Excuse the long title. I figured I should include the words Get Started in there to get across the point that, this is how you can simply deploy applications but it’s not necessarily the way you should. SCCM 2012 has even more capabilities and cool features than 2007. With that comes an even greater need for standardization. When implementing SCCM 2012 you should look at all it has to offer and decide what’s best for your environment. With the different options, comes a huge variety of way to do any one task, you need to define which one way is best for you and ensure everyone deploying applications in your environment knows it and follows that standard. The last thing you want to do is allow people to go rogue and deploy applications the way they see fit because it could and likely would lead to problems in the future which you may then have to remedy on some of your deployed applications. Nightmare situation! With that out of the way, here’s a couple of examples to get you started with testing out application deployments in SCCM 2012.
Example of SCCM Application Deployment
This blog post provides an example for pushing both an MSI application and also a Setup.exe with a custom parameter. This is not following any standard or best practice and is just an example of how to try it out. This also assumes you have completed your SCCM Setup and have collections to assign your applications to. For information on SCCM Setup try HERE
Before beginning you should be aware that there is two options. Create a Package or Create an Application. Applications have a lot more options e.g. can be based on requirements such as machine specs, it can also encapsulate dependencies and can also accept detection methods. If you used SCCM 2007 R2, a good way to think about this, is that this includes the advertisement in these steps. Where-as Packages are more like in-discriminant scripts to run on the client devices. They should not appear in the Software Center and should just execute on the end device when deployed.
Deploying a Setup.exe
For this example I pushed Microsoft Visio Professional 2010.
First. You need to open the Configuration Manager Console
When you are in there, you can click on Software Library
Next expand Application Management and you should see Applications.
Right Click on Applications and Click Create Application
Click Manually specify the application information
Enter in an appropriate name. Refer to the company standards. Enter the Manufacture name and also the Software Version. Click Next.
Enter Keywords for the application and also browse to an appropriate icon. It’s a good idea to have the app installed on a machine so you can point to the main .exe to grab the icon. Click Next.
Click Add to configure the Deployment Type here or just Click Next and you can do it later. Click Next.
You can now browse to the application that you created. Right click and then click Create Deployment Type, if you did not already Add the Deployment Type.
Select Script Installer (Native) from the list. Click Next.
Follow company standards and add a name for your Deployment Type.
Point your content location to the company standard Application folder where your setup.exe lives.
Point to your Setup.exe and configure the command you want to use. Browse to your Uninstall and configure the parameters. If your application is 32-bit you need to check “Run installation and uninstallation program as 32-bit process on 64-bit clients.” Click Next.
Here you have a few different options. This detection method is used to tell if the app is already installed on the clients device and also tells the client if the installation completed successfully after installation. Above is looking for the main executable.
Select Install for System from the dropdown for Installation Behavior. For this portion you may also want to resort to company standards. Maximum allowed run time defaults to 120 mins, you may want to change this.
Here you can set requirements e.g. Only install if the client device has 4GB of RAM, 250GB free on the hard drive, is a member of the Laptops OU etc. Click Next
If there’s dependencies you can add them here, if not Click Next
Next go back to your application and click Distribute Content. This will push the installation files to the Distribution Group.
Click Add and Click Distribution Point
Go back to your application. Right click and then click on Deploy.
Browse to the collection of devices you want to receive the application.
Verify the Distribution Points and Click Next
Here you can select if the application will be made available for the user to select to install it. With this option they can also Uninstall as they please. If you select Required it will get installed automatically and they will not be allowed to Uninstall through the Software Center.
If you want to setup a schedule do it here. Click Next.
Select if you want notifications to appear just for reboots or also for installations. Click Next.
If you want to setup alerts and allow integration with SCOM you can set it here, I don’t want it right now so, Click Next
Deploying an MSI
The Distribute Content and Deploy sections from above still apply here. But the creating the Application part is slightly different. After you right click on Application and select to create an application.
This time you select Windows Installer (Native). Browse to the MSI on your company standard share. Click Next
Ensure the Name pulled from the MSI tables is ok. Also enter the Manufacturer and Software version if they don’t appear. If you have any transforms, ensure they are passed as a parameter in Installation program. If the application is 32-bit ensure to check the “Run installation program as a 32-bit process on 64-bit clients. Select Install for system (if this is the company standard) from the drop down and Click Next.
You can now proceed to Distribute the Content and Deploy the application as per the earlier instructions above.
If you need to change something later you can do so by navigating to your application, navigating to the Deployment types tab on the bottom. Right clicking on the Deployment type and selecting properties. You will then see all of the possible options for your deployment. If you need to update the file contents you can make that change also. Right click again and select Update Content before proceeding to the next step.
Once your changes are made. You can now navigate to the Deployments tab, right click on the deployment and click Update Content. All changes should then be replicated across.
Refreshing the Client
You should see Configuration Manager in your Control Panel. Open it up and navigate to Actions.
You can run the check backs by selecting Run Now as you please.
You can then open Software Center on your client device
You should now see every application which is made available to you and choose to Install. You should also see the ‘required’ applications which should install automatically.