastTrack Scripting Host commands.
FastTrack Scripting Host can also help you build additional logic into the installation process.
By running a simple script as part of the installation process, you can control client naming,
ensure reuse of machine names when reinstalling computers and you can place computers into
specific Organizational Units.
You can also let FastTrack Scripting Host take over the domain joining process to avoid plain
text passwords in your answer files, opening up for unsecure domain joins or pre-staging computers.
Check out our Windows 7 deployment section for a 30 script line example that includes
all of the above.
Script your Active Directory
For most admins, scripting the Active Directory is too complex, but with FastTrack Scripting Host's help, Active Directory complexities are a thing of the past.
There are more than 500 pre-built commands, functions, conditions and collections in version 6, of which 130 are specifically designed to
interact with Active Directory.
Below are eight examples out of 60 Active Directory commands to perform common operations. It's so simple that everyone can now script the Active Directory.
Check out this example
of a HelpDesk application, that combines Active Directory functionality with
the built-in graphical user interfaces to produce a Windows-like application, created solely with script lines (see screenshot further down).
Create a user account:
Set the description field of a user:
SetUserDescription AcmeUser,Test user
Delete a user account:
Unlock a user account:
Move a user to another OU:
MoveUser AcmeUser,Acme Sales Europe
Add a user to a group:
AddUserToGroup AcmeUser,Acme Sales
Remove a user from a group:
RemoveUserFromGroup AcmeUser,Acme Sales
Create a computer account with Workstation trust:
Connectivity scripts - offline logon scripts
Your domain enables you to execute scripts when computers are on the company LAN. But for portable computers, this is actually
not enough, if you think about it. You need to control portable computers when they are not
on the company LAN too.
As a supplement to logon scripts, we offer you our free SmartDock connectivity tool.
When SmartDock is started, it detects when the computer changes an IP address and a script is then executed without user intervention.
This means that, for example, when a computer is booted or resumes from standby, connects to VPN or a wireless network or any other scenario
where the computer changes IP settings, it triggers a script execution as the current user. You could then set or remove proxy settings and
connect company shares in case the computer has just resumed from standby on the company LAN. If you have a proxy server, this free tool
is an absolute must, eliminating the need to rely on the quirky IE autodetection.
Check out the SmartDock section for more details.
FastTrack commands allow you to script installations with ease, as demonstrated in this article
automatically enables you to query installation status of any application anywhere you want. In the logon script for example,
you can then use this information to set per-user settings or manipulate machine settings based on actually-installed applications.
You can also use the information to determine whether a mandatory application like Microsoft Office has been installed on a client yet. In case it has not, you
could use the single script line command SmallSplash to display a nice splash screen, while installing the application in the background:
You may already have a management system like Microsoft System Center. If you do, you can use it to distribute FastTrack installation
packages, but if this is all you use your management system for, or you simply don't have one, there is another approach.
Take a look in the Installations section
for details on how to distribute software with
or without a Management System with just a few script lines. In the article, you will also find a template script of just 7 scripts
lines that will install and uninstall any MSI package, including validation that the installation or un-installation was successful.
If you do not have a management system, you can use FastTrack Inventory
your software installations and keep track of your licensing.
You can also repackage an installation script and binaries into a single exe file with your own custom "boot" script for off-site computers - and you can
repackage your script and non-MSI binaries into a single MSI file for management system compliant distribution. Please refer to this article
for more information on creating exe file and this article
for information on building your own MSI files.
Administrative Tasks like replicating data between servers with the SyncDir command or creating an Active Directory user can be scripted easily with FastTrack Scripting Host. There are built-in
menus and icons that can be easily referenced to create menus. Below is an example that prompts for a desired operation and then jumps to the specific part
of the script based on the choice. Click here
to see the full script.
FastTrack Scripting Host comes with a completely customizable editor with
Visual Studio-like drag-able panels, syntax highlighting
and code-completion. Writing scripts is very easy and a Context Helper senses
what you are doing and explains what is under the cursor. Check out our
Getting Started Guide
for more information.
In the press...
Windows IT Pro Magazine Product Review: 5 out of 5 rating
"It's easy to include attractive GUI elements in FastTrack scripts, beyond the basic dialog boxes and text input that VBScript offers ...
Another powerful feature is the ability to distribute scripts as Windows Installer (.msi) or standard .exe files. Although interesting in its own right, this ability results in
a much more intriguing capability: to repackage -- or wrap -- software installers as .msi files without using snapshots. If you've ever created an .msi installer file from
before-and-after system snapshots, for use with a software distribution system such as Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), then you know how hit-and-miss
the results can be. Repackaging generally requires a lot of testing and a certain amount of experience. FastTrack scripts can be used to repackage programs without bypassing the installer
logic, which is key to reliable deployment."
Read full review
Windows IT Pro Awards
FastTrack Scripting Host has been listed by the community as hot product in the "Best Scripting Tool" category in the 2010 and 2011 polls.
We would like to thank everyone in the community, who voted for us.
Microsoft Technet Magazine
"Automation is a key element of successful systems administration. Why go through all those steps
if you can just write a script to do it for you? There are a number of powerful scripting tools out there, including Windows PowerShell and VBScript, but they all
have a bit of a learning curve. FastTrack Scripting Host from FastTrack Software aims to make it easier to create scripts."
Read more on TechNet
Windows IT Pro Windows Scripting Editors Buyer's Guide
"Scripting editor offerings fall within a spectrum comprising at one end lightweight products ... to
higher-end products such as FastTrack Scripting Host, which offers a fuller complement of editing capabilities plus other features."