Relieve the stress of complex App deployments with HP Application Management Profiles (HP AMP).
So there I was blissfully packaging in my cubicle. Churning out MSI packages, whipping out a component select, even writing a simple script or two to manage a dump and run deployment, when the application owner sat down across from me and handed me his software. He looked grave:
“14 MSIs...they must go in order and must all be successful. There are some system files that are located on a network share that must be available. We need this registry key set prior to the install and please update these three config files afterwards.”
My dreams of an early day disappeared with him as he walked out the door and were replaced with visions of multiple packages strung together with dozens of scripts performing error checking and desktop manipulation and a deployment that would be successful a handful of times.
Today’s software deployments are getting increasingly complex and not just on the server side. Desktop software may consist of multiple MSI installs and many prerequisites making packaging anything but straightforward. Enter HP Application Management Profiles (AMPs) for use with HP Client Automation (HPCA). AMPs allow you to construct a custom install with as many or as few components as you wish and then wraps it up in a single package that is deployed to your clients via HPCA.
The AMP editor consists of multiple panels that break your installation into components. A straightforward package might consist of Pre-Install, Install and Un-Install panels. More complex packages may require 2 Pre-install panels, 3 Installs, a Post-Install, an Update, an Un-Install and 2 Cleanup panels. The AMP is fully customizable to meet your deployment needs. Each panel executes one or more tasks relating to the installation and management of the application. Available for insertion into your package are pre-built routines that update and create registry keys, check for file existence, edit text files and call external routines to name a few so you don’t have to custom script the install.
Another handy feature is the ability to create unique inputs associated with the package without re-creating the package. Thus, if you happen to need to point to a different data server in each site and you have 27 sites, you don’t need 27 packages.
The AMPs true value shines through after the packaging is complete. The ease of assigning policy and the concise reporting afforded by one package versus many make AMPs the obvious choice for complex enterprise deployments. AMPs have the ability to take an unmanageable application and make it manageable again and give you back your dreams of an early day and a stress-free deployment.
As a final word, AMPs can be intimidating as your first glimpse of one is usually a highly complex application install resulting in a complex AMP. My advice is to start small and even package an application that you wouldn’t necessarily need an AMP for. Once you find your way around, I’m sure it will become your go-to tool for hard-to-manage deployments.
About the Author
Matt Brandt, Solutions Architect and Senior Consultant
Matt has worked in IT for 20 years and with HP Client Automation and its predecessors for the past 15 years. Matt joined Evergreen in 2008 where he functions as a technology consultant, solutions architect and packager for various clients. He is currently working closely with HP to implement HP CAE in an enterprise with more than 40,000 workstations (and coming across many complex application deployment scenarios!)