To see a walkthrough of how to create an Application Pack, watch this video which shows creating a simple Application Pack for TeamViewer. Continue reading for an in-depth guide of the process.
Before you continue, ensure that you have the following:
- The SmartDeploy Console is installed
- The installation files for the application that you want to deploy by using SmartDeploy
- A computer or virtual machine that has the SmartDeploy Client installed and present in the Computer Management workspace of the console
Step 1: Identify the Silent/Unattended Installation Commands
Application deployment must be run silently or unattended (meaning without user interaction). Most installations have an option for this, but it can vary depending on the application. Application Packs have an option to use Command Line arguments, so finding the appropriate switches to use with the installation setup file is important. Some applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, require specifying a configuration XML that must be manually created. If you're unsure of the silent installation argument, you can run the executable with /? to get additional details or refer to the application’s documentation to find the appropriate switches or arguments for Command Line installation. Typically, .exe files can be installed with the /s switch: setup.exe /s
Before you continue to step 2, we recommend that you test this command on a test computer or a virtual machine. Copy the installation files to your test machine and open a Command Prompt as an administrator. Test the installation command and verify that the application installs successfully without user interaction. If the command is successful, uninstall the application, and continue to step 2. If the command is not successful, double check that the switches or the syntax of the command are correct and try again.
Step 2: Build the Application Pack
Once you've confirmed the correct command to silently install the application, follow these steps to build the Application Pack.
- Open the SmartDeploy Console.
- Click Applications & Tasks in the left pane.
- Click the plus (+) icon in the top right corner, and then click Create an Application Pack.
- Once the Application Manager loads, click File > New.
- Chose a location and file name for the Application Pack, and then click Save.
Note: We recommend that you save the Application Pack in C:\SmartDeploy\Application Packs\.
- In the Application Pack pane, type a name for the Application Pack in Title.
- In Publisher, type the owner/creator of the application that you're deploying.
- In Product Version, type the version of the application that you're deploying.
- In Application Pack Version, specify a version number, for example, 1.0.
- In the left pane, expand Application Pack, and then right-click Files.
- To add multiple files, click Add Folder, browse to the folder that contains the files that you want to add, and then click Select Folder. Otherwise, you can click Add File, browse to and select the file, and then click Open.
- In the left pane, right-click Tasks, and then click Add 'Run Command' Task.
- Expand Tasks, and click 1. Run Command.
- You may specify a different name for the run command, which we recommend if you plan to have more than one command in your Application Pack.
- To the right of Executable Location, click Select.
- Expand Files, locate and select the file that you want executed in the command, and then click OK.
- Edit the executable command as required:
- If you are using an EXE file, you can leave the path as-is.
- If you are using an MSI file, add a 'Run MSI Package' Task instead. Additionally, you will need to add ALLUSERS=1 to the arguments field. The additional command line parameters will automatically be added.
- If you are executing a BAT script, add cmd.exe /c to the beginning of the path to the .bat file.
- If you are executing a VBS script, add wscript.exe to the beginning of the path to the .vbs file.
- If you are executing a PowerShell script, add powershell.exe -NoProfile -NonInteractive -ExecutionPolicy bypass -file to the beginning of the path to the .ps1 file.
- In Arguments, specify the parameters that are needed to run the installation silently.
Note: [ApplicationsFolder] is a macro that is used for the extraction location on the target device from where the command will be executed.
- Click File > Save.
Step 3: Test the Deployment
It's a best practice to test any deployment process before you target a device in your production environment. If the Application Pack was saved to the C:\SmartDeploy\Application Packs folder, then you should see it appear in the Application Packs library in your SmartDeploy Console. If you don't see it, you can import it into the SmartDeploy Console by clicking the plus (+) icon and then selecting Import an Application Pack. Test the pack by deploying it from the SmartDeploy Console.
- In the left pane, click Computer Management.
- Select the test client, and then click Deploy Application in the Actions menu.
Note: If the client appears in faded text, a connection issue likely must be fixed before you continue. Please see our Advanced Configuration and Troubleshooting section for more information.
- Select your Application Pack from the list, click the right arrow, and then click OK.
- Click OK to confirm the deployment.
- Check the client for a successful installation of the application.
Note: Refer to the Advanced Configuration and Troubleshooting section for help troubleshooting application deployments.
(Optional) Step 4: Add Filters
After you successfully test the Application Pack on a device, you can add filters to the Application Pack to prevent installation in certain circumstances, for instance, if a newer version of the application is already installed. This step will walk through creating a filter to check for a previously installed version of the app and if it is up to date.
- Sign in to a client device where the application that you want to deploy is already installed, and open Apps and Features.
- Click the application, and make a note of the display name and version, for example:
- Return to the SmartDeploy Console, and switch to the Applications & Tasks workspace.
- Right-click your Application Pack, and then click Edit.
- In the Application Pack pane, click Add under Filter Options.
- Select the Advanced Operation radio button.
- In the first drop-down menu, select Installations.
- In Parameter, select Name & Version.
- In Condition, select Older than.
- In Value, type the full name and version that you previously noted.
Example: 7-Zip 18.05 (x64) 18.05
- Click OK, click File > Save, and then close Application Manager.