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Developing Disk Images : Configuring the Lab Distribution Share (part 2) - Adding Applications

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Adding Applications

You must add each application to the distribution share that you intend to deploy by using BDD 2007. Deployment Workbench gives you the option to copy the application source files directly into the distribution share, or to just add a reference to the application source files to the distribution share and leave them in their original location. Generally, if the network location containing the application source files will not be available during deployment, you should copy the application source files to the distribution share.

In addition to specifying how to add application source files to the distribution share, you can specify the command line for installing the application, dependencies between applications, and other settings for each application. After adding an application to the distribution share, you can install it at one of two points in the process:

  • During the Windows Deployment Wizard During the interview, the Windows Deployment Wizard prompts the user with a list of applications that are available for installation. The user can then choose which applications to install. This requires user intervention.

  • During the task sequence Application installations added to the task sequence—the sequence of tasks that occur during installation to prepare, install, and configure the build on the destination computer—occur when the Windows Deployment Wizard executes the task sequence on the destination computer. This is fully automated.

 You deploy each type of application differently, depending on the strategy you choose for application deployment. The strategies are as follows:

  • Thick image Install applications to the build that you’re using to create disk images. You can install applications by using the Windows Deployment Wizard or by adding applications to the task sequence.

  • Thin image Application deployment usually occurs outside of operating system deployment, probably using a systems-management infrastructure such as SMS 2003.

  • Hybrid image You install applications to the build you’re deploying to destination computers (most likely a custom image) and possibly install additional applications using a systems-management infrastructure. You can install the applications by using the Windows Deployment Wizard or by adding them to the task sequence.

Caution

Do not allow an application to restart the computer. The Windows Deployment Wizard must control reboots or the task sequence will fail. See the section “Installation Reboots” for more information about configuring reboots.


To add an application to the distribution share
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, right-click Applications, and then click New to start the New Application Wizard. Applications is located under Distribution Share.

2.
On the Specify The Type Of Application To Add page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

  • Select Application With Source Files to copy the application source files to the distribution share. During deployment, the Windows Deployment Wizard installs the application from the distribution share.

  • Select Application Without Source Files Or Elsewhere On The Network. Choosing this option does not copy the application source files to the distribution share. During deployment, the Windows Deployment Wizard installs the application from another location on the network. Also, choose this option to run a command that requires no application source files.

3.
On the Specify The Details For This Application page, provide the information described in Table 1, and then click Next.

Table 1. The Specify the Details For This Application Page
In this locationProvide this information
Publisher boxName of the application’s publisher
Application Name boxName of the application
Version boxVersion label for the application
Languages boxLanguages that the application supports
Platforms listPlatforms supported by the application:
  • All Platforms

  • X86 platform ONLY!

  • X64 (or amd64) platform ONLY!

  • Ia64 platform ONLY!


4.
On the Select The Location Of The Application Files page, type the path of the folder containing the application to be added or click Browse to open it, and then click Next. If you choose to copy the application source files to the distribution share, Deployment Workbench copies everything in this folder to the distribution share; otherwise, it adds this path to the application’s metadata as the application’s installation path. If the application source files are staged on the local hard disk, you can optionally select Move The Files To The Distribution Share Instead Of Copying Them to quickly move them to the distribution share instead of copying them.

5.
On the Specify The Destination page, type the name of the folder to create for the application within the distribution share’s Applications folder, and then click Next. The default value is the publisher, application name, and version label concatenated.

Caution

Make sure that the destination specified on the Specify The Destination page is unique. Otherwise, during an LTI deployment, the Windows Deployment Wizard will display multiple applications having the same name but installing different applications. If necessary, change the name on the Specify The Destination page to ensure that it is unique.

6.
On the Specify Installation Details page, type the command to use to install the application silently, and then click Add. For example, type msiexec /qb /i program.msi. The command is relative to the working directory specified in the Working Directory box.

After you add an application to the distribution share, it appears in the Applications details pane. It also appears in the distribution share in Applications\subfolder, where subfolder is the destination specified when adding the application.

To edit and application in the distribution share
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application, and then click Properties.

3.
On the General tab, edit the application information, and then click OK.

To provide an uninstall registry key name
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application, and then click Properties.

3.
On the General tab, type the uninstall registry key name in the Uninstall Registry Key Name box, and then click OK.

The Windows Deployment Wizard uses the uninstall registry key name to determine whether an application is already installed on the destination computer. This is a subkey of HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall. If the Windows Deployment Wizard detects the presence of this key, it assumes that the application is already installed and skips the installation of that application and any dependencies. In the Uninstall Registry Key Name box, type the name of the subkey—not the entire path.

To disable an application
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application you want to disable, and then click Properties.

3.
Click the General tab, clear the Enable This Application check box, and then click OK.

If you add an application that you intend to install during the task sequence, disable the application by clearing the Enable This Application check box. The application will still install during the task sequence, but the user will not see it in the applications list.

To remove an application from the distribution share
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application you want to remove, and then click Delete.

When you delete an application from Deployment Workbench, it is also removed from the Applications folder in the distribution share. In other words, removing an application from Deployment Workbench also removes it from the file system.

Specifying Application Dependencies

Using Deployment Workbench, you can specify dependencies between applications. For example, if application A is dependent on application B, Deployment Workbench will ensure that application B is installed before installing application A.

To create a dependency between two applications
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application that has a dependency, and then click Properties.

3.
Click the Dependencies tab, do any of the following, and then click OK:

  • To add an application to the Dependencies list, click Add, and then select an application. Deployment Workbench displays only those applications that have already been added to the distribution share.

  • To remove an application from the Dependencies list, select an application from the list, and then click Remove.

  • To reorder the applications in the Dependencies list, select an application in the list, and then click Up or Down. The Windows Deployment Wizard installs the dependent applications in the order specified in the Dependencies list.


Installation Reboots

Do not allow an application to restart the computer. The Windows Deployment Wizard must control reboots or the task sequence will fail. For example, you can use REBOOT=REALLYSUPPRESS to prevent some Windows Installer–based applications from restarting. You can cause the Windows Deployment Wizard to restart the computer after installing an application by selecting the Reboot The Computer After Installing This Application check box in the Application Properties dialog box of Deployment Workbench, where Application is the name of the application.

Direct from the Source: Reboots in BDD 2007

When a user first logs on to the computer, he can run commands in different ways. One way is to add RunSynchronous to the <Microsoft-Windows-Setup> child element FirstLogonCommands during the oobeSystem pass.

BDD 2007 doesn’t use RunSynchronous because it needs to support more complex installation scenarios. For example, a BDD 2007 installation needs to support reboots between applications installations, and RunSynchronous doesn’t support reboot-and-pick-up-where-it-left-off. Instead, BDD 2007 adds a command to RunSynchronous to initially start the task sequence. Then, if the task sequence needs to restart the computer, it adds a shortcut to the StartUp group, which continues the task sequence after the computer restarts.

Michael Niehaus, Lead Developer for BDD 2007

Management and Infrastructure Solutions


To restart the computer after installing an application
1.
In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Applications.

2.
In the details pane, right-click the application for which the Windows Deployment Wizard must restart the computer after installation, and then click Properties.

3.
Click the General tab, select the Reboot The Computer After Installing This Application check box, and then click OK. Selecting this check box causes the Windows Deployment Wizard to restart the computer after installing the application and then continue with the next step in the task sequence.
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