Windows Intune is a PC management tool that offers businesses and individuals the ability to perform security and management tasks from one cloud based tool. Administrators can monitor viruses, computer health, deploy Windows updates, and install and manage third party applications. Third party software is installed through Windows Intune Update as was set up in Intune's update policy.
A caveat to Windows Intune Software Publisher is that not all third party applications can be deployed and not all deployed softwares can be be updated through Intune seamlessly.
The application must have the option to be installed silently, otherwise the installation will time out.
The process of uploading updates is very similar to the process of uploading the installation files. However, depending upon how the software is packaged, Windows Intune may not be able to patch in the software's update.
Since not all 3rd party softwares follow the the standard application model Microsoft uses, the ability to use this feature will be based on a case by case basis. Different desktop applications will behave differently depending upon the developers.
Preparing for Deployment
There are a few important pieces of information you need to gather in order to successfully deploy your application.
- Software setup files location: The path to the setup files on the Windows Intune administrator’s computer. These are the files that will be compressed and uploaded to create the managed software package that you want to distribute. If your Setup program requires other files or folders to complete a client installation, you must organize those files into a single folder.
- Publisher: The name of the software publisher.
- Name: The title of the software being deployed.
- Description: A description of the software.
- Required architecture: Whether the software is to be deployed on a 32-bit, 64-bit, or any other operating system architecture.
- Required operating system: What operating systems that the application can be installed on. The options are Any, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Selecting an earlier operating system gives you the option to specify whether to include new operating systems.
- Command line arguments: You can specify command line arguments that will be parsed to the setup program when it is launched on the client computer. Typically, this is where you will enter the arguments that enable silent installation of the setup package. For example, if your software is installed by using an MSI package, the /q argument entered here will ensure that no user interface is launched during the installation routine from the client computer, but is typically not required.
- Return codes: These codes are used to determine the status of the installation after the setup routine has completed. The standard MSI return code is 0 for a successful installation and 3010 for a successful installation that requires a restart of the client computer. If your application uses custom return codes, you can add those codes here so that an installation returning the custom code can be reported as a successful installation. If the installation returns any other code that is not listed here, it will be interpreted as a failure and returned as an alert to the Windows Intune console.
- Software’s existence: For EXE installation files, you must determine either the file path of the installed software, a created registry key, or MSI product code so that Windows Intune will be able to determine if the application has already been installed. MSI installations will not ask you to provide this detail during setup.