Using Adobe’s IT tools to deploy Creative Cloud for teams

3rd (and final) UPDATE 05/13/13
This article is now antiquated and should not be used. In April we released a brand new tool for our Team Customers called “Creative Cloud Packager” for more information please go here

 

You are at your holiday party. You have had one, okay, more than one, glass of spiked eggnog. You are singing along to Wham!’s “Last Christmas” off key. Let’s face it, your judgement might be slightly impaired. And of course, as an IT admin, your goal is to avoid talking to your production manager at these type of events. Too late. He’s cornered you. Oh, that tie! Does he think he is being ironic wearing that Santa tie?

And the next day when you awake you have a slight flashback. What did I promise? Something about telling the production manager I would deploy Adobe’s Creative Cloud for teams before I left for my break. How can you package up and deploy the “cloud?” That doesn’t even make any sense. Oh my head. The nog!

Well I hope this blog will be your Rockstar Recovery drink to get you through this. First, let’s clarify a few things. First, the Creative Cloud for teams offering is different the Enterprise offering. We’ll have a few blog posts going into the Enterprise offering in 2013. This post is simply focused on what an IT admin who has to help roll out the Creative Cloud for teams can do with the existing Adobe IT tools like AAMEE and RUM to make things easier. We’ll be rolling out comprehensive documentation in January on this topic but want to give a quick overview.

Let’s say you are rolling out 50 seats of Creative Cloud for teams in your office. You may be involved with the actual administration of sending out invites. This is done through the admin portion of the Creative Cloud site. From the Invite Multiple option you can either copy and paste user’s email addresses (ouch! carpal tunnel) or import a .txt or .csv file of the user’s email address. Then you can send them an invite and they’ll login with or create an Adobe ID.

Screenshot of the admin portion of the Creative Cloud site

 Then they’ll download and install the Creative Cloud version of the Adobe Application Manager and begin downloading and installing the full offering of Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications and updates. All of them. All of the apps. All at once. All 50 of the users. What? This is in your Portland office? The only office that hasn’t had the network upgrade yet. Better turn off your mobile stat and hide.

Now that scenario of course could be avoided if you used your existing deployment infrastructure by pushing out packages of the apps rather than using your office’s internet connection for all 50 users. But how do you package up a set of apps that come from the cloud? Ah, you need a work-a-round, a hack. Well my friend, as a former IT admin I am all about the hack. Here’s how you do it: The bulk of the applications they are downloading from the Creative Cloud are the CS6 installers and to be frank, are not exactly what I’d call svelte in the MB/GB department. So you could download them yourself from our FTP site as the CS6 Master Collection and then use AAMEE 3.1, our CS6 packager, to package them out and distribute them.

But wait, AAMEE requires a volume serial number, right? Well remember we also have a Trial workflow in AAMEE 3.1. And the Trial workflow is really an unlicensed version of the CS6 app, just waiting for licensing via a serial number or an Adobe ID login associated with a subscription or Creative Cloud membership. Get it? So once it is packaged up you can distribute using your deployment infrastructure and then have them log in after you send the invites. This turns the unlicensed CS6 app into a Creative Cloud app. Magic. More like magic hack.

A few caveats about this plan/hack are:
1) apps such as the Edge tools, Muse and Lightroom aren’t part of CS6 so the end-users will have to download those apps on their own. The Edge tools and Muse are quite lightweight in size though.
2) the updates that you package with AAMEE 3.1 will not fully get the applications up to date. Why? Because the Creative Cloud have their own special feature updates that are not part of CS6. Therefore they can’t be seen in the Updates screen with the CS6-based AAMEE 3.1. You could execute the Remote Update Manager (RUM) once the end user has signed into the application with a valid Creative Cloud account. Then when you run RUM it will recognize the install as a Creative Cloud app and then pull that Creative Cloud-specific update down and install it.

(There is obviously a joke opportunity in there with RUM and spiked eggnog but I am going to refrain. Not because I am opposed to stupid jokes. Anyone who has read this blog in the past knows that. But this is out of principal. And that is because I am in the camp that firmly believes eggnog only has one true friend. And that friend is from Loretto, Kentucky. I’ll say no more.)

If you have read through this blog post cursing me and saying things aloud saying things like “Don’t you know my end-users aren’t admins?” or “There is no way we would give our users access to whatever apps they want.” or “I don’t want my users to have to have Adobe IDs.” If that is the case, then we have an Enterprise version of the Creative Cloud that can accommodate your organization. Lots more info on this topic coming early 2013 including us previewing some cool new stuff at the Mac IT event in San Francisco which we are are a sponsor.

If you are not familiar with our FTP site, you can get to the CS6 installers by going here:

ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/cs6/downloads/

And if you are unfamiliar with AAMEE you can download it here along with the tome that is the Enterprise Deployment Guide that covers AAMEE, RUM, and more:

http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/technical-resources.html

Hope this hack helps. That is a lot of ‘h’ action. Here’s two more: Happy holidays!

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

 

UPDATE: The PDF of the white paper “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams IT Deployment Guide” is live:

http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/creativesuite/pdfs/CCT_IT_Deployment_Guide.pdf

 

2nd UPDATE 3/6/13: Two issues with the workflow mentioned, both fairly major. First, the media that is on the FTP is not for North American English. We are working to get that posted on the FTP site. In the meantime, you can find the CS6 MC media from: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

[Note: Getting media from that page requires the use of the Adobe Download Assistant which is very consumer focused. Sorry about that.]

Second, in order to have the ability to login properly with a Creative Cloud for Teams account the system needs to have the latest copy of Adobe Application Manager installed. Unfortunately the Adobe Application Manager can’t be packaged with AAMEE nor is it a native installer. I know, I know!  Here are the links to the Adobe Application Manager files:

Windows: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4773

Mac: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4774

It can be installed from command line by:

Win: <Path to Setup.exe>Set-up.exe –mode=silent –action=install
Mac: <path to ASU> /ASU/Install.app/Contents/MacOS/Install –mode=silent –action=install

21 Responses to Using Adobe’s IT tools to deploy Creative Cloud for teams

  1. Tim Kimpton says:

    Before we carry out UAT for you again Adobe we need AAM working with proxies. I’m not talking about a rubbish pop up box asking for a username and password. Im talking about the app working with the Mac OS taking system settings eg PAC file and also running on behalf of the user not computer !

  2. Tim Kimpton says:

    This is not a good idea forcing everyone to creative cloud subscriptions.

    With a lot of freelancers coming and going all the time. This is a massive admin burden of faffing about with cloud team membership etc when we just need them to work 10 seconds after they are sat down!

    Also after the current licensing balls up where machines are being unlicensed even with cs6 packages made with AAMEE3.1 and continual reserialization is the hotfix, excuse me if I’m skeptical that this is actually going to work.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      I don’t foresee managing Creative Cloud for Team accounts as a massive burden. It should only take an admin 10 seconds to login and reassign a seat for a new freelancer.

      The current licensing issue is not relevant to Creative Cloud at all as there isn’t serialization involved with Creative Cloud licensing.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  3. Tim Kimpton says:

    Jody

    The real problem is packaging, deploying and patching to get things to work with non native pkgs this is a real hassle.

    And how so I package this up seeing as CLP and TLP will be gone November and Adobe are forcing us to this?

    What about proxy servers when the end user get a sign in box but they can’t log in because if it.

    There are so many questions on how this is going to work. I am all up for it if it means I don’t have to spend my day( every single day) packaging, patching Adobe products all the time to get them to work in the Enterprise.

  4. ds says:

    I am wondering if you guys at Adobe thought about installing this in the lab computers?
    Where no designated owner, hence no email. I was just told from one of Adobe agent that make an email for computers. Gee….

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      A lab environment that is used by students that are not going to be designated Creative Cloud members is not the intended audience for the Creative Cloud for teams offering. We’ll reach out to you via email and find a solution that works for your environment.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • ds says:

        Thanks, I would like to know what the solution is sooner then later.
        Many here are eager and asking why we don’t have it.

      • ds says:

        I know Adobe is keep promoting $20/month deal for Cloud.
        But Adobe still doesn’t have any policy/strategy for Higher Ed Lab settings while removed box sets. Here, everyone is asking why we don’t have Cloud in the labs over and over and over and over.
        Two months old comment about reaching out never happened either.
        Any plan/thoughts?

  5. Thanks, helpful post Jody, and followed you all the way through… One question though – how does it work for Edge Animate?

    All the CS6 applications have a setup.exe to run, Lightroom and Muse too – but when we unzip the .7z for Edge Animate 1.0 (or 1.0.1) there does not seem to be any executable contained within the archive… There are a bunch of other files (.xml, .db, etc) but nothing that can seemingly be used to install the app standalone like all the other tools you mentioned can be.

    Could you please advise how the plan/hack works in this circumstance? Thank you!

    • Correction — revisiting this now and the Edge Animate package isn’t actually a .7z file but a .exe that unzips itself. But, we checked again and there is no executable like in all other Adobe installers…

      Help — what should we do in this context? Thanks again.

  6. Oleg says:

    Thanks Jody. Is this hack free of the existing issue that we get during converting an *activated* CS6 perpetual license installation to CCM using the http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/upgrade-to-creative-cloud.html#id_38435 instructions, where Ai and Ps remain at their non-cloud versions? Are AAMEE deployed *trial* versions different in this regard?

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      In our testing this process indeed turns a trial CS6 version into Creative Cloud version. I personally verified this today in our testing lab with Photoshop.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  7. dwitt says:

    The “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams IT Deployment Guide” states that you could download Lightroom from the FTP and use it with AAMEE 3.1, but regardless which version I use from the FTP AAMEE says that he could not find a valid Package. I tried with the downloaded file and an unpacked version.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  8. Hi,
    I have a work machine where volume licensed CS software was installed. (master collection via CD)
    I later downloaded the Adobe Application Manager for use with Creative Cloud when I was given a complimentary membership @ MAX 2011.

    My question is, when the AAM reads “up to date” for individual software titles, has it automatically deployed all of the exclusive “Creative Cloud” only extras for those individual software titles even if they were previously installed via CD/DVD?

    I think I have received the appropriate Creative Cloud updates to software that was installed via CD/DVD through a volume license, but wanted to see if it is necessary to uninstall these previously installed titles in order to get the Creative Cloud exclusive updates for them.

    Any advice or insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

  9. evenezia says:

    The information on installing the AAM for macs is a bit thin – after some research and testing, these are the steps I would recommend for installing AAM on macs using apple remote desktop.

    1. copy the AAM installer folder to the mac or macs you intend to install it on. If you copy it to the /tmp folder, it will be removed the next time the daily periodic script runs.
    2. send the following unix command as root. This is assuming the AAM installer folder is called “Adobe Application Manager 7.0″. Otherwise rework accordingly.
    /tmp/Adobe\ Application\ Manager\ 7.0/Install.app/Contents/MacOS/Install -silent

    Hope this is helpful for someone else.

  10. Chad Baker says:

    In the CCT Deployment guide, the following servers are specified as those that should be whitelisted:
    cmdls.adobe.com
    ims-na1.adobelogin.com
    na1r.services.adobe.com
    prod-rel-ffc-ccm.oobesaas.adobe.com
    lm.licenses.adobe.com

    A customer thinks it may be mistaken, and should say:
    ccmdl.adobe.com(added)
    ccmdls.adobe.com(corrected)
    ims-na1.adobelogin.com
    na1r.services.adobe.com
    prod-rel-ffc-ccm.oobesaas.adobe.com
    lm.licenses.adobe.com

    Based on ping, the cmdls.adobe.com server specified in the guide doesn’t seem to exist, and the other two specified by the customer are responding to a ping, so it looks like we probably need to update that deployment guide.

  11. julien says:

    Hi,
    So you’re saying that in a”TEAM” subscription, if people need to use the software for a while but somebody else is waiting, the Admin has to invite people “in & out” every single time??!! Couldn’t you make that automated so that people are told “too many licenses used” when one tries to start a program? Companies like Autodesk have figured it out and they’re by not means on the cutting edge…

  12. Prabhat Singh says:

    Just to add to what Chad Baker said in his comment on April 18, 2013:
    “ims-na1.adobelogin.com” has been changed to “ims-prod06.adobelogin.com”.

  13. Ashish Agarwal says:

    Just a bit of correction to Prabhat’s comment on Nov 5, 2013:
    “ims-prod06.adobelogin.com” is in addition to “ims-na1.adobelogin.com”. So both these URLs should be whitelisted in addition to the list which Chad Baker provided in his comment on April 18, 2013.

  14. Prabhat Singh says:

    Correct link to the “Creative Cloud Packager” help page: http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/packager.html

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