Top Ten Awesomeness of AAMEE 2.1

I’ve wanted to do a top ten list on this blog for sometime. I am sucker for those top ten articles on the internet. You know the ones “Top Ten Best Places For Real Estate In Places You Would Never Move To,” “Top Ten Worst Places For Real Estate Including Where You Live,” or “Top Ten Best Android Apps Released Between 8-10 AM This Morning.” And then you click on them and then the site annoyingly makes you click through ten separate pages so you can see ten ads. By the time you get to the 8th one you have lost interest and feel your carpal tunnel kicking in.

This is not that type of top ten. Nope. Just a list of ten awesome things about the free IT packaging tool Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) 2.1. Once you get to the 8th item on this list you’ll say “I can’t stand it, I have to have it now” and you’ll stop reading and click on the download links. But wait, how can a dot release that has TEN awesome things in it? That is a lot of stuff for a dot release. Right? Well the AAMEE team is pretty much obsessed with packing in as much goodness as they can. We’ve been focused on saving IT admins time and I think this release has a lot to offer on that front.

So without further ado I bring you…
Top Ten Awesomeness of AAMEE 2.1:

1) Existing packages can be updated!
We now have a new workflow that allows you to update packages that are created with AAMEE 2.1 so that they are always up to date. If you create a package in October, you can go back and refresh the updates in that package in December. Awesome.

2) AAMEE now supports more than just the Creative Suite!
Sweet, more suites. AAMEE 2.1 fully supports Technical Communication Suite 3.5 and has limited support for eLearning Suite 2.5 and Acrobat X Suite. Awesome.

3) No more merging of DVD images!
Some folks download the Creative Suite from the Adobe Licensing Website (LWS) as one single large image. Others get it other ways including from resellers and have to take the physical discs and then create images of them and then go through a convoluted and time consuming process of merging them. Merge no more my friends as we now support multiple disc inputs, both physical or iso/dmg. Awesome.

4) Preferences!
Those who have never used AAMEE or have created lots of packages with AAMEE may not think that preferences as a category are not worthy of my gratuitous and carefree use of exclamation marks, but trust me. Prior to 2.1 there were no saved preferences. Now AAMEE automatically remembers your preferences for things including the package name, save to location, Installer location and best yet all the options you select on the Configure Package screen are now all saved after you quit and reopen AAMEE. A big time saver if you have to create multiple packages in a row. Awesome.

5) Never quit AAMEE again!
Another time saver for sure. Now after you are finished building a package you will see a New Package button that takes you back to the start of the workflow process. It is kind of an infinitive loop. Why would you need this? Well let’s say you had to break down the Master Collection into 14 separate application packages. Before, you would have to open AAMEE 14 times. Combined with the fact that we now have preferences this dreadfully laborious task would be, well, still dreadfully laborious. But overall, quicker. Awesome.

6) Support for Apple Mac OS 10.7 Lion!
You can now happily use AAMEE 2.1 to create packages on your 10.7 system knowing it has been tested and vetted by the AAMEE crew. Awesome.*
*See the Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion doc for the latest on compatibly with the products and 10.7.

7) Support for Apple Remote Desktop 3.5!
Want to create packages with AAMEE 2.1 and then push them out to systems using ARD 3.5? Of course you do. And you can sleep well at night knowing it is supported. Awesome.

8 ) Filter updates by name!
We’ve added a Search by Product option in the Updates section of AAMEE 2.1. There are a ton of updates and sifting through them can be a little daunting. Now in the Updates screen simply type in the Product name and get instant results of what updates are available for that product. Awesome.

9) AAMEE 2.1 is thinking about its demise!
“Ever since the XP-38 came out, they just aren’t in demand.” Wether its landspeeders or packaging tools eventually things become obsolete. As exciting and shiny as AAMEE 2.1 is today, we have to come to grips that one day there will be an AAMEE 2.2 or an AAMEE 3.0. And AAMEE 2.1 has come to terms with this and starting with this version it will do a search at launch to see if a new version is available and announce its own redundancy. Awesome.

10) ExceptionInfo.txt file now includes commands!
Okay, so maybe I front loaded this list a bit and now the end of the list is looking rather thin. There maybe there is some truth to that. But if you are a Mac admin and having to deploy items from the Exceptions folder you probably don’t want to have to go to a website just to get the command line text for deployment, right? Why not put it in the doc that is in the Exceptions folder? We did. See? Even this last one falls under the category of: Awesome.

So there you go, ten solid reasons to click on the links below and start using AAMEE 2.1. We also have a new Read Me that includes more on these new features and a list of known issues. And we are continually updating and revising the CS5/CS5.5 Enterprise Deployment Guide that explains how to use AAMEE, APTEE, AUSST and more.

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition 2.1 (Windows)
http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/win/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_2_1_all.exe

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition 2.1 (Mac)
http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/mac/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_2_1_all.dmg

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

AAMEE 2.1 Preview At Seattle Enterprise Macintosh Administrators Group Meeting

AAMEE 2.1 will have a sneak preview at the Seattle Enterprise Macintosh Administrators Group meeting on Wed 9/21/11. Any organization with a five word long name is cool by me. They go by SEMAG for short, which I just noticed is GAMES backwards. The Seattle Adobe office in lovely Fremont is actually hosting this SEMAG event which is organized by our friends at Apple.

And if getting to be first on their block to see AAMEE 2.1 in action wasn’t enough, I’ll be giving away a few prizes. Why? Because I love prizes. And pizza. Did I mention the pizza? No I forgot that. Pizza, prizes, packaging. Seriously, what more could you want out of a Wednesday?

If you are in the area and would like to attend (sorry for the short notice!) send me an email and I’ll provide you with the details. My address is the first letter of my first name, no space, my last name and then of course at adobe.com.

Cheers,

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

Updated JAMF Casper Tech Paper & JAMF Conference

Not sure how, but I failed to announce the recent release of JAMF’s newly updated tech paper “Simplifying Adobe CS5 and CS5.5 Administration with the Casper Suite” document. This has been updated for CS 5.5 and AAMEE 2.x.:

http://jamfsoftware.com/solutions/adobe-creative-suite/

Speaking of JAMF, they are holding their National User Conference this November in Minneapolis. Spoiler Alert: I’m totally going to be there. I’ll be the one with the AAMEE shirt on. And if you see me the next day, I’ll be the one with a slightly less clean AAMEE shirt on. (I’m packing light.)

I’ve never been to Minneapolis and I am excited. Home to some cool tech places, like my friends at Code 42 and (of course) JAMF. But also home to some of my all time musical faves: The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Prince. One of my favorite design shops, Aesthetic Apparatus, is there. Plus Minneapolis has a neighborhood called Dinkytown. How awesome is that? Hope to see some of you there!

http://www.jamfsoftware.com/events/user-conferences/national-user-conference-2011/

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

Lion Tamers

Collection of National Media Museum
The cat is out of the bag! Mac OS X 10.7 aka Lion is roaming the streets and you brave Mac IT admins have been deemed Lion Tamers by the public at large. Or at least by me. I’ve managed a few OS compatibility assessments in my past and it is no easy task to gather up all the necessary info from the software publishers that are used in your environment, run/coordinate testing, etc. You are seeking the cold hard facts while a percentage of your users are barging down the door to upgrade due to justifiable work reasoning such as “shininess” and “Ars said I should.” Actually they said “Don’t just run out and upgrade your system as soon as you finish this review.” But who reads the second paragraph of the Recommendations section anyway?

And for that matter, who reads the second paragraph of my blog entries? We have two relevant pages for you and we will be keeping them up to date if new things are discovered, fixed, etc.

Creative Suite FAQ: Mac OS X Lion (v10.7) Compatibility
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/faq.html#lion-os

Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/905/cpsid_90508.html

Also worth noting that if you are creating an image for Lion that the Flash Player plug-in is not installed for Safari.

And last but not least, what about your own Mac? I know what you are asking: 1) Does Spotify work on Lion? and 2) Can I create packages using Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition 2.0 (also known “on the streets” as AAMEE) using Lion? I don’t have the answer for the first one and seems rather off-topic but I can report that we have done testing both of the AAMEE application and of AAMEE-produced packages on Lion and everything has checked out fine. If you experience something different please feel to use the comments to let us know. So feel free to let AAMEE hang out in the blurred space scene of Launchpad and click on it at will.

Stay cool. Literally.

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

AAMEE 2.0 and AUSST 2.0 Live!

The 2.0 version of Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (or AAMEE so that I do not get carpal tunnel from typing the full name) is available directly for downloading for the Adobe DevNet site. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/creativesuite/enterprisedeployment.html In addition to this release the 2.0 version of the Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST) is now available for download as well. More about AUSST in a bit.

AAMEE 2.0

The team has been hard at work to create a new version of AAMEE that supports the new CS 5.5 release but also supports CS 5.0 media and 5.0 updates. The two big new features of AAMEE are: 1) in-app updates and 2) support for Acrobat X with CS 5.5 media.

I am really excited about the in-app updating, so excited that I already blogged about it, basically stealing my own thunder as it were. But seriously, it was a pain to leave AAMEE and go then go to the CS Updates blog and download the updates and then manually add them. Right? Right. And how on earth could you possibly know if all those updates were interrelated to the applications you were deploying? Do you a PHD in Adobe Updateology? Me neither, and I work here. This is why the team delivered the ability in this new version to have AAMEE query Adobe’s external update server for you. You pick the applications you are creating the package for on the Updates screen and then it shows you the updates related to that update. Then you can download them from within AAMEE and build your core application package with the latest updates or if you are creating just an update package of CS applications it is up to date. What if you are creating more than one package? AAMEE caches the updates so they can be repurposed.

Also on the topic of updates, if you have been deploying the video products you will want to check out the section of the Deployment Guide called “Difference between Product Update Names for DVD and Electronic Software Distribution—Combination Package” to explain why you might be seeing updates labeled Trial even if you did not download a trial CS installer or even if your software was serialized. This involves esoteric things such as licensed content, templates, ESDs, and other things you might know if you had that PHD in Adobe Updateology or if you were Todd Kopriva.

A great aspect of working with the CS 5.5 media is that it comes with Acrobat Pro X on the same disc or disc image. And AAMEE 2.0 supports it. Progress! Before I get carried away with my exclamation marks I should sober myself with visualizing the long series of asterisk marks this topic deserves as there are indeed a decent amount of caveats with deploying and updating Acrobat Pro X as part of CS 5.5. Please check out the “Deploying Adobe Acrobat” section of the Deployment Guide and ESPECIALLY the “Handling Feature Lockdown on Mac OS after Applying Updates” subsection if you are deploying Acrobat X out to Macs as part of an AAMEE package. I know it isn’t pretty. What is not in the doc, specific to Acrobat Pro X, is that on the Mac you also need to mac sure you are deploying the package out to the right OS. For instance, if you are using a North American English CS 5.5 serial you will run into trouble deploying this out to a Mac that has their OS language set to Swedish. That is a bit of an edge case, but if you run into this let us know and we’ll have some workarounds.

AUSST 2.0

AUSST allows you setup a local update server to house your Adobe CS updates on your own server. If your users are admins you can save a lot of bandwidth from having them pull the updates locally instead of from Adobe’s servers. I pronounce AUSST similar to “cost” sans the “c” of course, or like saying the city of Austin without the “in” part. Trust me, saying the full names or even the five letters of these five name IT tools in full gets old real fast.

Now that we got the pronunciation out of the way, let’s talk about what’s new with AUSST 2.0. Primarily and most importantly it provides support for the forthcoming CS 5.5 updates. So if you are an organization using the current version of AUSST and are about to migrate to 5.5 or will have a mixed environment of 5.0 and 5.5 users you will want to upgrade right away. For clarification, if you are running an update server setup with AUSST 2.0 it will support both 5.0 and 5.5 updates.

Along with the release we have a completely new documentation for AUSST. We heard your feedback loud and clear about the documentation and have effectively rebooted the documentation. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new documentation as a lot of time was spent on re-visioning it. We want to continually improve these docs so that getting started with an update server is straightforward.

What does AUSST 2.0 not do? Well the biggie that is not yet implemented is the ability to send out command line requests to the AUSST server to push out updates to end users. We are looking into this and other feature requests for a future version of AUSST.

Note: AUSST 2.0 is part of the AAMEE 2.0 install. The location for the various operating systems is on Page 15 of the Deployment Guide. It is also available as a separate download on the Adobe DevNet site

Please keep in touch. We read every single comment. Even the spam comments.

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

CS 5.5 and AAMEE 2.0 on LWS

Although it is a slow process apparently, email notifications are starting to go out to our enterprise customers who have access to CS 5.5 through LWS this week. If you are unfamiliar with LWS, it is our Licensing Web Site for Adobe Volume Licensing (AVL) customers. It is also where order history, serials, and downloads of our electronic media reside. How about that name LWS though? Nothing says “relic of a bygone era” like a site with the name Web Site in it. Let’s just pretend the WS in LWS stands for Walking Shoes or Western Saddle. How about Worcestershire Sauce? I am fully aware that Licensing Worcestershire Sauce makes no sense, but I am somehow more okay with an absurd name than an overtly redundant one.

I just got word this morning that Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) 2.0 has also made its way up to LWS as well! This is a whole week ahead of our scheduled release to the public website. How awesome is that? On the Scale of Awesomeness I would give it a 7 out of 10. Why not higher? Well I would give it a 9 of 10 if we were able to have AAMEE 2.0 available on our public DevNet site today as well, but we’ll have it up this time next week and I will post when this occurs with the link. How could it be a 10 out of 10 on the Scale of Awesomeness? This would involve simultaneous availability AND free candy. The free candy bit would bump it up. Don’t underestimate the power of free candy. They made a whole holiday based on it.

Related links:

Adobe Licensing Website (LWS)
https://licensing.adobe.com/

Adobe Volume Licensing (AVL) FAQ
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/100/1003400.html

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

Q&A: CS 5.5 and AAMEE 2.0

I’ve been trying to arrange some interviews with some folks both internally and externally for this blog, just trying to mix things up, keep things fresh. I thought with the announcement early last week of Adobe Creative Suite CS 5.5 this would be a great time to do a little Q&A with someone from Adobe to talk about what’s new with the CS 5.5 release. But I failed to get anything setup so I have nobody, not even Eric Wilde. Eric would of been good. I know what you are thinking, maybe you should give up the idea of doing an interview. Nope. The show must go on! I am going to interview… myself. This way I can GUARANTEE the next Q&A we have here will be better.

Jody: How’s it going?
Jody: Great. Except for the part of having to interview myself.
Jody: Which Adobe office are you based out of?
Jody: I work out of the Seattle office. It is in the Fremont neighborhood right along the canal.
Jody: Which product teams are in Seattle?
Jody: These days most teams have people working collaboratively in different offices across the globe so there isn’t many full teams in one location. Having said that Seattle’s biggest groups though are InDesign, After Effects, Audition and the new Digital Publishing group. There are folks from the Creative Suite group, some members of the XD (Experience Design) team, and there are a few Acrobat guys down the hall from me too.
Jody: How many years have you been at Adobe?
Jody: It will be 9 years this summer.
Jody: So enough about you. Tell us about the Creative Suite 5.5 release!
Jody: Well I am not in Marketing so I think I’d mess that up.
Jody: Okay, well do you have anything to announce because I am starting to lose interest?
Jody: I do! In conjunction with the 5.5 launch, we will be releasing the next version of the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE.) AAMEE 2.0 should be available for download the second week of May 2011.
Jody: And will it only work with CS 5.5?
Jody: No, AAMEE 2.0 will work with CS 5.0 and CS 5.5 media. And it will work with 5.0 and 5.5 related updates.
Jody: Is it still free?
Jody: Ha. Yes.
Jody: Can you give us a sneak peek into the new features?
Jody: I was going to wait until the release announcement in May to talk about the new features.
Jody: That would be lame. Tell us now! At least tell us something.
Jody: Okay I will tell you about one. This is big actually. No, I should wait.
Jody: What? Tell us.
Jody: In-app updates!
Jody: I want to be excited, but explain.
Jody: So you know how with the current version of AAMEE you have to download updates form the CS Updates Blog and you have to manually add them when you are creating your initial application package or you are making an update package for deployment?
Jody: Yep, and it is a bit of a pain.
Jody: I know. Wouldn’t it be great if from within AAMEE it showed the latest updates and you could select which ones to download all from within the app?
Jody: Yes. That would save a lot of time.
Jody: Well that is what we’ve introduced in AAMEE 2.0.
Jody: What if I have to create a bunch of packages, do I have to download the updates over and over?
Jody: Nope. AAMEE caches them and shows you a visual indicator designating that the download is already cached.
Jody: That’s cool. But what if I already have the updates downloaded in a folder or I am using the Adobe Update Server?
Jody: You’ll still be able to manually add them. We didn’t remove that functionality.
Jody: Great. What else is in AAMEE 2.0?
Jody: You’ll have to wait until May’s announcement.
Jody: Sigh. So speaking of updates are you guys ever going to put your Windows updates into the Microsoft SCUP catalog like Acrobat and Flash Player?
Jody: Good question.
Jody: Thanks.
Jody: I attended the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2011 last month with some colleagues from Acrobat and heard firsthand how much people appreciated Acrobat and Flash for doing this. We are looking into the feasibility of doing this with the Creative Suite updates. Possibly doing quarterly SCUP releases except when CS updates have security patches, those would have to come straight away.
Jody: Similar to Acrobat and Flash Player?
Jody: Yep.
Jody: So when can we expect to see the CS Updates in SCUP format?
Jody: I was afraid you were going to ask that.
Jody: People will want to know.
Jody: I can’t commit to a date yet but will let folks know on this blog as soon as possible. And we’ll probably make a public call for testers to help out.
Jody: Okay, one last question. What are you most looking forward to with the 5.5 release?
Jody: You mean besides AAMEE 2.0?
Jody: Right.
Jody: Audition 5.5! I am a long time Mac user and I like to dabble with audio and multimedia projects and I have been wanting a Mac version of Audition since it was Cool Edit Pro. And now we have a Mac version of Audition. Good things come to those who wait. I actually used it in the Audition studio to record the last AAAMEE Adobe TV segment.
Jody: You have at audio studio in your office?
Jody: Well it is really more like a mixing room section of a recording studio.
Jody: Cool. Well thanks for your time today. This wasn’t actually as awkward as I thought it was going to be.
Jody: Really? You didn’t think so?
Jody: I’m just telling you that so you don’t feel bad.
_____
Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

CS5 and Absolute Webinar -March 1

Our deployment partners and friends at Absolute who make the cross-platform and now multi-device management solution Manage (formerly LANRev) will be co-hosting a webinar next week with us called “Simplify Adobe Creative Suite 5 Deployment using the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition and Absolute Manage” or SACS5DUTAAMEEAAM for short. If you have Googled SACS5DUTAAMEEAAM and have accidentally found your way to this blog post, please take off your mittens while you type or if you are my cat and are walking across my laptop keyboard again please stop it and get off the table.

Please join us on Tuesday!

Simplify Adobe Creative Suite 5 Deployment using the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition and Absolute Manage
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PT
http://www.adobevents.com/eSeminars/Absolute/invite.html

There are also interesting webinars coming up of interest to the IT community including “Adobe Acrobat X Deployment” on March 15. You can see all the upcoming webinars and sign up at:

http://www.adobevents.com/eSeminars/2011/invite.html

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

Symantec Client Management and AAMEE

In our continuing effort to improve IT admins’ lives (cue inspiring dramatic music) we are pleased to announce another partnership with a deployment vendor, Symantec. Symantec acquired Altiris is 2007 and through that now has a powerful set of client and server management tools know as the Symantec Management Platform. Working with Symantec has been great and the first fruits of our labor is the online documentation “Using Client Management Suite to Deploy Adobe CS5” and shows a walkthrough starting out with creating a package with Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (aka AAMEE.) We are also working with them on making it easier to identify and manage our software through the use of ISO 19770-2 software tagging, but that is probably the subject for another blog post about what we are doing on that front. In fact, that is probably enough on that subject for a whole series of blog posts in regards to software tagging.

Thanks again to Kyle Champlin and all the folks at Symantec who are helping make life for our combined customers easier!

As Seen On TV

I recently came home with a new food product from my local grocery store. It was some sort of vegetarian fake-chicken kiev frozen food. I wasn’t exactly sure why I had decided to try it out but I noticed when I was at home that it had a large shiny sticker on the front of the packaging that read: As Seen On TV. This seems like such a vague way to market your product these days. I mean, just because it was on TV doesn’t imply that it is good, right? And in this day and age where there are a million cable channels how hard is it to be on TV? There is probably a frozen food cooking channel these days. Actually there probably isn’t but that would be a good idea. A whole channel dedicated to those too busy or lazy to cook. Sadly, I am in the middle of that Venn diagram.

Speaking of TV, did you know Adobe has a channel? Before you grab your remote I should clarify it is on the internet. The inertnet! You know, where cats who play piano can truly shine. Adobe TV is actually a great resource for our products and we now have our own Creative Suite in the Enterprise show! Our first episode is something near and dear to my heart: Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition, aka AAMEE! Check out the “Deploying CS5 with AAMEE” episode here, complete with a commercial(!?!) at the start:
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/creative-suite-in-the-enterprise/deploying-cs5-with-aamee/

We’re working on additional training content, but we’d love to hear what you’d like to see or general feedback about our venture into the online video training world.

And now you have no excuse but to download and try out AAMEE today, because it has been seen on TV!

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