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Is there an affordable program which will automate the installation of applications? I am looking for something that will work with Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 so that I can automate installations of VM builds (I use Hyper-V).

Thanks

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how many and how often, many as in 50+ and how often 2-3 installs per day? Are you trying to automate both the provisioning of a vm or just the installation of an application to a vm? –  tony roth Jun 16 '10 at 14:34
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3 Answers

Two links to get you started:

Another thing would be to check if the apps that you require have silent install (they usually do) and then just run everything from bat / powershell script :) <= then you will have great control over the process

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I have had awesome success using fogproject. Especially using their clients & various snap ins for tasks. It just works.

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+1 big time for Pete's suggestion of fog.

I'll go for the basics - will Windows Deployment Services (WDS) work for you (after all, its built into Windows Server so its 'free' for you)? If not, it might help if you explain why not. WDS deploys a base install of Windows, where packages can be pre-installed. This works very well with packages that are very large (and hence a pain to install over the network normally) and don't change that often.

We use Active Directory Group Policy Objects(GPO) to assign applications to computers in Organisational Units (OU), and this works well for packages that are frequently installed/removed/updated/upgraded. Application packages can also be assigned to people so it can be installed wherever someone logs on and tries to run that app.

We manage 1200 or so workstations with WDS to deploy a 'base' image, with MSI installation via GPO/OUs for customisation of extra application packages at the college I work for, and it works very well for us.

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