System administrators have been asking this question for decades. You might want to take a look at our series of blogs entitled what is software deployment. We’ve also written about installing patches, but today we want to get back to the core task: rolling out a software package on multiple computers.
The basics are very simple: you have an installation file (usually .MSI or .EXE) and opening it starts an installation process. Of course, the problem is that this has to be done on every computer separately…but hey, it’s 2020, so we’re not going to do that. Using a software deployment tool like Easy Software Deployment makes this process much easier. Here are the basic steps.
Obviously, the first step is acquiring the right installation files for the software you want to roll out. You simply buy and then download them (since software installation DVDs have been obsolete for a while now). If you’re using Easy Software Deployment, our Package Store already includes many programs by default: free software as well as paid packages. Of course, for the latter you need to make sure you have the right license and associated codes for all your computers or users.
To be able to roll out software to multiple computers, you need to know how to install it ‘silently.’ This means that it happens in the background and the user doesn’t even notice it. This is usually done with the help of ‘switches’: extra options you can specify when running the installation file (/s (for ‘silent’) or /quiet). You can also specify other options in this way: for example, you can place a shortcut on the desktop or force the computer to restart. When you install software via the Package Store, the switches for silent installation are already available, which saves you a lot of research.
Then it’s just a matter of adding the software to your deployment system and determining which computers or users are eligible for it. This often happens with the help of Group Policies: computers and users belong to a specific administrative group and you can grant rights to the group. Unfortunately, Group Policies are not the Holy Grail; they give you no control and no insight. Easy Software Deployment integrates with Active Directory, so with a few clicks you can ensure that the software reaches the right computers and/or users. You can immediately see the status of your deployment with our built-in reports.
Now let’s take a quick look at what Easy Software Deployment can do for you. The Package Store already includes installation files for many software packages by default. That means no searching for the right files; instead, you can download them directly to a central location from which you can deploy them. The most commonly used switches for installations have already been added for you, so that’s another task you can check off your list. Deployment is then based on membership: choose the computers and users who should get the software and start the process. Easy!
Would you also like to experience how easy it can be to install software packages to multiple computers at the same time? Request a free 30-minute live demo here.