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When IT pros spend too much time on a task or project, less time is available for other issues, and the loss of productivity—and profit—grows exponentially if issues aren't taken care of quickly enough.
One task that typically requires a large amount of time to complete is the installation of apps that are part of the Adobe CC suite. This is due to the sheer size of the product—spanning dozens of gigabytes—when installing all of the included applications. This daunting task, if multiplied against any number of devices, will swell to a large-scale project that will tax your systems and IT staff's resources.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
SEE: Black Friday deal—25% discount on Adobe Creative Cloud (promo ends Nov. 23, 2018)
Planning and organizing the requirements and resources necessary to leverage the installation/upgrade project makes for a simplified, easy-to-manage deployment that IT can revisit in the future, as well as, ensures that Adobe CC is always available for installation.
SEE: Software licensing policy (Tech Pro Research)
Before getting in the thick of these methods, there are some requirements that are necessary for the success of this task. The basics will be required regardless of which method chosen, however, some optional items only apply to certain scenarios. These will be noted, as such below:
- Adobe account with Adobe CC licensing subscription
- Administrative workstation to configure packages
- Adobe CC packages for your selected products (See package creation methods below)
- Adobe CC serialization package (See package creation methods below)
- Broadband Internet access
- Adobe Creative Cloud Packager (Optional; Required only if creating local installer packages)
- Switched network (Optional; Required only if performing network-based deployments)
- File/Application Server (Optional; Required only if performing network-based deployments)
- External drive (Optional; Required only if performing hands-on deployments)
Creating the local installer package
1. Login to the computer with the Adobe Creative Cloud Packager installed and double-click the application to launch it (Figure A).
2. Begin by naming the package you will create and set the save location for the installation files to be stored.
3. Under the License type section, select the licensing method from the drop-down menu that best matches your organization, and then select the architecture for the computers where you'll deploy the software.
4. Lastly on this page, select the deployment pool from, which the licensing should be deducted. While optional, the settings allowing elevated privileges and access to the Apps panel may be toggled off by modifying the checkbox. Click Next to proceed (Figure B).
5. On the next page, place a check mark next to each app you wish to include in the package. Once completed, click the Build button to begin creating your package (Figure C).
6. During this phase of the process, the app will download the latest versions and updates directly from Adobe's servers. Depending on the speed of your network connection and the resources available to the desktop, this process may take some time to finish building your package (Figure D).
Once the package build is completed successfully, the installation files will be in the save location selected in step 2 above. They may be moved to a deployment server or shared folder, as needed.
Licensing and activating through serialization package
Note: Use of a serialization package to license and activate the Adobe CC 2018 software suite is only required when packages are created using the Creative Cloud Packager. Packages created through the web-based Adobe Admin Console already include the necessary licensing information within the package generated.
1. Launch the Creative Cloud Packager application and select Create License Package from the menu (Figure E).
2. Enter a package name for the licensing package, and set a save to location for the package to be saved.
3. Enter the license type and select the deployment pool settings so that they match the package created in the section above, then click the Build button to begin the process (Figure F).
4. Creation of the serialization package should occur very quickly, with the final package saved to the directory selected in step 2 above (Figure G).
Creating the web-based installer package
1. Login to the Adobe Admin Console website with your organization's credentials (Figure H).
2. Click on the Packages link in the navigation bar. Here a list is kept of web-based packages created, time-stamped, and including pertinent information, such as architecture, number of devices deployed to, up-to-date status, and if the package is currently available. If this is your first time accessing this page, the list of packages may be empty.
3. Click on the Create a package button to begin creating a new package (Figure I).
4. Next, choose whether the package is Self-Service or Managed. Put another way, will the end-users be required to manage the apps or will IT perform that role? If end-users will update their own apps, choose Self-Service, otherwise, select Managed, then click the Select button (Figure J).
5. On the following page select the OS platform, architecture, and localization types. Click the Next button to proceed (Figure K).
6. The next selections require the admin to choose the applications included in the package. Keep in mind that only apps that the organization is legally licensed to use will be accessible. Click the "+" next to each app to add it to the package. Repeat until all apps are added, then click the Next button (Figure L).
Note: Application dependencies will automatically be included when certain apps are added.
7. The third page will ask that admins select the options available to end users. This includes viewing the apps panel, allowing non-admin accounts to update apps, changing the installation directory, and selecting whether an Internal Adobe Update Server will be used or if IT will implement a Remote Update Manager to manage client-side updates. After checking the boxes next to the choices that meet your organization's needs, click the Next button (Figure M).
8. The last page in the wizard requires that the admin gives the package a name and reviews the settings before finalizing package creation. Click the Build Package button to begin generating the package. Depending on the number of apps to be included and the internet connection, the package creation and download process could take several minutes or longer to complete (Figure N)(Figure O).
Figure N, Figure O
The package will download automatically once the building is complete. Admins will be able to deploy the downloaded package (after decompressing it) through any third-party deployment methods, including Group Policy, SCCM, scripting, or manually installing it. Web-based packages are available for approximately 30 days after the creation date, beyond that packages need to be recreated.
- Pro Tip: Distributing software with Apple Remote Desktop (TechRepublic)
- How to repackage OS X apps with Packages (TechRepublic)
- How to use the Installer command to deploy packages silently on macOS and OS X (TechRepublic)
- How to manage Apple software updates remotely via the command line (TechRepublic)
- Adobe's Creative Cloud overhaul infuses AI, multiple screens and sets stage for augmented, virtual reality (ZDNet)
- Adobe sees 20 percent ahead for fiscal 2019 (ZDNet)
Jesus Vigo is a Network Administrator by day and owner of Mac|Jesus, LLC, specializing in Mac and Windows integration and providing solutions to small- and medium-size businesses. He brings 19 years of experience and multiple certifications from several vendors, including Apple and CompTIA.