Installing Applications

In MDT 2010, the task sequence specifies the tasks that run during deployment and their order. You can install applications during the imaging process by adding a step to the task sequence that installs the application at the appropriate time . For more information about customizing the task sequence, see Chapter 6 . Although this approach is useful for injecting applications into a disk image, using the MDT 2010 database or CustomSettings .ini is more appropriate during deployment in production. For more information, see Chapter 12, "Deploying with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit ."

Without creating additional groups in the task sequence, the best place to add application installs is to the Custom Tasks group, which MDT 2010 creates in each task sequence's default task sequence. The instructions in this section show you how to install an application as a step under this group

NOTE If you add an application to the deployment share without installing it via the task sequence, the Windows Deployment Wizard will allow the user to install the application optionally during deployment. Also, you can choose applications to install automatically during a Zero Touch Installation by configuring the deployment share to install the application automatically.

To add an application installation to a task sequence, perform the following steps:

1. In the Deployment Workbench console tree, click Task Sequences, which is located under Deployment Share . In MDT 2010, you must create a deployment share before adding applications to it. For more information about creating deployment shares, see Chapter 6 .

2. In the details pane, right-click the task sequence in which you want to install an application and then click Properties .

3. On the Task Sequence tab, shown here, click Custom Tasks in the task sequence and then click Add, click General, and then click Install Application.

4. Click the Install Application task that you just added to the task sequence, select the Install A Single Application option, click Browse, choose an application, and then click OK, as shown here.

NOTE In MDT 2010, the task sequence is very flexible. For example, you can install applications at almost any point during the State Restore phase. You can filter application installation tasks on a variety of variables. For more information about editing task sequences in MDT 2010, see Chapter 6.

Summary

Careful planning is the most important task you must undertake when deploying applications with Windows 7. The first step is building an application inventory. Then you must prioritize, categorize, and document the installation of each application . MDT 2010 and ACT provide tools that help with this step .

Another key planning step is determining the right type of deployment strategy for your organization. Thick images are monolithic images that contain core applications and other files . They are large and costly to maintain and deploy. Thin images are bare images . You install applications post-deployment using a systems-management infrastructure, such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Hybrid images use a combination of both strategies. The deployment strategy you choose determines how you build images .

After careful planning, you repackage the applications that don't provide an automated installation and document the installation commands for those that do . Then add applications to your MDT 2010 deployment share and add steps to the task sequence that installs the application when you build the disk image (thick image) or when you deploy the disk image (hybrid image)

NOTE If you're not using MDT 2010 to deploy Windows 7, see Chapter 4 to learn why using MDT 2010 is a better way to deploy Windows 7 than using the Windows AIK alone. If you're not using MDT 2010, see Windows Automated Installation Kit User's Guide to learn how to install applications by using an answer file.

Additional Resources

These resources contain additional information and tools related to this chapter.

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