Archive for April, 2012

IT Admin: Deploying Flash Player via Background Updater

When it came to updating Flash Player, IT administrators used to face a common problem: The users on the systems are usually regular users, but they were prompted to update Flash Player. Since they don’t have administrator rights, an update would always fail. This circle repeated itself once every 7 days, on average, until the IT administrator pushed an update to Flash Player to all affected systems.

A workaround was to set AutoUpdateDisable=1 in a mms.cfg file and to push this file to all systems. The user wouldn’t be prompted to update anymore, but it didn’t make it easier to update Flash Player.

Today, I’d like to introduce a new way to update Flash Player in a corporate environment: With the introduction of Adobe’s Flash Player Background Updater, we made it easier for IT administrators to push updates to Flash Player. A detailed description is available in the Flash Player Administrator Guide. In general though, the way to do this is pretty simple. This is what you need:

  1. A server with the following configuration:
    1. Open port 80 for HTTP requests.
    2. Open port 443 for HTTPS requests.
  2. A valid SSL certificate for HTTPS access on port 443.
  3. The ability to store files on the server in an Adobe-specified folder structure.
  4. The ability to deploy mms.cfg configuration files to clients on the network.

Once these prerequisites are fulfilled, you can start mirroring the official builds from Adobe. For the latest and most up-to-date instructions on how to do this, please refer to the Flash Player Administrator Guide (p17-19).

I’d like to highlight a particularly informative blog post by Tyrone Wyatt. In his post, Tyrone explains how he managed to automate the mirroring of Flash Player builds onto his internal server. I did not get a chance to test this out for myself yet, but it seems like all the right ingredients are present to make this work on virtually any network. If you need some inspiration on how to automate your mirroring of Flash Player installers, I recommend you read Tyrone’s blog post.

The fact that we added this functionality for IT administrators was due to feedback that we received on this blog. Thanks to all of you who requested this feature!

Your opinion is important to us, so don’t hesitate to add your comments in the comment section!

First Flash Player update via Background Updater released today

Today, we released our first update for Flash Player via the new Flash Player Background Updater for Windows. The update addresses a printing issue that was discovered in the previous version of Flash Player 11.2.

Since we released this update, we have seen a tremendous number of systems download this latest version of Flash Player via the new Flash Player Background Updater. So, the question is, how smooth was the update experience? You can check your current version of Flash Player by going to the Flash Player “about” page. Do you see version 11.2.202.233 installed? Did you notice anything about the update?

Note that your system will only check for an update once every 24 hours. Since it hasn’t been exactly 24 hours since we’ve released, there is a possibility that your system didn’t check for an update yet.

Your feedback is very valuable, so please make sure to add a comment and tell us about your update experience.

Adobe Flash Player Background Updater for Mac now in Beta!

After releasing Adobe Flash Player Background Updater for Windows in Flash Player 11.2 just about a week ago, I’m happy to say that we just released a beta version of the same updating mechanism for Mac.

The feedback for this feature on Windows has been predominantly positive and we are excited about all the feedback we got from the community. If you have followed the comments in my previous post, you are aware that some aspects of the updater had potential for improvement. This feedback was great and will allow us to make the product even better in the future.

Ideally, we can get this type of feedback during the beta program. Therefore, I encourage everyone to try the Background Updater on Mac and provide us with as much feedback as possible.

Here is how you can test it out:

1. Go to our Labs website

2. Download the latest beta release build for Mac (version 11.3.300.214)

3. Leave your system connected to the internet for at least one hour after the installation.

4. After approximately one hour, go to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ and verify the version of Flash Player. It should now read 11.3.300.217.

 

If the version still displays 11.3.300.214, try restarting your browser. The browser can keep old versions of Flash Player in memory until it is closed. A restart will guarantee that it will load Flash Player from your hard drive.

 

Let us know if the update was successful. You can leave feedback in the comments or in the Adobe Flash Player beta forums.

I’m excited to hear what you have to say! Smile