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Deploy software using BigFix Software Distribution

The BigFix Software Distribution Dashboard is a handy tool for deploying software because you don't have to write the action script yourself, unless you need to edit it.

When uploading files, it gives you a warning if you have more than 50 installation files:

More than 50 files are being included in this task. BigFix recommends that each task contain 50 files or less.

However, it will let you create your package. We have not tested to see if this package/task works as of 12/13/2018.

Regardless of the number of installation files, follow these steps to create your own software package:

  1. Go Manage Software Distribution under the Software Distribution Dashboard in the IBM BigFix Console
  2. Click the New Package button
  3. Enter in the software information: Vendor, Product, Version, and select whether the package is Private or Shared.
  4. Under the Manage Files tab, click the Add Files... button
  5. Add individual files, add a folder (optional: compress the folder so that the prefetch action does not download a lot of files), or enter in the installer's URL
    Compressing a folder at depth 1: This option is very useful if you have a lot of files/folders/sub-folders to prefetch/download (but less than 50). Not only will the tool automatically fill in your installation command (step 12), but it will also download all your files/folders as 1 file (the compressed file) and extract it for you.
  6. Click the Add to Package button
  7. Wait for it to analyze the file(s)
  8. Under the Mange Tasks tab, click the New Task... button
  9. Select what files you want downloaded
  10. Click the Add > button
  11. Click Next
  12. Confirm or enter in your installation command
    When uploading MSI files, the tool will automatically fill in the installation command.
    E.g.
    msiexec /i setup.msi /qn
    When uploading other installation files, you might need to enter in the appropriate command.
    E.g.
    setup.exe /s, setup.exe --silent, setup.exe /verysilent, etc
  13. Optional: change the Advanced Options
  14. Click Next
  15. Optional: define additional applicability conditions
  16. Click the Create Task button

For software with more than 50 installation files, use the IBM BFArchive Tool to compress your files before uploading to the Software Distribution Dashboard package. If you need to extract and install the installation files inside the archive file, follow the steps above with these additional changes:

  1. Before uploading the file to the Software Distribution package, compress your directory
    BFArchive.exe -v -a "C:\Installation_Directory" "name_of_archive_file" >> "C:\Optional_Log_File.log"
  2. Follow the steps above to add this archive file into the Software Distribution Package until you get to step 12 where your installation command will be to install the software (write in manually)
  3. Create your Task
  4. After the task is created, you'll need to add a line to extract the archive:
    extract name_of_archive_file
    1. This goes in the section
      // extract any compressed files
    2. As seen below:
      // All SWD files will go into a folder in the clients __BESData folder. This folder gets cleared on every restart.
      parameter "baseFolder" = "__Download/"
      // Move files into subfolders and unescape file names
      move "__Download/SHA1" "{parameter "baseFolder"}name_of_archive_file"
      // extract any compressed files
      extract "name_of_archive_file" "{parameter "baseFolder"}"
      // Log setup
      parameter "mainSWDLogFolder" = "{parent folder of client folder of current site}/__Global/SWDDeployData"
  5. Save your Task

After you task is created, deploy it to your test computer(s) and tweak as needed.

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