32767 Days Left, But Who’s Counting?

A significant licensing bug has caused certain installs of CS6 software on Mac systems to begin prompting the Trial screen indicating that the software is no longer licensed but is now in Trial mode. Normally the trial period is for 30 days. But in this case, it states that the trial period is 32,767 days. Just a bit over 89 years. So imagine it is 2102. Your kids and grandkids have long since moved to Mars, but apparently you, the IT admin are still stuck on Earth dealing with the Adobe’s CS6 licensing issues! I joke. Why? Because this is particularly egregious and has been very disruptive for many production environments, school labs, etc. And we have been particularly slow to respond to this issue. I am not saying this as self criticism but rather as a simple fact.

Do we have a fix? Let me jump to the chase (for once) and then explain the root of the cause and explain why our response to this has been sloth-like.

How to resolve the 32767 Days Left licensing issue:

1) Apply the Mac Photoshop 13.0.4 update patch

2) Use AAMEE 3.1 to create a serialization file

3) Run serialization file on affected systems

Details on #1: Photoshop 13.0.4 is available via the Mac version of AAMEE 3.1 in the Update workflow. It can also be applied manually if updates are enabled. The Remote Update Manager (RUM) is also available to apply the updates on the system. The specific command line for this would be:

RemoteUpdateManager –channelIds=AdobePhotoshopCS6-13.0

Details on #2 & #3: Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) is the command line serialization tool that is included in the AAMEE 3.1 install. It is covered in detail on Chapter 9 of the Enterprise Deployment Guide.

Now, why did this happen and if it hasn’t happened to you why not? The pattern we have seen appears to point at the Photoshop 13.0.2 and 13.0.3 updates as they had impacts to the licensing database. This update caused a synchronization call to the serial entry that would basically cause that entry to become unusable. Therefore the product that had been licensed would switch to becoming trial. Except of course a trial time period is 30 days and these installs would of been past 30 days so it displays that ridiculous 32,767 message.

We initially provided guidance on the Enterprise Deployment forum to use APTEE to un-serialize and then serialize and this resolved the issue for some folks. Same for the suggestion that came up to just use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1. But, of course this wasn’t a proper fix because the same synchronization call would occur and then break things. Again. Ugh.

So, what was needed was the Photoshop 13.0.4 update that came out this week to stop breaking things. Then use APTEE to un-serialize. Bam, clean slate. Then use APTEE to serialize. Why not use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1? Good question. The guidance from our Engineering Director I got was to stick with the APTEE step of un-serialization. Easier/cleaner to write to a file/entry that wasn’t there vs. one that is and might have been corrupt. Makes sense.

Why weren’t we able to diagnose and provide better guidance in a proper manner is two-fold. We are dealing with licensing that is time and actual product usage based. One would be unable to take the exact same AAMEE produced package with the same volume serial number and reproduce the issue after an install. Trust me, we tried. No, the licensing mechanism we have created is now like a ninja. One that we trained. Then we told it to go out in the woods at night and not be seen by us. Then we had to go out there in the woods to find him. Guess what? Totally hard. I am not sure if that metaphor works but I really like the imagery of a ninja hiding in the woods laughing (silently of course) at me.

In addition we did not want to announce a fix widespread until we had actual validation from customers that this was working. Once again, not a fix that they could validate instantly with any confidence that it had “stuck.”

We have learned a lot from this whole thing and need to do a lot internally to make sure this doesn’t happen with another product update…ever! In the meantime, you are owed an apology for the impact this had on your organizations. We understand that these types of issues are not simply things that make Adobe look back, but if you are an IT admin who manages a lab and the lab stops working the precipitation is that it is your fault. I know this first hand. Many moons ago I managed labs at a college and then when I first came to Adobe ten years ago I maintained Adobe’s training classrooms. I know what it is like to see a classroom of frustrated students and worse an angry instructor rolling their eyes at me or even yelling at me. Not pretty.

I also want to thank the members of the IT community that helped on this by reaching out to us with detailed info of the issue, providing logs, helping us test and validate, etc. Special shout out to the Enterprise Deployment forum posts. This forum has a large visibility internally and issues that get many reports here turn into data that is seen by our executives on a real-time basis. I also want to thank those who reported the scale of the impact to your Adobe Account Executive or your Channel Reseller partner. It is important that you be heard through all these outlets and that we understand the inconvenience and pain this has caused you and your organization.

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

Update 1: Please note that if you have systems that have not seen these issues then our recommendation is to simply make sure that you update the Photoshop 13.0.4. No need to unserialize and re-serialize if the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 updates were not on the system. If you have an AAMEE 3.1 package with the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 in it be sure to update the package to include 13.0.4.

Update 2: This entry was changed to clarify that that 13.0.4 is for Mac systems only.

Update 3: For clarity instructions to resolve have been updated. No longer require un-serialize & reserialize. AAMEE 3.1 serialization file takes care of both.

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

Acrobat XI: One Louder

The weather has changed, the leaves are falling, it must be that time of the year; yes, another version of Acrobat! This is an awesome version, the best version of Acrobat yet. Why? This one goes to 11. We were on 10. We asked ourselves: where can you go from there? Where?

This is truly a solid release. I got to hand to the folks in the Acrobat group. If you don’t believe me, check out this great review on PC Mag.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2370981,00.asp

With every Acrobat release I frequently get asked the same question: Acrobat __  just came out, is it going to be added to Creative Suite __? Good question, but always the same lame answer: nope. It is similar to if you bought a 2012 model car with the crusty old iPhone/iPod 30-pin adapter built-in and then you asked the dealer: “Hey Car Sales Dude, why are you killing my buzz? Get with the now! I’ve got an iPhone 5 now and need a Lightning connector stat!”

This is at least, how I talk to car salesmen. I pay full sticker price.

Anyway, the reason why we don’t add the latest version to the Creative Suite media is that, well, it is media. It would costs gobs of money to press new physical discs with the newly included Acrobat and tons of hours of Quality Engineering hours to test out the new build of the media in every single dang language for every configuration of the Suite. Yes, gobs and tons. Or to put it another way: tons and gobs.

Worth noting that if you have a multi-year license agreement with us that includes separate copies of Acrobat, it is likely that you have access to Acrobat XI. Speak with you Adobe Account Rep or take a visit to the Adobe Licensing Web Site aka LWS.

Now a big thing to get out of the way is that AAMEE 3.1 does not, I repeat, does not support Acrobat XI. Lame. Majorly. We really wanted to, seriously, but our schedules were simply not aligned. More like tragically misaligned. Per usual, right? Shrug. But on a good note, the Acrobat team has configuration tools for both platforms now. That is right, both Windows and Mac! Someone get the thermometer out. Hell may not have frozen over, but it certainly cold enough down there to start drinking cocoa and wearing mittens. Ah, such nice imagery.

With Acrobat they have given you, the IT admin: 1) native package installers 2) cumulative updates 3) SCUP catalog support & now 4) a Customization tool for both platforms. Can I get a shout out to the Acrobat crew?

Oh, wait, there’s more: the Mac version of Acrobat’s Adobe Customization Wizard gives you the ability to add a configured plist file. Awesome.

If you are supporting Acrobat XI head over to the Acrobat Toolkit For Acrobat Products page:

 http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/index.html

My buddy Steve Cordero has also created two IT Tips & Tricks videos on Adobe TV that cover the two new Customization Wizards. Yes, that is two wizards. There is a joke somewhere. So two wizards walk into a bar…

Adobe TV: Customization Wizard XI for Windows

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/acrobat-it-tips-tricks-tutorials/customization-wizard-xi-for-windows/

Adobe TV: Customization Wizard XI for Mac OS X

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/acrobat-it-tips-tricks-tutorials/customization-wizard-xi-for-mac-os-x/

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

 

****Updated 12/19/12****

JAMF’s “Administering Adobe Acrobat XI Pro with the Casper Suite” doc is now live!  Thanks to the JAMF crew for putting this doc together.

Guidance for IT Admins for Adobe Certificate Revocation

Adobe is currently investigating what appears to be the inappropriate use of an Adobe code signing certificate for Windows*. We plan to revoke the impacted certificate on October 4, 2012 for all software code signed after July 10, 2012. We have created a web page with guidance for IT admins and will continue to update that page as we learn more and can refine our advice as well info for the public:

Security Certificate Updates
http://helpx.stage.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/certificate-updates.html

[Note: Please review the updates that are available for applications that you manage in your environment. It is always our guidance that our updates be distributed when made available once tested in your environment. If packaging Suite-based applications, please do so with the updated AAMEE 3.1.]

Adobe Certificate Revocation FAQ:
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/certificate-revocation-faq.html

Guidance for IT administrators for Adobe certificate revocation
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/guidance-administrators-certificate-revocation.html

*Adobe Muse and Adobe Story AIR apps as well as Acrobat.com desktop services, are affected and run on both Windows and Macintosh. If you have them in your environment you will need to update them from within the AIR application. No remote updating is available for these AIR apps.

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

AAMEE 3.1…or why puffer fish is a delicacy

Imagine the feel of fine chopsticks between your fingers. Imagine picking up a thinly sliced fugu sashimi and bringing it to your mouth.  You can hear the koto strings being plucked off in the distance. You breathe deeply as you place the fugu in your mouth. You have faith that the chef has properly removed the liver with his special fugu hiki knife. This will not kill you. This is safe. You have to believe in the mastery of the chef; that he knows his trade. And as you swallow, you know that the puffer fish has met its match.

Four months, almost to the day I posted the blog post “AAMEE 3.0 for CS6 available now! Removes puffer fishes!” in which I strangely used the puffer fish as a metaphor for the anti-piracy licensing and serialization that Adobe introduced with CS6. These new policies were really a pain for IT admins, especially in education that use old-school methods of monolithic imaging like Ghost or Deep Freeze. Get it, old-school?  I really didn’t realize how many classroom environments did not have any infrastructure in place to remotely push out files or run our new serialization executable. So Adobe, in traditional Adobe mode, made IT admins mad and then told them to use a work-around that didn’t work. So a no-work-around. A not-going-to-work-for-us-around. An Adobe-is-giving-us-the-run-around. You get what I am saying.

And for four months, four crucial months in which schools were preparing their labs and classrooms for fall, IT admins struggled and spent extra hours at night and the weekends just to get their installs of CS6 to work in a serialized state. And many of the folks had never used AAMEE, and were forced to use AAMEE and cursed having to learn another tool. And they cursed Adobe, and they cursed AAMEE, and they cursed me. And this was personally really disheartening. I come to work to each day to make sure IT admins don’t curse Adobe. And to beat Joe Chilcote in foosball. Which makes Joe, who is in our IT, curse at me. Irony?

The puffer fish/fugu metaphor turns out to be a really good one for this release. The final version of AAMEE 3.1 removes the machine-to-license relationship that I outlined in the “Imaging CS6-Attack of the Clones” blog post in June.

This means that any serialized package created by AAMEE 3.1 that is installed in a master image will still be serialized on a cloned system. Why? Because we have removed the toxic liver of the fugu/puffer fish. If you are just tuning in, we are using the puffer fish’s liver as a metaphor instead of the puffer fish. Let me recap this: use AAMEE 3.1 to create a package and the machine-to-license relationship that was introduced in CS6 has been negated, neutralized, and ostensibly: neutered. Therefore, the imaging workflow/workaround that I outlined in that imaging post is no longer relevant. There is no longer any need to create an unserialized trial package and jump through the hoops. You can now create a serialized package like you should have been able to do in the first place.

NOTE: The AAMEE 3.1 beta did not remove the machine-to-license relationship. Only, the final version of AAMEE 3.1. So, if you were someone who downloaded the beta of AAMEE 3.1 from Adobe Labs please upgrade to AAMEE 3.1 today.

Wait, so AAMEE 3.1 beta was not feature-complete? Nope. There are three main features of AAMEE 3.1 that were not outlined in the AAMEE 3.1 beta post which listed out ten new things in the beta. The three new ones not present in the beta:

1) Removal of the CS6 machine-to-license relationship to improve imaging

2) AAMEE 3.1 MSI now double-clickable with basic installation Windows UI

3) Running of AAMEE 3.1 uninstall package now removes Software ID tags (SWID)

That brings the number of changes from AAMEE 3.0 to AAMEE 3.1 up to 13. Thirteen significant changes that I am very proud of. I am very proud of the AAMEE crew for turning out such a major release (despite the dot release nomenclature) in just four months. I also have to thank Adobe’s Provisioning team who helped implement the removal of the machine-to-license relationship components and helped making sure the SWID tags were cleaned up properly. A lot of hard work went into this release. Dot releases are not supposed to be this hard, this epic, this important. But this one was. And at the end of the day I know this release is what we should of provided to the IT community in the first place. That wasn’t possible, and I apologize. It took Adobe four months to right some wrongs. Nobody is going to give us a medal for speedy response to the IT community. No one is going to shake our hands for building software that negates something that shouldn’t of been in place for our Enterprise customers in the first place. I know this. That doesn’t mean this fugu sashimi isn’t delicious.

Oh, and before I forget: must give a shout out to our AAMEE Quality Engineering folks who with this release certified two additional workflows: Symantec Ghost for imaging and LANDesk for deployment. Thanks to both for Symantec and LANDesk for helping out on this process. Providing more and more testing workflows is never a popular request and I am really glad to have the support of our QE team and their management to continually support so many OS configurations, language testing, deployment and now, imaging workflows. Working out the kinks and documenting known issues behind the scenes is pretty much a thankless job. Except I just thanked them.

As stated in our previous post, AAMEE 3.1 is live on our Licensing Web Site  (LWS) and in Technical resources section of Adobe CS IT site. You’ll find the 3.1 Read Me and updated Deployment Guide there as well.

http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/it.html

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

AAMEE 3.1 Live—>Snarky/Irreverent Post Delayed

Just a quick late Friday note that AAMEE 3.1 is live on our Licensing Web Site  (LWS) and in Technical resources section of Adobe CS IT site. You’ll also find the Read Me and updated Deployment Guide. Go check it out:

http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/it.html

If you were following @Adobe_ITToolkit on Twitter you’d already be in the know.

[The regularly scheduled snarky/irreverent-toned post has been delayed until Monday. It is going to be a good one!]

A Brand New, Fabulous, Animated Video Walkthrough about the Old, Boring CS6 Offline Exception Process

*** Guest Blogger Jerry Silverman, Senior Solutions Consultant for the US Public Sector at Adobe***

Remember back when CS6 came out and Adobe announced that whole new Activation policy, wherein the installer would reach out to the internet to validate your serial number, confirm its correspondence with your Adobe ID, and activate your license? That was awesome.

No, seriously, that was awesome. It helps honest, hardworking creatives ensure that their license and software is genuine, and helps them keep track of their licenses, retrieve lost serials, stay connected with Adobe support, and access a ton of Adobe Community benefits. I’m not nearly as eloquent as our Customer Advocates and Business Transformation folks, who elaborate on these benefits here and here.

End of gushing review. How many of us can’t get onto the internet sometimes? OK, that looks to be about half. Which of us can NEVER get onto the internet? OK, all of us can, or else we wouldn’t be reading this. But how many of us serve a population of disconnected desktops, or secure desktops on classified networks, or desktops behind super-strict firewalls that only access a handful of domains? I see many more hands.

The problem with the Activation policy for CS6 perpetual licensees (and see here for the difference between perpetual licensing and Creative Cloud subscription licensing) is that if you raised your hand on that last question, and your end users sometimes install their own desktop software, those end users are basically unable to use that software, because they won’t be able to activate it via the internet.

Of course, you (their IT Admin) could use AAMEE  and deploy their software to them silently via the Command Line. And plenty of environments allow for this type of thing.

However, if you can’t use AAMEE for any reason, or if the end user lacks the enterprise deployment infrastructure necessary for AAMEE… what’s a creative to do?!?

Your end users can complete the Offline Exception process, detailed in this dated, flat, unmoving slide deck, or in this brand new, fabulous, animated video walkthrough on Adobe TV:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/creative-suite-in-the-enterprise/activating-adobe-creative-suite-6-via-offline-exception/

Who you gonna call? -Imaging CS6 with Ghost

Update for Sep 13, 2012: The workflow outlined in the Ghost video is no longer relevant when using the final AAMEE 3.1 release which removes the machine-to-licensing which was introduced with CS6. See the blog post AAMEE 3.1…or why puffer fish is a delicacy for more info.

____________________

That’s right, I’ve summoned up the ghost of Ray Parker Jr. for a quick post on imaging CS6 with Ghost. What? Wikipedia tells you he is not dead? Fair enough. No offense meant Mr. Parker. Or is that Mr. Parker Jr.? Truth is he had a recording career before and after the Ghostbusters soundtrack but that was his big breakout hit. You can’t undue a hit. And maybe this Adobe TV video will be a breakout that our Systems Engineer, Karl Gibson has been looking for. Yes, the “Client Imaging With Symantec’s Ghost Suite” video is that good. That is, if you have the need to image CS6 and you are using Ghost. If not, probably about into the fifth minute you will ask yourself: “Why the heck am I watching this?”

This is the third video Karl has made for us around CS6. It’s a trilogy. Let us know if you would like us to cover other topics or want Karl to make a prequel. Speaking of prequels, if you need additional guidance on imaging/cloning systems with a CS6 install on them then please check out the previous blog entry “Imaging CS6-Attack of the Clones.”

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

AAMEE 3.1 Beta Live (Yes, Updates Have Returned!)

Update for Sep 13, 2012:  The release of AAMEE 3.1 is live and features 3 significant features not in the beta. See the blog post AAMEE 3.1…or why puffer fish is a delicacy for more info.

____________________

I was working on another draft of my acceptance speech for Software Industry’s Worst Product Manager of the Year 2012 award when I got the call: AAMEE 3.1 could be released as a beta. And this series of mudslinging and thinly veiled (and some not so veiled) insults will no hopefully come to a close. With the return of the Updates workflow we can now can dodge rotten tomatoes thrown our way for worthy reasons (like breaking imaging workflows) instead of taking out features everyone liked.

The beta of AAMEE 3.1 is now on Adobe Labs in the Enterprise IT Tools for Adobe Creative Suite section. We decided to go the route of releasing the beta on Adobe Labs instead of our traditional Prerelease program because we wanted to get this in the hands of as many people as possible, as soon as possible. This release is not 100% “feature complete” and I am hoping to get one more significant component into this release. In the meantime, here is the Top Ten of what is new with AAMEE 3.1 beta:

1)   Updates added to Installation Package workflow

2)   Updates added to Trial Package workflow

3)   Update Package workflow added

4)   Modify Existing Package workflow added

5)   Support for eLearning Suite 6

6)   Support for Technical Communication Suite 4

7)    New Welcome screen

8)   Display of build time now in % (and more accurate)

9)   Ability to specify specific updates with Remote Update Manager

10) Adobe Exceptions Deployer now in Exceptions folder

Okay, so I ran out of things for the Top Ten and had to include changes for RUM and xDA. But you get the point; the AAMEE crew has been b-u-s-y these last two months! And now get thee to the Internets. Oh wait, you are on the internet already. Okay, then, please follow these easy steps:

1) Go here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/aameetools/

2) Read the 3.1 Read Me and updated Deployment Guide

3) Read and accept the terms and download the AAMEE 3.1 beta

4) Use the AAMEE 3.1 beta and happily make update packages in the comfort of air conditioned rooms while drinking lemonade.

5) Provide your feedback about this release in the Labs forum:

http://forums.adobe.com/community/labs/aameetools/

6) Follow the @Adobe_ITToolkit and/or set your RSS reader to this blog so you can be informed of when AAMEE 3.1 ships

Thanks to the AAMEE crew for getting this out so quickly and thanks in advance to everyone for helping us out testing this beta.

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

Mountain Lion and AAMEE

The AAMEE crew has been working with the developer builds of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) since Day One and Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3.6 on Day Two. Why did it take us a whole extra day to start testing ARD 3.6? We like to pace ourselves. A wise many named Howard Jones once said: Don’t try and live your life in one day. That’s right, all my deep personal philosophy is culled from New Wave songs. Don’t get me started about the deepness of the Thompson Twins. Maybe you are trying to live your life in one day. Maybe you are an IT admin and you downloaded and tested out the release build of 10.8, the new VMware Fusion Technology Preview and Capser Suite 8.6 all before lunch today. Did you even eat lunch today? Have you moved, at all, from your chair?

Our list of AAMEE issues with OS X 10.8 is super short. In fact, it is just one item at present:

Issue: Package deployment on Mac OS Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) fails for ARD packages (containing Adobe AIR payload) on client machines that have the user logged out.

Solution: While packaging, select Disable All Adobe AIR Installers, Including Adobe Help Manager on the AAMEE Configuration screen. When you select this option, the AIR payload is moved to the Exceptions folder.

Note: For ssh-based installations, regardless of the Mac OS version select the Disable All Adobe AIR Installers, Including Adobe Help Manager on the AAMEE Configuration screen.

Now AIR installers have been causing all kinds of havoc for Mac IT admins since AAMEE was just a little prerelease guy. As such, we finally decided that in the upcoming AAMEE 3.1 that by default we will have the AIR installers disabled. We probably should have done this earlier.

Speaking of AAMEE 3.1…where the heck is it? This time next week, if all the stars align you’ll be happily using the beta of 3.1. More to come soon!

And one last note regarding OS X 10.8, this KB “Digital Signature verification method for pre-Gatekeeper Adobe Installers” may be of an interest for those doing installs of pre-CS6 on 10.8 systems:

 http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/verification-method-pre-gatekeeper-installers-mac.html

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