Usage Standards: A Clarion Call


After 16 frustrating hours of testing a mass deployment of McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), we finally have ‘go flight’. What caused the sixteen hours of chaos into what should have been a 30 minute exercise in futility? Two issues that I wish to address:

1) The usage for deploying the .exe was not readily available from the command line.

2) When we did locate the usage (via documentation) it was incorrect.

These two errors on the part of the vendor caused enough pain to qualify for passing a kidney stone (I know, I’ve been there and it sucks).

Every vendor should ensure the usage for installable software is displayed when run with a /?.


With ePO, running the install .exe with a /? simply ran the installation. We emerged victorious but with a sting that I’m still feeling. In this case a vendor allowed two major strikes against it’s customers. That is unacceptable. McAfee has a good product with ePO. Hopefully they’ll fix their deployment process and incorporate what most sys admins who are even slightly familiar with the command line will say is a standard. That, and a triple-check on correct usage documentation would have left our team with less stabbing pains.

Damn kidney stones.