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A few questions about the features/limitations RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    Quite new to SCE 2007, usually I work with SCCM/SMS and wanted to have a look at this product :)

    If I could trouble you for a few questions regarding the features and limitations. I have checked various posts in this forum and would like some confirmation and I have some additional questions.


    1) Automatic Discovery. It seems to be no way to automatically discover computers in AD with a filter? Lets say I want to automatically discover and install agent to computers in a specific OU. It seems that the automatic discovery will add all computers found in domain AND install agent. Is this right?

    2) You can only distribute software packages using MSI or EXE? I did find a workaround in the forum using msiexec command and cmd command, but it's really stretching it.

    3) You cannot distribute MSP files? I did see a workaround on using msiexec with /p parameter. And of course it can be installed using the Updates feature from Microsoft Update, Microsoft Update catalog and partner catalogs. But it is not possible to distribute your own MSP files without using the workaround?

    4) You cannot add files / update an existing package without adding a new package? Let's say that you want to update the config.xml or msp file used by your Office 2007 deployment - you need to add a new package?
     
    5) How do you go about uninstalling / installing new package to existing computers and new computers? How can you separate between existing computers and new computers? I see that I can use a computer group with dynamic members to add computers based on for instance operating system install date. But can I check for certain files or registry values?

    6) Chained installations? Let's say I need to install 3 packages in a specific order. How?

    7) Is there a way to automatically discover and install agents to new computers? For instance computers deployed using Microsoft Deployment / Windows Deployment Services? This way you could keep your WDS WIM image quite static and let applications get installed from SCE. I assume the answer is to enable automatic discovery? It seems that you can only schedule the automatic discovery once a day, is that right? Then this scenario would require manual discovery or to include all software required in the client deployment solution.

    8) Is doesn't seem to be possible to distribute software packages to users? A typicaly scenario would be to make available an package to users member of a security group.

    9) Optional installation of packages seem to require local Administrator permissions due to limitations in Automatic Update?

    10) It doesnt seem to be possible to install software to computers at startup or at user logon? It seems that you have to rely on the Automatic Updates mechanism.  Kind of a step back compared to Group Policy Software Distribution.

    11) The only way to increase software distribution is to increase Automatic Updates interval to from standard 22 hours to something less (min 1 hour)?

    12) How do you control the scenario where you need to first uninstall some software, then install something new and maybe you need a few reboots, how?

    13) Is there any limitation on size when it comes to package size? Some packages from Adobe or Autodesk can be quite big going over 1GB.

    14) How do you prevent download and installation when computers are on a slow remote network, such as VPN or dial-up?



    Thank you for your time, hope you can give me some answers.
    /Ragnar
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:17 PM

Answers

  • Hi,
    1) No, this can not be done. If you don't want all of your computers you need to deploy the agents manually
    2) No, you can deploy application that uses vbs for example. I have written a blog post about this http://advisec.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/deploying-scripts-with-sce/
    3) Correct
    4) Corret
    5) This really depends on the setup engine of the application. I have written a prost about uninstallation and some workaround (http://advisec.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/how-do-you-uninstall-exe-based-applications-in-sce/)
    6) There is not possible out of the box but you can use the workaround that I wrote about in question 5 for this or you can use a VBS script that hanlde it and use the workaround in question 2.
    7) The is no standard feature in SCE to do this but you can include the agent in a OS image but ther is a couple of steps that needs to be done before creating the image. I haven't had time to write a post about this but I will try to do it.
    8) Correct
    9) Correct
    10) Correct. What you can do is to add a startup script in a GPO that trigger c:\Windows\System32\wuauclt.exe /detectnow. Personaly I think the Automatic Update feature works very good.
    11) Correct, but you can trigger it manually if/when you added a application to a computer/group of computers by running the "Detect Software" task in the console (If you compair to AD Software deployment you have 90 minutes or a reboot so this is better)
    12) You can't. YOu have to write a script for this.
    13) There were a problem but still should be fixed in a hotfix (for Windows 2003). But it will take a long time:-) I have added Adobe Creative Suite 3 and that worked.
    14) YOu can do some konfiguration for bits by creating a GPO but I havent seen any problem with RAS users. The Automatic Update agent uses BITS that is very good in these scenarios.


    Hope this helps

    Björn Axéll MVP - Advisec AB
    http://blog.advisec.com
    • Marked as answer by RagnarNO Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:18 PM
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 7:32 PM

All replies

  • Hi,
    1) No, this can not be done. If you don't want all of your computers you need to deploy the agents manually
    2) No, you can deploy application that uses vbs for example. I have written a blog post about this http://advisec.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/deploying-scripts-with-sce/
    3) Correct
    4) Corret
    5) This really depends on the setup engine of the application. I have written a prost about uninstallation and some workaround (http://advisec.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/how-do-you-uninstall-exe-based-applications-in-sce/)
    6) There is not possible out of the box but you can use the workaround that I wrote about in question 5 for this or you can use a VBS script that hanlde it and use the workaround in question 2.
    7) The is no standard feature in SCE to do this but you can include the agent in a OS image but ther is a couple of steps that needs to be done before creating the image. I haven't had time to write a post about this but I will try to do it.
    8) Correct
    9) Correct
    10) Correct. What you can do is to add a startup script in a GPO that trigger c:\Windows\System32\wuauclt.exe /detectnow. Personaly I think the Automatic Update feature works very good.
    11) Correct, but you can trigger it manually if/when you added a application to a computer/group of computers by running the "Detect Software" task in the console (If you compair to AD Software deployment you have 90 minutes or a reboot so this is better)
    12) You can't. YOu have to write a script for this.
    13) There were a problem but still should be fixed in a hotfix (for Windows 2003). But it will take a long time:-) I have added Adobe Creative Suite 3 and that worked.
    14) YOu can do some konfiguration for bits by creating a GPO but I havent seen any problem with RAS users. The Automatic Update agent uses BITS that is very good in these scenarios.


    Hope this helps

    Björn Axéll MVP - Advisec AB
    http://blog.advisec.com
    • Marked as answer by RagnarNO Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:18 PM
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 7:32 PM
  • Thank you, this was very point on :)

    I really hope Microsoft provide the SMB customers with a much improved version of the product in the near future. I guess the disapointment is greater when your're used to the functionality provided in SMS/SCCM....

    /Ragnar

    Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:18 PM
  • Hi Ragnar,

    Thanks for choosing Microdoft SCE.

    SCE 2007 is the first version of a Microsoft management and monitoring product aimed at midsized companies. So it might not be designed as big as SCOM/SCCM.

    Thanks for your understanding. 

    Yog Li - MSFT
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:22 AM