Third party programs via Microsoft WSUS?
March 1, 2010 10:52 AM   Subscribe

What are the best (read: simple and cheap) options for either hooking into WSUS to distribute third-party programs or implementing something that works very much like WSUS to do so?

So we often need to push out third-party updates, files, new apps, etc. to a number of laptops out in the field. These laptops, unfortunately, only connect through the cell phone network, have all kinds of encrypted-y whatever going on, and are very, VERY, slow network-wise. They also are often in and out of coverage throughout the day.

For day to day use this is fine, but it absolutely rules out running installers from the network or copying the files via startup or shutdown scripting or the like.

However, regular windows updates via Microsoft's WSUS work beautifully. Detects what it needs, downloads that and only that with BITS, meaning it doesn't care about network bandwidth or interruptions in connection, and installs wither on shutdown or via a scheduled install, and reports back to us success and failure.

It's neato. And yet, I don't seem to see any straightforward and (ideally) free (we're a non-profit) way to simply hook into this with custom packages.

So my question is: Is this possible without expensive add-ons and how, if not, what is out there that either hooks into WSUS or works in a very similar way?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Response by poster: That is delicious, Diddly. Thank you :-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:48 AM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: So for the record, Once Diddly pointed me to the above telling me what to look for, I was able to find some nice tools to implement it nice and gui-like (while still being able to dig down if I wanted to)

Local Update Publisher on sourceforge is supposed to be able to both package programs, and allow you to distribute them to groups, etc, since WSUS won't see your custom apps in its gui.

I had troubles with the packaging, but it IS in alpha, so I'll keep an eye on it. I ended up using Microsoft's SCUP tool for packaging and getting them ON the WSUS server, then switching to Local Update Publisher for management. Did two (relatively simple) deployments with them and it worked quite nicely.

Thanks again :-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:44 AM on March 17, 2010

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