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Deploying software through Active Directory Solution

Posted on 2005-03-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hey guys what i am wanting to do is deploy all our users software setups through Active Directory. I have broken down every dept into their own OU and have their permissions set accordingly. Now what i am wanting to do is create software setups for the specific OUs. For example our Accounting Dept uses programs called SSI,Kreg,Office XP,Iseries client,  Computer Associates Antivirus and Acrobat Reader. What i would like to do is create a package in Active directory so that whenever we load an OS onto a PC for a new employee or something that all we have to do is add them to the appropriate OU and have all the software load automatically on the boot up. Some programs are no problem that have MSI install files with them but some like the ISeries Client and Acrobat reader dont have and MSI install file so i would like to create an MSI for those. What is my best solution. I mean i know how to deploy them through AD but my problem is do i want to sit 10 different MSI files out there that are all seperate or is there a way to make on large MSI package with all of their programs and just add that one large MSI file to be pushed down. It seems like there would be a way to make one large MSI package that contained like all the programs that my Accouting Dept uses that would contain all the programs i listed above (SSI,Kreg,Office XP,Iseries client,  Computer Associates Antivirus and Acrobat Reader). If my only choice is to make all the programs into seperate MSI files and sit each indiviual one out there in AD how would i make the programs like I Series client into an MSI package? What program do you recommend?
Basically i am looking to the experts for the best and most efficient way of doing this.
Thanks a million for you guys time. You make working in this field alot easier on newbies like myself
Jim
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Question by:jjeffords
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by:
Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 13579438
I wouldn't package them all in - that would be wasteful in terms of time and possibly problematic.  What happens when you have to upgrade one product?  You rebuild the WHOLE THING?  Deploy each product through a seperate GPO.  That's what I would say is best.

As for creating MSIs, there are several methods around. Have a look here:
http://www.installsite.org/pages/en/msi/authoring.htm
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Expert Comment

by:valicon
ID: 13579552
I definately would not package them all in, this will cause you many issues, both now at the onset of installation and then later down the road in terms of upgrades, changes etc.  I would have a seperate MSI for each app that you plan to deploy, this will keep you in control in the event that you want to upgrade or delete just one app, then you will have the ability to do so...it is much more modular. As far as Adobe Acrobat is concerned, there is an MSI but to get to in you need to use the InstallShield Tuner for Acrobat 7.0 ( I am assuming that you will be deploying the latest version):

Get it here....

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2709

Using this you will be able to create a transform and you will also find the MSI file. I deplyed 7 a few weeks ago using this and I used the same for 6.1, it works great.  As far as CA Anti-virus is concerned, why don't you use Remote Install as opposed to deploying your AV solution via GPO?  
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Author Comment

by:jjeffords
ID: 13590668
Which software would you recommend for packaging into an MSI?
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