In today’s blog post I’ll review the basics of third-party software patching, as well as automated software deployments using schedules in PDQ Deploy. PDQ Deploy is a software deployment tool that includes the Package Library, this repository grants you access to hundreds of premade deployment packages. Deploy also allows you to create custom deployment packages that enable you to install almost anything remotely.
Let’s say you need to patch Adobe Reader DC since you just found out that all 1000 machines in your environment are infected by a deadly vulnerability. Don’t panic! The situation isn’t as dire as it may seem. Simply open up Deploy, click on the Package Library, filter for Adobe Reader DC, select the one you want, download the package, and in seconds, it’s ready to be deployed.
The ability to make custom packages is one reason why Deploy is so powerful. For illustration purposes, let’s say that your marketing department relies on the latest version of FlashyPhotoPaint Pro. You want to avoid the monthly ritual of manually updating Marc’s FlashyPhotoPaint Pro, while simultaneously explaining to him for the millionth time that he can’t have a MacBook Air. Clearly switching all the company’s computers to Apple would not save costs and increase productivity. Luckily, you can create a custom FlashyPhotoPaint Pro package and silently update all the computers in the Marketing department behind the scenes, without interrupting any daily tweets.We cover the details here, but for the sake of review, simply find FlashyPhotoPaint Pro’s silent parameters (which are usually well documented) and make a package that looks something like this:
Now let’s knock things up a notch with a blast from your spice weasel and completely automate your silent software deployments. We can do that with schedules. Simply, create a new schedule. Then set up when it will trigger and what target machines to deploy to. After that, attach the “Adobe Reader DC patch” package you downloaded earlier in the Packages tab. You may also want to check “Stop deploying to targets once they succeed” on the options tab. That way, the schedule will only install the update on each computer once.When we update the Adobe Reader DC Patch package and push the new version to the Package Library, your schedule will automatically deploy the new version to your endpoints. Bam! No manual intervention required. Cool right?
I may be a little biased, but I think PDQ Deploy is a fantastic software deployment tool. Using the pre-made packages from our package library couldn’t be easier. It’s even pretty painless to create custom deployment packages we don’t have in the Package Library. Adding in schedules to automate your software deployments also helps simplify the process. You’ll be amazed at your new-found free time! Well, at least until you see the ten new URGENT tickets submitted by Linda in accounting. Such is the life of a system administrator.-Steven