Software Deployment: Features and Capabilities

Software deployment is the process of installing application(s) to the target endpoints in a network from a central location. For IT administrators, deploying software to all machines in a network can be a daunting task, especially at large enterprises. With an ever-growing number of endpoints, it is becoming a real challenge to roll out software across organizations. Software deployment tools automate the process and decrease the chances of error, facilitating the software deployment in a new testing environment. Software deployment tools allow you to distribute software packages to all the computers in your network across Windows, Mac and Linux from a central console, without user intervention. In addition to software, it also applies to apps, functioning as an application deployment software.

If you're looking to deploy software effortlessly or bank on a flexible software deployment tool, Endpoint Central,our unified endpoint management tool comes with a feature-set that has the following  options to offer greater flexibility and control over the software deployment process:

Software deployment tools - ManageEngineCentral repository of software packages for convenient software deployment  - ManageEngine Pre deployment activities | Deployment software Configure condition-checks while deploying software  - ManageEngine Post deployment activities | Deployment tools  - ManageEngine<" /> Schedule software deployment at off-hoursSoftware deployment tool with self-service portal - ManageEngine

Pre-defined application deployment templates

For deploying software and applications, you first need to create software packages, which can get tedious. You can create packages instantly with over 10000 pre-defined application templates along with their install/uninstall switches. Software deployment tools save time and make the process of software installation faster and more accurate.

Self Service Portal

One of the most common task of an IT admin is deploying requested applications to users, for which a lot of help desk tickets are raised regularly. These tickets usually take up a lot of time and resources to resolve. Using Self service portal, you can empower users to install applications on their own. All you need to do is publish most commonly requested applications to the self service portal and reduce the number of help desk tickets raised significantly.

Pre Deployment activities

One of the major reasons for software deployment failure is that the target computers don't meet the prerequisites. It can take up a lot of time to figure out the exact issue and then troubleshoot it accordingly. Pre deployment activities let you perform condition checks and apply configurations before installation, to ensure that the target computers meet all the requirements and have all the configurations set up.

Post Deployment activities

The software deployment process is not complete even after the software has been installed. You need to ensure that the application is accessible to user, all the previous versions have been uninstalled, shortcuts have been set up and all the application specific configurations are applied. Post deployment activities allow you to apply follow-up configurations, run custom scripts, change registry settings, create shortcuts, create/append path, and much more after the installation.

Software Repository

All the software packages created are stored in a central Software Repository. Once saved, these packages can be reused multiple times. There are two types of software repositories available: Network Share Repository and HTTP Repository. Network Share repository is used while deploying software packages to LAN agents and HTTP repository is required for deploying software packages to WAN agents.

Installation/uninstallation using the same package

Creating different packages for installing or uninstalling the same application in software deployment tools can get cumbersome. Once you create a package, it can be used to perform both the operations for MSI, EXE, MSU, APPX and MSP applications.

Schedule deployment at off hours

Downloading the software packages and running the executables takes up a lot of processor's resources, which may lead to reduced performance during application deployment and hence loss of productivity for employees. To prevent this, you can deploy software packages using software deployment tools within a suitable time interval by configuring a deployment policy. This allows you to install applications with the help of application deployment tool on the desired day/date/time, within a preset time window. Scheduling software deployment at off-hours helps bring desired results in terms of cost as well as performance within your environment.

You can copy the necessary installable to the client computers before installing or uninstalling applications. This can be configured while setting up the deployment policy. It is optional and when selected will speed up the installation/uninstallation process.

Install applications as a user

You can install or uninstall the application as a specific user. After application deployment, all applications are installed as "System User" by default.

Advantages of using automated software deployment tools

Software deployment tools are solutions that make make the process of installing a software to all the endpoints in you network much easier. An automated, centralized, customizable software deployment tool allows you to:

  1. Deploy software to networked computers and distribute applications to users remotely.
  2. Maintain all software packages in a central location.
  3. Save time and effort by automating deployment.
  4. Enable users to install applications on their own via self-service portal, and reduce the number of help desk tickets raised.
  5. Automatically update software templates.

What is Software Deployment?

The process of installing software on multiple or all computers in a network from a central location is known as software deployment. Every piece of software is unique in terms of functionality and use cases. It entails the installation, uninstallation, and updating of software in the target systems or users. It applies to apps as well as software, acting as application deployment software for Windows, Mac and Linux.The following steps comprise software deployment management:

  • Step 1: The first step in deploy software is to create and maintain up-to-date and ready-to-install software packages.
  • Step 2: Next, you need to configure the target computers before the installation or uninstallation of the package.
  • Step 3: Additionally, you can also apply configurations to be deployed post installation or uninstallation.
  • Step 4: Finally, Install or uninstall the software on the target computers.

The complexity of the software deployment process tends to increase when either the number of targets becomes huge or there are different endpoints running on varied operating systems.