Automated Software Installation

I should not have been surprised by this, once I thought about it a bit.

At work, I was told that I needed to have Microsoft Project installed on my computer so I could build schedules. OK, I thought. I already had Office 2010 on my computer. I went to a “Software Store” on the company Intranet, and found a list of available software, including Project.

There was also a lot of Open Source stuff that was listed as approved for use on company computers and networks, which I thought was cool. There were development environments like Netbeans, and support tools like PuTTY.

Regardless, I selected Project, typed in a short justification (more than “I was told to” 🙂 ), and submitted the request. I figured that after a couple days, a tech would come around, or remotely log into my machine, and do the install.

Instead, about five minutes later, an automated process popped up a window telling me that installation was about to happen. I quickly shut down the couple apps I was working on, and the automated process installed Project, some other patches, and support tools, then it rebooted the computer, and that was it. I was pretty amazed. It took about 10 minutes.

I should not have been surprised. When I think about the extensive updates that Microsoft has been pushing out for years (think patches for XP, or doing a complete unattended upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10), it occurred to me that doing the installation of a single new software would be pretty easy.

It was cool regardless.


One Response to “Automated Software Installation”

  1. Tom Says:

    Companies – if they chose to use it – who have a Microsoft Select or Select Plus subscriptions (not same as MSDN) have had that capability since at least the mid 90s. It generally works pretty well, but, badly administered, can have users clearing the way for mandatory updates several times a day. Most companies choose to do routine updates at night, so they require users to shut down apps and log off, but leave the machine on at night. There’s sometimes a bit of cleanup work in the morning.

    The best use of it is exactly what you witnessed: order the software you need and get it installed hands-free in short order.

    Select Plus requires at least 250 machines (OS licenses, basically), and will be replaced in July by the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) that adds subscriptions to online products. The actual product for administration will continue to be System Center and Configuration Manager.

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