Systems Management Question

End User Self Install

06/19/2009 4306 views

I've been tasked with developing an end user self service portal for packaged applications. Basically, a user should be able to see all packaged applications regardless of licensing status. The web portal will then deploy the selected software if we have a valid license or if they don't the application owner should be contacted.

We are currently running SMS and are in the process of upgrading to SCCM. I am not the SMS admin, but I know we currently allow the helpdesk to push applications through SMS's web interface. All licensing restrictions in a separate SQL database which would need to be tied into.

Are there any commercial or free applications that currently do this? I found Alterias/Symantec's "Software Portal in Software Management Solution 7.0" but it uses their own backend and not SMS/SCCM.

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If you advertised the packages, wouldn't the end user be able to simply use the Control Panel applet 'Run Advertised Programs'?
Answered 06/22/2009 by: VBScab
Red Belt

We do do this, but it can't handle the situation where my org does not have a site license for the software.

I found http://www.sccmexpert.com/ which looks like it does most of what we need, but I don't know if the software will allow my org to use our external database of software licensing.

Does anyone have experience with SCCM Expert that can chime in about its extensibility?
Answered 06/22/2009 by: kjuneja
Yellow Belt

So you could advertise only to a new collection which contains just the machines/users who *do* have a license, no?
Answered 06/22/2009 by: VBScab
Red Belt

Technically we could, but end users don't care if an application requires a license and therefore want only one location to retrieve software. It would confuse end users, lower uptake of the tool, and take longer to earn back the ROI.

One portal that all end users regardless of business unit or location can visit and download or at least request the software to be pushed to their machine is the way to go for my org.

Hope that makes sense and thanks for the idea.
Answered 06/22/2009 by: kjuneja
Yellow Belt

There was a post a while back that made use of a VB script that read values from a CSV file to find out the correct licence key to use.
Each row in the CSV has a computer name and associated licence key. When the script is launched it checks the name of the computer it is launched on, checks the CSV file and if there is a matching row for the computer name uses the serial number by passing it as a public property on the commandline built by the script.

If the computer name isn't in the list, the installation doesn't happen.
This may help for a number of applications, and is just a suggestion to maybe point you in the right direction.

The post was made by AB (nice one Al) and can be found here

Hope this helps,

Answered 06/22/2009 by: dunnpy
Red Belt

only one location to retrieve software...like Control Panel's 'Run Advertised Programs' applet? :)

The scripted route outlined above involves more overhead than creating collections, quite apart from the need to add error-trapping to the script itself.

Answered 06/22/2009 by: VBScab
Red Belt

I went to a demo of Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and AppV and they used the following product:


Looked like it had potential.

Hope this helps

Answered 06/22/2009 by: Pudsey
Senior Yellow Belt

"Activate" is good stuff, I have worked in a couple of places that have it. It takes a bit of tweaking to get the workflow right, but does it all from Displaying available apps to adding users to groups based on an approval process.
Answered 06/22/2009 by: DeployTech
Orange Senior Belt

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