Software Deployment

What is Software Deployment?

Software Deployment is the process of remotely installing software on multiple or all the computers within a network from a central location. The word "Software Deployment" is generally used in the context of a large network (more than 20 computers). Software Deployment comprises but is not limited to the following activities:

  1. Creating and maintaining up-to-date and ready-to-install software packages
  2. Configuring the target computers before the installation or uninstallation of the package
  3. Installing or uninstalling the software on the target computers
  4. Configuring the target computers post installation or uninstallation

The need for an Automated Software Deployment Solution

All the above mentioned activities can be taken care of manually or via an automated solution. Doing it manually might be fine if you have a network of say, 15 computers, but anything beyond that becomes labor intensive and cost ineffective and is prone to redundancy. Hence, you need a centralized solution for all your software deployment needs.

What are the advantages of using an automated software deployment solution?

Having a software deployment tool allows you to:

  1. Deploy software to newly added users/computers automatically.
  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.

Software distribution made easy!

Distributing software to all machines in a network can be a daunting task for IT Administrators, especially at large enterprises. With an ever-growing number of endpoints, it is becoming a real challenge to roll out software across organizations. Desktop Central allows you to distribute software packages to all the computers in your network across Windows, Mac and Linux from a central console, without user intervention.

Desktop Central comes with a feature-set that has the following advanced options to offer greater flexibility and control over the software deployment process:

Pre-defined application templates

For deploying applications, you first need to create software packages, which can get tedious. Desktop Central has over 4,500 pre defined application templates, complete with install/uninstall switches which can be used to create packages instantly. This saves time and makes the process 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 lot lot of time and resources to resolve. Using Desktop Central's 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. Desktop Central's 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. Desktop Central's 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 which are created using Desktop Central are stored in a central Software Repository. Once saved, these packages can be reused multiple times. There are two types of software repositories available in Desktop Central: 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 can get tedious. In Desktop Central, 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 while deployment and hence loss of productivity for employees. To prevent this, you can deploy software packages within a suitable time interval by configuring a deployment policy. This allows you to install applications 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.

Desktop Central allows you to copy the necessary installables 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

Desktop Central supports installing or uninstalling the application as a specific user. By default, all applications are installed as "System User", which the Desktop Central agent has access to.

Desktop Central has worked very well for us. We use the Software Deployment feature very often to roll out remote software installations to multiple computers. It has saved us a lot of time and effort. The support is outstanding, technicians will quickly diagnose the problem and the few times I required a patch it was available next day. Really GREAT! Michel Sargentini, Certis Europe B.V.