Software Sharing

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Software Sharing is a component of the Systems Management @ Penn State service, and its purpose is to allow Information Technology staff throughout Penn State the ability to easily share and leverage each other's software installation content using Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) in an effort to reduce the duplication of efforts. Any SysMan console operator can contribute to this initiative, and the SysMan team is committed to providing the more common content.

Goal

This initiative provides to the Systems Management @ Penn State community software installation tasks that have been documented and tested through an extensive quality assurance process. It also defines a level of quality and a set of guidelines to ensure the standardization of these resources. The goal of this initiative is to empower the community to help each other.

SysMan Provided Software Installers

The SysMan team has created, shared, and will continue to support the following software installers. Providing the most common applications is our way of supporting the initative and also provides an example of the standards and quality expected of all shared content.

  Windows Mac OS X
  XP, Vista, 7, 8 (x86 and x64) 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
7-Zip
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Flash Player ActiveX/Plugin
Adobe Reader X
Apple iTunes
Apple QuickTime Player
Cisco Systems VPN Client
FTP Client
Google Chrome
Google Picasa
Identity Finder Instructions Instructions
Kerberos Settings for PASS and UDrive Access
Microsoft Office
Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla Firefox ESR
Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird ESR
Oracle Collaboration Suite Calendar
PSU UCS Connector for Microsoft Outlook
SAP GUI
SFTP Client
Sophos SafeGuard PrivateCrypto
Symantec Endpoint Protection
VLC Media Player
VMware Zimbra UCS Desktop

Locating the Shared Content

All of the shared content and associated documentation is listed in the Software Sharing list in the SysMan SharePoint site.
All of the TEM tasks for the shared content can be found in the Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) console in the PSU site.
PSU Site in the TEM console

Documentation

In addition to providing these software packages, the SysMan team has thoroughly tested and documented each one. The documentation includes instructions on each application's installation and configuration, TEM action and relevance descriptions, testing results, and references. Each shared software installer contributed to the Software Sharing initative must be accompanied by the provided documentation form detailing such attributes.

Quality Assurance

Contributions to Software Sharing will be monitored for quality assurance in order to maintain the standards set forth for this service, and feedback will be provided as necessary. To maintain this quality, it is recommended that the following steps be taken when creating a new software package:

  1. Obtain Software and Licensing Information
    For the software to be shared, obtain the necessary installers, product key, and details of how the application license works and where licenses can be purchased. Ensure that the license allows for the distribution of the software and that it can be packaged with the software using a common product key.
  2. Begin Testing Software
    The software must be tested before it is distributed. Please see this document (Windows) or this document (Mac OS X) for more information about testing environments, packaging software, and testing.
  3. Create TEM Task
    The software must have a related task in TEM that deploys and installs the software. This task should be well-tested and include any software dependencies. The title should include Install, Install/Upgrade, or Patch depending on how the task's actions work.
    • Install - The software is installed if it does not already exist. If any version of software already exists, the software is not installed.
    • Install/Upgrade - The software is installed if it does not already exist. If a version of the software less than the one currently being installed already exists, the existing software is removed or upgraded, and the new version is installed in its place.
    • Patch - The software is patched, usually fixing bugs or updating core components, if it already exists. It is not uninstalled or replaced.
    Please be sure to fill in the Source ID and Source Release Date fields in the task. For more information about creating a TEM task, please refer to this document.
  4. Set a SysMan Entry
    • Windows - Registry Key: A registry key containing the TEM task name must be set in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PSU\Sysman\Applications].
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PSU\Sysman\Applications]
      "Software Sharing - Install/Upgrade: Mozilla Office 2010 SP1 (32-bit) - Windows XP/Vista/7, Windows XP/Vista/7 x64"=""
    • Mac - Plist: A plist file containing the TEM task name must be placed inside the application or application directory.
      <plist version="1.0">
      <dict>
           <key>BigFixTask</key>
           <string>Software Sharing - Install/Upgrade: Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 SP2 - Mac OS X 10.5/10.6/10.7</string>
      <dict>
      <plist>
    This SysMan entry keeps track of how a Software Sharing task is used and lets the SysMan team know which actions and tasks are most useful.
  5. Construct Necessary Relevance
    The relevance in the TEM task must check for current or older versions of the software, preferably though Uninstall registry keys or registered applications. Software should be installable from the TEM task if it is upgrading the product to the newest version. A list of common relevance statements pertaining to this step can be found here.
  6. Submitting your content
    To contribute content to the software sharing initiative, please complete the Quality Assurance Checklist (completed example) and send the completed checklist and the exported TEM task to us via this form.
    • How to export a TEM Task:
      Right-click on the task and choose 'Export'. Browse to a known location and click 'Save'.
      The filename will be the task name. The .bes file extension will associate it with TEM.
  7. Maintain Software Package
    The creator of a software package in Software Sharing may be contacted with questions related to the package. This may include such topics as troubleshooting, bugs, how the software was packaged, and newer releases. Be aware that the creator will be required to support the submitted package. It is important to update the software package and documentation as necessary to reflect any changes.

Support

Please send all support inquiries via this form. Although the software provided for Software Sharing has been thoroughly tested and documented, bugs or issues are usually inevitable. Reporting any issues is highly encouraged.

Software should be deployed to a test machine before it is deployed to a production environment to reduce the likelihood of problems.

Last Updated December 2, 2014