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My office has about 120 Windows clients.

We need a way to deploy and update free/downloadable software like Flash, Firefox, Skype etc..

This means that we want our clients to always have the latest versions of these pieces of software.

We tried Googling, and found solutions like wpkg... but this isn't what we want.. it just provides a way to deploy, you still have to find the installers for each application yourself, and constantly check their site for new updates.

As a programmer I think it would be great to have a 'central database' with a link to each one of these software latest installers... this would make automatic update a breeze.

Any ideas?

EDIT

To make things more clear, we're looking for some sort of repository of all the latest packages (in whichever format, but preferably .msi or .exe). There just doesn't seem to be something that is constantly updated like most Linux repositories.

I don't think it's an issue of copyright or testing, since the repo would just link to the actual installer source.

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closed as off-topic by MDMarra, Falcon Momot, mdpc, Ward, TheCleaner Aug 30 '13 at 20:57

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haven't found a solution to this thats good. As you can see from the answers people are confusing the deployment tool for the actual process of automatically discovering what packages need to be updated then deploying the results. Adobe is starting to work with Microsoft, I'm not sure if that means that ms will include adobes updates or what but at least its something. –  tony roth Aug 10 '10 at 22:13
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Your question isn't very clear. Are you planning to test these updates before pushing them out to the clients? Are you looking for a set of bookmarks to the "new release" page of these websites? –  Kara Marfia Aug 10 '10 at 22:23
    
@Kara: I've edited my question so hopefully it's more clear now. –  Luca Matteis Aug 11 '10 at 7:04
    
So ... you want to install and update software on client machines but do not want to do anything to achieve your goal ;-) Cool, let us know what you come up with ;-) Joking aside, if your customers have enough rights in their pc's to install software, let them do it alone. You are a programmer, so script some checks to download the latest software packages and save it in a file share from where your customers can install it. –  natxo asenjo Aug 11 '10 at 19:08
    
@natxo: this is why we need automatic updated deployment. we don't want the user to have to click through installs. –  Luca Matteis Aug 11 '10 at 20:43

5 Answers 5

there are quite a few commercial offerings in this space like KACE from Dell (I believe there is a Microsoft specific offering in the field as well) With the size of your network it may be worth deploying one of these solutions.

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What sort of 3rd party apps do these apps support? I haven't found a list on their site. –  Luca Matteis Aug 11 '10 at 20:44
    
This seems to be exactly what you're looking for. If anybody's doing this for free, I'll be impressed (and very surprised). –  Kara Marfia Aug 11 '10 at 20:52
    
They have some video demos on their site that are worth watching. They seemed to support just about any software that had an installer. As I remember it won't constantly check for updates for you but it will allow you just to install it on all systems at once that now have the software installed –  trent Aug 11 '10 at 22:18

I'm using (Microsoft) System Center Configuration Manager to do this + operating system installation (images).

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The particular part of System Center that lets you push out other vendor's updates is System Center Updates Publisher technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb632895.aspx if you sign up to Redistribute Flash adobe.com/products/players/fpsh_distribution1.html you're given access to a page that you can download the Flash Update catalog from to import into SCUP, this will regularly pull all Flash updates down to your server for distribution. Dell, HP and other vendors also publish catalogs you can import. –  GAThrawn Aug 11 '10 at 14:30

Maybe Windows Package Manager would be useful for you. There is a default repository under the Apache license with more than 100 applications.

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Secunia integrates with SCCM and or WSUS to identify, prepare packages and deploy updates for any publicly available software.

http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/corporate/wsus_sccm_3rd_third_party_patching/

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I'm not a system admin (I'm a programmer) and managing the 70 PCs in our company was becoming more than a side job for me. We bought the Dell KACE 1000 and 2000 appliances and I've been very impressed with them. It takes a lot of the complexity and ugliness out of systems management. It has a simple, intuitive UI and makes a lot of tasks trivial. There is a learning curve at the start, but they have a kick start program where you get 4 hours of training up front to help you set up each appliance.

After you plug the K1000 box in and install the KACE agent software on each PC, the K1000 starts to collect data on all the machines. Within a few hours you can see every piece of installed software, outdated drivers and missing software patches. You can then use the K1000 to push out missing software, install missing drivers and patch outdated software. All our PCs now have the latest BIOS, drivers and software. We also applied all the patches, so Windows 7, Adobe Reader, Flash, Firefox, etc. are fully up to date.

The KACE appliances aren't perfect, but it's by far the best option we found and it seems like they are working hard on improvements.

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