Deployment Build Automation

We currently create Windows Server images for a variety of hardware platforms. Different projects require different software and different hardware requires different drivers etc. At the moment the team follows a step by step script which includes all the keystrokes and button presses to install Server 2003 and 30 or so applications such as .net , Adobe Reader, Nero, McAfee Anti Virus etc. The process takes an age to complete and i am looking to automate the process.

I am starting by looking at the Microsoft Unattended Install route but was wondering if you can advice on the best practice way for installing the apps and drivers?

We have tried using a scripting tool (ITScript) which basically uses x and y coordinates and "Click" commands and  its only really been semi successful.

Im sure there is a better way to do this and thought i would try here first, any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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antony_kibble<!-8D58D5C365651885FB5A77A120C8C8C6-->Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Tivoli, Altiris are the first that come to mind.

Could look at Microsoft's SCCM

SpecOps Deploy


As an aside, we use Tivoli here, I hate it.
Could try setting up a PXE ( pixie) Server

You could then host a number of templates for different hardware scenarios and install the correct one.
Jonesey007Author Commented:
Hi thanks for the info
I've read through it and dont understand how it could help us automate the installation of something like MySQL server for example.
I can create an unattended install for the OS, just don't know a clean way to interact with an applications installer so i can preprogram the user responses. IE press next, press confirm etc.
Im sure there must be an easy way to do this
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What you would need in that respect is a software deployment tool, where you can create the packages you require and deploy to specific devices. However they generally are not cheap and can't say I have come across a free solution.
Could try and look at this
Jonesey007Author Commented:
Great il take a look at that
Software Deployment Tool sounds exactly what i need, do you know the names of any of the expensive ones you mentioned. My company might not mind footing the bill
Maybe even easier and cheaper:
Windows Deployment Services:

Think of it as a way to:
1/ prepare a "master image" (gold image) of your environment (0S+apps). You do this once.
2/ publish this image so that multiple computers can remote install said environment. You don't have to bee too specific with the drivers set, since there can be a "driver discovery/installation" process (using sysprep /generalize before publishing your image)

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