Question : Windows Server 2003 and application deployment.

We have a Windows 2003 Server installed in a School.
We have over 100 educational applications on CD's to be installed on each of 70 school computers.  

We need a method to simplify the installation so that the applications can be installed on any machine without the need of a manual install from CD. All software is site licensed, and a key is required for installation.

 I have used Novell Zenworks (NAL) in the past which would be ideal but obviously it is a different platform.  

What is available in the Microsoft arena for this type of deployment and at a reasonable cost? (I knew of SMS in the past but was not a patch on Novells solution)

Answer : Windows Server 2003 and application deployment.

Installation can take as little as one day.  Please use the following URL for installation guise (look for part one - there are about 6 which cover every bit of installation including some of the pitfalls when it comes to prerequisites):

Once you have it installed, you go through the following process:

1)  Download the msi/exe or extract the media contents to a source file on your server.
2)  In SCCM you create a new package and point it to the folder for the previous media.
3)  Create a program in the package which is basically the name of the executable and any other switches you want such as /quiet /norestart for invisible install and no restarts at the end.
4)  Advertise the program to a collection of computers.

I can honestly say that I had it up and running and installing applications well within a delay using the above tutorial URL I have specified.  you can choose to install at login, restart or straight away.

This is a brief run down of the process.  It takes a few attempts to get used to all the options (most of which you don't need right away).  Also there is a lot of other things you can do with SCCM once you're used to it.  I've been playing with it for a few months now and I have to say it's a fantastic bit of kit for managing educational networks (as I'm doing right now)

As for WinINSTALL LE I've never used it but I would doubt it's as comprehensive as SCCM.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
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