Software Distribution

Introduction | Automated software distribution | Benefits | Software distribution with Desktop Central | Self service portal

What is Software Distribution?

Software distribution is the process of distributing business software and applications to all the endpoints within a network across Windows, Mac and Linux from a central location without user intervention. A software distribution tool enables an admin to keep track of all the software deployed across the network and motinor the usage of software from a single console. It also aids in prohibiting software and blocking executables in from a central location.

The need for automated software distribution

In today's fast-paced environment, everything's becoming increasingly digital. As a result, software is being developed and used at a scale larger than ever and this is true for all businesses/enterprises, especially in IT. As the number of employees (and the software being used by them) in an organization increases, distributing and managing software manually becomes almost impossible for IT administrators.

Thus, a centralized and automated software distribution system is required to make software deployment and distribution easy and to have a bird's eye view on the software present within your network. Software distribution solutions streamline software installations in multiple computers without any hassles. 

Benefits of software distribution tool

Centralized and automated software distribution tool allows you to:

  • Save time and effort by automating distribution.
  • Have a bird's eye view over the software present within your network.
  • Reduce errors by virtue of automation.
  • Maintain a central repository of software packages.
  • Automatically update software templates.
  • Install software on users' desktops silently, without affecting their productivity.

Desktop Central's software distribution features & capabilities

Desktop Central has the following features and capabilities that make managing and deploying software for IT admins a breeze:

  1. Software distribution for heterogeneous environment:

    Desktop Central allows you to manage and distribute software for Windows, Mac and Linux from the same console.
  2. Template-based package creation:

    Desktop Central has pre-defined software templates for more than 5000 applications that supports both MSI & EXE, complete with silent-switches. These templates can be used to create ready-to-deploy software packages within a few clicks.
  3. Software repository:

    Desktop Central allows you to create a central repository of software packages that can be re-used anytime using the software distribution tool.
  4. Automatic template updates:

    The templates available in Desktop Central are updated automatically, and can be used to create up-to-date software packages for deployment.
  5. Self-service portal:

    Desktop Central's self-service portal allows users to install applications on their own, with administrator's intervention.
  6. Customization:

    Desktop Central provides IT admins granular control over the installation process by virtue of pre and post deployment activities.
  7. Scheduled installation:

    IT Admins can schedule the installation on target systems at off-hours, to avoid affecting employees' productivity.

Scenarios involving Software Distribution:

Managing and distributing software is a major task tackled by system administrators. Software distribution is done in local networks and also for remote offices. With work from home being implemented in all organizations, a robust software distribution service aids in distributing software to employees who are working from home and mobile users as well. This tool comes in handy in the following scenarios.

  • when new software is being introduced in the enterprise and it needs to be circulated to all the endpoints in the network.
  • when outdated computers are replaced, all the software needs to be deployed in the new computers.
  • when a set of new employees join the enterprise and their computers need to be installed with all the necessary software

Steps involved in software distribution:

  1. Configure the repository either network share or Http repository, based on the target.
  2. software distribution folder - ManageEngine Desktop Central

     

  3. Create software packages automatically using the pre-defined templates. Templates contain all the necessary details already filled in such as the .exe file name, installation/uninstallation commands, etc. These software packages, once created can be reused any number of times.
  4. software distribution tools - ManageEngine Desktop Central

     

  5. If you cannot find the required software in the templates list, you can create your package manually.
  6. Windows software distribution - ManageEngine Desktop Central

     

  7. To deploy the software, select the configuration (User / Computer) under the required Operating system.
  8. Managed software distribution - ManageEngine Desktop Central

     

  9. Select the packages that you want to install, the deployment policy, and the target. If required, configure the execution settings and Deploy. You can either deploy immediately or save it as a draft or template.
  10. Software distribution system - ManageEngine Desktop Central

     

The workload of a system administrator can be reduced even more with the help of the self-service portal. Desktop central's software deployment and distribution tool allows the admin to publish the required software from the product console and this will be available in all the endpoints managed in the network. The users can access the self-service portal by clicking on the agent tray icon. This will reduce the number of help desk tickets raised.

Steps involved in publishing software in the self service portal:

  1. Configure the Self Service Portal Settings, under Global Settings, in the Admin tab.
  2. Under the Software deployment tab, click on Self Service Portal. Choose the software that you wish to publish. Also, choose the software that needs approval before installation from the system admin.
  3. Publish the selected software to the self-service portal.