How To: Get Started Using the New Rollout Projects Tool for Software Distribution

Version 7

    Overview

     

    The Rollout Projects tool is designed to automatically step through staged deployment of patches or software packages to an ever-increasing target list. Use a Rollout project for a distribution job that has multiple target lists you would like to evaluate. For example: Distributing new software to a pilot group (step 1) before general distribution (step 2). Rollout projects are especially useful in situations where the task is frequently repeated or requires minimal oversight. For each step in your project, you can perform actions to deploy content via scheduled task, set criteria for when the content should move to the next step (such as an 80% success rate), and send notification emails in the following situations:

     

    • In the event a package installs takes longer than anticipated (expected duration)
    • The exit criteria has been met
    • If both duration and exit criteria have been met but you would still like to review the actions on the client before the content progresses to the next step, you can elect to have a notification sent when the step is configured for approval.

     

    When the actions in a step have completed (content has successfully installed on the targeted device(s) and passes the exit criteria), the content (Software Distribution package) is migrated to the next step in the project when the processor evaluates that step. A project can be completely automatic, or you can require administrator intervention to make sure content doesn't progress until you approve it.

     

     


     

    How a Rollout Project Works

     

    The controlling application for evaluating a Rollout Project is WorkFlowProcessor.exe.  When the WorkFlowProcessor is launched, every project, step and piece of content  available for processing will be evaluated. All projects, steps and/or pieces of content that are in PLAY mode are available for evaluation. The alternative to Play is PAUSE. Items in this state will be excluded from evaluation. One way to alter the state of an item (project,step,content), right click on the item and select Pause or Play. If an item is currently in Play mode, Pause will be the only available option and vice versa. Content can be added to any step but should be initially contained in the first step for evaluation by a test group . Once the available content passes the exit criteria of the associated step, the WorkFlowProcessor will allow the content to move from step to step. Each step in a project should target a new audience. The WorkFlowProcessor only launches under two (2) circumstances:

     

    Note* Please keep in mind that there's no trigger for content to move from step to step. The only time content is moved is when the scheduled task tells the WorkFlowProcessor.exe process to launch or if you manually launch the processor. Either one of these methods will cause the WorkFlowProcessor to perform an evaluation and move the content if the exit criteria has been met.

      1. As a Scheduled Task
      2. Process Selected Items Now (this is the manual method for launching the processor)
               

    Click to enlarge all images.

    Scheduled TaskProcess Now (Manual)
    SchedProcess.pngProcessNow.png

    When using the scheduled task option you will need to set the task to repeat in order for the processor to evaluate each step of the project.

     

    RPScheduledTask.png

    When manually launching the processor, it only processes the project or step you select (highlight) and

    will have to be manually launched everytime if no schedule is being used in order for content to migrate from step 1 to step 2 etc..

     

     

     

     

    Process.png

     

     

    When the processor launches via scheduled task it evaluates every project that is currently in PLAY mode. For projects you do not want processed when the schedule runs make sure the project is PAUSED. Your project will consist of a series of steps, these steps also have to be in play mode if you intend for them to be available for processing. If the actions of the step (i.e install a software distribution package) meets the configured exit criteria for that step, the content will move to the next step when the processor is ran.

     


    Categories of a Rollout Project

     

    ActionsExit CriteriaNotification

    Performed on each piece of content.

    Typically actions are only applied the FIRST time

    content is evaluated in a step by the processor.

    Used to determine if it’s time to move the

    content to the next step (or to drop it out of the project if it is the last step).

    • If project is taking too long.
    • Content has moved to the next step.
    • User approval is required to advance content to the next step.

     

     


    Creating a SWD Rollout Project

     

    1. Open the Rollout Projects tool from within the Distribution Tool Group
      • Select My rollout projects | Right-click and choose New project...
        • This will bring you to the General Settings section of your project
    2. Set the Project type as "Software Distribution".  (Project Type: You must select the project type and save the project before you can add steps to it.
    3. Leave the project state set to Pause. 
      (State: Determine whether the content in the project is processed by the project processor. If the project is set to Pause, the project processor ignores the project and content stays in the step it is assigned to. When the project is set to Play, the project processor evaluates the content in each step and determines which content needs to move to the next step. The project will need to be set to Play when you are ready for it to be available for processing)
    4. User scope when creating tasks: Leave this at default unless you are creating a Project for a more limited scope of computers\users.  When you create tasks associated with the project, the tasks are limited to the user scope for the project. Rollout projects use the same scopes that are used in the rest of LANDESK Management Suite.
    5. Email defaults: This allows you to select under what conditions you would like to receive an email notification. Before notification will be sent you will need to configure the Email send options. To do this conduct the following actions:
      • Click Email send options
        • This will present you with a Email send options interface.
      • Complete the fields provided.
        • For the Optional recipient list, you must include at least one (1) recipient.

     

    Email DefaultsEmail Send Options
    email defaults.jpgemailsendoptions.jpg

     

     

     

     


    Adding Content to a SWD Rollout Project

     

    In a Software Distribution project, Software Distribution packages are the contents of the project. There is currently no way to automate the addition of Software Distribution packages to a project.

    When adding multiple packages it is recommended that you use a package bundle.

    To add a package to your project conduct the following actions:

     

    • Right-click on the desired SWD project and select "Add package..."
      • This will present you with a "Add package to Rollout project GUI" allowing you to choose a package.
      • This interface also allows you to "defer applying actions to this package" until a certain date. This option only applies to when the WorkFlowProcessor will attempt to evaluate this package.
    • You can also drag and drop packages to your project/steps
       

    Note* If you add a package at the Project level, the package will be applied to the first step in your project. To ensure a package is added to a particular step make sure you add it to that step.

     

    SWD PackageSWD Package
    RPaddPackage.pngpackagedeferraloption.jpg

     


    Example SWD Rollout Project Steps

     

    This is only an example, you can configure your steps however you want. This example has three steps :

     

    Step One - Pilot

    1. Right-click on your newly created project and select “Add project step...”
        1. Another option is to right click in the blank space on the right, then select “Add project step...”
    2. For Step name: change step 2 to Pilot.
      1. Leave the Run order set to (1).
    3. Under Schedule Distribution task template choose Policy Supported Push - Template
      1. Under Targets, select Targeted devices and choose the “Add” option
      2. Select one_of_your_devices and select “ok”
    4. Under Exit criteria leave “Keep content together when advancing to next step” unconfigured
      1. Change Expected step duration to reflect 30 minutes
      2. Under Minimum duration select “Require a minimum duration after actions”
        1. Change Specify minimum duration to reflect 2 minutes
    5. Under Success rate select “Verify minimum package deployment success rate” to 80
      1. Do not require an Additional duration
      2. Under Approval leave Require Approval unconfigured
      3. Do not require a Date time Window
    6. Under Email Configure these options to your liking or leave them unconfigured if you do not want an email.

     


    Step Two - Prod

    1. Right-click on your newly created project and select “Add project step...”
      1. Another option is to right click in the blank space on the right, then select “Add project step...”
    2. For Step name: change step 2 to Prod.
      1. Leave the Run order set to (2).
    3. Under Schedule Distribution task template choose Policy Supported Push - Template
      1. Under Targets, select Targeted devices and choose the “Add” option
      2. Select one_of_your_devices and select “ok” (a difference device not selected in step 1)
    4. Under Exit criteria leave “Keep content together when advancing to next step” unconfigured
      1. Change Expected step duration to reflect 30 minutes
      2. Under Minimum duration select “Require a minimum duration after actions”
        1. Change Specify minimum duration to reflect 2 minutes
    5. Under Success rate select “Verify minimum package deployment success rate” to 80
      1. Do not require an Additional duration
      2. Under Approval leave Require Approval unconfigured
      3. Do not require a Date time Window
    6. Under Email Configure these options to your liking or leave them unconfigured if you do not want an email.

     


    Step Three - Final (Completion Bin)

    1. Right-click on your newly created project and select “Add project step...”
      1. Another option is to right click in the blank space on the right, then select “Add project step...”
      2. For Step name: Change step 3 to Final.
        1. Leave the Run order set to (3).

     

      2. Under Exit Criteria choose Minimum duration

      1. Select Require a minimum duration after actions and set it to 1 week

     

    All remaining actions for this step can remain un-configured. This step is not necessary but is used more like a Finish Line.