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Admin Arsenal is raffling eight PDQ Deploy Pro licenses of their Windows software distribution tool, each worth $249 USD. The deadline is May 27, 2011. If you want to take part in this raffle please send an email to .
PDQ Deploy Pro is the big brother of the free Windows software deployment tool PDQ Deploy. The pro version has some interesting additional features such as scheduling, bandwidth throttling, notifications, and the ability to working with packages that contain multiple actions. I will cover these and a few more features of the pro version in this and the next post.
One thing that both tools have in common is a very easy-to-use interface. You case use PDQ Deploy without reading the manual. Installation of PDQ Deploy Pro is easy, too. Essentially, it is a typical next-next installation. The tool uses SQLite as a database system, but you are not bothered with its installation. The setup tool does this for you. PDQ Deploy Pro's user interface has three main sections: Deployments, Schedules, and Installers.
Deployments and Schedules are the subject of my next post. Today, I will introduce the Installer concept. An Installer consists of one or multiple actions.
PDQ Deploy Pro knows two action types: Commands and Packages. Packages contain the installer for the software you want to deploy and Commands are executing programs remotely. Command and installers can be copied down in the original source directory
Actions are executed according to the order in which you configured them. This allows you to perform some additional maintenance tasks before or after the installation. For instance, if you want to uninstall a program on a Windows machine and you know that the corresponding installer leaves files or registry entries behind, you can use a Command Action to remove this data.
PDQ Deploy Pro allows you to work with return codes. Return codes for Packages can be used to flag successful installations in the PDQ Deploy Pro console. In Command actions, return codes enable you to stop a software distribution process if the command fails. You can use this feature to check if certain conditions are met on the remote Windows machines—for instance, the availability of a Windows service pack—before you run the setup program.
Setup program types ^
PDQ Deploy Pro directly supports setup programs of the following types: MSI, EXE, MSU and MSP, PowerShell, VB Script and Batch, and REG. For MSI packages, you can configure install, repair, and uninstall options. You can also specify whether a restart is required or not and whether the Installer should run in quiet mode. The parameter field allows you to specify additional configuration options of the corresponding setup program.
PDQ Deploy Pro Installers can be reused and organized in folders. This allows you to perform all kinds of regular maintenance tasks with the Windows software distribution tool using the scheduling feature, which is the topic of my next post.