Automating IBM Lotus Symphony deployments using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

This article describes how to build and deploy a custom IBM® Lotus® Symphony™ package using Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager, formally Systems Management Server. The article describes in detail how to prepare your custom package with custom plug-ins, add custom branding, and update the Lotus Symphony package home page.

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David J. Pearson (david_j_pearson@uk.ibm.com), Senior Solution Architect, IBM  

David J Pearson is a senior solution architect working for IBM Software Services for Lotus. As IBM’s Worldwide Lotus Symphony services lead, he works directly with customers to help them evaluate and deploy Lotus Symphony-based solutions. You can reach him at david_j_pearson@uk.ibm.com.



Paul Bastide (pbastide@us.ibm.com), IT Specialist, IBM  

Paul Bastide is an IT Specialist with the IBM Lotus ISV Technical Enablement team in IBM Software Group. He works with business partners to develop solutions that run, support, and enable IBM Lotus and WebSphere Portal software products. You can reach him at pbastide@us.ibm.com.



Soheel Chughtai (soheel_chughtai@uk.ibm.com), Early Program Manager, IBM  

Soheel Chughtai is an Early Program Manager for IBM Lotus software. He has a special interest in testing software in "off road, in the field" integration scenarios. You can reach him at soheel_chughtai@uk.ibm.com.



10 November 2009

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Before you start

You should have a good understanding of Microsoft Windows®, IBM Lotus Symphony 1.3, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager for software distribution and archive managers such as WinZip or WINRAR. An appreciation of XML and Java™ technologies would also be an advantage when working through this article.

You should ensure that you have the following:

  • IBM Lotus Symphony 1.3 for Microsoft Windows
  • A Microsoft Windows workstation available for Lotus Symphony package creation and testing
  • Administrative access to your Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager server
  • Veritas Software Console
  • A Microsoft Systems Installer (MSI) assembler
  • Java Runtime Environment 1.5 or later, used for custom Java archive creation
  • Microsoft Notepad
  • WinRAR or other ZIP archive manager, such as 7-Zip or WinZip

Introduction

Lotus Symphony is a richly featured set of productivity tools that are intuitive and easy to use and that are provided at no charge. Three applications make up Lotus Symphony: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets, and Lotus Symphony Presentations. Lotus Symphony enables users to create, edit, and view many types of documents such as documents in OpenDocument Format, Lotus SmartSuite®, Microsoft Office 97-2003, and Microsoft 2007 (import only) formats.

A synthesis of IBM Lotus Expeditor and OpenOffice.org, Lotus Symphony offers a strong extension and delivery model that can be customized for any client and customer. As a developer or administrator, you can deliver customized templates, dictionaries, themes, plug-ins (add-ins), and preferences to customize and enhance your users' experience.

The fundamental building blocks provided to an administrator who is deploying or building a custom Lotus Symphony package are the IBM-provided installation packages. The IBM-provided installation packages are of four types:

  • Executable (EXE) on Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista
  • Debian package (DEB) on Debian Linux® and Ubuntu Linux
  • Macintosh package (PKG or MPKG) on Apple OSX (Intel®)
  • RedHat Package Managers (RPM) on RedHat Linux and SuSE Linux

In this article, the focus is on executable packages and the custom package delivered to the user community as a package on Microsoft Windows that is provided by vendors other than IBM.

Considerations

The Lotus Symphony installation package for Microsoft Windows is a package containing binaries, plug-ins, and configuration files that are bundled together in one package (IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32.exe).

In an administrator role, you describe custom plug-ins to use, configure basic preferences, change the appearance, add custom templates, and add custom dictionaries. As the administrator, you can also determine that Lotus Symphony is not yet installed on the test system.

The lab environment

The lab environment is composed of a single server and three workstations as detailed in table 1.

Table 1. Lab environment
TitleConfigurationUsed for
Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager ServerMicrosoft Windows 2003 Server + Service Pack 2

Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager 2003 R2
Management of workstation configurations

Deployment of custom Lotus Symphony MSI
Workstation #1Microsoft Windows XP Professional + Service Pack 2

Connection to Internet
Download Lotus Symphony

Customization of Lotus Symphony

Creation of new Lotus Symphony EXE file with customizations
Workstation #2Microsoft Windows XP Professional + Service Pack 2Creation of Lotus Symphony Windows Installer Package (MSI File)
Workstation #3 Microsoft Windows XP Professional + Service Pack 2Testing of deployed MSI file to show Lotus Symphony with customizations

All workstations and the server are members of the same domain: Renovations. They are also all on the same physical and logical network, although there are no limitations on the network topology that you can use to install Lotus Symphony.

The lab environment is logically configured as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1. The lab environment
The lab environment

The systems each have the memory, processor, and hard disk space for the lab to function optimally. You can review the client system requirements for Lotus Symphony.


Build the custom Lotus Symphony deployment package

For this part of the tutorial shown in this article, you use Workstation #1.

The Lotus Symphony Windows Installer is the base for building the custom package. You can download Lotus Symphony 1.3 from http://symphony.lotus.com.

Follow these steps to build the custom deployment package:

  1. Using Microsoft Windows Explorer, create a temporary directory C:\symsetup.
  2. Copy the downloaded file IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32.exe to your temporary directory C:\symsetup.
  3. Right-click and extract IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32.exe. We treat the EXE file as an archive file here. In this article, we use WINRAR, but any ZIP archive manager, such as 7-Zip or WinZip, can be used.
  4. Open the IBM_Lotus Symphony_w32 folder, right-click updateSite.zip, and extract the folder in place.

With the expanded deployment package, you can begin to customize the package.

Templates

A common element to every document editor, and every business process, is the concept of templates. Templates provide a common layout and appearance to the documents that users generate. Lotus Symphony ships with a set of standard templates that users can leverage.

The administrator of the Renovations domain has built a custom plug-in and update site to hold the templates: com.lotus.demo.templates.

To update the template site, follow these steps:

  1. Open com.lotus.demo.templates.updatesite.zip with Winrar.
  2. Click the plug-ins folder, and open the templates plug-in.
  3. Add the Renovations templates to the plug-in.
  4. Save the updates to the plug-in and the update site.
  5. Copy the update site to c:\symsetup\IBM_Lotus_Symphony.
  6. Open IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\deploy\install.xml, and scroll to the end of the file.
  7. Enter the snippet of XML code shown in listing 1 at the end of the install.xml file, before the </install> tag.
Listing 1: The install feature snippet
<installfeature mergeaction="add" default="true" description="Templates Demo" 
id="com.lotus.demo.templates.feature" name="IBM Lotus Symphony Templates" 
required="true" show="false" version="1.0.0">
	<requirements>
          <feature id="com.lotus.demo.templates.feature"  match="perfect"    
          url="jar:${installer.root}/com.lotus.demo.templates.updatesite.zip!/" 
          version="1.0.0" />
	</requirements>
 </installfeature>
  1. Save and exit.

The templates are now bound in the custom plug-in, and they are ready for users to receive with the custom Lotus Symphony package.

Lotus Symphony has additional document, presentation, and spreadsheet templates on the Web site.

Dictionaries

Lotus Symphony is available across the globe and is available in 28 languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese Brazilian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

As the Renovations company is based in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, its users switch between English and French dictionaries constantly. As the administrator of this domain, you have decided to deploy the French dictionary with your custom Lotus Symphony package. You do so by following these steps:

  1. Download the French dictionary, updateSite_fr.zip, from the Lotus Symphony Web site. See figure 2.

    Figure 2. Download the language pack
    Download the language pack
  2. Copy the file into IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\.
  3. Ensure that the dictionary is deployed when Lotus Symphony is installed. Open IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\deploy\install.xml, and scroll to com.ibm.langware.v5.dic.en_US.feature.
  4. Open the updateSite_fr.zip file, and view the install.xml file included in the site.
  5. Copy the feature information for the dictionary:

    <feature id="com.ibm.langware.v5.dic.fr_FR.feature" download-size="364" match="perfect" size="606" url="jar:${installer.root}/updateSite_fr.zip!/" version="7.0.0.20090505-1200" /> <feature id="com.ibm.langware.v5.dic.fr_CA.feature" download-size="364" match="perfect" size="605" url="jar:${installer.root}/updateSite_fr.zip!/" version="7.0.0.20090505-1200" />
  6. Open the deploy\install.xml file, and paste the code for the feature information after the en_US entry. Save and exit.

You have bundled the dictionary into the custom package. After users have the custom package, they can quickly switch languages from English to French, and from French to English.

Custom home page

When users start Lotus Symphony, the home page (view) presents them with an immediate actions page. The page contains three main actions: Create a new Document, Create a new Presentation, and Create a new Spreadsheet. See figure 3.

Figure 3. The Lotus Symphony Homepage view
The Lotus Symphony Homepage view

Complementing these actions are four additional links on the home page view, shown in figure 4:

  • Download new Clip Art.
  • Extend the value of Lotus Symphony with Plug–ins.
  • Check out the IBM Lotus Symphony wiki.
  • Join the discussion in our Support Forums.
Figure 4. The Lotus Symphony Web site quick links
The Lotus Symphony Web site quick links

For the Renovations domain, you can add the Renovations' support information to the home page by following these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt, and navigate to the working directory, which has the extracted deploy folder, the setup.exe file, and the extracted updateSite.zip file. In this case, the working directory is C:\symsetup\deploy\ as shown in figure 5.

    Figure 5. The working directory
    The working directory
  2. Move the com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone.gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605-2002.jar file from the updateSite folder to the top-level directory:

    move ..\IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\updateSite\plugin\ com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone .gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605.2002.jar .\
  3. Extract the plug-in contents using the JAR utility:

    jar xvf com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone.gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605-2002.jar

    The results of the command, shown in figure 6, show that the files are successfully extracted to the local disk.

    Figure 6. Expanding the JAR
    Expanding the JAR
  4. Open the LotusSymphonyHome.htm file using Notepad as shown in figure 7:

    notepad content\LotusSymphonyHome.htm
    Figure 7. Editing the Lotus Symphony home Web page
    Editing the Lotus Symphony Home Web page
  5. Validate the Web page in a browser. If the page looks correct, you can assemble the Java archive, and replace it in the updateSite\plugin directory.
  6. Scroll down to the <h3 class="boxheader">Join the discussions in our ... </h3>, as shown in figure 8.

    Figure 8. The discussions boxheader HTML
    The discussions boxheader HTML
  7. Because you want to clearly direct users to the Renovations support page, replace the HTML code between <H3 class=”boxheader”> </H3> with this code: Contact the Renovations Support or 000-000-0000
  8. Save the file, and exit Notepad.
  9. You have modified the home page, and next you can remove the old JAR file and assemble the updated JAR file:
    del com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone.gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605-2002.jar
    jar cvf com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone.gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605-2002.jar *
  10. After the new archive is created, move the updated JAR file into the package directory:
    move com.ibm.productivity.tools.standalone.gettingstarted_1.5.0.20090605-2002.jar ..\IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\updateSite\plugins\

If you want to modify the non-English home page, see this in-depth wiki article on the plug-ins to modify, "How to replace the html file of Home page in the Symphony 1.2 install package".

Custom plug-ins

Through the Lotus Symphony extension model, administrators and developers can extend the functionality, customize the branding, and customize the user experience. The extensions delivered to users are called plug-ins.

In the Renovations domain, users use a common set of extensions. All users want to use the Send-to-Mail plug-in. The Send-to-Mail plug-in allows users to quickly create a mail message with the active document attached. The Send-to-Mail plug-in is available on the Lotus Symphony Web site, which has a Plug-ins section.

To add your custom installation to the package, follow these steps:

  1. After you have downloaded the Send-to-Mail plug-in updateSite, copy the updateSite to c:\symsetup\IBM_Lotus_Symphony.
  2. Open IBM_Lotus_Symphony_w32\deploy\install.xml, and scroll to the end of the file.
  3. Enter the code shown in listing 2 at the end of the install.xml file, before the </install> tag.
Listing 2. The install send-to-mail feature snippet
<installfeature mergeaction="add" default="true" description="Send to Mail" 
id="com.ibm.symphony.extension.send.mail" name="IBM Lotus Symphony Send to Mail" 
required="true" show="false" version="1.0.1">
  <requirements>
    <feature id="com.ibm.symphony.extension.send.mail.feature"  match="perfect" 
    url="jar:${installer.root}/com.ibm.productivity.tools.
    extension.send.mail.updatesite.zip!/" version="1.0.1" />
  </requirements>
</installfeature>
  1. Save and close the install.xml file.

After the feature and plug-in definitions are copied in place, you can add further update sites into the Lotus Symphony package. You should be careful to modify the feature ID, version, and the updatesite.zip file to match your custom plug-in.

The Renovations domain users can manually install other plug-ins from the Lotus Symphony Web site by using the Widget Catalog or by following the Lotus Symphony Plug-in Installation Guide.

Themes

Lotus Symphony, the combination of Lotus Expeditor and OpenOffice.org, provides strong methods for customizing its branding. You can modify the colors and associated themes of the user interface to represent the Renovations look and feel.

Using the same methods that you used to deploy features and plug-ins, you can copy the feature and plug-in in place in the updateSite folder and quickly add your branding customization.

Customers can download the Rebranding plug-in source and build a custom rebranding plug-in to meet their business needs.

http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/plugin.nsf/ web_DisPlayPlugin?open&unid=CBFE480C6C9DDBAF862574A400750CE8&category=Miscellaneous

Preferences

Lotus Symphony lets an administrator set key preferences when installing the package. The key preferences available are INSTALLDIR, LAUNCH, and FILETYPE.

INSTALLDIR gives the administrator the choice of which drive and folder to use for the installation.

FILETYPE sets the Lotus Symphony file type association:
0 - No Files
1 - ODF Files
2 - OpenOffice.org Files
3 - ODF and OpenOffice.org Files
4 - Microsoft File Types
7 - All File Types

LAUNCH lets the administrator decide if Lotus Symphony is to be started at the end of the installation.

Further information is available in the Lotus Symphony Installation Guide.

Additional preferences can be set using Eclipse plug-ins, which modify the preferences store for Lotus Symphony. In this article, we set the preferences when we assemble the package.


Assemble the package

When the Lotus Symphony content, package, preferences, templates, dictionaries, and plug-ins are assembled into a well-defined hierarchy, you can start the process of assembling the primary update site and the package. Follow these steps:

  1. Delete the old updateSite.zip file, and confirm the removal.
  2. Right-click the updateSite folder, and select the Add to archive option.
  3. In the Archive name and parameters window that displays, select ZIP as the archive format.
  4. Click OK. This step takes a few moments to complete.
  5. After this step is complete, you have an archive file that you can use in the package. You can remove the working updateSite file, or you can move it out of your working folder.
  6. After the deployment directory is set, you can begin creating the deployment package.

Create the Lotus Symphony MSI installer

For this part of the tutorial, you use Workstation #2.

So far, we have explained how to open the Lotus Symphony executable (EXE) file and add plug-ins, themes, and other customizations that you might want to have automatically deployed along with the core Lotus Symphony product. So that you can create an installation package (MSI file) that will be used for deployment of your customized Lotus Symphony using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, you need to go through a two-stage process:

  1. Repackage Lotus Symphony with the customizations to create a new Lotus Symphony executable (EXE) file.
  2. Use the EXE file to create the Installer Package (MSI) that Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager uses.

The following sections explain how to complete these two tasks.

Repackage Lotus Symphony with your customizations

To repackage customizations and create a new Lotus Symphony EXE file, you use a tool that is not part of either the Lotus Symphony or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager product. Many commercial and freeware tools are available; for our purposes, we selected NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System), which is an open-source application that uses scripts to carry out the packaging to an EXE of our customizations. For further details, visit the NSIS Web site.

Using NSIS, we created the script in listing 3 that, when executed by NSIS, created the Symphony_Installer.exe file.

Listing 3. Lotus Symphony NSIS packaging script
; Symphony.nsi
;--------------------------------

; The name of the installer
Name "Symphony Installer"

; The file to write
OutFile "Symphony_Installer.exe"

; The default installation directory
InstallDir $TEMP\SymphonyP

; Request application privileges for Windows Vista
RequestExecutionLevel user

;--------------------------------

; Pages

Page directory
Page instfiles

;--------------------------------

; The stuff to install
Section "" ;No components page, name is not important

  ; Set output path to the installation directory.
  SetOutPath $INSTDIR
  
  ; Put file there
  File updateSite.zip
  File updateSite_fr.zip
  File com.ibm.productivity.tools.extension.send.mail.updatesite.zip
  File com.lotus.demo.templates.updatesite.zip
  File setup.exe

  SetOutPath $INSTDIR\deploy
  File deploy\plugin_customization.ini
  File deploy\install.xml
  File deploy\install.properties
  File deploy\fileExtensionsConfig.xml
  File deploy\debug.options
  File deploy\.keystore.JCEKS.IBM_J9_VM.install

  SetOutPath $INSTDIR\deploy\extras
  File deploy\extras\presetfeeds.opml

  ExecWait $INSTDIR\setup.exe
SectionEnd ; end the section

Create the MSI installer package

Having successfully created the new Lotus Symphony EXE file on Workstation #1, you can use this file to create the Microsoft Systems Installer (MSI file). You are able to complete this task using the Veritas Software Console (VSC) by Seagate Software, which is originally packaged on the Microsoft Windows 2000 CD in the Valueadd\3rdparty\Mgmt\Winstle directory.

The approach employed by VSC to build the MSI, is to create a "before" and "after" snapshot of the workstation's hard disk and registry, and to create the MSI file based on the differences. This procedure is described in a Microsoft Knowledge Base document. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/257718

Follow these steps:

  1. On Workstation #2, create a C:\Temp directory, and copy the new Lotus Symphony EXE file that you created earlier on Workstation #1 to the C:\Temp on Workstation #2.
  2. Install VSC onto Workstation #2 by running the Swiadmle.msi file. This file provides the VSC and a Discover application that is used to take snapshots of the system.
  3. Run the Veritas Discover application, which specifies the details of the MSI package that you want to create as shown in figure 9.

    Figure 9. The Discover window
    The Discover window
  4. In the window that displays, specify the name of the application, LOTUS_SYMPHONY, and the directory in which the files will be stored.
  5. Having specified the details of the MSI package, specify the directories and files that you want to exclude from the "before" snapshot. This step is important because you do not want the temporary directory (C:\Temp) where you stored your work files to be in the snapshot. See figure 10. Click Next.

    Figure 10. Select files and directories to exclude from the discover process
    Select files and directories to exclude from the discover process
  6. The discover process then runs; it creates the "before" snapshot of the workstation's hard disk and Registry.
  7. When the "before" snapshot is completed, the discover application automatically prompts you for the Symphony_Installer.exe file so that Lotus Symphony can be installed before you take the "after" snapshot. The Symphony_Installer.exe file is started, and Lotus Symphony with your customizations is installed as shown in figure 11.

    Figure 11. The Lotus Symphony installation starts
    The Lotus Symphony installation starts
  8. After Lotus Symphony is installed, you start Lotus Symphony and validate the plug-ins and other customizations. For example, validate that the French dictionary is successfully available and installed correctly.

Now that you have completed building the "before" snapshot, you see the validation window shown in figure 12.

Figure 12. Before the snapshot is complete
Before the snapshot is complete

You can build the "after" snapshot by following these steps:

  1. Click Next to run the discover process that analyzes the hard disk and Windows Registry for changes. The changes to files and registry entries are recorded.
  2. When the "after" snapshot is completed, the new Installer is ready to be built. Click OK in the status window.

Note that you can view the contents of the MSI in the Veritas Software Console. Optionally, you can use the VSC to view the contents of the MSI file.


Configure software distribution

For this part of the tutorial, you use Workstation #3 and the Systems Center Configuration Manager server.

Before you can distribute software, you need to create a distribution package. You can package the software from scratch, but it is easier to build the distribution package from a definition file or from an MSI file. After you have created a package from an MSI file, you have a template that you can use to create packages from scratch.

Given that you have created a custom MSI file for Lotus Symphony on Workstation #2, copy the MSI file to the Systems Center Configuration Manager server prior to progressing with the following sections.

Software distribution with Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) requires four components:

  • Collection management
  • Package management
  • Program management
  • Advertisement management

Collection management

The administrative console of SCCM on your server gives you a series of ready-to-use collections, but you can create your own. For our deployment we created a collection based on a query that included all client computers in our domain.

To create the collection rule, follow these steps:

  1. Expand the site database, and right-click Collections.
  2. Enter the name Renovations Clients by Query.
  3. Click Membership Rules.
  4. Click Add Rule.
  5. Select the criteria of all computers in the Renovations domain.
  6. Click OK to close the rule.
  7. Click OK to create the collection.

Package management

Package management involves identifying the installer that you made and creating the Lotus Symphony definition distribution package from an MSI file.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Site Database, and then click Packages.
  2. Right-click Packages, click New, and then click Package from Definition.

    This selection launches a wizard that allows you to select the MSI file that you created. See figure 13.

    Figure 13. Launch the Create Package from Definition Wizard window
    Launch the Create Package from Definition Wizard window
  3. The wizard lists all the packages that have been opened. If you have already opened the Lotus Symphony package, this list is empty. In that case, click Browse to open a file browse window that allows you to locate the Lotus Symphony MSI file.
  4. In the Package Definition window that displays, select the Lotus Symphony package as shown in figure 14. Click Next.

    Figure 14. The Create Package Definition window
    The Create Package Definition window
  5. In the next window that displays, select the option to obtain files from the source directory. All other settings are left at their default values.

On completion, the wizard automatically creates three components for the package, Access Accounts, Distribution Points, and Programs, as shown in figure 15.

Figure 15. Lotus Symphony Packages folder
Lotus Symphony Packages folder

Access Accounts are the Microsoft Active Directory accounts that are used in the distribution of the package. No changes are required, so you can maintain the default settings for Access Accounts.

Distribution Points are the locations from which the package files are to be downloaded when the clients complete installations. Consequently, packages need to be uploaded first to the distribution points. There is no setting by default, so you must create an entry.

If you create the package from scratch, create the programs before creating the distribution point because the programs define what needs to be copied.

In your setup, there is only one SCCM server, which also has the role of distribution point.

To set up the distribution point, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click Distribution Points, click New, and then click Create New Distribution Point wizard.
  2. Click Next. You see the default SCCM server selected. See figure 16.

    Figure 16. New Distribution Points Wizard server selection window
    New Distribution Points Wizard server selection window
  3. Click Finish. The package is copied to the distribution point.

If you have more than one SCCM server, you can define multiple distribution points. The Renovations domain is a single server setup.

Program management

The programs component contains the configuration assignments for your packages. As you created the package from an MSI file, the six programs are created automatically:

  • Per-system attended
  • Per-system unattended
  • Per-system uninstall
  • Per-user attended
  • Per-user unattended
  • Per-user uninstall

You can open one of the per-system unattended entry programs. You see the General page, shown in figure 17. The General page specifies how the program is to execute. As you created the program from an MSI file, the command-line field, with appropriate switches, is prepopulated. The After running setting specifies the action to be performed after the installation program completes.

Figure 17. The Program Properties window
The Program Properties window

Additionally, there are more tabs:

  • The Requirements page specifies the system prerequisites for the clients.
  • The Environment page specifies the way the installation program is to run. For example, the program is to run with user or administrative rights.
  • The Advanced page specifies the details of any other program that needs to be run prior to the installation. In the Renovations domain, you do not need to specify anything prior to the Lotus Symphony distribution.
  • The Windows Installer and MOM pages enable support for roaming users and remote management, which is not necessary in the Renovations domain.

Advertisement management

After you have created your programs and packages, you can distribute them to client computers. To do this task, you use the SCCM advertisements feature. There are a number of ways to create advertisements.

In the Renovations domain, you use the Distribute Software wizard option to create the advertisement. Follow these steps:

  1. Expand the Site Database, and then click Programs.
  2. Right-click Per-System Attended, click All Tasks, and then click Distribute Software.
  3. Select the distribution points to be used. Click Next.
  4. Select which collection the advertisement is associated with and has the software to be distributed. Click Browse, and then choose the Collection. Click Next. See figure 18.

    Figure 18. The Distribute Program window
    The Distribute Program window
  5. Specify a name to identify the new advertisement in the Name field. It is important to enter the name because doing so lets you distinguish between advertisements. Click Next.

    NOTE: Keep in mind that you can create multiple advertisements for the same program.

  6. Select the Advertise the program only to members of the specified collection option. Click Next.
  7. Select the date and time when the program is advertised. You also determine the advertisement's expiration parameters here. Click Next.
  8. Select the option to not assign the program, and click Next.

    NOTE: Make sure that you select the option to not assign the program. If you do not select this option, the installation takes place immediately in the background. If you perform the installation in the background, any installation errors are more difficult to diagnose.

  9. You see the final window of the Distribute Program wizard, which summarizes the advertisement.

The advertisement has been created, and you can view the properties from the console by right-clicking the advertisement and selecting Properties.

The Properties window includes the following tabs:

  • The General page shows the advertisement name, package and program, and the targeted collection.
  • The Schedule page shows the start and expiration dates for the advertisement and the priority setting. The Mandatory Assignments field lets you specify those assignments that must run. Leave the Mandatory Assignments empty.
  • The Advanced Client page specifies whether to download the package source files for the advertised program before running the program. When a distribution point is available locally, you can select to either run or download the program from a distribution point. When no distribution point is available locally, you can select to not run the program or run or download the program from a remote distribution point.
  • The Security page shown specifies the user rights for the advertisement.

As you have completed the advertisement setup, your next step is to watch and test the installation.

Watch the installation

After you have created the advertisement, the software is made available to the targeted clients. You can monitor the status of the advertisement from the SCCM administrative console.

Follow these steps:

  1. Expand the System Management Server, and then expand the System Status folder.
  2. Select IBM Lotus Symphony – Per-system attended to Renovations Clients by query.
  3. Right-click your advertisement, select Show Messages, and then select All.

For a new advertisement, with only a couple of targeted clients, there are not many status messages, so you can view them all. See figure 19.

Figure 19. Status messages
Status messages

As soon as the window shown in figure 19 shows that an advertisement has been sent to a client, you can switch to the client to see it.

Software installation

On the client workstation (Workstation #3), the advertisement displays, announcing that a new program is available. See figure 20.

Figure 20. Client advertisement displays on the workstation
Client advertisement displays on the workstation

To install the software, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the alert icon to launch Add / Remove Programs, where you see all programs advertised to the client. You can start the installation by clicking the Add button as shown in figure 21.

    Figure 21. The Add or Remove Programs window
    The Add or Remove Programs window

    NOTE: You can alternatively launch Run Advertisements from the Control Panel by clicking the Run Advertisements icon. Select the program, and click Run.

  2. Click Download. Wait while your program download status completes. See figure 22.

    Figure 22. Program Download Status window
    Program Download Status window
  3. After the download completes, the installation starts.

    When the installation completes, launch Lotus Symphony and validate that it is correctly installed.

    First, you see that on the Lotus Symphony home page, the contact information for Renovations Support is visible as shown in figure 23.

    Figure 23. Lotus Symphony Home page with Renovations support details
    Lotus Symphony Home page with Renovations support details

    To validate that the Send Mail plug-in is available, create a document. You see that you now have a new menu named Plug-ins and that on this menu the Send Mail plug-in is available as shown in figure 24.

    Figure 24. Validate that the Send Mail plug-in exists
    Validate that the Send Mail plug-in exists
  4. Last, validate that the French language dictionary is available. Select File – Preferences, and then select the Language Settings option. You see the French dictionary as shown in figure 25.

    Figure 25. Validate that the French dictionary is available
    Validate that the French dictionary is available

Conclusion

IBM Lotus Symphony is a powerful set of document, spreadsheet, and presentation editors that provide a strong base to build a compelling package for your corporation. As you have learned in this article, you can quickly create a customized package for your company, add to your systems deployment, and provide new capabilities to your users.


Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Qi Feng Huo and Hai Feng Zhang (IBM China Lab) for the review and feedback.

Resources

Comments

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ArticleTitle=Automating IBM Lotus Symphony deployments using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
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