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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

By Aaron_Wurthmann ·
Rewind about a year and a half ago, when Windows 2000 was still in the final Beta/RC phases. I'm sitting at a MS TechNet meeting and there are so MS representatives on the stage talking about some integrated SMS features build into Windows 2000 server. The reps go on and on about how you can set things up so that a particular user or a particular users group can be allowed to install certain products without admin rights, for example Adobe Acrobat Reader. This feature entices me, I thought, "Sweet, now I may not need SMS for this particular piece". (yes, I know that SMS does a heck of a lot more then that, note the particular piece comment".

Fast forward to today, my entire environment is Windows 2000, all laptops, all desktops, all servers as of June 2000. Were now, I ask you is this feature? Does it only apply to a Network Windows 2000 Pro install? If so I am not doing those, or did I miss something elsewhere? They said that it was in here, where is it? Do you know? Are you usingit?

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Gregory W. Smith In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

You are aware that you can use GP to "assign" and to "publish" applications to users or computers?

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Gregory W. Smith In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

Use the "Software Installation" snap-in to Group Policy.

This allows:
-Software deploment
-Mandatory Upgrades
-Nonmandatory upgrades
-Service Pack Installation
-Software Removal (heh, heh!)

Assign:
-Application is "pushed" to the client machine and follows user and is activated by clicking on its icon.

Publish:
-Application is made available in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel and will also autolaunch if an associated file is clicked (say, a .ZIP would autoinstall WinZip)This also uses/works with Windows Installer.
Software deployed in this way must:
1: include a built in .MSI file for Windows Installer.
-or-
2: be repackaged (by you) to include a .MSI file
-or-
3: an existing SETUP program can be run using a.ZAP file (I'm not real clear on this...)

You can publish to a user.
You can assign to a user or to a computer.

Open Group Policy MMC snapin.
User (or Computer) Config / Software settings
Right click and select New, Package.

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Aaron_Wurthmann In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

Thank you, with your advice I push a Perl install to all of my client machines.

Since the person below provided more detailed info and the MSI creator tool I gave him/her half the points as well.

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Aaron_Wurthmann In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

I'll test this out tomorrow or early next week, sounds pretty fricken cool so far.

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by rkelly In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

The answer above is very good, but neglects a couple of things.

1. Using GPs to deploy software does NOT give you the ability to track who has recieved any of the Published/Assigned software on your Network - if you want that the use SMS 2 Sp2.
2. In order to get load balancing of software installation you have to use a Fault Tolerent Domain Level Distributed File System with replicated child nodes - before considering this get the patches otherwise it won't work correctly.
If you don'tdo this then ALL users will pull the software off a single UNC path - and that includes any remote users.

I sat in a lecture in 1999, when Win2K had just gone into Beta 3, on Microsoft Intellimirror (GPOs are an intellimirror technology) to be told that the Software distribution features of AD DO NOT replace SMS. All the features that make SMS controllable are NOT available in AD. I have no doubt that we will start seeing early betas of a new desktop management server from MS shorlty that will replace sms 2 (which has now been out for a couple of years and does need some work to properly integrate within a Window 2000 Environment).

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Aaron_Wurthmann In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

rkelly, did you even bother to read all of my question? Your sort of answer was exactly the kind I did want...

excerpt from above:
"? I may not need SMS for this particular piece". (yes, I know that SMS does a heck of a lot more then that, note the particular piece comment".

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Aaron_Wurthmann In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

As you can see I stil haven't got a chance to test this yet, I'm still pretty swamped. As soon as I get a chance I will.

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by Aaron_Wurthmann In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

gsmith, I am having some problems creating an MSI. I can't find anything from MS. I found some tool from Wise but it doesn't say anything about an MSI. Any suggestions?

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by rkelly In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

Right,

this time I've read the entire question, and I'm not just going to to the rhino charging type of answer.

You can deploy software in a number of different ways using Group Policy to ANY windows 2000 desktop. you do not need to have done a networked install, and it does not need to be the prfoessional edition (I have used group policy to deploy FrontPage 2000 Web Extensions to a group of servers!)

The easiest way to deploy applications to desktops is to use MSI (Microsoft Installer) packages - most commercial packages now come with one of these, if you want to create one there is a copy of WinInstall LE on your Server CDs that can be used to repackage other software to give you an MSI.

In order to deploy software you must create a Group Polocy Object on either a site, domain or OU. Drill down to either Computer Setting -> Software Settings.

From here select new package and choose Assigned (you can only assign packages to computers) - find the MSI you want to deployand select it. Your MSI file will be deployed to machines from the OU you created it down through your heirarchy. However the file will be deployed at NEXT reboot - and remember to waut for AD synchronisation to occur first - and the computer must have access to the MSI file through a share on the network.

If you assign them to user, ast next logon your users will get Start Menu items, which will install the package at first use!

The functionality you refer to in the mail above is to do with installing applications by document invocation. The simplest way to do this is to publish applications on your network. When you are publishing apps (and you can only do this to users) you are placing them on Add/Remove programs. You can define alist of known extensions for which the file will be installed (i.e. pdf for Acrobat).

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A promise of Windows 2000 and AD

by rkelly In reply to A promise of Windows 2000 ...

If you want to install without admin rights you need to create an MSI file, as this will use the security context of the Windows Installer service.

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