System Center Configuration Manager 2007 : Creating a Package (part 3) - OpsMgr Client - Configuring the Package Used by the Package Definition File

12/10/2013 3:04:50 AM
1.3 Configuring the Package Used by the Package Definition File

Using a package definition file provides a solid configuration for building the program required to install the OpsMgr agent. This is just one of the configurations completed with the Create Package from Definition Wizard . To see the properties of this package, right-click the package (located in the Configuration Manager console -> Site Database -> Software Distribution -> Packages) and go to the Properties page.

The package’s General tab displays the default settings created. These include the name, version, manufacturer, language, and comment for the package. Figure 16 shows an example of the General tab with the information populated from the package definition file.

Figure 16. General tab of the package

Notice the other tabs that are part of the package properties. The Data Source tab in Figure 17 specifies where the files are located and shows their distribution method.

Figure 17. Data Source tab of the package

In this example, the OpsMgr package was created with uncompressed source files (see the option previously specified in Figure 4 to always obtain files from the source directory). You can change this setting after creating the package, and change the location of the source files using the Set button next to this field. Unchecking the option This package contains source files will gray out the remaining items on this tab. Alternatively, you can also choose to make this package use a compressed copy of the source directory, which grays out the option to update distribution points on a schedule.

If you check the option Always obtain files from the source directory, there is an option to update distribution points on a schedule. This option is useful for those software packages that you expect to update source files for on a regular basis. The option is configured by using the Schedule button and then configuring the start time (which defaults to the current date and time), the recurrence (none, weekly, monthly, custom interval) and how often it will recur (in days, hours or minutes). This option is seldom used, however.

Use the option Persist content in the client cache for recurring packages such as antivirus software. This option stores the program in the client cache for an indefinite period; however, this requires that the advertisement is configured to download and execute. The option is disabled by default. Use this option with care, because it decreases the amount of available client cache and could cause a package to fail to distribute if there is insufficient space to store that package.

The last option on this tab is Enable binary differential replication, which by default is disabled. If this option is checked, the package uses binary delta comparison for the source files. This means that ConfigMgr sends only the changed portions of the file, rather than the entire file.

Checking this option can significantly decrease bandwidth requirements when creating updates for large packages already sent to distribution points. However, using this option introduces additional complexity to replicating packages and debugging issues with package distribution.

For the OpsMgr package, leave the defaults previously configured through the package definition file, displayed in Figure 17.

The Data Access tab (shown in Figure 18) specifies the shared folder location of the package when sent to a DP as well as the package update settings. The shared folder location section allows you to choose one of two options:

  • Access the distribution folder through common ConfigMgr package share— This is the default configuration and specifies that packages are accessed through the SMSPKG x$ share (where x is the drive letter the distribution point is storing the data on). As an example, if you store a package on the E: drive of the Wildflower server, the package is accessed via the \\Wildflower\SMSPKGE$ share.

  • Share the distribution folder— This option allows you to share the folder using a share name that you specify. The share name must be unique across all packages. Each time the package is updated or refreshed, the content of the folder (including files and subfolders) is deleted and re-created. If you created a share on the Wildflower site server for the custom application MyApp, the share name would be \\Wildflower\MyApp.

    A variation of this option is specifying a share that includes the path, which might be under a shared path such as the name of the company’s custom applications. For MyApp, this would be stored under \\Wildflower\OdysseyMyApp if you specified the share name of Odyssey\MyApp (it is best to create a top-level share specific to the organization to differentiate between custom and noncustom applications). These options to share the distribution folder under a nondefault name are useful if systems outside of ConfigMgr will access the share.

Figure 18. Data Access tab of the package

The Package update settings section of the Data Access tab specifies how ConfigMgr will handle access to distribution points when there are updates to the package data. If users are connected to the distribution points, there may be locked files or inconsistent results—some of the files may be updated but others not. By default, the option to disconnect users from distribution points is unchecked. If this option is checked, two additional configurations are required; these relate to the number of retries before users are disconnected and the interval between user notifications and disconnections. This option only affects standard distribution points (not branch distribution points).

  • The number of retries before disconnecting users— This option specifies the number of times ConfigMgr will try to update the package source files before it disconnects users from the DP. This setting defaults to 2 and has an acceptable range of 0–99.

  • The interval between user notification and disconnection (minutes)— The interval specifies the number of minutes ConfigMgr will wait after notifying users before disconnecting them from the distribution point. This setting defaults to 5 minutes and has an acceptable range of 0–59 minutes.

Note: Run Program from Distribution Point and Vista/Server 2008 Client Systems

If the program within the package has the option “Run the program from the distribution point” selected (defined in the advertisement on the Distribution Point tab) and the clients are running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, those clients will not receive user notification.

For the OpsMgr package, keep the defaults configured through the package definition file, shown in Figure 18.

The Distribution Settings tab displayed in Figure 19 specifies the priority, preferred sender, and configurations for branch distribution points for the package.

Figure 19. Distribution Settings tab of the package

  • Sending priority— This has options of Low, Medium (default), and High. The setting determines the priority of the package when sending it to another site. ConfigMgr sends packages in priority order; if packages have identical priorities, ConfigMgr sends them in the order they were created. The Low priority option is good for packages not requiring quick distribution, such as nonmandatory packages infrequently installed. The High priority option is good for packages requiring distribution quickly, regardless of other packages available.

  • Preferred sender— The Preferred sender dropdown specifies the type of sender used to send the package to other sites. The default setting is <No Preference>, which uses any available sender. Here are the other options available:

    • Asynchronous RAS Sender

    • Courier Sender

    • ISDN RAS Sender

    • Standard Sender

    • SNA RAS Sender

    • X25 RAS Sender

    The default configuration will work for most situations, although a good example of when to change this is for large packages that you do not want to send over the network. For these types of packages, specifying the courier sender allows distribution without sending them across the network. Courier sender is not used to distribute packages unless you choose this option.

The Branch distribution point content settings section has two options:

  • Automatically download content when packages are assigned to branch distribution points— This is the default setting. If you choose this option, a second check box is available: Make the package available on protected distribution points when requested by clients inside the protected boundaries. This specifies whether the package is available for download to a branch distribution point not already designated as a DP. Choosing this option means the local branch distribution point will download the package when a client requests the package. Once the content is available on the DP, the next client request will be able to download and run the content (this is only available for protected branch distribution points).

    Tip: Branch Distribution Points and Automatically Downloaded Content

    The first time a client requests software from the branch distribution point configured to automatically download content when packages are assigned to branch distribution points, an error message displays indicating the content is not available (assuming this is an advertisement that must be triggered manually). This error is normal and indicates the distribution point does not yet have the content. Attempting to run the software from the branch distribution point will set the flag on the branch distribution point to retrieve the content.

  • Administrator manually copies the package to branch distribution points— This is the other option to distribute content, and it’s useful if you have your own replication mechanisms in place for branch distribution points (such as a scheduled off-hours Robocopy to the branch distribution point).

For the OpsMgr package, keep the defaults configured with the package definition file, shown in Figure 19.

The Reporting tab of the software package, displayed in Figure 20, specifies the configurations for the Management Information Format (MIF) configured for the package. The package’s MIF file is placed in the Windows folder; ConfigMgr can find the file and use the information in it to provide package success and failure information. Two options are available on this tab:

  • Use package properties for status MIF matching— This option specifies the settings used for the MIF filename (maximum 50 characters), name (maximum 50 characters), version (maximum 32 characters), and publisher (maximum 50 characters). This is the default option when you use a package definition file to create your software package (shown in Figure 20). The MIF filename is also integrated into the programs on the General tab in the command-line field using the /m parameter.

  • Use these fields for status MIF matching— This is the default option when creating a new package without a definition file. If you choose this option, ConfigMgr uses the properties on the General tab for MIF file matching.

Figure 20. Reporting tab of the package

The last tab on the package properties is the Security tab. This tab defines the class and instance security for this package object. The top section shows the class security rights for the object and the bottom section shows the instance security rights. Each section has three buttons used to maintain entries in that section:

  • Selecting the starburst button allows you to add security rights.

  • The folder button edits the highlighted security rights.

  • The red X button deletes the highlighted security rights.

Figure 21 shows the default security rights generated from the package definition file. 

Figure 21. Security tab of the package

After completing the program configuration, your next step is to distribute the package.

Advantages of Using a Package Definition File

Using a package definition file saves a significant amount of work by streamlining the process of creating the package and the programs. It provides a good starting point you can use when customizing software packages to specific requirements.

Packaging the Operations Manager agent with a package definition file demonstrates many of the configurations used when manually creating a package and a program. Although using a package definition file (an MSI, PDF, or MIF file) is the recommended approach, what takes place when a package definition file is not available? Drawing on the information just used to create the OpsMgr package, the next section discusses the process for creating packages and programs manually, using the Forefront client as an example.

  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Maintenance Tools for Exchange Server 2007 (part 2) - Active Directory Database Maintenance Using ntdsutil
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Maintenance Tools for Exchange Server 2007 (part 1)
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Proper Care and Feeding of Exchange Server 2007
  •  Windows 7 : Programming Plug and Play and Power Management - Callbacks for Power-Up and Power-Down , Callback for Wake Signal Support
  •  Windows 7 : Programming Plug and Play and Power Management - Managing Power Policy
  •  Windows 7 : Programming Plug and Play and Power Management - Registering Callbacks
  •  Parallel Programming with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 : Using the MapReduce Pattern (part 2)
  •  Parallel Programming with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 : Using the MapReduce Pattern (part 1)
  •  Parallel Programming with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 : Data Parallelism - Reduction
  •  NET Debugging : Visual Studio (part 3) - Visual Studio 2010
    Top 10
    SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
    The latest Audi TT : New angles for TT
    Era of million-dollar luxury cars
    Game Review : Hearthstone - Blackrock Mountain
    Game Review : Battlefield Hardline
    Google Chromecast
    Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 3) - Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air 2
    Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 2) - Zagg Slim Book for iPad Air 2
    Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 1) - Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
    Michael Kors Designs Stylish Tech Products for Women
    - First look: Apple Watch

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
    Popular Tags
    Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone