Posts tagged "deployment"

Top 5 Myths of Creative Cloud ***IT Edition***

I’ve been retired from blogging for almost six months, which in Internet Years is like six millennia. This whole post should be simply a Vine clip, right? You probably missed my retirement party when I retired from blogging. The guys all chipped in on a gold-toned watch. The inscription on the back “Did you notice the green squiggly lines?” was particularly touching.

What could draw me out of retirement? The fame? The money? Well seeing how I saw neither of those while I was blogging I’d have to say no. It was actually a blog post that my esteemed and ridiculously talented co-worker Terry White wrote entitled “5 Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud” a couple of months ago.

It is a good post, and features a photo of Nessie, the famed cryptid from Scotland. Which instantly makes me think of the show “In Search Of” which I loved as I child and honestly, creeped me out as well. Myths about Bigfoot or UFOs are still cool in my book, but myths about products…not so much. I always considered myself more Mulder than Scully but here I am dispelling myths, shining my over-powered flashlight on the the dark shadows of misinformation and confusion that IT have about the Creative Cloud.

1) Creative Cloud is virtualized or streamed

Wait, isn’t that pretty much the same as Terry’s #1 myth “I don’t want to run my Applications in a web browser!”??? Yes, but mine is phrased slightly differently, which in the world of blogging is legit. Seriously though, this gets brought up continually and it is worth mentioning again that the Creative Cloud is a new method of distributing our creative desktop applications but they are still applications that are installed and run the old school way. They still take up GBs of your hard drive. Oh wait, I wasn’t supposed to highlight that fact. Shrug. But you get it. Our beefy products like Photoshop work best installed on systems with lots of RAM and a modern GPU. Now, it has to be stated that virtualization technology is rapidly evolving and advancements like virtualization of the GPU is just plain awesome. But, the Creative Cloud at present remains a way to download the software from the Cloud, not run the applications in a browser or thin client.

2) Creative Cloud can’t be deployed

What? After spending the last 3-4 years trying to do right by the IT community by making packaging tools like AAMEE, licensing tools like APTEE, and updating solutions like AUSST and RUM do you really think we’d roll out a major offering and forget about the IT deployment infrastructure your organization has invested in? Seriously?

Now let me explain, briefly, that we have three different types of the Creative Cloud and I believe some of the misconceptions about deployment have been rooted in the lack of clarity about the different types of the Creative Cloud. If you are an individual, a freelance designer or one-person video production shop, then you can buy the Creative Cloud for individuals. They are admins on their systems. They are their own IT, Procurement, Accounting, etc. No deployment needed, obviously.

Now the next offering is tailored for small businesses or small groups within a large organization, they might want to look at Creative Cloud for teams. An ideal number of folks would be like 5 to 30. Let’s say it is a small game developer that buys 25 seats of Creative Cloud for teams, and they have an IT guy who has setup a deployment solution to manage their Macs. The IT admin would log into the Creative Cloud for teams admin portal on the Creative Cloud website and they see an interface for inviting Team members via email. They’ll also see a Deployment section and they’ll be able to download the new Creative Cloud Packager 1.0. This new tool allows the IT admin to download the Creative Cloud desktop applications and their updates and package them. So unlike AAMEE, it doesn’t point to locally downloaded media like the ginormous Master Collection but rather the IT admin can cherry pick applications they want to download to package. See, better! I’d like to take credit for this but I am no longer over the IT tools, so hats off to Karl Gibson and the crew formally known as the “AAMEE crew!”

A 1.1 version of the Creative Cloud Packager is due shortly after the new set of Creative Cloud applications are released next month. The 1.1 version will work for both Creative Cloud for teams and for Creative Cloud for enterprise. The Creative Cloud for enterprise is the third type of the Creative Cloud and is meant for larger institutions who need higher levels of control.

3) Organizations can’t control the frequent updates

One of the coolest parts of the Creative Cloud is that we are no longer waiting for annual or 18 month cycles to get new functionality from the products. If the engineers have a cool new feature in Illustrator they release it to the Creative Cloud members as soon as it has gone through the regular QE process. That team doesn’t have to wait for a year to have it be a part of a new boxed copy of the Creative Suite or wait for a marketing event. Nope, bam! Into the hands of their users straight away. Sounds great for individuals or people in design studios with mohawks right? But what about my enterprise production environment? What about my strict policy of evaluating all updates before they are released? Nothing changes. The updates are available via the Creative Cloud Packager and can be packaged at the IT admin’s discretion. Same level of control.

4) Adobe IDs aren’t for us

The way the Creative Cloud for individuals and teams versions work is that the applications, services and storage use a licensing/authentication process that involves an Adobe ID. For Creative Cloud for teams we have an admin portal that allows the IT admin or production manager the ability to send out email invites and those users have to create Adobe IDs in order to sign into the Creative Cloud (i.e. the applications or at creative.adobe.com.) The end users who are using Creative Cloud for teams have to obviously be online to authenticate with their Adobe IDs. Now that is the Creative Cloud for teams which stated above is ideal for small organizations.

Frankly, this doesn’t scale for large organizations for hundreds or thousands of users. It doesn’t work for organizations like video production places with offline workstations. Larger organizations want to use their own identity systems (like Active Directory or LDAP) and do not want to use Adobe IDs to identify their organization’s users who have access to the Creative Cloud. Of course. This is why the Creative Cloud for enterprise offering has this in mind. Presently if you purchase Creative Cloud for enterprise then the IT admin has the same flexibly to package and deploy the creative desktop applications without use of Adobe IDs. What? Yep. How are the applications licensed? A contract-defined expiring serial number. A serial number? Boring, right? Old school. Status quo. Status Quo.

Now there are a lot of great aspects of the Creative Cloud that go beyond just the core applications. It is essential that we provide this functionality to our enterprise customers. We are working on the ability for your organization to control login into the Creative Cloud using your authentication infrastructure by using Single Sign-On authentication via SAML 2.0. This will allow for the use of the cloud functionality including storage and services. I’ll come back and do an entire blog that outlines our strategy around supporting SSO and will separately write an entry explaining all the advantages you and your users will have once they are signing into the Creative Cloud for enterprise. Some really cool stuff. Are we aware that not every enterprise customer is ready to support SSO or use a different authentication method? Yes. Will we support other methods of authentication down the road? Yes. But we are presently working on Single Sign-On authentication via SAML 2.0 as a foundation of our authentication strategy.

5) Cloud storage isn’t for us, so neither is Creative Cloud

I have saved one of the most contentious myths for the end. First, there are always concerns from IT about files stored in the cloud and rightfully so. The “Adobe Creative Cloud Security FAQ for IT” doc covers a good portion of questions you or your organization might have about our cloud storage aspect of the Creative Cloud.

And for every CIO, CTO, or IT admin who tells me they are shrinking their data center and using more cloud services there is always a set of IT folks who tell me the opposite: My user’s data will never be in the cloud. To that I say: okay. No fight here. Seriously. You can’t turn off the cloud storage component for the Creative Cloud for teams, but there are ways of course for IT to control traffic and block ports. These are documented in the “Adobe Creative Cloud Network Endpoints”  and “Controlling Access to Adobe Creative Cloud Services” docs.

And restricting storage access is certainly an option for the Creative Cloud for enterprise. Presently there is no identity login component for the Creative Cloud for enterprise so hence no accessibility to the cloud storage. When your organization begins to have access to the Creative Cloud via SSO then the IT admin will have access to an admin panel which will include granular levels of control over who has access to what applications, services and storage. Want to turn off storage? Okay. Want to give more storage to the marketing group. Okay. High levels of control for IT, is at the heart of my personal vision of the Creative Cloud for enterprise.

We’ll be more than happy to squash some more myths and answer questions in the comments. Or we can discuss who would win in a fight between Chupacabra or Moth Man. Your call.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Creative Cloud for enterprise

Somebody new brings you something new- Introducing the Creative Cloud Packager

Hi All,

Some of you awesome IT administrators will already be familiar with who I am, some of you may not but for the last few years I have been the Systems Engineer working with our customers on Enterprise Deployment Issues. You may also recognise me from such blogs as “The Many Uses of RUM”. What you may not know is that I am and have been for the last 4-5 months the Product Manager for the Enterprise IT Tools such as AAMEE, AUSST, RUM ,XDA & APTEE.

 

What happened to Jody Rodgers you may be asking ?

Has Adobe tried to silence him ?

Stop him in his tracks before he makes deploying Adobe software too easy for IT admins ?

Has he tried one last time to grow his hair, become cool and join Sigur Ros ?

No !  in fact he has been promoted to Senior Product Manager for Creative Cloud for Enterprise.

 

So with that said there is going to be some exciting times ahead and some great new tools. So let’s get started.

 

Adobe Creative Cloud for Team is a pretty awesome offering.  You get all of Adobe’s applications, you get new feature bearing updates, shared storage, folder syncing & lots of other cool stuff.

However before now there was no great way to deploy the products to systems where users were not administrators. Our workaround was that you should download CS6 Master Collection from our FTP Server and package with AAMEE 3.1 but this was certainly not ideal and not what AAMEE was designed for. So the team who brought you AAMEE is bringing you The Creative Cloud Packager a brand new tool which will in it’s first iteration allow you, as an administrator for a CC Team to download directly from the application all of the Creative Cloud Products & Updates (regular and feature), define custom installation behaviour and at the end have a native MSI or PKG that you use with your deployment tool to install on all machines you manage. Now just in case you missed that, this means no separate media download. WHOOOO

 

Some key points

If you have used the AAMEE workaround up till now you can still use CCP from now on.

CCP caches to a location of your choice and so if the applications and updates have not changed then you do not need to download the same bits again and again thus saving you some time.

CCP can be used to create an update only package by just selecting updates.

CCP produces an msi file for Windows which is also accompanied with a Setup.exe that can be used for manual execution on a single system basis, rather than deployment. The Mac pkg can also be double clicked.

There is a new version of Adobe Update Server Setup Tool 3.0 (AUSST) included with CCP. This has been changed from python to C++ and has significant benefits such as

-Reduced the amount of time it takes to perform initial and subsequent syncs

-Ability to set up cron jobs for automatic syncing and updating of repository

Remote Update Manager (RUM) is also now included in the package and copied to the client by default although this can be changed if you wish

 

This tool is live today and will be available to Creative Cloud Team administrators from the Team admin portal.

Documentation is live and can be viewed here

You can catch a video I created on our Adobe TV site here

 

Here is a screen shot (not a mockup) of Creative Cloud Packager.  CCP is something that will be evolving and we have some pretty awesome plans for it, so stay tuned !!

ccp copy

 

*Update 09/04/13 Included image of where you will find Creative Cloud Packager on the admin portal when you sign in with admin account*

ccp live

Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enterprise IT Tools

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

JAMF Composer 2007-2012 R.I.P.

Okay, JAMF’s Composer has not died. I don’t even think 2007 was its release date either. That was just a cheap gripping, tabloid style sensationalist headline to get you to read this post. Truth of the matter Composer, JAMF’s packaging tool has a long life ahead of it. And it has been a valuable asset to Mac IT admins who support Adobe products since the CS3 days. In fact back in the CS3 and CS4 days it was Composer that made packaging CS a possibility on the Mac platform. JAMF stepped up and really did a great service to the community by offering this as an option and it was a good introduction for a lot of people to the great people at JAMF who do more than just create tools for packaging.

With the CS6 release Composer’s functionality as a tool for packaging the Creative Suite has though indeed come to an untimely demise. Adobe has introduced two new requirements with CS6 that impact Composer’s ability to package CS6: the validation/creation of the Adobe ID and the validation of the volume serial number. Neither one of these can be done by Composer and therefore Adobe’s own CS packaging solution Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) 3.0 needs to be used. Of course there is other value in using AAMEE 3.0 including the ability to customize the package for your environment and disable the pesky new activation.

I would like to say that on hearing this change, the folks at JAMF were completely supportive about this shift and made sure to help us get the word out. They allowed us to speak at their National User Conference last year and a couple of West Coast Regional Conference events where we previewed these changes and there were no riots. I do not believe that anyone at JAMF shed a tear on hearing this news. Except maybe one JAMF instructor who I will not name, but hint: his first name is the same as a famous jazz trumpeter. I think he’ll miss teaching the packaging of CS with Composer. Time will heal.

We want to thank JAMF for publishing the tech note on how to use AAMEE 3.0 with the Casper Suite entitled “Administering Adobe Creative Suite 6 with the Casper Suite”  which they released in conjunction with AAMEE 3.0′s official release yesterday. This documentation is a great resource for anyone who is starting out using these solutions or seasoned pro.

There is great potential in using JAMF’s full set of tools to better manage your Adobe software. One example of this is the possibility of using our new Remote Update Manager tool in conjunction with their Self Service application. How cool would it be to have a button in Self Service that said Update All My CS Apps?

Thanks again to our partners at JAMF! Long live Composer!

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | CS + CCM | Adobe

AAMEE 3.0 for CS6 available now! Removes puffer fishes!

This is it. The official launch day. You’ve seen the trailers. You’ve bought your popcorn, soda and candy combo. You are in your seat. The lights fade. You are reminded to mute your cell phone ringer. You adjust your 3-D glasses. And here it is Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition 3.0 in 3D! Or AAMEE 3-D as we like to call it. Wait why are you taking off your 3-D glasses? What? Your head is hurting? You didn’t ask for the ability to package CS6 applications for the enterprise in 3-D? But our marketing research firm told us that 3-D was still popular. Ugh!

We did not in fact, make AAMEE 3.0 in 3-D. Although that would of been awesome! Okay, no it wouldn’t. A little bit awesome? Okay, I’ll drop it. AAMEE was created back during the CS5 cycle to address the fact that our proprietary installer format was about as helpful to enterprise IT admins as a puffer fish. A puffer fish? What the heck is this? Does Adobe know anything about how things are deployed in an enterprise? What am I supposed to do with this tetraodontidae? But AAMEE outputted the CS installers into pkg and msi files and worked with existing deployment solutions and life was good. Okay, life was bumpy at first, but then it got better. But some folks in the IT admin community simply patted us on the head and said “Nice, Adobe. I’m going to keep my workflow as it is, thank you. You go play now.” And honestly, that was fine. At least we gave folks the option to use our tool and those that did mostly liked it and thanked us even.

Flash forward to the release of CS6. Adobe has introduced new licensing and activation in CS6 that are as helpful to IT admins as, well, a puffer fish. If you are not into the puffer fish metaphor I apologize. That’s all I got. But don’t worry, when we saw these changes coming we said wait, wait, they do not want a puffer fish. So that was the main goal of this release: minimize the impact of the CS6 licensing and activation on the the IT admin. Nothing else. Nothing. Okay, that is not true. We also wanted to update the look and feel. We wanted to re-evaluate the text and make it more user-friendly. And we also wanted to make it easier for the IT admin to push out the items in the Exceptions folder. Okay, well that is it. Nothing else. Except we wanted to give admins a way to remotely update the Creative Suite apps. But other than that, nothing else. Really.

Let’s get into some specifics. How bad is this puffer fish and how are AAMEE 3.0′s de-puffer fish abilities? If you do a manual install of CS6 on a system the following will happen: An Adobe ID request will come up. Your end users HAVE to login with an Adobe ID account or they can’t use the software. Oh, that will be popular. Wait, the systems aren’t online or behind a secure firewall? Won’t work. Also, the systems HAVE to activate on a regular basis. Once again, not connected to the internet or behind an overly secure firewall? Won’t work. Now maybe you do imaging for your organization. You do an install on one base system. Login in with an Adobe ID and serialize it. Looks fine. Then you clone it to another system. Won’t work. There is now a relationship between the machine and the licensing in CS6. Let’s say you used a third party packaging tool like the venerable JAMF Composer tool. Guess what? Won’t work. No place within Composer to validate the Adobe ID or the online serial number validation.

Okay, so how well does AAMEE 3.0 reduce the pain of this puffer fish? First, using AAMEE 3.0 makes it so you only have to create/login with one Adobe ID on behalf of your organization therefore negating the need for your end users to have an Adobe ID at all or even know what one is. Second, the serial number is validated and activated within AAMEE 3.0. The end user’s system does not have to activate because you have already done it using AAMEE. Third and final, if you are imaging then AAMEE 3.0 has a special unserialized/trial workflow and a new serialization executable that can be used to serialize once the image has been applied to the machine. BAM! Puffer fish be gone!

I realize this is a weird product announcement. But I wanted to cover again our focus for this release as there has been a lot of reaction in the comments of previous posts. We really have gone out of our way to make sure these licensing and activation changes have the smallest impact to our enterprise customers. In a perfect world, AAMEE would of also removed the licensing-to-machine relationship all together, but that didn’t happen and I think we have an adequate workaround. Not awesome, but bearable. But the truth is, nobody likes change when there isn’t an obvious benefit for them personally. Like the time the construction on Highway 99 was going on and I had to do a massive reroute. I was grumpy. But then I realized that the reroute took me by one of my favorite bakeries so I could stop and get breakfast each morning. And there is no hidden bakery with the CS6 and AAMEE 3.0 release.

Okay, there is no hidden bakery but we did provide betas of our the new command line tools with this release: Exceptions Deployer application and Remote Update Manager which are pretty sweet and we’ll go in depth on them in another post. And we even put the Adobe Customization Wizard X in the Windows installer into AAMEE’s Utilities folder just to save time for IT admins who need to tweak their Acrobat install on Windows.

Give us the links already! Okay, but before I do, let me warn you that AAMEE 3.0 is only for CS6 media with a volume serial number. It does not work with CS 5.x media, eLearning Suite, TLS, etc. Just CS6. It does not work with retail serial numbers. AAMEE 3.0 and AAMEE 2.1 can not exist on the same system. That is my list of caveats, except the obvious one: AAMEE 3.0 should only be used for good, never for evil. Good and evil is very much on my mind as I am counting down the hours for another 3.0 release: Diablo III. Links Jody, give us the links!

AAMEE 3.0 Read Me

CS6 Enterprise Deployment Guide

AAMEE 3.0 FAQ

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition AAMEE 3.0 – Windows

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition AAMEE 3.0 – Mac

Thanks to the entire extended AAMEE crew for pulling together this release. I am very lucky to work with such a great team. And thanks Adobe for giving me the resources to put puffer fishes back into the ocean where they belong.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | CS + CCM | Adobe

AAMEE 3.0 Available on Adobe Licensing Website (LWS)…Right Now!

The 3.0 version of Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) and associated English language documentation (Read Me and updated Deployment Guide) are available on the Adobe Licensing Website (LWS) a tad bit earlier than the official release date of 5/14/12. Why early? Well we because we were starting to feel like the waiter who has brought you your food and then realized they hadn’t brought you any silverware. Of course we knew that AAMEE was going to be released a week after CS6 shipped so that is a somewhat flawed metaphor, but I am hungry.

In LWS, you can find AAMEE 3.0 and the docs in the “App Mngr Ent Edition” section under “All” of the Downloads area. I do not know why it is called App Mngr Ent Edition but you know the whole LWS site is full of such gems.

I want to thank everyone on the AAMEE crew for helping us get the release out ahead of schedule. And GG and the LWS folks too. You all rock!

We will do a proper announcement on this blog on Monday, have direct download links, talk more about the new command line tools Exceptions Deployer application and Remote Update Manager. I am also going to do a FAQ about some of the questions that have come up around the licensing changes in CS6. I really do hope we will be able to persuade folks that we have gone out of our way to make sure the new licensing has minium impact to the IT admins charged with deploying CS6.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | CS + CCM | Adobe

See You At Educause 2011

Education is near and dear to us and Adobe. It is near and dear to me personally, in fact I once managed computer labs for the Arts Institute of Seattle. So I know first hand some of the challenges of meeting the demands of students and faculty. To learn more about what is going on in the world of education today I am headed off to the education in technology event, Educause 2011, in Philadelphia later this month.

After running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the theme from Rocky on my iPod, I’ll be ready to take on the world and give some AAMEE demos at the Adobe booth. Adobe’s booth is #601 and here’s the schedule for my sessions:

Wednesday Oct 19
2:30-3:30 pm
IT Deployment Tools For Adobe Desktop Suites

Thursday Oct 20
12:30pm-1:30pm
IT Deployment Tools For Adobe Desktop Suites
(Same session, but this time with more feeling and animated arm movement.)

There are lots of other great sessions at the Adobe booth so stop by and say hello.

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

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

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

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