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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Deploying Apps in Technical; Hey, How should we go about deploying apps across the network? We are going over the network formatting all the ...
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    Deploying Apps

    Hey,

    How should we go about deploying apps across the network? We are going over the network formatting all the PCs and want to do things a bit more logically. I was thinking of just deploying MSIs through group policy, but many of the programs that need deploying are in .exe formats so how would I go about deploying these? I saw people were just using RIS to deploy images with the software already installed, but these is a bit "clunky" when you want to go and deploy more apps during the year!

    Thanks

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    There is a doofer called the MSI silent install wrapper which quite a few people round here use.

    Another option would be to make a GPO that runs a script which checks to see if some software is installed and if not installs it.

    You could also use PSEXEC and some scripting install stuff.

    Just bare in mind all the above are dependent on having a 'Silent' install option. These can sometimes be tricky.

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    rh91uk's Avatar
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    You could create snapshots using Wininstall LE and create an MSI to deploy the exe that way with before and after snapshots.

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    We use some software called PRISM it takes a snap shot of a machine you then install the software or make what ever changes to the machine you want finish the snapshot so creating a package that incorporates all your changes. This can then be distributed to all your machines in the network very quickly.I have been using this for about five years now and this has saved me loads of time. Also when you rebuild a machine as long as you keep the same name it re-deploys any software associated with that machine.We purchased this through a company called CSE although you can get this directly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rh91uk View Post
    You could create snapshots using Wininstall LE and create an MSI to deploy the exe that way with before and after snapshots.
    If you're doing this download VirtualBox, it's the easiest way of having a 'clean' machine for building packages on. It's also good for testing.

    I would prefer to use a silent install if I can, the above method simply duplicates what the installer program did in one given situation. If you take this approach test every package you create on a machine you can reimage easily and never deploy software to a different OS from the one the package was created with.

    Some software can also be ran from a share so you only need to deploy a shortcut. Other packages (I find open source/freeware is best for this) will only require the files they place in program files and maybe some registry entries to associate file types and preconfigure some settings. I tend to build MSIs for these using advanced installer. The free version is fine, it doesn't let you use the file association function, so you need to work out which registry keys to add, but that's not hard.

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  7. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    deKay (10th August 2009)

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    +1 for Prism, but get it directly and use their deployment manager.

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    Seems like the most sensible option. At the moment, I have an "install" user that runs a script on login that does MSI, silent or AutoIT-scripted installs of everything we want installed around the school. I'm still halfway through updating a bunch of these at the moment, but when I'm done I'll post the details somewhere so others can see all the silent install options for assorted applications.

    --
    David Hicks

  10. Thanks to dhicks from:

    john (10th August 2009)

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    I've used Prism before which I found to be quite good for the price.
    These days I use Altiris Deployment solution (apps + os deployment) which isn't quite as cheap, but has some extra features which we make full use of.

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    deKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Not seen this before - just tried it with a test deploy of Firefox and was amazed! Will certainly look at it for some other software deployment.



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