Scripting for better package deployment: How to tame 3rd party updates

Many of us are tasked with providing 3rd party applications to users as part of their standard build.  Keeping these applications up-to-date are a bit more difficult. Utilizing systems such as Absolute Manage and Casper provides us the platforms by which we can push out these updates; in some cases, the vendors even offer tools that can help us automate some of the more difficult steps for rewrapping specific applications and make them perform better.  But not all of these tools can all of the requirements that exist in the real world of computing, and so we may be forced to do more to meet our specific user community requirements. Common culprits include Acrobat, Flash and Firefox – how can you improve their deployment?

Here’s where scripting comes in!  In this presentation I will show you how to combine specific bash and python scripts and wrap them into deployable packages in order to better manage 3rd party applications and their updates for you and your users.


Ever wanted to make sure Adobe Acrobat is all up to date, no matter what version level the user started with?

Ever wanted to bind automatically without passing an cleartext password in a script?

Ever wanted to set Flash to install at the login window and to keep quiet during day to day use?

Come to the lab where we can explore these and other scenarios hands on!  Requires JAMF Composer.

Key Concepts:

Packaging Techniques including:

– Recreating the “Casper Quick Add” package for other management platforms

– Creating smart packages. Packages that can make their own decisions in addition to your management platform.

BASH and Python scripting techniques including:

– Subprocess and spawning

– Nested logic controls for looking through file systems

– Method definitions and reusable code

– String manipulation

– Much More!

If time allows:

– Creating Objective-C command line and GUI tools

Intermediate Lab – 150 Minutes

 Tom Burgin, Kelly Government Services / National Institutes of Health

Tom BurginMy name is Tom Burgin, I am a OS X enterprise enthusiast. I have managed Macs for a handful for government contracts over the past six years. My current post is with the National Institutes on Mental Health. I specialize in leveraging a mix of homegrown, open source and off the shelf software to better the experience of OS X in the enterprise for users and admins. Python, BASH and Objective-C are some of the languages I use daily.


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