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A while back, I came across a company which provided custom application packaging as a service. My vague recollection is they'd provide MSI files or something equivalent for deployment.

I've been unable to find them again, and Google has failed me.

Any recommendation?

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My company will do that for you. smile (After my answer on your desktop standby question, I'm not sure you'd want us to...) –  Evan Anderson Jun 18 '09 at 20:10
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4 Answers 4

http://www.appdeploy.com/

is a decent resource since most companies that have their shi* together allow for silent installations.

Any deployment in particular? SMS? SCCM?

Any software in particular?

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Deployment method is currently open.. Last job, I wrote a startup script that took care of this, but want to look at SMS and so on. –  Toto Jun 18 '09 at 20:11
    
SMS/SCCM can be a complicated mess, but it's powerful. –  MathewC Jun 18 '09 at 20:29
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We were in the same boat 2 years ago and spoke to two consulting companies with packaging services, so take my recomendations with a grain of salt.

The company I liked was called Intrinsic Technologies ( http://www.intrinsic.net/ ). They had a deep set of talent and we shared a laugh over some of the packages that we were having difficulty with at the time (cough...Real Player...cough). Their sales and technical reps seemed to understand the ins and outs of building packages and I wish we had given them our business.

The other consulting company we talked to was a subsidiary of large computer reseller, we went with them over my objections. They had 2 guys in the entire consultancy who could build packages, one whose packages didn't work on our systems as built and another who felt building packages was beneath him. It was not a pleasant experience and the entire initiative got scrapped.

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I'd be inclined to look at rolling my own deployments - you inevitably end up needing things customised to your environment with possibly a few testing iterations and that point they have to replicate the important parts of your desktop environment, and it starts to look expensive.

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Roll your own is definitely the way to go. Of the companies who offer the service, it's almost certainly split between honest decent folks who genuinely want to help with difficult software on the one hand, and a two-lads-in-the-back-of-a-van operation using free tools in the hope of making a quick buck on the other.

Rolling your own is so easy though that you really need a compelling reason not to.

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