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How to Create and Deploy a Software Package in Essentials

Updated: April 14, 2010

Applies To: System Center Essentials 2010

How to Create and Deploy a Software Package

To deploy software to managed computers, you must first create a software package and then approve the software package for deployment on computer groups.

The New Software Package Wizard facilitates software deployment. If, after finishing the package wizard you approve the deployment, the deployment begins immediately. If you complete the wizard without approving the deployment, the software package is created, but the software deployment does not start on the managed computers until you specifically approve it.

When deploying a Windows Installer application, if the agent on the managed computer detects that the deployed application is already installed, it does not reinstall the application.

ImportantImportant
If you are deploying a version of Microsoft Office to an Application Install Point (AIP), and if you deploy a version of Office that is not aligned with a major release such as RTM, SP1, SP2 (specifically, if you install a major release with some updates applied), then Office updates cannot be properly detected or downloaded for the AIP afterward.

To create a software package and approve the deployment

  1. In the Essentials console, click Software.

  2. In the Software Overview pane, in the Tasks list, click Create new package to start the New Software Package Wizard.

  3. Continue through the New Software Package Wizard.

    noteNote
    When you specify the path and Setup file name, the file name, including the file path, must be less than 260 characters long, and the folder name must be less than 248 characters long. You can change the structure of folders so they are not nested as deeply or shorten the folder names until all file paths are shorter than 248 characters long.

    When using executable (.exe) files, the Target System Types page of the wizard prompts you if the software should be installed on all managed computers or on specific systems, letting you select operating system, architecture, and locale. When using Windows Installer (.msi) files, you can specify installation and uninstall properties, but not the operating system type. Supported operating system information is contained in the Windows Installer file.

  4. On the final page of the wizard when software package creation is in progress, select the Show deployment options when this wizard closes check box, and then click Finish.

  5. In the Add and Remove Approvals dialog box, select the computer groups that contain the computers to which you want to deploy the software, or click Create New Group to create a new computer group.

  6. Select Publish Update(s) to ‘Add/Remove Programs’ if you want the program to appear in the list of installed programs on target computers.

  7. Select Set a deadline for this group to schedule the deployment for a specific time, and then click OK.

To approve a previously created software package for deployment

  1. In the Essentials console, click Software.

  2. In the Software pane, expand Software Packages, and then click All Software Packages.

  3. In the All Software Packages pane, select the software package that you want to approve for deployment.

  4. In the Actions pane, click Add and Remove Approvals.

  5. In the Add and Remove Approvals dialog box, select the computer groups that contain the computers to which you want to deploy the software, or click Create New Group to create a new computer group.

  6. Select Publish Update(s) to ‘Add/Remove Programs’ if you want the program to appear in the list of installed programs on target computers.

  7. Select Set a deadline for this group to schedule the deployment for a specific time, and then click OK.

How to Create a Software Package That Contains a Response File

Many software installation programs must receive input from end users in the form of responses to messages. A silent installation is one that does not prompt the user for input. The silent installation gets input from a response file at run time. A response file is a text file that contains configuration and setup parameters for the products and components that are being installed. The format of response files resembles that of an .ini file, but with an .iss extension.

To create a response file when the executable setup file supports relative paths

  1. Create the response file for the Setup program.

  2. Copy the response file to the same folder as the Setup files.

  3. In the command-line parameters for the package, specify the response file name. For example, in this example you are packaging a TEST-Install.iss, setup.log, and TEST.exe setup program together. The following code example shows how you specify the file names in the command-line parameters.

    c:\test_temp> TEST.exe /s /f1"TEST-Install.iss" /f2"setup.log"
    

To create a response file when the executable Setup file supports absolute paths

  1. Create the response file for the Setup program.

  2. Copy the configuration file to a local network location. The computers on which you are installing software should have a drive mapped to this location.

  3. In the command-line parameters for the package, specify the response file name. For example, if you are packaging a TEST-Install.iss, setup.log, and TEST.exe Setup program together, you can specify the file names in the command-line parameters as follows, assuming that the mapped drive is the Z: drive:

    c:\test_temp> TEST.exe /s /f1"Z:\test_temp\response\TEST-Install.iss" /f2"Z:\test_temp\setup.log"
    

See Also

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