Tip: 5 Tools to Plan for and Deploy Internet Explorer 9

It is important to enforce policies and actively manage desktop clients throughout your network—even when it comes to upgrading Web browsers. This is particularly important for maintaining security and ensuring users continue to have access to the Web-based apps they rely on. There are many tools available to help you assess systems throughout your organization, plan for compatibility issues, and ensure systems are configured as you desire. Here are five handy tools that can help you plan for and deploy Internet Explorer 9.

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) Version 5.6
ACT includes the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool. Although ACT 5.6 was released prior to Internet Explorer 9, the current version of the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool (which is included as part of ACT) can be used to identify potential compatibility issues with Internet Explorer 9. This includes compatibility issues with applications, add-ons, and Web sites your organization may rely on.


Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.5
As an IT pro, you are probably already familiar with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. This is an agentless assessment tool that will provide a report about systems throughout your organization. The information it gathers includes details about hardware, installed operating systems, applications, and even installed browsers. Before you deploy Internet Explorer 9 throughout your organization, you may want to assess your infrastructure to check for system requirements, compatibility issues, and so on. This can help prevent any potential surprises that would result in numerous calls to your helpdesk. Note that there are different Internet Explorer 9 installations for different versions of Windows.

Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) 9
IEAK9 includes a customization wizard that allows you to prepare customized installations of Internet Explorer 9. You can configure Internet Explorer with the settings and options as you desire (hiding certain tools, specifying security options, adding default RSS feeds, and so on) and then create a Windows Installer (MSI) package for enterprise deployment.


Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)
If you already have a system image you use for deploying preconfigured Windows 7 systems throughout your organization, there is no need to create a new image from scratch. You can use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM), which is included with WAIK, to add the necessary components to an existing system image. Note that you will need to download the correct version of the offline installer and use /x command-line option to extract the update.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010
If you use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and have a deployment share, you can add the Internet Explorer 9 update package (and other required packages) to your share. When deploying systems in the future, MDT will include these updates during installation. Note that you will need to download the correct version of the offline installer and use /x command-line option to extract the update.

Tip by Matt Graven, TechNet Tips Editor.