SCCM packaging complexity

How involved in packaging software for deployment via SCCM?

We have been told by our 3rd party outsourcing provider it will take the engineer 2 days to package a small applicaiton (which communicates with a NAS server) and deploy to 10 laptops (running windows 7). Is this an accurate amount of time? Is it a complex task to package software? What does the process involve? How long does it take?
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pma111Asked:
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Joseph DalyCommented:
It depends on what you mean by package? What format is the software in exe, msi, something else?

SCCM is actually pretty easy to distribute software if you can install it silently by command line then you should be able to deploy it by SCCM very easily.

I would say 2 days seems like a really long time unless the installer is very poorly written or requires customization.

Post some more details and I can try to help more.
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pma111Author Commented:
Not sure what the term packaging means - thats the term they use, packing prior to deployment for SCCM. The setup is an *.exe I am not an SCCM or software deployment techie so assumed it was a common phrase used for such work.
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Joseph DalyCommented:
Yea it is a term used with SCCM whenever you deploy software with SCCM it is called a package but all that really means is the files and command lines needed to install the software.

Have you ever installed this EXE file before? If so what information if any do you need to provide in the GUI?

If you run the .exe with /? for the help does it have options availble to specify install options or a quiet install?

Some software that doesnt have command line switches available could be a little bit trickier to install which might add to the time needed to get the install working.

What is the name of the program you are trying to install?
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pma111Author Commented:
I've installed it manually, vew few configuration questions. When running the command setup.exe /? it just flew into the installation.
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Joseph DalyCommented:
Ok so that may make it a little bit more difficult. If there are no command line options available and there are configuration settings that are required during the install your consultants may need to create/provide answer files, config files, registry settings, etc.
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pma111Author Commented:
Thanks for the feedback.
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pma111Author Commented:
If packaging is such a long winded process, is it not easier to just install the software manually - as it only takes about 10 mins per PC? Why would the IT section prefer deployment via SCCM and "packaging"? Whats the benefits?
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pma111Author Commented:
I can see the benefits if say you are  deployment to 500 machines, but 10?
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Joseph DalyCommented:
10 machines yea you probably could have it done quicker if you remoted into each machine.

I personally wouldnt waste my time with SCCM for 10 machines. In our environment we manage 1500 machines so its worth the effort.
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Joseph DalyCommented:
SCCM is useful if you have a lot of machines, machines that are spread over several sites or geographical locations, if you want to be able to track your installs and client configuration.
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pma111Author Commented:
Can you just elaborate how its actually done via the command line? And how installers with command line options make it easier to deploy?
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pma111Author Commented:
So all in all SCCM is more geared towards software deployment across a large number of systems, where its just a handful manual installs are probably better.
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Joseph DalyCommented:
"Can you just elaborate how its actually done via the command line? And how installers with command line options make it easier to deploy? "

So at a very basic level all SCCM does is allow you a way to schedule and run commands on a remote machine. It does this by running the commands under the local system context which grants it admin rights.

In order for a piece of software to install correctly it has to be able to be installed with no interaction necessary. If there is any interaction needed say waiting for someone to enter information into one of the install dialogs the process will never complete. This is where the command lines come in.

A lot of software you can usually get away by using program.exe /quiet /norestart this will provide a silent install with no user interaction necessary.

Some products have additional command line options available. For example our chat client jabber which we push out through SCCM has a command line similar to below.

CiscoJabberSetup.msi /quiet /norestart TYPE=CUP ADDRESS=192.168.100.45 DOMAIN=mydomain.com

This installs the software but also provides some options that need to be configured for it to work properly. Some software dont have these additional switches available which makes it harder to install them.

And yes SCCM is geared towards places that have large amounts of systems that they need managed.
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