Deploying an update using Active Directory

Is there a way where you can deploy an update of an application installed on the server to all users, through Active Directory or any other way in Windows? How do you do it? Thanks!
Bob MacphersonAsked:
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Deploying software to clients.

In a domain environment you can deploy software via an MSI file and policy.

How to assign software to a specific group by using a Group Policy (2K)
HOW TO: Assign Software to a Specific Group By Using a Group Policy in the Windows Server 2003 Family

This is fine if the application you want to deploy has an MSI file if it does not

HOW TO: Create Third-Party Microsoft Installer Package (MSI)
depending on the manufacturer, they may have documentation on the best way to deploy the update.  Some will actually package the program with different switches available, so that you can push it out through batch files.  Toughest part about deploying to multiple uers is that you want it to be as "silent" as possible, meaning requiring no interaction from the end users.  Otherwise, when it pops up, they'll just cancel it.  That is where these switches I'm talking about come in handy.  Hope this helps....JK
If you are looking at deploying ServicePacks and critical updates, look at WSUS server from Microsoft.  It is free and very useful.  It essentially allows you to control anything available through Windows Update.  You can configure your workstations to look at your WSUS server for updates using Group Policy.

If you are talking about a single patch, the easiest way is to write a script that installs the patch silently, then assign the script using Group Policy.  Almost all Microsoft patches have a silent switch.  It is ussually /q but not always. Don't forget to remove the script from the GPO once you are sure all of the workstations have recieved the patch, otherwise the patch will be installed every time a workstation reboots.

If you are talking about upgrading an application, Jandakel2 is correct.  Do it the way the manufacturer suggests.  If they don't have a way to do it, you might be wasting your time if it is a one time deployment.
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