Most applications will need to be updated at least once during their life cycle. When this need arises, most application distribution vendors force you to go through a complicated process of creating and maintaining multiple versions of the same application.
Our process for handling different application versions is very simple. We let you upload and import a new version of the same application without having to create a completely new application from scratch. This means all your existing scripts and your association rules and other settings all stay exactly the same. You simply tell the application which version is your “default” version and all the end user computers will automatically upgrade or downgrade to the new version the next time the application is launched. We’ll only copy down the registry and file data that changed from the previous version. This greatly speeds up the upgrade process. If you don’t want to wait for the end user to naturally upgrade during their next new launch, you can force them to upgrade immediately through the “Force immediate upgrade/downgrade when installed version is incorrect” checkbox. You can also associate a computer/user/group directly to a specific version so some users can use one version of the application while others use a different version. If a computer/user is associated to more than one version they will get upgraded/downgraded based on icons found in the agent’s launch window. If you have one file that changes frequently between versions our agent will skip laying down the same file over and over again for each version, we skip to the last version available or to the selected version. Our process looks like the following:
- Import the new OPK package directly into the existing application.
- Associate only the new version directly to a test group to verify the new application works properly.
- Once you are satisfied the new version works properly for your test systems, associate the new version to the rest of the company by simply changing the default version.
- Verify the new application is getting deployed through a dashboard or report.
- If the new application isn’t working properly, simply change the default version back to what it was before.
Managing Application Versions
Creating, modifying and removing application versions is all done using the RasmPackager:
- Open the RasmPackager that comes included with the StandalongAgent.
- Either open an existing OPK or create a new one using the capture process.
- Go to the “Package Version Manager” tab
- Right click on the Base (Version 1) node to open the context menu.
- Now you can either click on “Create new child version…” to create an empty sub version where you can import files or create new folders. Or can can choose “Create and capture new child…” to open the capture wizard that will let you capture all file and registry changes a specified executable (normally a patch/update) makes.
- Once the child version is created you can double click on it to made modifications to individual files/folder or registry data.