By Raveesh Kumar B
Technical Lead, IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson
As an administrator for Windows devices, how do you ensure that an enterprise app installation is successful? Or that an uninstallation is fully completed? And that user productivity isn’t affected during these processes?
While adding a Windows enterprise app to MaaS360 through add app menu from Apps tab as shown in the screenshots below, an administrator can configure to check whether a registry key exists, a particular file exists, or a particular process is running to ensure that installation is successful. If the app is installed through an executable (.exe), an installer (.msi), or a script (.bat, .vbs, .ps1, .reg, .py), then checking their exit status can also be an indication of successful installation. Now in MaaS360, there is a way to accomplish this.
During adding of an enterprise app, while filling app details as below, an administrator can choose ‘Exit code(s)’ and enter a numerical value or a set of numerical values separated by commas.
That covers installation. Let’s turn our attention to uninstallation.
One of the annoying problems we hear about from administrators is the existence of residual files even after the uninstallation executable/script is run. MaaS360 now enables administrators to track these too with the help of what we call negative Install Success Criteria options. Using the new options in Install Success Criteria – i.e., Registry key does not exist, File does not exist and Process not running – while adding of an uninstallation executable/script, an administrator can ensure whether uninstallation is successful or not. Usage and values for these options are similar to the existing positive Install Success Criteria options - i.e., Registry key exists, File exists and Process running. The negative options are also available in the Relevance to install menu.
The new Exit code(s) and negative Install Success Criteria options are also available during an app upgrade. So, if you have already added an app in MaaS360, you can make use of them during the upgrade.
Let’s take a moment and talk about how app installs can affect end users. An automatic install can be disruptive and kill productivity if it happens at peak device usage hours. The impact is usually not just lost time; it reduces end user satisfaction and doesn’t help with IT reputation. Therefore, a best practice is to schedule installs and updates at off-peak times. With MaaS360, you can do precisely that. To get the scheduling options for install, the ‘Install Automatically’ flag needs to be checked for the enterprise app. This can be done during adding of an app or if the app is already added by editing app properties in app summary screen (as shown in the screenshots below).
After ensuring that, in the distribute screen, an administrator can specify the scheduling options – Start date, Start time and Distribute over.
With these new options in MaaS360, an administrator can validate the uninstallations and schedule installations for Windows devices, resulting in better managing of apps on Windows devices and increased productivity.