About software distribution

The software distribution technology in Ivanti® Endpoint Manager helps IT staff implement controlled automation for fast and efficient software distribution and installation, security and virus update, and application patch management across mixed network environments. The technology is based on a modular, task-based model that can substantially improve overall efficiency in planning, scheduling and managing software distributions. Packages, delivery task types, deployment scripts and target selection are managed separately to increase overall flexibility.

Key Features and Benefits
  • Return code mapping: Defines return codes to improve application installation accuracy.
  • MSI native support: Copy and paste MSI command line calls.
  • Simplified work flow: Makes for easier, faster scheduling of package installations.
  • Simplified bandwidth controls: Customize configurations appropriately.
  • Task-based modeling: Separates package building and delivery task types to improve efficiency.
  • LANDesk® Targeted Multicast™: Distribute large packages to multiple users with minimal bandwidth and without dedicated hardware or router reconfigurations.
  • LANDesk® Peer Download™: Allows you to access packages already delivered to a subnet.
  • Prerequisite checking and package chaining: Installs prerequisite packages and enables you to automatically install multiple packages in a single operation.
  • Task scheduler: Integrates with directory-service and asset-inventory databases to help you easily select targets.
  • Package-agnostic distribution: Deploys any package type and provides access to multi-file MSI support.
  • Self-service portal: Reduces help-desk incidents, empowers users to initiate approved installations, and enables faster troubleshooting via detailed histories.
  • Policy-based distribution: Deploys multiple software packages in a single policy and ensures the packages are available for future updating and reapplication if necessary.

In Endpoint Manager, software distribution consists of these main steps:

  1. Create or obtain a software package. The software package can be one or more MSI files, an executable, a batch file, a Macintosh package, a Linux RPM package, a Windows script host package, and so on. Put the package on your delivery server.
  2. Create a distribution package (Tools > Distribution > Distribution Packages). The distribution package contains the files and settings necessary to install a specific software package, such as the package name, any dependencies or prerequisites, command-line parameters, additional files needed to install the package, and so on. These settings are stored in the database and create a distribution package. Once you create a distribution package, the information is stored in the database and can easily be used in multiple tasks.
  3. Schedule the distribution job in the Scheduled tasks window (Tools > Distribution > Scheduled Tasks). Specify the distribution package, the delivery method, the devices that need to receive the distribution package, and when the task should run.
  4. When the scheduled time occurs, the scheduler service will start the scheduled task handler which deploys the package using the options selected in the task type. These may include the following:
    • If a policy-supported push or push task type is selected, the service contacts the software distribution agent on each device and informs it that the package is ready for installation.
    • If a policy based task type is selected, the package becomes available for download.
  1. The software distribution agent obtains the package from its local cache, a peer on the network, or the delivery server and processes it on the device by installing or removing the packaged files.
  2. After the package is processed, the software distribution agent sends the result to the core server, where it's recorded in the core database.