Chapter 1 Getting started
So you want to learn how to deploy Corel software to your organizations network...
Maybe you re already an expert in software deployment. Or maybe you were chosen for this task because you have the most experience with computers. Either way, this chapter walks you through the basics of what you need to know to successfully deploy this product to your network.
Depending on your situation, the deployment may consist of a few simple steps or a complex set of procedures. This chapter provides a nontechnical overview of software deployment and can help you choose the best deployment process for your needs. Subsequent chapters instruct you on how to carry out the deployment.
This chapter also introduces much of the terminology that is used throughout the guide.
This chapter answers the following questions:
What is a network?
How is a network managed?
How is software deployed to a network? How is installed software best maintained?
What is a network?
As used in this guide, the term network signifies two or more computers that are connected to each other for the purpose of exchanging information.
Most computers in a network are workstations computers from which average users do their work and access the common resources of the network, such as shared folders and printers. Most workstations are desktop computers that run software such as the Windows® operating system.
Networks also contain servers. These are the computers that manage the shared resources of the network, such as files, printers, and applications. Most servers use a specially designed operating system, such as the Novell® operating system or the Windows Server® operating system.
How is a network managed?
Every network needs one person to make sure that all required software is installed on or, more typically, deployed to its workstations. This person is the administrator . An administrator may be a project manager, a network administrator , or a deployment specialist. Regardless of these differences in title or role, one of the administrator s chief responsibilities is to ensure that the software deployment runs smoothly.
You don't need to bean expert in computer science to be an administrator; you just need to know how to configure your network to meet the needs of its users. By the time you finish reading this guide, you'll have no trouble doing just that!
How is software deployed to a network?
Most organizations require multiple users to have access to the same applications. For this reason, when an organization chooses a software product, it purchases one licensefor each workstation. Somebody must then install one copy of the licensed software on each workstation.
Your organization may require you to provide a customized installation of the software. However, installing the software on one workstation at a time is not practical: Not only would you invest a lot of time, but you d have to redo your work if you forgot to set a desired option along the way. Obviously, the more computers that your organization has, the less viable it is to install and maintain your software manually.
Consequently, administrators typically use a deployment process to install software on the workstations in their network. To do this, they create a server image of the software and deploy the software from that server image to the workstations.
How is a server image created?
A server image is created by using a command line to run the installation wizard (orsetup ) which typically provides you with a few installation options.
If you want to provide users with more than one installation type, you can create more than one image. (For example, you may want to allow some users to install a basic set offeatures and other users to install a more advanced set. To do this, you would create one server image for the basic version of the software and a second for the more advanced version.) Be sure to use a naming convention that lets you remember what each server image contains.
For detailed information on creating a server image, see Chapter 3.
How is a server image used to deploy software?
To deploy software from a server image, you must design a command line that specifies which options and features to make available to your users. For detailed information on command lines, see Chapter 4.
After designing your command line, you can use it to deploy the software from the server image to the workstations. Deployment can be accomplished in one of two ways:
manually, by pull installation Users pull the software to their workstations by running the setup from the server image.
automatically, by push installation The administrator uses a particular method to push the software from the server image to the workstations so that the users themselves do not participate in the installation.
How does a pull-installation scenario work?
If users have access to the server and administrator-level rights to their workstations, they can install the software themselves. To do this, they pull the software to their workstations by running the setup from the server image.
Some products can be set to provide users with installation options when the setup is run from the server image. For example, you may be able to let users create a run-from-network installation by choosing to install only the files that are necessary to run the software. However, it is recommended that users install the software locally and in its entirety.
For detailed information on allowing users to pull the software to their workstations, see Chapter 5.
How does a push-installation scenario work?
To carry out a push-installation scenario, the administrator must choose a push method. Many administrators choose to use a third-party tool (or push technology) such as Microsoft Systems Management Server, IntelliMirror® management technologies, or Novell® ZENworks® Desktop Management.
Chapter 6 provides tips on choosing a push technology that is suitable for deploying Corel software, as well as basic guidelines on push installation scenarios that have been tested by the Corel team.
For detailed information on any push technology, please refer to the manufacturer s documentation.
What is the best way to prepare for deployment?
Before beginning to deploy the software, you must ensure that the software is compatible with the server and all workstations. To do this, you must check the system requirements for the software against the capabilities of the server and the workstations. It s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Readme file for the software and with any special installation instructions associated with the software.
In addition, it s wise to start thinking about how you want to deploy the software to the workstations. Do you want to have the users pull the software themselves? Or do you want to install the software for them by using a third-party push technology? Your answers to these questions will determine your ideal deployment process.
Before you begin the deployment, be sure to do the following:
Get to know your network. Make sure that you have all the required access rights for deploying software to it.
Make sure that your inventory of the workstations is up-to-date
,so that you know how the workstations are configured.
Get to know your users and how they work. Do they use their workstations all the time? Do they shut down their workstations at night? Do they use laptops to access the network remotely? These factors help determine how to deploy and manage the software.
Consider how much disk space is required for the software to run on the workstations. Again, the amount of available space influences how to deploy and manage the software.
On the server, create a shared network location for installing the server image.
Configure test systems that mirror the workstations as closely as possible, so that you can more easily diagnose issues.
Read Chapter 2 for deployment instructions specific to this product.
How is installed software best maintained?
An important part of administering a network is maintaining the software that is deployed to it.
You can help keep the workstations in top shape by installing missing files and by replacing any files, shortcuts, and registry entries (or keys ) that have become corrupt in the software. You can also enhance the users experience by adding features to (or removing features from) the applications on the workstations. In addition, you are strongly encouraged to keep the software up-to-date by installing patches , such as
the service packs that Corel Corporation provides free of charge. For more information on repairing, modifying, or updating the software, see Chapter 7.
It s always a good idea to upgrade to the latest version of the software. Upgrading lets you take advantage of new features that can help increase the productivity of your users. However, to make the transition to the new version as easy as possible, you must correctly uninstall the old version. For information on removing the software, see Chapter 7.
Finally, administrators must be prepared to troubleshoot any problems that arise. This guide contains some of the most noteworthy solutions, such as for the frequently asked questions provided in Appendix B. You can also look for answers in the Corel Knowledge base just go to www.corel.com/support and click the appropriate link.