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How do you do....it? Thread, How do you...deploy software? in Technical; Hi, How do you deploy software, it is just a real nightmare here!...
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    How do you...deploy software?


    How do you deploy software, it is just a real nightmare here!

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    We use Prism Deploy. Never had any problems with it, though it can get a bit pricey. On the admin side of things I use MSI- and it's part of the Intellimirror services in Windows Server so costs are rolled in. It isn't perfect and not all applications can be pushed out easily, but it's worth a look at both options.


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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    Main methods seem to be either:

    a) use ghost and build an image with standard software on. The either add machine specific things after or deploy via MSI's and AD.

    b) use RIS and deploy everything as MSI's and AD.

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    There are those that seek the third way and use RIPREP to get the worst of both worlds!! I'm only saying it like that because I could never make it work!

    Seriously though, using RIPREP, you can make a workstation build including software and then deploy the whole caboodle using RIS. My main issue with this method is that if you find the build to be corrupt in some way and you can't fix it, there is no way back other than to recreate the complete build from scratch. I favour a basic RIS build (with drivers only) and then deploy software with MSI.

    Most MSI based apps can be deployed via AD with little or no tweaking. Many more apps which can be silently installed (e.g. setup.exe /s) can be deployed as pseudo-MSI files using Windows Installer Wrapper Wizard. This leaves a fairly small proportion that need to be 'repackaged'. Good repackaging tools are not cheap. In my opinion, Wise Package Studio is one of the best. A possible alternative if you are handy with a script is to automate a non-silent installation using AutoIT. The resultant package can then be deployed as a pseudo-MSI again.

    Until all software vendors supply software in MSI format (or Altiris give away Wise Package Studio), I don't think there will be a perfect solution.

    Recently though, another possibility has come to light in the form of Altiris SVS (Software Virtualisation Services). It's quite clever. Essentially, each piece of software you want to deploy is 'repackaged' into a virtual layer which can be switched on and off at will. When the layer is switched on, the software appears to be installed. When the layer is switched off, the software is gone. It ought to be possible to repackage all applications as virtual layers, deploy them to PCs using simple batch scripts and them activate them with a startup script. The basic SVS tools are free so you can experiment to your heart's content. Having invested quite a lot of time and money in repackaging though, I'm staying with it for now.

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    Another vote for Prism. Using Prism Packager. Can be tricky with older apps due to the fact it doesn't capture folder permisions. But other than that work very well.

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    Have a look at the eduGeek wiki under Essential Software and Network Management (Software Deployment)

    As others have said, MSI via AD is best way to go. There is also the poor man's option of psexec to run command line installers on multiple remote machines.
    WPKG is another avenue for doling out commandline installers. It doesn't appear to have a push mechanism if you are supporting Windows 98/ME.

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    We use RIS to do our basic installs and get the base image done.

    See here for setup and scripts used for programs:

    Any additional software required would be sent out via AD using GPO and MSI's, in some case a new package may be required due to legacy installers.

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    Re: How do you...deploy software?

    I use RIS and then Deploy as much as possible via GPO, but for stuff that won't or I have not got the time to re-package, I just manually install it.

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