Prism Pack and Prism Deploy in the Active Directory Environment
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.
Using .zap files to publish Prism Packages
.Zap files are text files that can be analyzed and executed by a Software Installation Group Policy. Prism tasks are simply entered into the [Application] section of the .zap file and associated file extensions are entered into the [Ext] section of the .zap file. That's it!
- Using any text editor, create a .zap file containing the Prism task you want to use. The [Application] section is required, and it must contain settings for FriendlyName and Setupcommand. The [Ext] section is not required, but when included it associates the application you're deploying with file extensions that are saved in Active Directory. Below is an example of a .zap file that will install a Prism Package of Netscape Navigator. Note that the Setupcommand points to location of ptclient.exe on the target workstations, and the /ApplyFile part of the command points to a Prism Package residing in a shared network folder to which users have read access.
FriendlyName = Netscape
Setupcommand=c:\ptclient\ptclient.exe /AF \\guido\softwaredistribution\Netscape6.pwc
Displayversion = 6.0
Publisher = Netscape
URL = http://www.netscape.com
- In the Active Directory Users and Computers window, choose the Organizational Unit that is to receive the application. Right-click and choose Properties, then the Group Policy tab, then New. Give your policy a name, then choose Edit.
- Next, the Group Policy window opens. You can publish the .zap file to either the computers or users in the Organizational Unit. In our example, we'll choose User Configuration.
- Expand Software Settings, then right-click on Software installation and choose New>Package.
- From the file type drop-down list, choose ZAW Down-level application packages (*.zap), then browse to the location where you've stored the .zap file you created in Step 1. Next choose Open.
- The Deploy Software window will pop up. With .zap files, you cannot assign the application. You can choose Published or Advanced published or assigned. Refer to Microsoft's Windows 2000 documentation for complete details about these options. Our example uses the Published option.
- Once you choose OK, the Group Policy window appears again, and you can see that a Software installation policy has been configured for your .zap file.
- The users just need to go to Add/Remove Programs to install their software.