PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit

What is the PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit?

The PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit provides a set of functions to perform common application deployment tasks and to interact with the user during a deployment. It simplifies the complex scripting challenges of deploying applications in the enterprise, provides a consistent deployment experience and improves installation success rates.

The PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit can be used to replace your WiseScript, VBScript and Batch wrapper scripts with one versatile, re-usable and extensible tool.

Scroll down to see sample screen shots of the user interface.

What are the main features of the PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit?

  • Easy To Use - Any PowerShell beginner can use the template and the functions provided with the Toolkit to perform application deployments.
  • Consistent - Provides a consistent look and feel for all application deployments, regardless of complexity.
  • Powerful - Provides a set of functions to perform common deployment tasks, such as installing or uninstalling multiple applications, prompting users to close apps, setting registry keys, copying files, etc.
  • User Interface - Provides user interaction through customizable user interface dialogs boxes, progress dialogs and balloon tip notifications.
  • Localized - The UI is localized in several languages and more can easily be added using the XML configuration file.
  • Integration - Integrates well with SCCM 2007/2012; provides installation and uninstallation deployment types with options on how to handle exit codes, such as supressing reboots or returning a fast retry code.
  • Updatable - The logic engine and functions are separated from per-application scripts, so that you can update the toolkit when a new version is released and maintain backwards compatibility with your deployment scripts.
  • Extensible - The Toolkit can be easily extended to add custom scripts and functions.
  • Helpful - The Toolkit provides detailed logging of all actions performed and even includes a graphical console to browse the help documentation for the Toolkit functions.

What functionality does the PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit provide?

User Interface

  • An interface to prompt the user to close specified applications that are open prior to starting the application deployment. The user is prompted to save their documents and has the option to close the programs themselves, have the toolkit close the programs, or optionally defer. Optionally, a countdown can be displayed until the applications are automatically closed.
  • The ability to allow the user to defer an installation X number of times, X number of days or until a deadline date is reached.
  • The ability to prevent the user from launching the applications that need to be closed while the application installation is in progress.
  • An indeterminate progress dialog with customizable message text that can be updated throughout the deployment.
  • A restart prompt with an option to restart later or restart now and a countdown to automatic restart.
  • The ability to notify the user if disk space requirements are not met.
  • Custom dialog boxes with options to customize title, text, buttons & icon.
  • Balloon tip notifications to indicate the beginning and end of an installation and the success or failure of an installation.
  • Branding of the above UI components using a custom logo icon and banner for your own Organization.
  • The ability to run in interactive, silent (no dialogs) or non-interactive mode (default for running SCCM task sequence or session 0).
  • The UI is localized in several languages and more can easily be added using the XML configuration file.

Functions/Logic

  • Provides extensive logging of both the Toolkit functions and any MSI installation / uninstallation.
  • Provides the ability to execute any type of setup (MSI or EXEs) and handle / translate the return codes.
  • Mass remove MSI applications with a partial match (e.g. remove all versions of all MSI applications which match "Office")
  • Check for in-progress MSI installations and wait for MSI Mutex to become available 
  • Send a sequence of keys to an application window
  • Perform SCCM actions such as Machine and User Policy Refresh, Inventory Update and Software Update
  • Supports installation of applications on Citrix XenApp/Remote Desktop Session Host Servers
  • Update Group Policy
  • Copy / Delete Files
  • Get / Set / Remove Registry Keys and Values
  • Get / Set Ini File Keys and Values
  • Check File versions
  • Pin or Unpin applications to the Start Menu or Task Bar
  • Create Start Menu Shortcuts
  • Register / Unregister dll files
  • Refresh desktop icons
  • Test network connectivity
  • Test power connectivity
  • Check whether a PowerPoint slideshow is running

Integration with SCCM

  • Handles SCCM exit codes, including time sensitive dialogs supporting SCCM's Fast Retry feature - providing more accurate SCCM Reporting (no more Failed due to timeout errors).
  • Ability to prevent reboot codes (3010) from being passed back to SCCM, which would cause a reboot prompt.
  • Supports the CM12 application model by providing an install and uninstall deployment type for every deployment script.
  • Bundle multiple application installations to overcome the supported limit of 5 applications in the CM12 application dependency chain. 
  • Compared to compiled deployment packages, e.g. WiseScript, the Toolkit utilises the SCCM cache correctly and SCCM Distribution Point bandwidth more efficiently by using loose files.

Help Console

  • A graphical console for browsing the help documentation for the toolkit functions.

User Interface Screenshots

Installation Progress

The installation progress message displays an indeterminate progress ring to indicate an installation is in progress and display status messages to the end user. This is invoked using the “Show-InstallationProgress” function.

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The progress message can be dynamically updated to indicate the stage of the installation or to display custom messages to the user, using the “Show-InstallationProgress” function.

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Installation Welcome Prompt

The application welcome prompt can be used to display applications that need to be closed, an option to defer and a countdown to closing applications automatically. Use the “Show-InstallationWelcome” function to display the prompts shown below.

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Welcome prompt with close programs option and defer option:

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Welcome prompt with close programs options and countdown to automatic closing of applications:

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Welcome prompt with just a defer option:

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Block Application Execution

If the block execution option is enabled (see Show-InstallationWelcome function), the user will be prompted that they cannot launch the specified application(s) while the installation is in progress. The application will be unblocked again once the installation has completed.

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Disk Space Requirements

If the CheckDiskSpace parameter is used with the Show-InstallationWelcome function and the disk space requirements are not met, the following prompt will be displayed and the installation will not proceed.

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Custom Installation Prompt

A custom prompt with the toolkit branding can be used to display messages and interact with the user using the “Show-InstallationPrompt” function. The title and text is customizable and up to 3 customizable buttons can be included on the prompt as well as optional system icons, e.g.

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Additionally, the prompt can be displayed asynchronously, e.g. to display a message at the end of the installation but allow the installation to return the exit code to the parent process without waiting for the user to respond to the message.

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Installation Restart Prompt

A restart prompt can be displayed with or without a countdown to automatic restart using the “Show-InstallationRestartPrompt”. Since the restart prompt is executed in a separate PowerShell session, the toolkit will still return the appropriate exit code to the parent process.

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Balloon tip notifications

Balloon tip notifications are displayed in the system tray automatically at the beginning and end of the installation. These can be turned off in the XML configuration.

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Reviews

“Truly powerful application deployment toolkit written in PowerShell! Solving some classic problems “

Jörgen Nilsson, Microsoft MVP, Enterprise Client Management

“Another very cool SCCM 2012 must have tool - PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit”

Kent Agerlund, Microsoft MVP, Enterprise Client Management

“This is really an exceptional Toolkit! It's the swiss army knive for software deployment. For every task you possible need to perform, there is a function for it. And you can extend it with your own functions if you like. Even when you're using something like SCCM to deploy your software, the toolkit can have real value as it fills the gabs left by SCCM. Thanks!”

Quint

“Excellent support guys! This toolkit is the best thing around to easily wrap and deploy software to end users and it just keeps on getting better with every release!”

Maarten Pauchet

“The PowerShell App Deployment toolkit rocks! I tried it today and love it.”

Alex Verboon

Presentations

The PS App Deployment Toolkit has featured in the following industry conferences:

- “Become the Hero of the Day - Master ConfigMgr 2012 R2 with a Limited Budget and Free Community Tools” sessions at NIC Conference 2013 and System Center Universe 2014 (Kent Agerlund).

- “Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Community Jewels session at MS TechEd North America 2014 (Jorgen Nilsson, Stefan Schörling) – see video @ 18 mins: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2014/PCIT-B320#fbid=

More Reviews and Presentations

About the Authors

Last edited Aug 13 at 9:06 PM by powersheller, version 44