Organizing software in an enterprise
October 26, 2006 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Any good tips on managing approved software applications within an enterprise?

We're trying to keep track of the applications that we use at my job, approved software, recommended software &c. We currently have 13,000 workstations and over 8,000 unique software applications installed. Our Websense proxy blocks people from downloading any .exe, .zip &c. and we have a group that handles the download requests. In the past I have maintained a list of approved and rejected apps on an internal wiki but it's becoming too cumbersome to keep track of it.

One of the guys came across Primasoft's software organizer which has given me the idea that we really need a database to keep track of this stuff. I'd like to use a PHP/SQL site for easy access, but this would be my first attempt at trying to program something from scratch. Before I start coding I wanted to ask if anyone knew of an existing implementation that I could use.
posted by daHIFI to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
We're using Altiris for this. It lets you enforce a list of permitted applications and distribute the applications themselves, provides remote troubleshooting tools, keeps statistics on things like hard drive use (fun test: "Who in the company has the most hard drive space dedicated to mp3s?"), and so on.

I'm not involved in that area day-to-day so I can't tell you how successful it's been but my impression from the desktop folks is that it's been very successful, except that the client is a bit piggish on some of the oldest PCs still in the field.
posted by mendel at 6:59 AM on October 26, 2006

Response by poster: Yah we already use Altiris. The problem is that we have a large number of applications from vendors that change on a quarterly basis; right now we distribute downloads from a web server directory.

Altiris is great when you have a low number of clients on the server and fast WAN links everywhere, but with 13,000+ clients one one DS and some branches with ISDN speed links it gets very nasty.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a good platform that will let me create a PHP/SQL application with the lowest overhead.
posted by daHIFI at 9:31 AM on October 26, 2006

We're doing the same using Novell's ZENworks suite and it has a few features that help with "thin pipe" sites, including a Middle Tier server setup for deploying and managing apps over slow WAN links.

Of course, it's currently dependent on Novell's eDirectory but it's really relatively easy to set up DirXML synchronization to your preferred directory service...and from what I hear, the next version will have it's own independent database that will use LDAP to do the same.

Obviously it's not a PHP/SQL app though.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:55 AM on October 26, 2006

Ah, ok. If it absolutely has to be PHP, then you're probably going to end up just.. writing PHP. But if you want to rapidly develop a store/search/display Web application on a database, take a look at Rails.
posted by mendel at 6:02 PM on October 26, 2006

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