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The latest update to AdminStudio Suite includes new capabilities that solve some of the biggest challenges that face end user computing and desktop administrators.

Reducing App Risks: Understanding Java Dependencies and Identifying End of Life Versions

Employees and customers rely on your systems and services to be available when they need them.  There are currently over 3,000 classes of Java, and dependencies and configurations can cause havoc with packaging your business-critical applications.  And older versions of Java that are no longer supported can open your organization to unnecessary security risks.

End user computing and desktop administrators, especially those who package and support third-party applications, have a general disdain for apps that rely on Java. Various apps, especially older ones, require specific versions of Java, so they need to manage many different versions in their enterprise environments. Having those multiple versions can also create security issues and require constant attention to vulnerability alerts to ensure that the versions of Java that are running are up-to-date and fully supported to thwart hackers.

With over 3,000 classes of Java, managing dependencies is the No. 1 issue we hear about from our AdminStudio customers.  Now, in the latest release of AdminStudio 2016 SP2, new capabilities for Java testing and Dependency Mapping analyzes MSI and EXE installers to determine application dependency with Java.

Java Detection Tests

AdminStudio includes new Java detection tests for Windows and Mac OS desktop applications that determine whether an application has a dependency on a Java version (required during either package installation or after package installation) that has been designated as end of life/end of support. Either an Error or Warning is generated:

  • Error— Application is dependent upon a Java version that is designated as end-of-life/end-of-support.
  • Warning— Application depends upon a version of Java that is not the most recent version.

Java Runtime Environment Dependency Report

A new Java Runtime Environment Dependency report has been introduced; it can be  found on the Report Center tab. The initial view of this report shows the number of applications that require a Java Runtime version to run, as well as the number of applications that install a specific Java Runtime version during installation.

Faster Deployment – PowerShell App Wrapping Quickly Prepares Software for Deployment

PowerShell is a task automation and configuration management framework from Microsoft. AdminStudio now includes PowerShell wrapping functions to perform common tasks for application deployment and to interact with users during the deployment. It simplifies the complex scripting challenges of deploying applications in the enterprise, delivers a consistent user experience and improves the success rate of your installations.

By wrapping an existing Windows Installer (.msi) or complex installation package (.exe) in a PowerShell script, you can automatically perform deployment tasks both before and after installation.

AdminStudio provides full support for PowerShell-wrapped packages, including converting Windows Installer packages and complex installation packages to PowerShell wrapped packages. You can convert the following deployment types into a PowerShell wrapped package:

  • Windows Installer packages (.msi)
  • InstallShield InstallScript .exe files
  • InstallShield Basic MSI installers that are compressed into a setup.exe file
  • InstallShield Suite Installer .exe files
  • Wise Package Studio .exe files
  • Other executable file types that can be uncompressed by 7-ZIP

AdminStudio imports existing PowerShell-wrapped packages into the Application Catalog where you can run tests against them using Test Center. You can also convert a PowerShell-wrapped package to a virtual package using Automated Application Converter or the Conversion Wizard and test those wrapped packages on virtual machines. To test the installation of a PowerShell-wrapped package on a virtual machine, just use the Test on Virtual Machine Wizard. This wizard uses the capability of the Automated Application Converter tool to spin up the selected virtual machine and install the selected package.

And, finally, you can distribute PowerShell-wrapped packages to System Center Configuration Manager and Symantec Altiris Client Management Suite using the Distribution Wizard.

Current AdminStudio customers can download the latest AdminStudio Suite 2016 SP2 from the Flexera Software Product and License Center. To learn more about the exciting new capabilities contact your Flexera Account Manager.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 6.05.03 AMTimothy Davis is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Flexera Software, and has worked in global marketing at high-tech firms such as BMC Software, VeriSign, McAfee, and Lotus. With over 25 years of experience in enterprise software, he has gained a deep understanding of the business challenges faced by IT organizations in enterprises of all sizes. Specializing in IT Service Management and Operations, Tim develops content that translates product features into real business benefits that help IT leaders learn about new and developing technologies that drive IT efficiency and improve customer satisfaction.

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Packaging, deploying and managing software across an increasing number of diverse endpoints is hard enough, let alone worrying about security vulnerabilities. I recently had the opportunity to work with Adam Bertram –a.k.a. Adam the Automator, a Microsoft Powershell MVP–on this webinar recording.

Adam talked about how security is becoming an increasingly important topic for end user computing professionals. Protecting enterprises against cyber security attacks is a critical job, and requires a collaborative effort among service management, operation, and security teams to monitor and patch applications that are proliferating across devices and in enterprise data centers.

He covers what to look out for, the biggest patching and security compliance pain points, as well as strategies to embed security into an automated Application Readiness process.

If you are involved in packaging and deploying applications in your organization, then be sure to watch Adam as he provides tips from the real world and reviews Application Readiness best practices.

Watch this webinar if you struggle with any of these pain points:

  • Hundreds of thousands of applications
  • Increasingly complex and heterogeneous environments
  • Vastly different user requirements
  • Challenges in gaining control over inventory
  • Faster pace of update releases from vendors
  • Increasing importance of patching security vulnerabilities

Security doesn’t have to be a manual process. You can use automation to ease the burden so you can get back to innovating. Watch it now!

Watch this Redmond Tech Advisor webinar featuring Adam the Automator

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Timothy Davis is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Flexera Software, and has worked in global marketing at high-tech firms such as BMC Software, VeriSign, McAfee, and Lotus. With over 25 years of experience in enterprise software, he has gained a deep understanding of the business challenges faced by IT organizations in enterprises of all sizes. Specializing in IT Service Management and Operations, Tim develops content that translates product features into real business benefits that help IT leaders learn about new and developing technologies that drive IT efficiency and improve customer satisfaction.

Hi,

It has been too long since I wrote anything but here comes a small update. Hopefully I get more time to blog all things I’ve been wanting to share soon.

I have just updated my MDT Monitor Tool to version 1.5 (Download), this version adds the “Start Time” column. So if you have many deployments ongoing or finnished you can now sort on start time.

 

MDT

New in v1.5:

  • Added Start Time as a value in the columns so you can sort on when a deployment was started
  • Removed the empty column to the left.

 

New in v1.4:

  • Fixed bug where Dart Remote Viewer didnt work
  • Option to show client local time instead of UTC, edit config.xml to enable/disable

 

New in v1.2:

  • Fixed Dart Remote Viewer not connection to full ip Issue: 1222

 

New in v1.1:

  • Added timers for autorefresh of webservice info
  • Added some better errorchecking and cleaned up the code a bit

 

For more info see my original post:
http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2014/01/29/mdt-monitor-tool/

 

I can’t take all the credit for thinking up this tool, but I’ll take the credit for making it cool! At my previous job, one of the guys there wrote a script to do the following:

Run the silent install of an application -> Wait for it to complete -> Copy log files to a network share -> Revert VM to previous snapshot and test the next application

They could start this script and test a lot of apps overnight. I recently came across a problem where I wanted to test all the applications just created to make sure they installed correctly. We knew the silent install scripts worked outside of ConfigMgr, but the application objects were not tested. Instead of doing the work manually, I decided to write a new and improved version of the script to work with Hyper-V. Here’s the setup for the script:

1) Deploy all applications you want to test as Available to a Hyper-V VM
2) Run this script on the computer/server running Hyper-V
3) Put in the computer name (what you ping) and VM name (what you see in Hyper-V)
4) Select the applications you want to install (if you don’t see them, do machine policy updates)
5) Select if you want logs gathered and/or checkpoints made
6) Click start!

What does the script do? I made this nice flow chart to explain!

img_5538370dc47d4

Each step is logged to the same directory of the script to a file called ApplicationInstalls.log. This log file is in CMTrace format, so make sure you open it with trace!

img_553837c751c25

If you choose to save checkpoints and are testing a lot of apps, make sure you have space! I used this to test 40 apps earlier today and saved a check point after each install. It ate up about 100GB of space and I had only 8GB left when the script ended!

Things to add later: Option to test uninstall after installing.

If you want this script, you can download it here on Technet.

If you want to contribute any code to the script, check it out in my toolbox repo on GitHub. It’s called “Test Applications in HyperV.ps1″