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Software Deployment for NOOB

    Question

  • Let me start by saying I am very ignorant about SCCM, and software deployment in general.  My goal of persuing the SCCM was to see if I could find a good 3rd party tool that will allow me to publish and deploy updates to my windows services running on over 30 servers.  I am primarily a C# developer and am only concerned with finding an alternative to our bastardized ClickOnce solution.

    The problem with ClickOnce when incorporated with our services is that it makes it very difficult for me currently to deploy my services to external entities that don't have connectivity to my publish location and will not be allowed to do so in the future.  I also would like to strip down my custom MSI utility so that I can install/uninstall my services more easily.  That being said, my supervisor wanted me to look into finding a 3rd party solution and that's where some collegues recommended SCCM.  If SCCM will not allow for me to perform updates to services, please let me know that I'm wasting my time.

    I downloaded the trial version and installed it on a test domain of mine where I also update Active Directory (the term "AD" from other posts took me a while to comprehend, along with many others...).  I now have installed the client onto three Windows 2003 servers on the domain.  I am now at the point of figuring out what I need to do to either create a package for deployment, or create some other structure for updating my services.  I've heard many use the term WSUS and how it should be configured with SCCM, but I'm unsure what it is, let alone if it's what I really want.  If someone could point me in the direction of some good documentation on using SCCM for custom software deployment, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks.
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:21 PM

Answers

  •  

    1.  If I had an MSI for my service, I could uninstall and reinstall the service via a SCCM easily (from what it seems).  How would I re-start the service though after the install?
    >Yes you can easily install or uninstall the service.  To make it start you would need to make sure you have the net start xxx command run after the install is complete (all in a batch or cmd file)

     

    2.  My MSI will need specific values fed into it for things such as connection strings for different sites - I know I can pass them through in the command line, but would there be a better way to change these values during the install?

    >You could create a vbscript that determines server it is on and then pass the appropriate commands.  This way you send only 1 "smart" package down

     

     

    3.  I have 5 different subnets (with more coming) where I need to distribute my software.  If I install a secondary SCCM on each subnet, can I migrate any deployment packages I have to each secondary SCCM in an automated fashion, but also handle the different configuration options of each (different SQL connection strings for each subnet)?

    >I am confused on this.  If you have a secondary then you can set that dp up in the packages and it will push when an update is made to that package.  Why would you have diff SQL connectino strings per subnet.  I assume this is per your application and not per SCCM Secondary server?

     

     

    Monday, May 05, 2008 4:20 PM

All replies

  • Well, after playing around with it some more I was able to create a package that installed my ClickOnce app.  I only had to point to my network share of the *.application file to get it to install on my group of servers.  I also set the expiration date to today so it forced an immediate install.

    With that said, I have three new questions:

    1.  If I had an MSI for my service, I could uninstall and reinstall the service via a SCCM easily (from what it seems).  How would I re-start the service though after the install?
    2.  My MSI will need specific values fed into it for things such as connection strings for different sites - I know I can pass them through in the command line, but would there be a better way to change these values during the install?
    3.  I have 5 different subnets (with more coming) where I need to distribute my software.  If I install a secondary SCCM on each subnet, can I migrate any deployment packages I have to each secondary SCCM in an automated fashion, but also handle the different configuration options of each (different SQL connection strings for each subnet)?

    Thanks.
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:44 PM
  •  

    1.  If I had an MSI for my service, I could uninstall and reinstall the service via a SCCM easily (from what it seems).  How would I re-start the service though after the install?
    >Yes you can easily install or uninstall the service.  To make it start you would need to make sure you have the net start xxx command run after the install is complete (all in a batch or cmd file)

     

    2.  My MSI will need specific values fed into it for things such as connection strings for different sites - I know I can pass them through in the command line, but would there be a better way to change these values during the install?

    >You could create a vbscript that determines server it is on and then pass the appropriate commands.  This way you send only 1 "smart" package down

     

     

    3.  I have 5 different subnets (with more coming) where I need to distribute my software.  If I install a secondary SCCM on each subnet, can I migrate any deployment packages I have to each secondary SCCM in an automated fashion, but also handle the different configuration options of each (different SQL connection strings for each subnet)?

    >I am confused on this.  If you have a secondary then you can set that dp up in the packages and it will push when an update is made to that package.  Why would you have diff SQL connectino strings per subnet.  I assume this is per your application and not per SCCM Secondary server?

     

     

    Monday, May 05, 2008 4:20 PM