So, coffee finished, had a relaxing drink, checked my emails, looked for some new jobs, but now it's time to get back to the next app.

To elaborate more on stats from part 2, or to continue the scenario, I am not sure what is best.

But I had packaged the app and sent it to 40 machines, while Mr Manual Install, was at machine 3.

I don’t think I need to describe the situations. Like, explaining to a user that you want them to LOG OFF the machine so you can sort it out while they are at lunch, they either shut it down, or turn the screen off. Seriously, people today still don’t know the difference between log off, shut down and the ultimate restart. Surely no court in the land would convict you…..

I can now go back and deploy the app to another 40, 50 or 100 devices, but only I after have checked the status of the initial 40. It will be fine, we are using SCCM, its perfect. 

In my mind I don’t think we need a part 3 for this story, as packagers we get the aim of this little blog, but just in case you are dealing with some PM's like I am, the scenarios might help you with your cause too.

So, what app to do for part 3?

I'm thinking something quite common and relatively 'simple', yet with a bit of depth, so when you scratch the surface, you see a bit more.

Adobe Reader
Google Chrome

Both very common apps, both 'simple MSI's'. It's also fair to so that most people in the world have probably installed the or at least used them. 

But in this scenario we explore more a little bit more into the long-term benefits of 'packaging vs manual installs'.

PMs pretty much just want a box ticked so they can move forward, their main task is to close the project then play golf (yes I know they play golf most weeks during the project). But project sponsor, the IT director etc, they have more wisdom and understand the long play.

They want the benefits, they understand the rewards of having apps to deploy as and when needed, like in 18 months, when machines start going through the corporate replacement scheme, or when machines get lost or stolen, hard drive failures etc

So, Adobe Reader and Chrome.
Both apps that are free to download, supported and supplied in MSI format.
Just like in the prev blog, we still have to download the source software, figure out how to install, which for these apps is just a few clicks.

But is there more we could do to make it better???

Adobe Reader
Shall we:
turn off updates
Apply the latest patch
Get rid of the desktop shortcut
Remove that distracting 'purchase now' from the help menu


Google Chrome
Shall we:
Turn off updates
Set the home page to the company intranet

For Adobe Reader, those settings we can't configure in the app, we need the customisation tool from Adobe, but that is no big deal, for us, Mr Manual Install…. Another story.

For Chrome, they are all achievable through the application.
But as the amount of steps that occur during the installation and configuration stage, the more chances there are for errors, incorrect settings or missing a stage all together. 

So for Adobe Reader, let's call that 4 hrs to make the package, look at the settings in the customisation tool, have a play, then install and test our settings are as we want. Not forgetting to look at the latest 'feature' Adobe have put in there that we want to ripout, sorry, disable.

For Chrome, let's just pretend it all went to plan and it took 1.5 hrs.

I think the payoff is going to be about the same for these apps as before, I will package them in about the time Mr Manual Install gets to install it on say 3 machines for Adobe Reader and 5 machine for Chrome. (Adobe Reader has a slightly bigger foot print and more dialogues to go through).

But Adobe Reader will need to be installed on every machine, Chrome, maybe not all, but once someone has it, everyone wants it. Back to the numbers game, if its for all machines, package it, if its going to get sprawl, package it.

But the main problem here is, Chrome. It has user settings.
So the manual install stage will be, log user off, log in as admin, do the install, log off. Then log the user back in, launch app and do the configuration.

What happens when another user logs into the machine? Or their profile gets deleted??

I am going to pretend that Mr Manual Install and I are friends, we were talking about this, and I helped out by giving him the config file that sets these things in Chrome as a machine setting for all users. So installation will be, download MSI, install, copy this file from here, to there…  job done. After all, one team, one goal.

Next, I think I need to stack things in the favour of my colleague, Mr Manual Install.

How about AutoCAD. The full version, 3 installs, all single user licenses……

Surely there is no point in packaging that, right?