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Prism Pack

Software deployment packaging the easy way!

 

Prism Pack is the easy-to-use software packaging tool that really works. Featuring Lanovation's 11 time award-winning packaging technology, Prism Pack makes it easy to install new software and to update every local, mobile and remote PC across your entire company. Prism Pack revolutionises software packaging by making it fast, easy and - above all else reliable. The easy-use-interface puts complex scripting tools to shame. Prism Pack's Deployment Packages can be used with the leading management suites to protect your company's existing investments.

Prism Pack highlights Include

  • Award-winning software Packager
  • Flexibility to work in existing (or any) environment
  • Easy to learn, use and implement
  • Conflict Checker Professional

Prism Pack is the easy-to-use software packaging tool that really works. Featuring Lanovation's 11 time award-winning packaging technology, Prism Pack makes it easy to install new software and to update every local, mobile and remote PC across your entire company -today.

Prism Pack's Key Features

Easiest Package Creation.
Prism Pack's Expert puts complex scripting tools and software packagers built into popular management suites to shame.

Fast Software Deployment
Prism files are compressed to always protect your bandwidth. A typical installation of Office takes just 6 minutes with Prism Pack versus 45 minutes with the original set-up routine.

Protect Existing Investments
Prism Pack "snaps-in" to management suites, including: Microsoft SMS, Tivoli, Novell ZENworks and more. No need to tear down and rebuild your infrastructure - let Prism Pack make it work better.

Immediate ROI
Prism Pack pays for itself the very first time you use it.

End Users Continue Productive Work
Prism Pack does not interrupt end users when it updates PCs. Users continue productive work and experience no downtime.

Roll Out Software Today
Prism Pack's learning curve is about one day. Start saving your company money immediately!

Full Support for Windows 2000 & XP
Prism Pack supports Windows 2000 & XP and even creates MSI files for you. Package legacy software into the MSI format today.

Update Your Mixed Environment
Use a single deployment Package to update heterogeneous PCs.

Fine Control
Smart Variables, Paths Editor, Disk Space Requirements, and Prompts give you full control over how Prism files install on targets, including controlling what end users see, if nothing at all.

Conflict Checker Professional
Prevent "DLL Hell". With Conflict Checker you can evaluate Prism files for conflicts in the files and the registry PRE-deployment.

Custom Software, Registry Updates, Printers and more
Prism Pack packages it all! No matter what software changes you need to deploy, Prism Pack packages them for you.

PRODUCT FEATURES

GRAPHICAL PACKAGE CREATION - NO SCRIPTING REQUIRED

Graphical Packaging Expert
Create Distribution Packages with just a few clicks of the mouse. Simply make the changes you want to distribute and Prism Pack captures them. There's no need to build or edit complicated scripts. Prism Pack's learning curve is typically one afternoon versus weeks or months with other products.

Drag and Drop Editing
Drag and drop editing enables you to edit and "tweak" Packages to your needs. You drag and drop files in and out of a Package, import and export .reg files. Prism Pack's Editor is like using Windows Explorer and RegEdit in one easy-to-use interface.

Easy-to-use Scripting Language
Prism Pack provides a powerful and easy-to-use scripting language. Use Prism scripts to achieve the ultimate control of your distribution. Perform complicated upgrades or run your own programs from within a Prism script.

UNMATCHED RELIABLE SOFTWARE PACKAGING

100% Reliability
Prism Pack users often achieve 100% success rates when distributing software. Keep end users productive. Eliminate trips to end users' PCs to fix problems. Cut Help Desk calls!

Conflict Checker Professional
Check distribution Packages for conflicts in the files and registry pre-deployment. Eliminate "DLL Hell" and other hard-to-diagnose problems on end-users' PCs BEFORE they occur.

Rollback
Prism Pack's Rollback feature lets you undo or rollback any changes you made to PCs with Prism Pack. Whether you change your mind about a distribution or just want to free up software licenses for other computers, Prism Pack makes it simple to remove the software you've deployed.

No User Intervention
Prism Pack installs Packages in the background so users continue productive work. Not requiring input from users drastically reduces the number of errors end users experience.

SMART DISTRIBUTION AND FINE CONTROL

Smart Variables
Define variables with different values for various targets. Prism Pack correctly resolves a variable based on each unique environment. Install software and update heterogeneous PCs using a single Package.

Find and Replace
Search a Prism file for a specific value and replace each instance throughout the entire file. You can quickly locate and change any reference within a Prism file. (Like changing server names.)

Paths Utility
Search a Package to immediately locate all embedded paths and change in one easy step. Quickly change a hard-coded Path reference within a Package to a variable so the Package runs on diverse PCs.

Set Disk Space Requirements for Target PCs
Tell Prism Pack how much disk space must be available on target PCs before a Package installs. Prevent failed installs and other problems due to lack of disk space.

Set Operating System Requirements
Tell Prism Pack to which operating systems a Package should install. For operating system-specific applications, you can specify which operating systems will receive the software.

Update all users of a PC at One Time
Machine-specific software changes are installed; as each user logs into a PC, they get their unique changes. There's no need to repeat an installation for multiple users; preserve bandwidth and save time.

File Level Control
Tell Prism Pack how to treat files that already exist on a target PC. You can choose to never replace older files, to always replace older files, etc. across an entire Prism Package or for individual files within a Package.

Distribute to Multiple Operating Systems
Create a single distribution Package to update all Windows 9.x, Me, NT, 2000, and XP PCs. If an application supports it, you can build one Package for all operating systems in your company. Prism Pack knows each OS's unique folder schemes, such as "Windows" on 9.x and "Winnt" on NT, 2000 &XP.

Automatically Reboot PC
Tell Prism Pack to reboot a PC after an installation. Some software changes do not take effect until a PC is rebooted; Prism Pack's reboot feature ensures PCs are rebooted so end users can begin using new software immediately.

Optionally Customize Messages to Users Before, During and After Installations
Prism Pack's before, after and during prompts let you display custom messages before and after a Package runs, as well as animation during the installation of a Package. Prism Pack's prompts allow you to inform end users that changes are being made to their PCs. You can display your company's logo and other customized messages.

MANAGE MOBILE PCS

Bandwidth Efficient
Prism Pack compresses an application's installation to up to 70% of its original size. For bandwidth-sensitive deployments including those over WAN links and the Internet, you'll get the most efficient use of network bandwidth.

Single Compressed Files
Prism Pack saves its files as single, compressed files. Prism Pack's Packages can be moved over any network.

Web-Expert
Use Prism Pack's "Expert" to create a Web page for distributing software and updates to end users. Perform easy "cafeteria-style" distributions where end users can access and fix the software they need when they need it.

Extend "Suites" to Mobile Resources
Prism Pack Packages can be used to update PCs that traditional management suites aren't touching. Ensure your mobile workforce has the latest software and updates they need to be productive.

SUPPORT AND ENHANCE WINDOWS 2000 and XP

Manage Transition to Windows 2000 & XP
Prism Pack supports Windows 9.x, Me, NT and 2000 & XP or higher. Prism Pack lets you manage existing investments while you migrate to Windows 2000 and XP.

IntelliMirror Snap in
You can distribute Prism files using Windows 2000 IntelliMirror .ZAP files. Prism Pack supports and enhances management features of Windows 2000 including Active Directory, Group Policies and IntelliMirror.

Windows Installer "Expert"
Prism Pack's Windows Installer Expert lets you convert a Prism Pack file to an .MSI file in just a few clicks. You can use Prism Pack's easy to use interface to capture and Package any software changes and simply convert them to an .MSI file.

Prism Pack's Service
Override NTFS permissions and install software to locked-down NT, 2000 and XP PCs. Take advantage of security features into Windows NT, 2000, and XP and still automate distributions to these PCs where users don't have local administrative rights.

No Need for MST (Transform) Files
Prism Pack's advanced editing capabilities make it easy to customize a Package to install on diverse PCs. Prism files work on heterogeneous PCs, eliminating the need to create and edit Transform (MST) files.

ENHANCE EXISTING INVESTMENTS

Suite "Snap In"
Prism Pack snaps into major management suites. You don't need to replace existing investments. Prism Pack complements SMS, ZENworks, Tivoli and others to make software distribution work better for you.

Any Windows Environment
Prism Pack works on any Windows 9.x, Me, NT4 or Windows 2000, XP or higher PC. The only requirement for Prism Pack is a 32-bit operating system. You won't need to spend weeks or months implementing a complex solution.

Multi-byte Character Support
Prism Pack works on Windows PCs that run multi-byte versions of Windows like Asian and Arabic. Support your entire global corporation, including branches with multi-byte languages.

CASE STUDIES

Honeywell Saves $8 million in 3 Years Using Lanovation's PictureTaker
"Since they began using PictureTaker Enterprise Edition three years ago to prepare and test software and updates for division-wide distribution, Honeywell Building and Home Controls has saved $8 million. This savings is based on documented numbers and does not include "soft numbers" such as employee productivity. Additionally, end-user satisfaction among Honeywell Building and Home Controls division employees is the highest in the company."
John Peters, Honeywell
(click here for the full case study)

Bar Harbor Banking & Trust Cuts Costs and Time Spent on Major I.T. Project By 98%
"To get that software manually installed and tested, it would have taken me about 3-4 hours for every PC. That’s about 1,100 hours of labor – working a 40-hour week, it would have taken me 6 months to get those PCs on the floor and up to speed," said John Vreeland, senior Network Manager for Bar Harbor Banking & Trust Company. Using PictureTaker, Vreeland was able to slash the time this project demanded (1,100 hours) by 98%, spending only 25 hours configuring 300 PCs for the entire Bank staff.
John Vreeland, Bar Harbor Banking & Trust Company   (click here for the full case study)

R & C use Prism Deploy to install Office XP across 6 different sites.
"Because the law we practice varies so widely, the software needs also vary greatly. It became clear to me that we would need a software deployment tool with a lot more power in order to handle Robinson & Cole's diversity - a tool that actually worked."
Dave Heck , Robinson and Cole  (click here for the full case study)



WHITE PAPERS (screen shots in white paper documents)

Overview of the Windows 2000 Environment: How Prism Files fit in (click to read more)
New features built into the Windows 2000 Server product line promise to lower the TCO for managing users and PCs, especially in the area of distributing and updating software. The superior packaging and deployment technology in Lanovation's Prism Deploy and Prism Pack works in all areas of Active Directory to enhance your investment in this new environment.

Prism Deploy and Prism Pack in the Active Directory Environment (click to read more)
ZAP files are a component of the Windows 2000 Intellimirror feature. The new Intellimirror feature is the broad term for change and configuration management. Using Group Policies as its foundation, Intellimirror enables users' software and configuration to "follow" them on- and offline. Part of Intellimirror is the concept of software distribution, where users' applications follow them. One way of achieving this is through another new feature called ZAP files. ZAP files are examined by Group Policies for execution on users' PCs. This paper examines how you can deploy Prism files (deployment packages) via ZAP files.


SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Operating System
Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP or higher, Millennium Edition (Me), 98, or 95.
Processor
Pentium or equivalent
RAM
64 MB RAM
Hard-disk space
20 MB
Notes
Target computers (to which software will be distributed) must be running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP or higher, Millennium Edition, 98, or 95 operating systems.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I use Prism Pack to make my management suite work better?
Most of the popular management suite products have a built in software packager: the SMS Installer, ZENworks SnAppShot, Tivoli Autopack and so on. The trouble is, software deployment is only a part of what a management suite does … and it usually shows. Prism Pack is the perfect complement to management suites. Prism Pack gives you the easiest, fastest, most reliable and flexible software packaging around.

You can deploy Prism files with a management suite, so why not use the "masters"? (That's how eWeek Magazine refers to Lanovation's packaging technology.) Prism Pack actually makes your suite work better for you so you won't need to tear down and rebuild your entire network infrastructure. Plus, Prism Pack makes it easy to update mobile and remote PCs your suite probably isn't touching. Since Prism Pack is extremely easy to learn and use and reliable, it pays for itself the very first time you use it.

How does Prism Pack compare to scripting tools?
Scripting tools, for which Installshield and Wise are famous, were created with the software developer in mind. While they have evolved to use snapshotting (taking a before and after picture of an install routine) the capture process is still quite cumbersome and non-intuitive. Scripting tools do not allow for easy editing and customization - rather they require the editing of complex scripts. The skill level required to use these tools is that of a software developer or engineer.

Prism Pack is an excellent alternative to these complex tools. Prism Pack was designed for the network administrator. Its intuitive, graphical interface literally creates deployment packages for you. You click "next" and Prism Pack takes a baseline picture of your system. You install software, reboot your PC (if required) and click "next" when Prism Pack "finds changes" and creates your package. That's all there is to it.

If you wish to edit the package or customize it for a diverse environment, this functionality is all achieved via drag and drop or simple wizards and radio buttons in Prism Pack. You NEVER, EVER have to write or edit complicated scripts.

Prism Pack also has a built in conflict checker. Conflict Checker checks multiple deployment packages for conflicts in the files and registry pre-deployment. You can eliminate problems - like "DLL Hell" before they occur.

Can one Package work across all platforms (in a heterogeneous environment)?
Yes and no. If applications install operating system-specific entities (i.e. services on NT/2000/XP), separate Packages will be needed for 9x/Me and NT/2000/XP. If the application does not install items specific to the operating system, one Package will work across all platforms.

Can I create .exe and .msi files with Prism products?
Yes. Prism allows you to convert Prism Packages (.PWC) into standalone executables (.EXE) or Windows Installer files (.MSI) with a single mouse click.

What if the user had something open during the install - would the install fail?
No, the install would succeed. Prism would recognize the file(s) is in use, store the item in memory, and replace the busy file upon the next reboot. This is the same technology Windows uses to update busy files.

Can Prism install service packs and OS updates?
On NT, yes, on 2000/XP, yes and no. Windows 2000 and XP now utilize a feature called Windows File Protection (WFP). If Prism replaces one of these protected files during an installation, Windows will automatically replace the file Prism just updated upon the next reboot. Not all hotfixes update the files protected by WFP and thus the majority of OS updates can be properly installed using a Prism Package. Because service packs encompass all the hotfixes, Prism does not support the installation of service packs on 2000/XP.

What if I need to reboot during the installation and package creation - will all my changes be lost?
No. A reboot simply means Windows needs to update a file(s) that was in use during the time of the installation. Prism's flexibility allows you to discover the changes after the reboot has taken place, thus ensuring the resulting Package has all the updated files.

Do I need to visit each PC to get the client installed?
No. Prism has multiple ways of installing the Prism client without having to touch any target PC.

How big is the client, and does it use a lot of system resources?
The client comprises approximately 2 MB of disk space. System resources are completely dependent on how often the client is configured to poll the Prism server. A client polling once a minute will consume a considerable amount of bandwidth more than one configured to poll once an hour.

Does Prism work in a locked-down environment?
Yes. Prism installs a service on NT/2000/XP machines that grants Prism activities local system access. Prism will successfully install its Packages even if the current user does not have the necessary access to the operating system.

How big are the rollback files, and where are they stored?
The size of the rollback files is dependent on what was accomplished during the installation. If a clean install was carried out, the rollback file may only be 100 KB. If an upgrade was carried out, the rollback file will contain all the files, folders, and registry settings that were changed during the install. In this case the rollback file may achieve 50 MB in size. By default the rollback files are placed in the %TEMP%\Unapply folder. This location is configurable by the administrator. Click here for more details.

Can I change NTFS permissions using Prism Packages?
No. NTFS permissions are stored such that they contain user and machine-specific information that should not be replicated using a Prism Package. Microsoft provides utilities for modifying NTFS permissions that can be easily invoked using a Prism command.

Is there a way to customize the package for each intended target?
Yes. Prism allows the administrator to incorporate smart variables within the Package before distribution. Variables can extract information from the environment at installation time allowing the Package to be different for each machine it's installed on.

Is there a way to check for prerequisites before installing a Package?
Yes. Prerequisite checks can be incorporated directly into the Package (O/S, disk space, etc.) or Prism's scripting capability allows for more in-depth checking (existence of a file, checking environment variables, etc.).

Do I have to have a dedicated system for building Packages?
Yes. It is very important that you build your Packages on a clean system. By "clean" we mean a system that represents the lowest common denominator within your environment. This usually constitutes the O/S, service pack, and virus scanning software. By using a clean environment you can be assured every Package you create will be complete and capable of running independently of other applications.

Can I do unattended, after-hours installations? What about wake on LAN?
Yes. Prism can install Packages when no user is logged in on Windows NT, 2000, and XP. Prism does not have support for Wake on LAN.

Does Prism have centralized reporting?
Yes. Prism records all its activities, such as successes or failures, in the Prism Deploy Console that will be running on a machine controlled by the administrator.

I already have SMS, Tivoli, (whatever). Can Prism be used in this environment?
Yes. Prism provides the perfect complement to these larger suites. Prism's Packaging is transport independent so the Packages can be easily distributed through these already-existing pipes. Prism's deployment can also be leveraged from a help desk standpoint where technicians may not have the power or ability to install jobs using the pre-existing suites. Click here for more ideas on how Prism can integrate into these suites.

What if I want to provide cafeteria-style self-serve software installations. Does Prism have any advantages in this environment?
Yes. Prism's Packages can be installed a number of different ways. One popular method is to post Packages on a corporate intranet or a secured Internet site. This allows users to install Packages at their own convenience and even provide a first line of support should an application quit working. Prism can conserve bandwidth.

Can I take advantage of my existing Active Directory or NDS structure for creating Prism Deploy groups?
Yes. Prism can leverage a company's Active Directory infrastructure to allow the creation of Prism Deploy groups on the fly. In an AD environment, the first time a Prism client reports back to the Prism server, Prism creates Prism groups relating to the different OU's the client is a member of.

What happens if a connection is dropped in the middle of an installation (say for a remote user)?
Prism will rollback all changes made up to that point, thus returning the system to the state it was in before the installation began. This ensures the target system will be left in a known state.

Can Prism Deploy check for slow connections?
No. Prism has no mechanism for detecting or manipulating bandwidth.

Does Prism Deploy perform hardware or software inventory?
No.

 

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