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SMS 2003 Software distribution

Posted on 2006-05-31
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Hi All,

Does anyone know of or can tell me them selves, of good resources to explain the software distribution process in SMS 2003. I have been going round and round in circles reading docs and trying things out, it just doesn't seem to be a very straight forward or intuitive process.

I have managed to get an application to be advertised to a client, but the client has to initiate the install, I want the whole process to be invisible to the users, so i can install new pieces of software as and when they are needed.

I am using an EASYZIP.MSI file to test this. If you 'run the advertised program from control panel on the client it installs fine.
I have set the assigment to be mandatory at Logon, but nothing happens.

Any help at all woulkd be really apreciated, this is really starting to annoy me now! Why can;t it be simple!

Cheers


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Question by:ian_chard
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by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 16797882
"I have set the assigment to be mandatory at Logon, but nothing happens."  Be careful in your testing...if the package has already been installed once on a client, it won't re-run the package....unless you right client the advertisement and choose RERUN.

I usually, assign advertisements to machines (not users).  It just makes more sence in my environment...  So, I create advertisements for collections of machines.  Making the Advertisement MANDITORY will make it so the user doesn't have an option to install or not install.

The Schedule tab of an Advertisement is a bit tricky...  The Start Time designates only that the advertisement will start to be made available to the clients.  The Start time is NOT a kick off time for running the program.  

The Maditory Assignment time is a kick off time for running the program...  So, if you want the program to run at 5:00pm, the Manditory Assignment time is what you set to perform this action.

For your testing, I would create a new package with your easyzip.msi...  And then create an advertisment for this package.  Make it manditory.. and see if it runs.  (as an alternative, right click your already created advertisement and choose RERUN.)

here are some videos:  http://blogcastrepository.com/blogcasts/37/sms/default.aspx

Also, search the web for "SMS 2003" webcast...there are more free videos on SMS.
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by:ian_chard
ID: 16798356
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I have tried right clicking the advertisement, but the re-run option is greyed out, i only get the option to disable the program.

I have un installed EasyZip from the client machine and created a whole new package and advertisment, using the software distribution wizard but still no joy!

I am using the built in 'Per system unattended' program.

I would like to distribute software to machines and not users as well...

I have tried setting a mandatory assigment time..... Time comes and nothing happens...

I will try once more from the beginning. Is using the software distribution wizard a good idea?
Everything else appears to work correctly with the install.  For info i am running in Advanced security mode and there is only one SMS server in the site.

Basically what i am ideally looking for, (Whic i can't find) is a guide that says exactly what to do step by step!

If i post what i am doing you might be able to see where i am going wrong.....
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by:ian_chard
ID: 16798788
OK, I have uninstalled the easyzip app from ythe client, Restarted and deleted both the package and the advertisement from the SMS server.
Here is what i do :

Start the distribute software wizard.

Select 'Create new package from a definition'
Navigate to and select the EasyZip.MSI file.
Select ' This package does not contain any source files' (????) (Not sure what this means, the book doesn't explain very clearly)
Select 'Yes' to creating an Advertisement,
Select 'Per-system unattended' as the program
Select the relevant collection to advertise to. (Previously i have checked that the collection is up to date)
Name the advertisement and give description.
Select only to advertise to the selected collection and not sub collections.
Start advertising the program straight away and set it not to expire.
Finish the wizard.

Right click the advertisement and go to properties
Select Schedule tab.
Assign a mandatory schedule to start in 2 mins time....


Wait patiently for 2 mins and see what happens!

Nope, nothing happens... Must be missing something.....
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NJComputerNetworks earned 2000 total points
ID: 16798865
http://blogcastrepository.com/blogcasts/37/sms/entry356.aspx

http://blogcastrepository.com/blogcasts/37/sms/entry351.aspx

http://blogcastrepository.com/blogcasts/37/sms/entry349.aspx



Start the distribute software wizard.

Select 'Create new package from a definition'
Navigate to and select the EasyZip.MSI file.
Select ' This package does not contain any source files' (????) (Not sure what this means, the book doesn't explain very clearly)  {YOU NEED TO COPY THE EASYZIP.MSI TO THIS SOURCE DIRECTORY...  IF THE PACKAGE CONTAINS EXE OR MSI FILES, YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS AVAILABLE TO THE CLIENTS}
Select 'Yes' to creating an Advertisement,
Select 'Per-system unattended' as the program
Select the relevant collection to advertise to. (Previously i have checked that the collection is up to date)
Name the advertisement and give description.
Select only to advertise to the selected collection and not sub collections.
Start advertising the program straight away and set it not to expire.
Finish the wizard.

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by:ian_chard
ID: 16840453
Thanks for your help, I have managed to get the software to install now.
Still don't think SMS is the most self explanatory of systems..... Oh well!

Cheers
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ian_chard
ID: 16870166
Hello again,

Just wondering if you had any links or instructions on the Software Update side of things.... Have hit a brick wall again.

Been following the manuals trying to get SMS to install windows updates, get so far and nothing happens again.

Any help would be much appreciated, i am getting really fed up with it now, luckily its only a trial, have to write a report about whether i think we should use it, i must admit, i think i am going to say no....

Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 16870383
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 16870452
Note:  SMS 2003 is only really needed for big corps...  If you are a smaller company it really isn't needed.  SMS takes some time to learn but has extreme functionality.  It is very flexible...the downside, is someone has to take the time to learn it in order to see the benefit.  Although, its very effecient, highly supported, widely used...its not the type of product that is very intuitive... but has many uses.

There is a learning curve... normally is an analysis of the project, a training budget should be discussed to at least get one person trained and certified on the product.

Plugs-in and add-on for SMs 2003:  http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/downloads/2003/default.mspx

You can also search yahoo for "sms 2003" webcast to find more videos on SMS.  <-- another big benefit to SMS is that you can find trainging videos for free on the internet...

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