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Responses to Package Feed Module Webinar Questions

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We held a webinar announcing the Package Feed Module on August 20th 2019 you can watch here 

There were a lot of great questions and we didn’t have time to get to them all. Below are some of the questions (and responses) regarding AdminStudio’s Package Feed Module that we didn’t get to during the live session... 

Does it provide packages in alternative deployment formats like App-V or MSIX? 

Not directly. The Package Feed Module delivers vendor setups and while we expect to see MSIX packages in the future, we’ve not seen (and don’t expect) any vendor setups delivered in native App-V format. The good news is that AdminStudio is capable of converting to these and other formats with ease. Leveraging the Automated Application Converter (AAC) one can leverage the silent command lines delivered with the Package Feed Module to fully automate the repackaging and conversion of vendor provided setups into the distribution format of your choice.  

How do I obtain the Package Feed Module? 

The Package Feed Module is available as a feature of AdminStudio 2019 R2 and later. The list of applications it contains are maintained online, but a handful of popular titles are provided even when not licensed so you can experience the feature first-hand. To unlock the full database, an activation key can be purchased which enables the Package Feed Module subscription for up to three years. If this subscription should expire, any perpetual AdminStudio license on which it is running will continue to operate as expected (only this subscription will expire if not maintained).  

How does this relate to the previously released feature to provide automatic command line suggestions? 

The automatic suggestions for silent command line options are still present and still provide a programmatic suggestion based on detection of installer technology used, including the most popular EXE installers on the market. This means, the suggestion should work in most cases, but may not due to additional requirements or vendor restrictions. However, the command lines provided by the Package Feed Module are application/version specific and they are tested, so they are known to work as expected.  

Will you be providing instructions on how to create response files where needed? Some installers use different switches. 

Not at this time. The Package Feed Module aims to take advantage of vendors offering command line support. It offers a validated command line, and not instructions on how to perform an automated installation. We do intend to enhance this in the future, for example we plan to leverage MSI Transforms (MSTs) to allow for simple customization of Windows Installer based setups.  

Where did you get your list of applications?  What industries? 

We included installers that have a significant install base and are used widely in enterprise environments. We’re more than happy to take suggestions for additional applications.  

Requests for new entries may be submitted via our AdminStudio discussion forums. Please be sure to provide the following details when making such a request: 

  • Product Name (including vendor name) 
  • Product Version (the latest available) 
  • Comments (any optional information you believe will help the request) 
  • Download URL (where it be downloaded) 
  • Information URL (product home page) 

Is package size available information before downloading the application via package feed? 

Not yet, but we’d be happy to take this as feedback for improvement. Right now, you’ll see the size of the download after selection so you can better anticipate it taking longer for larger downloads. A progress bar is provided during download but seeing the size can help you understand why some may take longer than others.  

Why are you using Wise script?  Are you maintaining a current version of Wise script? 

Wise Script allows customers without scripting skills to take advantage of script wrappers. The rationale behind our inclusion is described in detail hereIn short, Wise Script met the use case of a wrapper script as it was so no significant improvements have been made. We realize many like to use Wise Script for other things and are open to suggestions for improvements and enhancements as we would any other aspect of AdminStudio. We will prioritize such alongside other AdminStudio improvements and enhancements based on many factors including level of interest so please do share what you’d like to see in our AdminStudio discussion forum 

Does it support BigFix for distribution? 

Not today, but it is on our list of those being considered alongside Intune and Tanium. Please let us know your interest to help us prioritize future integration efforts.  

How is application licensing handled here? 

Licensing is not considered when it comes to AdminStudio. We are not providing any downloads for licensed applications which are not freely available, but may still provide awareness of new versions, tested silent command line information and applicability criteria. In such a case, you’d simply need to supply the setup file after downloading it from an authorized location as opposed to downloading it directly in AdminStudio.  

Do we need to stand up a new server to setup the AdminStudio Application Manager? 

AdminStudio’s Application Manager uses a SQL Server to host its Application Catalog database that it uses to perform fast SQL queries and other operations to optimize the testing and storage of application packages and the required meta-data while they’re being prepared by AdminStudio. 

This does not need to be a dedicated SQL Server for AdminStudioand can be a shared server along with other enterprise applications that use SQL Server. Any SQL Server that is accessible to all the AdminStudio users from their workstations will work. 

The free SQL Server Express edition also works, especially for evaluating AdminStudio; however, there is a database size limitation that will prevent the Application Catalog from growing beyond a certain amount and will not be sufficient for most organizations. In production, SQL Server Standard or above is recommended. 

If I want package VLC Media Player for ConfigMgr in MSI format, can this be achieved? 

YesIn fact, this is included in the Package Feed Module so you can get the latest version and the silent installation command and fully automate the conversion leveraging the Automated Application Converter (AAC)Alternatively, you could of course repackage it with Repackager manually by capturing a manual installation. This application in particular can be a tricky one and is often deployed using the native command line (wrapped versus repackaged) or in a virtual format like App-V. Both of these approaches can likewise be made easier with AdminStudio.  

Are redistributables (MS Visual C++ 2017) in the Package feed? 

Yes, Visual C++ and many others are included. View the entire list at https://www.flexera.com/adminstudio-pfm 

Is there is a list of vendors in the feed catalog? (AutoDesk, ETAP, Bentley) 

Yes, filter the entire list by vendor or product name at https://www.flexera.com/adminstudio-pfm 

Do you have open source apps listed? 

Yes, many open source titles are included. View the full list at https://www.flexera.com/adminstudio-pfm 

Is there a list available to see what applications in in the database without subscribing first? 

Yes. This list on our site is always up to date with the very latest. The link to this is also accessible directly via the AdminStudio Package Feed Module wizard.  

Is the Red Hat OpenJDK available? 

No, the Package Feed Module is currently limited to Windows and Mac applications at this time 

If Flexera has not discovered the silent command line switches, but I found silent switch options, is there a way to upload the switches to share with everyone and incorporate to AdminStudio? 

Not directly, but we would welcome you to post such information in our online community forums so we can consider incorporating such switches into our offering. 

What distribution platforms are supported and are there plans to add others? 

AdminStudio support the most widely used distribution systems that the majority of our customers use. More information on which ones are support and what information AdminStudio can publish can be found in the product help here. 

We’re open to adding additional distribution systems to support all our current and future customers. Please feel free to submit this as a feature request in our community forum to help us understand the interest level so such can be considered when prioritizing which we’ll introduce next.  

Director, Product Management Charlotte, NC
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