I guess this won't be all that scientific but it should be interesting to read. What is your top issue(s) that prevents applications going into production in a timely fashion?
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Just to share my comments on the issue ;)

The main issue (for us), while not that big have been when vendor supplied packages is unable to install through a network resource (share) and will only install locally from the client. No major deal for small packages but when they ship 2 DVD disc it will consume disc and time during installation. Throuh SMS this can be handle but think of those who use less flexible distribution tools or Active Directory. One example would be BusinessMAP from ESRI that uses 1 DVD or 15 CD:s and ;) have nested MSI:s that rely on each other.
Answered 08/21/2006 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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Heh, reminds me of the Aspen Engineering Suite. The last time I touched that one I had to go all the way to their customer support to get a special tool to un-nest all their MSIs. That didn't happen until I had a fair bit of interaction with their customer support. Their preferred method of distribution is to install the entire suite and let licensing control access. If you have seen how massive the suite is it would be rather ridiculous to install the whole thing.
Answered 08/21/2006 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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Impressive

I tried ESRI´s support and their product manager through 2 months. First they didn't understand why this was a problem and at the end of the months I didn't hear from them no more. Strange to not have interest in the distribution issue for a company with size of 36000 employees and that application was quite vital for them.
Answered 08/21/2006 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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Now that we finally have SMS back in house, the biggest issues I run into are political. Improper testing, unrealistic expectations, lack of knowledge about the application, etc.

Example: Several months back I had a group of people that use IBM's DB2 application request that a new version be packaged. I told them I'd need about 3 weeks lead time b/c of packaging, testing, and back up since I have a small team. I got the request 3 weeks out, but in addition to packaging the application, they also wanted all the old versions on all machines removed. The targetted group of people had numerous old versions of of the app installed by numerous means (manual, GPO assigned package, etc). So rather than a simple package & deploy, we had to come up with a script that would detect which of 5 possible installs they had, pull the associated uninstall string from the registry, pull the user and/or machine from the group in AD that the GPO install was assigned to (where applicable), run the uninstall, reboot, run the new install, add a hotfix, and add scripted aliases depending on group membership in AD.

Needless to say that's a bit more complex than a simple install & b/c of all the variables needs much more testing. Regardless, the requestor still demanded it be done in the quoted 3 weeks, and stirred up a political firestorm when I pushed back on it.

*sigh*

Corporate IT is a double edged sword. Large budgets, big tools, room for advancement are all on the plus side, yet on the negative side you have politics, bureacracy, meetings, and 478237875 managers between you and your customer.
Answered 08/22/2006 by: Bladerun
Green Belt

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Client expectations are definitely difficult to manage. I was part of several different projects where statistical analysis of the work was done and for the most part you do hit your metric somewhere within 1-3 packages a day per packager depending on what your average is. Unfortunately there are 5-20% of the applications that do not fit nicely into that metric. It always seems that those are the applications that the business freaks out about. For the most part packaging is process driven but the hard part is for the business to understand that this is still very creative development work that does not necessarily flow like a factory.

Oh only if vendors made good MSIs. [:D]
Answered 08/22/2006 by: kkaminsk
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ORIGINAL: kkaminsk
Oh only if vendors made good MSIs. [:D]


... or the software that ran in user context, for that matter [:D]
Answered 08/22/2006 by: revizor
Third Degree Blue Belt

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ORIGINAL: revizor

ORIGINAL: kkaminsk
Oh only if vendors made good MSIs. [:D]


... or the software that ran in user context, for that matter [:D]


True, I should add that. I am seeing that a fair bit with a new Citrix environment.
Answered 08/22/2006 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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