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How to best use SMS to deploy software patches

How to best use SMS to deploy software patches

How to best use SMS to deploy software patches

(OP)
I have been tasked with developing instructions for our customers who use SMS to deploy our application in the recommended process for deploying .msp update files for these applications.

In my test configuration, I have successfully created a software package for the .msi file and the application is successfully installed on the client machines using the per-system unattended method.

I now have an update.exe which contains the embedded .msp file and want to distribute this to all users including Vista clients. What is the best recommended method for doing this? What would be easiest for administrators?

My ideas so far are:
1. Admin uncompresses the original setup using msiexec /a <path to msi> TARGETDIR=<path_to_uncompressed_msi>
2. Once the admin has an uncompressed setup then they can merge the patch file with the uncompressed setup using msiexec /p <path_to_msp> /a <path_to_msi>
3. Here is where I am not sure of what the best method is, should the administrator create a new package and deploy it? It is a minor update. Can the administrator just deploy the upgrade.exe and that would work too?  

RE: How to best use SMS to deploy software patches

Unless you are planning on reinstalling the application from scratch rather than just patching it you're going the long way around.

Does the update.exe file install correctly now, can you run it to install the updates or does it fail?

If it works then all your SMS admins would need to do is create a new package (containing the new update.exe) and a new advertisement and deploy that advertisement to the collection that requires it.

They could if they want to create a second package that contains the original application that is patched up with the update and deploy that to any new users out there rather than installing the application and then the patch.

In all honesty I would go for the two pronged attack, patch the existing users with just the update and create a new package with the update already applied for new users.
 

Simon

The real world is not about exam scores, it's about ability.

 

RE: How to best use SMS to deploy software patches

(OP)
Here is a copy of the documentation I have put together. Can anyone see any glaring errors in the approach? I am having others in house evaluate the document as well, but no one here is well versed in SMS.

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Regards,
Dan Lee
DeLorme

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