Tracking CS Updates Just Got Easier

What happens when Adobe ships something as monumental in scale as CS5? Does everyone go on a long holiday? Actually not. Many folks are hard at work listening to feedback from our customers, tweaking things here and there, and fixing bugs as soon as possible. With so many applications being updated after release it is difficult for IT admins to keep track of all the updates that come out. In fact, there have already been 15 released within the CS family of applications. I am happy to announce a new website/blog that will allow for easy tracking of all Adobe Creative Suite updates. This will allow you to track all of the CS5 updates by subscribing to a RSS or Atom feed. Check it out:

http://blogs.adobe.com/csupdates/

Each blog post will indicate the name of the update, direct links to the Windows and Macintosh update files, size of the files, a description of the update, and any relevant links to Read Me documents, release notes, associated product blog entries, etc.

All CS5 updates are now cumulative and therefore only the latest updates will be listed. Older update blog entries will be deleted once a new update is available for that product. For instance, if Bridge 4.0.4 is made available we will delete the Bridge 4.0.3 post as it will no longer be relevant as the 4.0.4 update would be the only update needed to be deployed.

Making it easier to track updates via this new blog/website is just one of many steps we are taking to make updating the Creative Suite easier for IT admins. The next big thing will be the release of the 1.1 version of the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) coming out in early September and will include the ability to package CS5 updates into MSIs or PKGs either individually or in the format of multiple updates. (i.e. Adobe Photoshop CS5 12.0.1 update alone or Adobe Photoshop CS5 12.0.1 update, Device Central CS5 – 3.0.1 Update, Adobe Illustrator 15.0.1 CS5 Update, etc. all in one big MSI or PKG.) But wait, there’s more! AAMEE 1.1 will also have the ability to bundle updates in a “über-package” that also includes the installable components of CS5. (i.e. Adobe Photoshop CS5 12.0 + Adobe Photoshop CS5 12.0.1 update or… all of the Master Collection + 14* updates!)

*You noticed that didn’t you? I said there were 15 updates for CS5 but then only had 14 updates in my example. I bet when you were in school you liked to find flaws in your textbooks and point them out to your teachers in the hope of extra credit. Well, Adobe InCopy CS5 7.0.2 was released and is part of the CS5 family but not part of the Master Collection. Those that already knew that, your extra credit has been recorded.

RSS Feed Link:

feed://blogs.adobe.com/csupdates/feed/

Atom Feed Link:

feed://blogs.adobe.com/csupdates/feed/atom/

Jody Rodgers
Product Manager, Enterprise & Volume Customers
Creative Suite

23 Responses to Tracking CS Updates Just Got Easier

  1. This is great. I’m really glad you’re doing this.

    I do have a couple suggestions that I think would make this a bit more useful for those of us that need to keep up on deploying the updates.

    1. Provide a “Included with…” information on updates that are not so obvious. Such as “Adobe XMP Panels CS5″, I have no idea what that is and what it’s included with. Is it part of every CS5 install? Only bundled with Photoshop? I dunno. Currently I have to do a test install of every edition of CS on a test machine and see what updates it detects, this is very time consuming and is probably the very reason you came up with this site. But if I don’t know if a particular patch is needed…..

    2. Describe how to detect if a patch is needed. Most are obvious, I know that a Photoshop updater applies to the version of “Adobe Photoshop CS5.app/exe”, but how to I know if a machine needs “Adobe Pixel Bender Plug-In for Adobe Photoshop CS5″? Many of us use tools like LANDesk or Absolute Manage and we can utilize them to detect if a specific file is a certain version. Regular applications are easy because they’re already part of the inventory, but these various plugins are not so easy. It would be nice if you could say which specific file(s) should be checked on each platform to detect if a patch is needed.

    Thanks.

    • jrodgers says:

      Thanks Patrick! Those are good suggestions too.
      The Adobe Application Manager (AAM) does a pretty good job of showing what an application’s related updates are. Here is a screenshot of AAM with an InDesign update listed. In this example you see that InDesign has four related updates and then it shows what applications that share each update. But it would be ideal if we gave some similar guidance on this new Creative Suite Update blog for each new update as you suggested.

  2. Ted says:

    Love all this. I want to give a big thanks for making updates cumulative. You’ve just made a lot of people who support your products very happy.

    And doubly so for allowing the Enterprise Deployment Toolkit to make updaters for multiple applications. (Now if you could just fix the Enterprise toolkit to make pkgs that install w/o a user logged in and off disk images and it’d be REALLY useful.)

    My suggestion, which you’re already mostly doing: Make sure to give the downloads appropriate names.

    The Illustrator and Photoshop downloads are both called Setup.dmg (Setup.zip for Windows). I think the rest of the files are nicely named, like AdobeBridge_4.0.3_mul_AdobeUpdate. That tells me everything I need to know at a glance.

    At least when the disk image is opened it lets you know what the update is for.

  3. jrodgers says:

    Thanks for the feedback Ted.

    The 1.0 release of AAMEE on the Mac does allow for installation without the user logged in for a few different workflows. The pre-release version did not, but the 1.0 does. Can you describe your workflow/deployment method?

    And yes, not being able to deploy from mounted disk images is a pain and we are putting efforts to resolve this. Sadly, not for the upcoming 1.1 release though.

    Jody Rodgers
    Product Manager, Enterprise & Volume Customers
    Creative Suite

    • Ted says:

      From my understanding, anything that installs Adobe Air will not install unless a user is logged in. I have a generic Adobe Design Premium installer, and when i try to install it from the command line there are errors like this:

      Adobe AIR Installer[817] : 3891612: (connectAndCheck) Untrusted apps are not allowed to connect to or launch Window Server before login.
      Adobe AIR Installer[817] : kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
      _RegisterApplication(), FAILED TO establish the default connection to the WindowServer, _CGSDefaultConnection() is NULL.

      And then the install seems to halt (nothing else is written to the log), and nothing is showing up on disk. And the Adobe Air installer is still running.

      In this case, my workflow was the simplest thing: I copied the package to the machine, ssh’d into the machine, then ran sudo installer -pkg Adobe\ Design\ Premium\ UnReg_Install.pkg -target /. As I said the installer was generated accepting the defaults for all of Creative Suite Design Premium.

      Then I had another terminal window open while I watched the installer.log scroll by and halt after the Adobe Air errors.

      Updates probably will not have this problem, and will work correctly. I’ll generate a all-in-one updater and try it tomorrow.

  4. jrodgers says:

    Right! In this ssh based workflow AIR would indeed prevent a silent based install. It would work with something like Apple Remote Desktop, but not via ssh. We are very, very aware of this issue and are focused on a few types of workarounds. One of them is a script that I would love your feedback on. I’ve emailed you the script. Hopefully I will do a whole post on this topic soon.

    Jody Rodgers
    Product Manager, Enterprise & Volume Customers
    Creative Suite

  5. Don Montalvo says:

    This is awesome news. It’ll make enterprise deployment a whole log easier. :)

    Don Montalvo

  6. Jeff Bernstein says:

    All I got is a simple “Thank You”.

  7. Nick Peelman says:

    Agreed with everybody else, this is awesome news. Thanks! Now if only we could some similar common sense solutions from Acrobat team…

  8. OK, I agree that it would be nice to filter by CS5 edition, i.e. “Display updates for:” and pick, say, “Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium” from a pop-up, and only show me updates that are relevant to that edition.

    Going through AAMEE 1.1 right now, it’s a PITA that I actually have to install CS5 somewhere to get a list of updates for the specific edition, then download the updates and feed them back into AAMEE. Ugh.

    Also, boo on the teams making their updaters just “Setup.dmg” – yeah, like I can tell what that is without mounting the .dmg. (Both Illustrator and Photoshop CS5 updates are guilty of this)…

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Maybe we could tag the specific CS5 editions the update is applicable to. Then you could do a feed of that tag or WordPress category. Would that be helpful?

      Jody Rodgers | Product Manager| Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

      • Yes.

        While I’m complaining…

        1) I used AAMEE to create a .pkg which installed fine. Then ran AAM to see which updates I missed. There were three:

        a) Adobe APE 3.1 update. I downloaded the one linked through this blog but the update fails (on a fresh install!)
        b) Adobe Media Encoder CS5 – I see notes about a direct download link not being available… why?
        c) Pixelbender plugin. The download link on this site is for a .mxp file which can’t be deployed through AAMEE.

        So, what I did was start AME downloading and installing the three updates I didn’t have/couldn’t get. Navigated to ~/Library/Application Support/AAMUpdater/1.0/Install and watched the three .dmgs (all named Setup.dmg – *sigh*) get downloaded. As each one was complete, I duplicated and renamed it. All three installed successfully.

        I’m now going to rebuild my AAMEE package using these three “missing” updates… but I shouldn’t have to jump through these hoops to get these.

        And, besides my complaint about “Setup.dmg”, I’ll note that half of the updaters have the AdobePatchInstaller and relevant folders at the root of the .dmg, while the other half have them all inside a folder.

        Consistency, people, consistency!

  9. TGB says:

    I’m happy to have the CS updates in one location, so thank you for that.

    I notice on the AAMEE page that it’s now even possible to mirror them to your own internal server, and redirect the client machines to query and download from that internal server, ala WSUS or Apple Software Update Server.

    I have two pieces of feedback about it, having looked at the accompanying PDF:

    1. The “pull”/check-in command-line doesn’t do anything without interaction. It would be much more useful if it could be either configured or to have command-line parameters passed in to accomplish particular tasks, rather than have to interact with the “menu”. The reason for this is quite simple: setting up a scheduled task on the server to check in and mirror, eg: once per day, once per week automatically. Requiring interaction just makes it less useful.

    2. How to cause client machines to install updates automatically — WITHOUT requesting admin access? That is, aside from the user going to “Check for Updates” in an application, or else running Adobe Updater, how does an admin get these updates installed? The most useful method would be along the lines of Apple’s command-line softwareupdate tool that I can trigger from ARD, a launchd task, Casper Suite or something similar, so that there is no user interaction required, to either check for or install updates, and no need for admin access on the part of the user (since “I” – meaning me via my management system – will have admin access while the user does not eg: ARD, Casper, etc).

    eg:
    sudo adobeupdater –install –all
    sudo adobeupdater –list
    sudo adobeupdater –install PhotoshopCS5-12.0.1-Update-EN (or whatever)

    BTW, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, since it’s clear Adobe has been listening to what people in workstation management have been asking. It’s just that one of the BIGGEST things that needs to be kept in mind is end-to-end transparency for the user. For EVERYTHING. Everything should either have a command-line, or be configurable to allow silent and unprompted action. Client-end interaction is Bad™ for deployment and management.

    Anyway, again thanks for the CS5 updates page. It’s been added to my ViennaRSS.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Great feedback on AUSST. I have passed it along to the engineering team. We really value this input and I greatly appreciate you acknowledging that Adobe is listening. I couldn’t agree more with your comment “Client-end interaction is Bad™ for deployment and management.” and I especially like the use of the gratuitous trademark symbol! I think I’ll print this out real big on our plotter. We haven’t done a good job on this front and this topic is certainly getting more visibility these days. Thanks again.

      Jody Rodgers | Product Manager| Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

  10. Jody Rodgers says:

    Note: I had some crazy overzealous Word Press setting on the CS Updates blog and accidently blocked a dozen or so comments for the months of Oct and Nov. I pushed them all through but not sure how relevant they are now. Sorry about that.

    Jody Rodgers | Product Manager| Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

  11. Mark says:

    Did anything get looked into on point 2 of tgb blog on the 8th october? As im in the same boat. Would love to run adobe application manager in silent mode and install updates in silent mode. Thanks

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Hi Mark. Sorry for the long delay. Yes we this feature request in our backlog. Unfortunately adding functionality of deploying silently will not occur with the next AUSST update that is occurring in conjunction with the CS 5.5 launch.

      Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

  12. Jeff Vandehey says:

    Is the feed for this service still being updated? I haven’t seen any updates posted since May 1, 2011……What is the scoop?

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Jeff- This coincided with the release of AAMEE 2.0 which now displays the CS updates that are available. Do you still feel like the updates feed is helpful? We’d appreciate your feedback.

      Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

  13. Jeff Vandehey says:

    Hi Jody, yes, I do feel it’s helpful. It’s great that AAMEE displays CS updates, but that is only good when building the applications and installers. Having the RSS feel listing the updates helps me w/ the 100’s of copies that are already deployed across the studio. It’s nice seeing the updates via RSS, when they are released so I can plan updates for the already installed copies of the software.

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