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Software Development


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Software Deployment Options

The first step in any group policy-based software installation is obtaining the installer file for the software you are deploying. It is a requirement that this installation file be in Microsoft Software Installer (MSI) format.

"Once you have obtained the appropriate MSI file, you must create a distribution point for the software to be deployed from. Your distribution point needs to be a centralized location, preferably on a server, where a shared folder can be created that all users have read access to. Once you have created this shared folder, you need only to copy the MSI file into it."

"Now that we have prepared our installation file we are ready to create the group policy object that will push out the installation. To do this, we will be using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), which is a free download from Microsoft. Create a new GPO by opening the GPMC, clicking on 'Group Policy Objects' in the left pane, and right-clicking in the center pane and clicking 'Create New Group Policy Object.' Finally, type a name for this GPO and hit the Enter key. The name of your GPO should be something brief but descriptive, such as a 'Virus Protection Installation.'

"Having a fresh clean GPO to work with, we can now proceed to assigning the installation packing to it. You will begin this by right-clicking your newly created GPO and clicking 'Edit.' Under the Computer Configuration heading, expand 'Software Settings.' Right-click 'Software Installation,' point to 'New,' and click 'Package’. In the open dialog box, type the full UNC path to the shared MSI file and click 'Open.' Click 'Assigned' and then click 'OK.' The software package should now be displayed in the right pane of the GPMC window.

"In order to complete your setup, all that is left to do is link the GPO to the appropriate container. In the GPMC, right-click on the container that holds of the workstations you wish for the software to be deployed to and click 'Add Existing GPO.' Select the GPO you just created and click 'OK.' Your software should then be installed the next time your users restart their computers."

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