The Best way to deploy applications

Hi, I am sure this topic has been talked about more than I can count, but I was wondering how others are deploying their applications in their environment.

So, how are you deploying applications like Office 2007, Visio 2007, Visual Studio 2008, etc.?

I know there plenty of different ways to deploy apps...but I am looking at deploying apps through Group Policies & scripting.  Because I want to have the ability to have a better handle on managing apps as well as updating them too.

I am looking for the best, most flexible and efficient way to deploy software to lab computers in my college network environment.

Anyone see a better way or an issue with my approach?

Thanks for your time.

Bob
dgriffit55Asked:
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LauraEHunterMVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Group Policy - bundled with the OS, less flexible than paid products like SMS/SCCM/Altiris.  I.e., you can only deploy software on computer startup/user logon, not on any more granular or scheduled basis.  Limited reporting compared to paid products.

MS and third-party deployment tools: SMS (now SCCM), Altiris, LANDesk, more competitors in this space than you can shake a stick at.  More flexibility and control over software deployment than you get with GP, but they do cost.
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dgriffit55Author Commented:
So, would you say that deploying using GP with startup scripts and other such scripting might be a great alternative to the paid products?  Also, does GP with startup scripting limit your update path with such products as Office 2007, Visio 2007, Visual Stuido 2008, etc.?  What I mean is if I do not have a WSUS server setup yet can I still update manually through Microsoft Updates on each individual machine until I can get a WSUS server running and automate the process?

Thanks again for all you help.

Bob
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LauraEHunterMVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As I said above, GP is functional but not as flexible as the paid tools. If you can live with the limited reporting capabilities, and can live with restricting your software deployment scenarios to computer startup and user logon, it can be a viable alternative.

Software distribution via GP is not tied to WSUS in any way; a lack of the latter will not prevent the former.
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Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

 
dgriffit55Author Commented:
So, if you don't mind me asking.  What are you currently using to deploy in your environment?

Reason, I brought up the WSUS server was that I read in my research on deploying Office 2007 via GP was it is limited to using something like WSUS to deploy updates & patches to the software.  Maybe I read it wrong, which is possible.  After several hours of looking at a monitor all day, things begin to blur and such.

Thanks again.

Bob
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LauraEHunterMVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Most environments I work with are using a combination of SCCM and Shavlik.
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dgriffit55Author Commented:
Thanks for all your help.

Have a great day.

Bob
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