There are many new features to Software Distribution in LDMS 9.6 SP1. Some are visible, and some are enhancements that took place behind the scenes to improve performance. Below you will find a list of the most important and exciting changes.
- Distribution Package Changes
- Core Server Changes
Distribution Package Changes
1. Signed PowerShell Scripts
LDMS 9.6 SP1 has the ability to deploy signed PowerShell scripts adding another layer of security to PowerShell deployments. However this requires that the environment be configured correctly ahead of time to allow the signed scripts to run. Basically put you have to be able to run them securly outside of LANDESK before you will be able to deploy a signed PowerShell script inside of LANDESK. For this you have to import your PowerShell certificate into each client that will be running the scripts.
Also to control whether LANDESK is going to handle the script as signed or not we have added PowerShell Security Options to the Package UI. By default this value is unchecked, making no change for existing PowerShell packages. The default value can be changed to always pre-check this box in the Distribution Package Properties by clicking on the Default Package Settings cog icon in the toolbar. Select PowerShell security, check or uncheck the box as desired, click Save.
2. Metro App Distribution Packages
Also new in LDMS 9.6 is the ability to deploy Metro Apps for Windows 8.1. Due to the security constraints placed on Metro Apps by Microsoft, the apps are only able to be "sideloaded" by LANDESK, and thus it requires your clients be configured to allow sideloading apps. You can find more information on this process here (Sideloading Requirements).
To create a new Windows Metro Application package, in the console go to Tools - Distribution - Distribution Packages, in the toolbar click on "New Distribution Package", and select "New Windows Metro Application package." Point to the .APPX file as your primary file, and add any necessary additional files. Then schedule and deploy as you would any other software distribution task.
3. Link Package Icons
In line with changes made in LDMS 9.6 to allow you to use JPG and PNG files for your Portal Manager and Fuse icons, we have now extended that capability to Link Packages. Current packages with the standard .ICO files will continue to function the same, however any NEW Link Packages will require the link icon be provided as a JPG or a PNG file. For the best result please use a PNG that is formatted as 320x200 pixels in size.
Core Server Changes
4. SchedQry.exe and SchedLDAPResolver.exe improved, what took hours may only take minutes.
The processes for resolving queries when tasks are started, and also in charge of running once an hour (Default schedule) to re-resolve those queries and add or remove machine from tasks as necessary has been improved with Multi-Threading and also Results Caching. With the Multi-Threading the processes are able to resolve queries much more rapidly, also we have implemented very strict logic to control how many threads are used to ensure the best use of resources. Likewise, we also employ results caching so that we avoid re-resolving the same query for each task it is targeted at, improving resolution time, and taking some of the load off of the database.
5. Enhanced Accelerated Push options
A new option to control how long a task spends actively pushing out to clients has been added. "Maximum Task Run Time" allows you to choose how long you want a task to keep actively pushing out to devies before failing the task. This allows you to run a push, but ensure that it stops rolling out to machines after a certain amount of time to not overlap any other tasks that may need to run. By default the task will stop pushing out after 30 Minutes, this is also the smallest amount of time that you can set the Maximum amount to (option can range from 30-240 minutes), if the task finishes running before this, it is done and will move to a completed status. This setting only controls how long the core will actively try to contact machines to run the task, the minimum time of which is 30 minutes and if you have a task that takes longer than that to contact all the machines, you can allow up to 240 (4hrs) for the core to contact all the devices in the task.
To access this option go to the Console and click on Tools - Distribution - Scheduled Tasks, click on the cog icon in the Scheduled Tasks toolbar, and select Default Scheduled Task Settings. Look at the Accelerated Push settings to see the slider bar to set the Maximum Task Run Time.
6. New option for when users are logged off their machine.
We now have the option that if a user is logged off their machine, the task can be automatically delayed to Run at Next Logon. This allows flexibility in controlling when tasks are run on client machines. Also of note, is even if a user is logged on, you can also automatically defer the task until the next logon to ensure a cleanly logged in machine for installing packages. This is great for tasks that require programs to be closed when installing, as the install happens before the user opens their programs to begin their work.
These options are found in the Distribution and Patch settings. In the console go to Tools - Configuration - Agent Settings, expand All Agent Settings and click on Distribution and Patch. Select the settings you would like to alter from the list or create a new setting. Once inside the Distribution and Patch setting Properties do the following:
- Logged Off User, Run at Next Logon option
- Expand Distribution Only Settings
- Select Logged Off User options
- Set the behavior to Run at Next Logon.
- User Logged On, Automatically Defer Until Next Logon option
- Click on Distribution-Only Settings
- Check the option "Defer Until Next Logon"
7. Task Visibility - Stages
One of the most informative new features of LDMS 9.6 SP1 is the ability to see at a glance what stage machines are in while running a task. The stages from beginning to end are:
- Core Initiated - Core is processing task, and contacting clients.
- Starting - Client has received task and is preparing to run it.
- Downloading - Client is downloading files.
- During this stage, if "Send Detailed Task Status" is enabled, a progress bar showing the download percentage is visible in the task progress view.
- Installing - Installation is running on client.
- Completed - Task is done running on client machine (regardless of failed or successful status)
8. Scheduled Tasks and Diagnostics Utility
Learn more about it here:
9. Package Relationships UI
Learn more about it here: