6. Desktop Management

6.1. Application Packaging and Deployment

In a managed desktop environment, application deployment generally needs to be automated. There are many tools and application suites that may be used to deploy applications across multiple computers. Those known to be in use across the University include Group Policy via Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft SMS, Novell Zenworks for Desktop and Altiris Deployment Solution. There are many other products available.

Application installations may need to be customised in order to deploy them via these methods. Broadly speaking there are two main approaches to package customisation; scripting using the existing installer mechanism, or repackaging. They each have advantages and disadvantages, and the method chosen may depend in part on the method chosen to deploy the application. Often a combination of methods is used, depending on the application.

There is no definitive set of rules for repackaging; software developers customise a variety of installers in a variety of ways and for the most part no two installations are alike. However there are many sites that help to explain the main methods in use and how they work, and offer tips and tricks for dealing with difficult installations.

6.2. Further Information

Some starting points for further related information are given below. This list does not attempt to be complete, nor is its contents recommended above other sources.

6.2.1. Mailing Lists

Mailling lists for Windows support discussion, aimed at Higher and Further Education.

6.2.2. Websites

Up: Contents Previous: 5. Anti-virus