I've inherited an environment where there is just a myriad of varying Adobe Flash versions and types installed. There's been no rhyme/reason in the installation scheme for Flash up until this point and in the K1000 Software, I can see versions (both major/minor) ranging from 10 to 18 as well as a mind-boggling amount of different names for them; ActiveX, Plugin, NPAPI. I've been tasked with getting us up-to-date and off of these ancient versions and I would like to develop some best practices in terms of controlling what versions go out in our environment. I guess my first question, is are there any resources that actually explain the differences between the types? 

For instance, I have some that say Adobe Flash 15 ActiveX and Adobe Flash 15 Plugin...are these actually different installs of the program? Would love ideas or even links to any type of documentation/guides that talk about how to upgrade these older versions? Do I need to tackle these individually, version by version, or can I try to create an update package that will bring me current independent of the version that it's currently at.

Thank you all for any help / ideas you can point me to
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I feel your pain tho!  What I think you are dealing with is the clunky inability of the smart label template to correctly identify these.

With the Advanced Search or Smart Label wizard/template, I'm not sure what the Add Group is for exactly other than perhaps formatting for your mind.  But specifying Software Titles, beginning with, Abode Flash Player, AND, Add Group, Software Titles, ending with, NPAPI, seems fine.  But if you go the next step by adding another AND, Add Line, Software Version, <, 18.0.0.203, will not necessarily tell you the truth!  It is looking at all installed software titles and answering based on their versions; not in this grouping alone as one would think.

This is how I'm tackling this using three custom smart labels:

An Active X smart label:
SELECT MACHINE.NAME AS SYSTEM_NAME, SYSTEM_DESCRIPTION, MACHINE.IP, MACHINE.MAC, MACHINE.ID as TOPIC_ID FROM MACHINE  WHERE ((( exists (select 1 from SOFTWARE, MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT where MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.MACHINE_ID = MACHINE.ID AND SOFTWARE.ID = MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.SOFTWARE_ID and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like 'Adobe Flash Player%' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like '%ActiveX' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_VERSION != '18.0.0.203'))) )

An NPAPI smart label:
SELECT MACHINE.NAME AS SYSTEM_NAME, SYSTEM_DESCRIPTION, MACHINE.IP, MACHINE.MAC, MACHINE.ID as TOPIC_ID FROM MACHINE  WHERE ((( exists (select 1 from SOFTWARE, MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT where MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.MACHINE_ID = MACHINE.ID AND SOFTWARE.ID = MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.SOFTWARE_ID and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like 'Adobe Flash Player%' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like '%NPAPI' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_VERSION != '18.0.0.203'))) )

An Plugin smart label:
SELECT MACHINE.NAME AS SYSTEM_NAME, SYSTEM_DESCRIPTION, MACHINE.IP, MACHINE.MAC, MACHINE.ID as TOPIC_ID FROM MACHINE  WHERE ((( exists (select 1 from SOFTWARE, MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT where MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.MACHINE_ID = MACHINE.ID AND SOFTWARE.ID = MACHINE_SOFTWARE_JT.SOFTWARE_ID and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like 'Adobe Flash Player%' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME like '%Plugin' and SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_VERSION != '18.0.0.203'))) )

Now finally with a script, I attach said smart labels to their prespective installers; two smart labels for the NPAPI of course.
Answered 07/09/2015 by: worzie
Second Degree Green Belt

  • Thank you, worzie. These labels are working great to help me identify the different versions and types in our environment. Combined with the MI posted above by Hrkljus and we're finally making a dent in getting these old versions upgraded!
    • Glad this was handy. I don't use the MI anymore as I often need to push software on the fly to one PC. I eventually moved everything to scripts; just far more powerful. You do loose instant view of what PC's are still having issues installing tho. But that's why you need good Smart Labels! Plus... the other good reason to go with scripts is because it is necessary to be sure the user isn't using the application at the time you update it by verifying the process doesn't exist. Cheers!
      • Great points. MI is working for us initially just because of the sheer amount of systems we need to get updated as quick as possible. I noticed, that even if an old Flash process is running, I can still successfully install the ActiveX update. It just doesn't take affect until the user goes through a reboot. Might not be ideal for us in the long-term but is acceptable at least for now until we purge out all the old versions. Thank you again!
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As far as I've always tried - the latest version always works to remove and upgrade to previous version. But I don't recall going up from maybe one major version. As for the different installs you have ActiveX for IE and plugin/NPAPI for Chrome or Firefox browsers. I've always used the .exe installers with the /install switch.
Answered 07/07/2015 by: jegolf
Red Belt

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I installed it as a Managed Installation. No reboot required and installs in seconds.

Just get the msi from Adobe's web site.

Answered 07/07/2015 by: Hrkljus
Orange Belt

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ActiveX = Internet Explorer
Plug-in/NPAPI = Firefox/Chrome

Although the versions mentioned are behind the times, this article explains the background.

There's a script here on ITNinja which removes a bunch of old Flash versions. All you need do is add the Windows Installer ProductCode for the versions which aren't included in the script but which appear in your estate. That's easy enough to do, since the KBox takes inventory which, AFAIK, includes the ProductCode for the apps.
Answered 07/08/2015 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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