Hello fellow IT guys, today while browsing around i came across a beautiful piece of software.

Configuration Manager Software Catalog in any organization needs to be as diversified as possible to cover most of your needs, just be sure you have enought people to update it with regular intervals, not like me 🙂 in witch I have a lot of outdated software.

sccm-software-catalog

If you worked with System Center Configuration Manager before, you undoubtedly have faced at some time the need for a application request that needed to be installed in a special manner.

Most of the time, Configuration Manager can handle the request if you have a .msi (Installer package a.k.a. Microsoft Windows) and write 2 lines of code or none at all.

Short example:

deploying-an-application-in-sccm-part-2 deploying-an-application-in-sccm-part-2

But what happens when users or IT personnel request an application from your software catalog that does not have a .msi install file. Now here the things get complicated, and you start looking for alternatives since you don’t want to create a .bat file, it’s not 98 anymore.

So this is where Advanced Installer comes in handy. You can get it for free at http://www.advancedinstaller.com/

I found it on a fellow it blogger site, and I have to say after trying it, I was amazed on how much you are allowed to do with the free version. As a re-assurance on the main page you can see that the product being endorsed by Steve Streeting, Lead developer of SourceTree at Atlassian; and also a slew of partners with big names in the industry.

Advanced-Installer

So I requested a free trial and started installing the software, really simple Next, Next , Next and Install and then you are greeted by this home menu:

Main Page shows the Specialized Templates and Generic Templates:

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There is a special section also for Java … we all know if you still have Java in your organization … it’s a pain in the but to patch it, since every day it seems like a new security flaw has been discovered.

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A Package Convert, very handy also.

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Security Patching for those Out-Of-Band-Updates that will always appear by Microsoft and your security team will flip over to patch them as soon as possible.

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So as you can see the application is not only pretty to look at but also is like a SWISS Army Knife with everything for packaging applications.

For my test I wanted to make available Putty in my software catalog, so here are the steps I took.

New Project – Simple

You are treated to a screen that is self explanatory, I like the fact that it can automatically extract the .ico file from a .exe without you having to find the icon for it … really saved time there.

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Now even more crazy, if you are doing this app for end-client that have internet access you can make this app to upgrade automatically.

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It has even an Resources tab, where you can monitor what changes will this application make on your system. This is brilliant, you can now always have this documented and show the impact before deplying an application and satisfy your security team that your new tool is ok to use.

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And off-course the trusty parameters so you can install the software as you like silent, without reboot … etc.

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You can even create a step by step install guide if you have a certain software that you need to install in a special manner and that install needs to be manual by the users themselves; this is making the application packaging a breeze for us system admins and especially for the end users also.

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Once you are done, you just hit BUILD and voila takes a few second to build that project and you have your .msi to import to Configuration Manager.

It really is that simple, I was amazed by how seamlessly and feature packed Advanced Installer is, and I would strongly recommend it for all System Admin to have this tool in their arsenal especially since the free version is very rich in features also.

It is amazing to see that all features presented here are in the FREE version; the paid one has much ore to offer … simply amazing !

What are you waiting for, go to http://www.advancedinstaller.com/ and get your kit now.

 

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