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There is so much information on the Internet already that we don't want to duplicate anything, we aim to document real life experiences in simple terms to describe how we have implemented software and also refer you to other articles if you wish to read the full story. This also helps us to remember how we did things. :)

Software Distribution using Active directory. (First Article. We need more of these)

If you don't what the expense of SMS and you want to control software distribution then look no further.

After looking at a lot of articles about software distributions I was a bit confused about distributing software to specific users. Do you what to publish applications to users so they have the option to install it themselves or do you what to assign it to the user so they can install on first use. well in a corporate environment I don't like giving standard users to much power to change anything, this just leads to more problems (and more help desk calls) so assigning is my preferred method.
Assigning applications to an OU is fine but what do you do if you have a number of OUs and you only want to assign the application to some users in each OU? If you apply the GPO to all OUs then you can restrict which users receive the application by using security groups.
So, to distribute software to users with AD do the following:

Software distribution to users
1. In AD, create a Global group for each application.
2. Any user requiring software, add to the appropriate global group.
3. Create a GPO and apply it to the highest OU required.
4. Set Security permissions on the GPO so it only applies to the corresponding global group as above.
5. Assign the msi to the GPO in the User Configuration, software settings.

If you want to assign applications to all workstations in an OU it is even simpler, you do not need security groups, just do the following:

Software distribution to Workstations
1. Create a GPO and apply it to the highest OU required.
2. Assign the msi to the GPO in the computer Configuration, software settings.

Related Articles
Group Policy Based Software Distribution. by Microsoft - click here

MCSE training kit - AD services Chapter 12 Lesson 4:Managing Software Using Group Policy


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