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ImageInvoker v1.0 ready for testers

Created: 15 Nov 2013 | 16 comments
ianatkin's picture

After months in development hell, I've finally had the time to package up the latest version of ImageInvoker for DS6.9. This is our client-service application which plugs into Deployment Server which enables an "imaging-as-a-service" functionality.

This version is v1.0 (rather than v0.5)  as it has finally most of the features I originally wanted,

  • Low footprint (both in CPU and disk space) (the install msi is less than 3MB)
  • On-the-fly menu provisioning
  • Super-fast job scheduling for mass-deployments
  • Choice between Hierachical and flat menu systems
  • Permissions-based menu provisioning
  • Authentication options

There is more I could do; it's still not perfect. But... the workload is mounting so I thought it was time to wrap this up into a Windows installer package for people to test. We've been using this for 3 months here, in pretty much this form (bar a couple of minor improvements). The manual hoofing though that I had to do to get it up and running here though hopefully I've eased with this MSI.

Note that application packaging is not my forte and have guess my way around Wise Package Studio for the most part.... ;-)

If you are interested in trying this release out, just give me a ping and I'll pass it your way. If I get enough testers to ratify it over the next month we could have this published and out on CONNECT by Christmas!

Kind Regards,
Ian./

Operating Systems:

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joel.iglesias's picture

Hey Ian,

I would love to get in on this.  Thanks :)

rlgura's picture

I've had a freeze on any changes in my Deployment system while our Windows 7 deployment was in progress. It is now complete! HAZAA!!

So I headed off to my lab to catch up on a couple Deployment updates:

1. Integrate new Dell Ultralight laptop E7440 (quick test showed I'd need to add a new PE NIC driver and create new WinPE images)

2. Upgrade my ImageInvoker installation (Thanks Ian!)

I quickly found out that the E7440 has the new Intel i218 Ethernet adapter and that they are not making Windows Vista (WinPE 2.0 compatible) drivers for it!!! WHAT?! A quick check with Symantec and, no, WinPE 3 or 4 is not available yet for Deployment Solution 6.9 - but a new update - Patch 6 - is due out immenently and will provide WinPE 4.0 support! After waiting impatiently for Symantec to release it, it finally comes out for GA the day before Thanksgiving! (Thanks Symantec!)

Backup current installation and jobs, download Windows 8 ADK, download and install SP6 - fails on ADK (WinPE) installation. Poke at it a bit and realize that Win8 ADK requires Server 2008 or higher! Wait a minute - when did DS6.9 start supporting Server 2008, let alone REQUIRE it?!? Would have been something nice to include in the requirements documention!

New virtual server spun up with Server 2008 R2 SP1. New database created on SQL2012 cluster. Install DS6.9SP6 and Win8ADK. (a little stumbling with the WinPE image creation still, but got it going by installing ADK locally, then choosing to create my WinPE image from a pre-installed instance by running BootWiz (something you can't do during setup)

Add Windows 8 32-bit drivers for the newer network cards into my WinPE image and it seems to work - boots into the WinPE environment and sits at the DAgent screen - now to add my ImageInvoker menu back!

Install ImageInvoker 1.0 and regenerate WinPE images. Check startup for menu.bat - no luck :(

Easy enough fix, Add files, browse to eXpress\Bootwiz\Include\WINPE2\SHARED and add Startup folder (can also just make a copy of WINPE2 folder and name it WINPE4)

Rebuild menus from DS Tools menu - error finding MSCOMCTL.ocx

Search Windows - sure enough, Windows Server 2008 doesn't have that control. Find it in ImageInvoker install directory (eXpress\ImageInvoker\WinPE). Register it from there (probably should have copied it into C:\Windows\System32 first) using regsvr32.exe

Still not getting correct menu (this was my fault - hadn't changed a DNS pointer yet) and in poking around, found a reference to ODBC:Altiris eXpress Database. Checking my ODBC settings just in case anything was different with 6.9SP6, find out that DS installation doesn't seem to create this ODBC connection any longer. Create the ODBC SQL connection to my new SQL 2012 database (change my DNS alias), boot up my test laptop and I'm back in business!

Couple observations:

Even though I have "Disable computer rename facility" option checked, I still get prompted for the computer name during job selection.

Even though I have Flat Menu Type selected, I get a Hierarchical menu presented: folder names of tagged jobs.

 

Nelo's picture

Ian,  you rock!!!

ianatkin's picture

Hi rjjura,

I'm just building the 1.02 msi this morning which should resolve most of the issues you've noted above with the test msi. This minor point release of the testing code also has an overhauled auth piece which remove the need for portal user impersonation (which relies on a group policy change to implement).

The flat/heirachical menu point you raised I haven't seen and have been flipping the menu switch here a lot in testing. Can you throw me a 'broken' menu_options.ini to see if I can reproduce?

Will fire you a link when I've had some coffee, built the new MSI and tested it in a couple of hours.

Kind Regards,
Ian./

 

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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autolycus's picture

Hello,

 

where can i dowload for test?

BR

auto

 

ianatkin's picture

I think I've now captured everyone who has mailed me directly, PM'd me, or posted here requesting this ImageInvoker update (v1.0.2). If I've missed you in my PM or email splat, please let me know.

If you have v1.0.0 or v1.0.1 please upgrade as several fixes have now been included.

I'm still finishing off the documentation for CONNECT, but estimate an official pre-xmas release of the v1.0 branch of ImageInvoker feasible.

And, of course, many thanks for the testing so far. It's keeping me busy with the old MSI building..... ;-)

Kind Regards,
Ian./

 

 

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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ianatkin's picture

We're now at build v1.03 for ImageInvoker which is now looking like a release candidate. If anyone out there wants to join in testing, please do drop me a line.

Kind Regards,
Ian./

 

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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gerardsweeney's picture

How did I miss this? Stoopid workload... Mutter, grumble.

 

Me please, and thank you in advance!

Gerard

 

ianatkin's picture

I'm getting this ready now for the connect release. When I've re-compiled the MSI for the final push I'll pass you the link.

Kind Regards,
Ian./

 

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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qman_au's picture

Hi Ian,

 

Could I have the link too please?

Gibson99's picture

I kinda wish we were still using DS as our primary image deployment system. ImageInvoker makes it so much more flexible and MUCH easier to configure than than either DS 7.x or SCCM 2012.  keep up the good work, ian!

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gerardsweeney's picture

We're moving to Altiris 7 at some point, and I'm already not looking forward to losing ImageInvoker.

Oi - Ian - get on the case, man! :)

 

Gibson99's picture

gerard - when we upgraded to altiris 7, we found that at the time (ds 7.1 sp1) it just wasn't ready for prime time.  and i'm still seeing things that indicate it's still not ready.  so rather than going completely to itms 7.1, we upgraded from ds 6.8 to ds 6.9 sp5 to be able to support win7.  we still used 7.1 for patch, inventory, policies, etc, but didn't use the DS side.  

even now that we've since replaced ns7 with sccm 2012, we still keep the DS server up and running because it's still the best solution when you need to do something RIGHT NOW.  you simply can't do anything immediately on either NS7 or sccm 2012.  and that's kinda sad.  for all this talk of innovation and improvement, DS 6.x had it right over a decade ago.  

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Thomas Baird's picture

We LOVE DS 6.9.  Here's hoping they get their head straight some day and actually DO something with it.  <sigh>  I'd love to see some of the extra "stuff" pulled, maybe a bit of a cleanup on the engine, oohh!  How about an attached reporting tool?  Wait - no - how about THIS - REAL multicast from a FULL integration with Ghost??  There ya go!  That'd rock.

 

<sigh>  Anyway, here's hoping / dreaming...

Thomas Baird
Private Consultant

 

ianatkin's picture

Hi All,

ImageInvoker v1 is public and looks stable. Here's the link,

Kind Regards,
Ian./

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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