New Software Distribution Features in Topaz (Part 1)

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by Dana Daugherty

While this new version of SMS 2.0 is still in beta, at this time the new Topaz software distribution features include:

Currently, there are 8 new software distribution features included with Topaz, the new beta release of SMS 2.0. This the first of a two-part article from Dana Daugherty that focuses on these new features.

X      Active Directory integration. Topaz can access the Active Directory to gather information for distributing software to client machines. For example: A target collection can be based on the HR organizational unit (OU) and 128 MB. 

X      XP operating system targeting. This OS is now available in the program properties on the Requirements tab. There is a hotfix available for SMS 2.0 SP3 that will provide the ability to target Windows XP (Q308271).  

X      Suppressing notifications. This option will cause two software distribution messages not to appear on clients. The Suppress program notifications option can be configured on per program basis. The configuration setting for this option is located on the program properties, Advanced tab. The messages that will be suppressed include:

o       A new advertised program is available. This message appears on clients when they are targeted for a new optional advertised program.

o       Countdown timer. If it is configured, the countdown timer will not appear.  

X      Integration with Add/Remove Programs. Prior to Topaz, Windows 2000 group policy advertisements and SMS 2.0 optional advertised programs were available to users at 2 locations. SMS 2.0 used the Advertised Programs wizard located in control Panel.

Part 2 will cover the remaining four features. Unfortunately, at this point it appears that there was no consideration given for fixing the SMS client issue with running Windows Installer packages from SMS distribution points unless the MSI is called with a UNC path or mapped drive. I hope to see that changed. I've sent an email to SMSWish@microsoft.com -- I hope you will too.

This article was originally published on Feb 25, 2002
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