Around here we often refer to a “Baseline Package” or a “Baseline Schedule”. This is a set of applications that are must-haves on your machines for your end-users to get started with a machine. Common examples are things like Flash, Java or a favorite web browser such as Firefox.
Scheduling the Auto Deployment
One of the biggest hurdles to keeping applications updated on your computers is the fact that new versions are always popping up. What if you could have those applications just magically be updated? Picture it, Mozilla Firefox silently installing while you fill your coffee mug. That’s what setting up Auto Deployment can do. Scroll down to see a full video tutorial on setting this up. (See which applications can be automatically deployed by viewing the Package Library here.)
Let’s go right into how to automate the process of deploying new versions to machines with out-of-date applications.
1. Start off by selecting a single package from the Package Library (don’t worry you can add more later). Click Add Auto Deployment (in our example we will silently install Firefox). Remember, packages from the Package Library are already built to install silently so you’re ready-to-go.
Note: Auto Deployment is an Enterprise-level feature which you can test out free for 14-days with any three packages out of the Package Library. Click below to start your trial.
2. Select a schedule type. Essentially when you set your day(s) for your schedule, you are telling PDQ Deploy when and how often to check if there has been an update to that application. If a new update is available…then that package will get deployed.
3. Under the Packages tab add any additional packages, to have packages be set as an Auto Deployment select packages from the Package Library. You can also add your own “homemade” packages, just remember you’ll have to remember to update those packages yourself. (As opposed to Package Library packages, where the Admin Arsenal team updates those for you.)
4. Select what computers to be deployed to. One efficient way to take care of your workstations is to link to a PDQ Inventory collection. If the application is in the Package Library, there is a good chance that there is a collection available in the Collection Library. These collections help you pin point computers with outdated versions. (Collections are updated with each new available application version.) So in this case, we would link to the Firefox (Old) collection to target machines that have an outdated version of Firefox.
If you have multiple applications scheduled, then linking to a application-specific collection might not be your best bet, but you can create your own collections or link to an Active Directory container.
Note: The Collection Library is a PDQ Inventory Enterprise-level feature. You can try it out free by clicking the button below.
Alternatively, you may want to add a couple more applications to your schedule. In that case, you wouldn’t want to define your collection by a single application. You can create your own customized groups (collections) or use Active Directory groups.
For an in-depth tutorial on the ins and outs of automating baseline application silent installs watch this tutorial:
*Note: There are audio syncing glitches in the first part of this video that were resolved a few minutes into the webcast.