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Endpoint Management Community Blog

Software deployment feature request

Created: 18 Apr 2009 • Updated: 19 Jun 2014 • 3 comments
jloubser's picture
+4 6 Votes
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One of the most frustrating things I have encountered using Altiris for software deployment purposes is that in order for me to push a number of packages to any given target device such that the packages require to be installed in a specified order, I would have to create a sequential software delivery task.
Creating this as a once off or even two or three times is not an issue, but when I become twenty or thirty times with no end in sight then it gets real old real quick.

What I suggest is that a mechanisim be put in place to rank the created packages and that the installation order would then depend upon the ranking the package was given.

For example, say I build a new device and that that device due the the area it is to be employed in requires 20 different applications to be installed before delivery. The build team could then either via the software portal or whatever other mechanisim select the 20 applications required for the installation and press the proverbial "GO" button. The agent on the client device could then determine all the applications desitned for its host and then by querying the ranking of each application shift them into the appropriate order.

If you had a ranking system from say 0 to 100 with the default being 50, then every application created would start out its life being a 50 and in so doing would say to the agent that it may be installed in any order relative to all the other level 50 apps. At any point however should you have  and application with a ranking of less than 50 it would then be installed first before any higher in the queue and the opposite would obviously apply to any above 50. Application types such as post config type apps could be assigned a ranking of 99 and in so doing one could always ensure that they run last, whether after a required reboot or not.

Making such a facility available would GREATLY ease the job of the software deployment administrator.


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Ram Champion's picture

Good thoughts

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spazzzen's picture

Why not just use the DS for this?  The way we do it is put a number in front of the name of the job so that if you tell a computer to run every job in that folder, it will run them all in the correct order they should be run.  We also have what I call a Forwarding script (some refer to it as short cut tasks), that forces all the installs to run in the correct order. 

I do agree though, once we get to using the software portal having some easy way to run multiple installs in order would be a great help.

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plindqui's picture

Ever tried out Task Server?  That could be your NS solution for deploying out apps in an order and more immediate than using SWD Tasks.  I like the DS response too, but not everyone wants to revert to using DS, even though it is a great deployment tool, because of the sheer number of clients supported by some organizations.

Another thought, how about utilizing the "Priority" setting within a SWD Task?  In a past life, I had a build system setup where I had the apps installed thru the NS Agent as soon as the build was done by the DS.  This made it possible to have a single DS for multiple sites and take advantage of the bandwidth throttling capabilities of the NS.  I used the priority setting to make sure certain apps were installed first.  Also, you could use the SQL within a collection to your advantage.  Say have a collection that has a task tagrted at it that installs app B on it have a dependency that clients have app A installed.  You would need to run a small inventory in between, but its possible. 

With that, I don't disagree that there needs to be a better method for sequencing application installs.  But there are options out there to overcome what might be easily deemed a limitation.

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