For the deployment of software, can anyone advise when it is better to use an Agent Procedure or Software Deployment?
By the way, I presume both methods support MSI and EXE formats.
From my brief look, Software Deployment supports the use of an Answer file so perhaps is more suited for complex installs.
I guess in all cases, the install must work silently.
Any advice or comments would be welcome.
We actually use both.. Software deployment handles all of my standard apps, and very few custom Apps.
I rely on AP for software deployment when I want to pull down very large packages from the web or custom locations.. You don't have that flexibility with SD. Also with AP, you just customize your installs better in my opinion.
Sounds like I am spoilt for choice.
In your opinion, are they equally easy to get to grips with and reliable as well?
They are pretty easy to work with.. I like AP better myself because I like to get in there and create some cool stuff that you just can't do with SD.. SD is really cookie cutter stuff and AP is that and more with get down to the nuts and bolts.
Agent Procedures will use answer files although I have found it works better for me to use a bat file that runs the command rather than putting the answer file in the run shell command. For instance I have two installers that use InstallShield so I have my bat file with "start setup.exe /s /f1answer.iss. Like Buster said it's nice having the customization.
For instance I use C:\Temp\CompanyName\Product for all my install deployments. (This was also a tip from Glenn Barnas of MSP Builder at ConnectIT last week.) Then as part of the procedure I have it check for the existence of the executable/shortcut/service that the procedure installs and then deletes the product folder when done.
I pretty much only use Software Deployment for the Ninite based stuff that's already in the catalog.