PSAppDeployToolkit: Get the benefits without writing a single line of PowerShell

PSAppDeployToolkit: Get the benefits without writing a single line of PowerShell

Edit: Hey! We just made this obsolete with v3.6.1 of the toolkit. It’s all in-built now! 🙂

One of the primary goals of the PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit is to simplify complex scripting operations to deploy applications. It does however, require that you know PowerShell to some degree, even though a lot of the in-built functionality is going to shield you from a lot of the complexity. This applies to even the most basic of installations. You’re going to need to populate the template provided with a few basic details.

I wanted to see if I could remove the need for any editing of the provided template. What I’ve come up with will be really handy for PowerShell beginners looking to evaluate the toolkit’s functionality, and allow you to rapidly create an application deployment. To that end, I’ve created a customized version of the template which does the following:

  • Searches the Files subfolder for a Windows Installer installation (MSI) and any custom transform
  • Pulls Windows Installer properties from the MSI file and uses them for the deployment
  • Prompts to close any applications specified with the -CloseApplications parameter if they are open
  • Installs / Uninstalls the application

How to use the dynamic Deploy-Application.ps1:

  • Download a copy of the toolkit from here
  • Overwrite Deploy-Application.ps1 with this version from here
  • Drop your MSI (and MST if you have one) into the Files subfolder
  • Create a new SCCM Application / Package with these source files
  • Include the -CloseApplications parameter if needed, e.g. - Deploy-Application.exe Install -CloseApplications “iexplore,firefox,chrome”
  • Deploy-Application.exe Uninstall -CloseApplications “iexplore,firefox,chrome”

The benefits of using the toolkit without any customization are still quite apparent:

  • Consistent user experience for closing applications and displaying installation progress, all localized in numerous languages
  • Logging of all Windows Installer install / uninstall operations, as well as logging from the toolkit itself
  • Integration with SCCM 2007 / 2012 in terms of exit codes, reboot suppression and fast retry

Dan Cunningham

I'm Dan. I work in IT. And I know some stuff about infrastructure deployment, management and security. I should do at least - I've been doing this for around 20 years.