Deploying the DCA Software

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

The installation program for the DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant (DCA) is an .msi file that can be run on any computer that is capable of participating in a DirectAccess-enabled network. To deploy the installation program to your DirectAccess client computers, you have several options:

  • Copy the .msi file to a network share or Web site to which your users have read access permissions. Then send your DirectAccess users an e-mail message that contains a link to the file.

  • Use a software distribution system such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager to automatically deploy and run the installation file on all computers that meet the specified criteria. For more information, see System Center Configuration Manager (

  • Use Group Policy in Active Directory® to automatically deploy and run the installation file on all computers to which the Group Policy object (GPO) applies. When you install DirectAccess, the Setup Wizard creates a GPO for DirectAccess clients named DirectAccess Policy-{3491980e-ef3c-4ed3-b176-a4420a810f12} or UAG DirectAccess: Client-{3491980e-ef3c-4ed3-b176-a4420a810f12}, which applies only to computers that are members of a security group or set of groups that you specify. You can include the DCA software installation setting as part of this GPO. This is the option described in this topic.

To modify the DirectAccess client GPO to deploy the DCA software, follow the steps in the following procedure.

To configure a GPO to deploy the DCA software

  1. Copy the DCA .msi installer program to a network shared resource to which your DirectAccess client computers have read access permissions.

  2. On a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 and has the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed, start the Group Policy Management MMC snap-in. To download RSAT, see Remote Server Administration Tools ( in the Microsoft Download Center.

  3. In the navigation tree, right-click the GPO that you want to configure, and then click Edit.

    The Group Policy Management Editor appears.

  4. In the navigation tree, expand Computer Configuration, expand Policies, expand Software Settings, right-click Software installation, click New, and then click Package.

  5. In the Open dialog box, browse to the network shared resource where you copied the DCA installation file. Select the file DirectAccess installation .msi file, and then click Open.


If the path you specify is not a network shared resource, a warning message appears telling you that network users might not be able to access the file to run it. The file itself is not distributed by using Group Policy; only the command to run it. The file itself must be on a network shared resource to which the DirectAccess client computers have read access permissions.

  1. In the Deploy Software dialog box, select Assigned, and then click OK. Because it is assigned to the computer instead of to a user, the software package is installed as soon as the Windows Installer engine determines that it is safe to do so.

    The new package appears in the details pane.

The next time Group Policy refreshes on the client computers to which the GPO applies, the settings contained in the GPO are enforced and the software is installed. To manually force a refresh of Group Policy on a client computer, run the following command at a command prompt with Administrator permissions:

gpupdate /force