Deploying Software and Updates
Essentials 2007 enables you to manage the process of getting updates that are released through Microsoft Update and distributing them to servers and client computers in your network. You can also use Essentials 2007 to package and deploy software installation packages.
Please be aware that alternate installation processes such as the Microsoft Office administrative installation point (AIP) can affect update management. When you use an AIP, updates should be applied to only the administrative image, and you then use the AIP to update managed computers.
The update process as managed by Essentials 2007 consists of the following steps:
Synchronize Essentials 2007 with Microsoft Update. For more information about synchronizing updates, see "How to Manually Synchronize Updates with Microsoft Update." Some Microsoft-verified partners provide update catalogs for their software, and Essentials 2007 can import updates for those software applications as well.
Approve updates. You can approve updates for all computers or for a specific computer group, and you can set a deadline by which Essentials 2007 will install the update.
Deploy updates. Updates are deployed automatically once approved. Updates for which you have set a deadline will be deployed at the deadline date and time. Updates for which you have specified to be installed manually by the computer user can be installed any time after the next check-in from the client computer. For more information about the update deployment process, see "About Update Management."
Check update status. You can see how many updates are available, how many approved updates have been deployed, if any updates have failed installation, and so on. This is your best check of update progress. For more information about synchronizing updates, see "How to View Updates."
Remove updates when and if necessary. Windows Installer-based updates can be uninstalled. You can use Essentials 2007 to uninstall updates for all computers or for a specific computer group.
You use software deployment in System Center Essentials 2007 to centrally deploy software to your managed computers. By using Essentials 2007, you can specify criteria to group the computers that require the software, deploy the software to those computers, and then review deployment status. The software deployment process as managed by Essentials 2007 consists of the following steps:
Create a software installation package. The installation program can be a Windows Installer application or an executable (.exe) file. For information about how to use a silent install for your software package, see "How to Create a Software Package That Contains a Response File."
Approve the deployment. In the New Software Package Wizard, you can select a computer group or computer groups to which you want to deploy the package and you can approve the deployment. Or you can approve a package at any time after completing the wizard.
Deploy the installation package. If you approve the deployment in the New Software Package Wizard, the deployment will begin immediately after finishing the package wizard. If you complete the wizard without approving the deployment, the software deployment does not start on the managed computers until you approve it. You can also set a deadline that specifies the date and time to deploy.
Monitor deployment status. Deployment status is available in the Software panes of the Essentials 2007 console.
Remove software packages. You can remove software packages that you no longer need in the Software panes of the Essentials 2007 console. To remove a software package, right-click the package in the All Software Packages pane and click Delete.