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Author Topic: Silent installer for java and adobe products  (Read 1462 times)

techidave

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Silent installer for java and adobe products
« on: October 10, 2013, 05:36:16 AM »
I am looking for a way to update computers on our school network (Windows 7).  Mostly for Java and adobe products like Reader and Flash.  Alot of our school software requires the latest version and for me to spend time manually updating them is just not realistic.

One thing would be nice if it could scan our Windows network to see if updates were needed and then silent install the necessary programs.

Does anything like this exist or could a program be written to do this?  I am not a programmer so I don't even know if it could be done.  It would make my life easier.  :)

Jibz

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Re: Silent installer for java and adobe products
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 08:06:28 AM »
Ninite can update Java and Reader, but they removed support for Flash a while back (I think due to some dispute with Adobe).

Flash is supposed to be able to update itself, but apparently getting that to work more than half the time is too complex for a billion dollar multinational business giant :P.

40hz

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Re: Silent installer for java and adobe products
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 12:49:51 PM »
There are several network inventory/management server products that can scan the network, identify what software is installed and push any updates to the machines like Microsoft's WSUS does.

A couple of problems however:


  • They tend to be fairly expensive since this falls into that category of software called "enterprise." So unless you already have the platform to run them on (and can get some sort of educational discount) they're probably beyond your budget.
     
  • Convenience comes with a price tag attached. And they can be very fiddley to operate - with the less expensive products usually being a lot more work to set up and get running properly.
     
  • Unless your networked PCs have wake-on-LAN set up, the boxes will need to be left on overnight to get the updates. Otherwise, they'll usually start updating the minute they're logged in. If somebody has a lot to do, or is on a tight deadline, any automated download-install-reboot cycle can result in complaints from their boss to your boss about it.
      
  • Related to the previous point - if you allow users to cancel or defer updates, 85% will ALWAYS do so and the updates won't be made to most of your machines. About the only people who will let them run are the people looking for an excuse to take a break.


There might be some F/OSS software solutions that could also work for you. But I can't recall any names off the top of my head.

Too bad you're not in a Linux/BSD environment. This capability is available courtesy of the software repository feature built into virtually every distro out  there.
 8)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 12:57:13 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Silent installer for java and adobe products
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 01:27:14 PM »
There are several network inventory/management server products that can scan the network, identify what software is installed and push any updates to the machines like Microsoft's WSUS does.

...Except for the two products (Java & Adobe Reader) that he mentioned assuming you define reliably as better than a 50/50 chance.

Hint: Java's installer can't get it's little digital head around what to do after privileges are granted (UAC/etc.) so the installer just fails. Which usually leaves it as being relegated to a periodic hand job ... which is oddly fitting.

40hz

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Re: Silent installer for java and adobe products
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 01:30:31 PM »
^Hadn't noticed that.

But I've also banished the JRE from network machines (whenever I can) so those few Java updates I still need to do are hand jobs anyway as you so 'poetically' put it.
 ;D

techidave

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Re: Silent installer for java and adobe products
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 01:34:36 PM »
we can neither do away with Java or Flash.  online educational sites are horrible in their use of Java and Flash.  They are also horrible in the version they require.  One site will update their end to a newer version in order for it to work which in turn, breaks another site that hasn't updated.  >:(

I usually try to wait until someone gets the error that they need to use a newer version but that is a problem to, because they have a class in the computer lab and then they cannot do what they wanted them to do. 

so that is why i am looking for some kind of auto installer.  But even the suggestions are pretty price for our small school.   :(