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Home > Success Center > Patch Manager > Patch Manager 2.1.4 Administrator Guide > Using the Patch Manager Administration Console > Creating Software Packages

Creating Software Packages

Updated June 16th, 2016

The Package Wizard is a guided interface for creating or editing a package definition. A package definition is an XML file that defines the attributes and behavior of an update package. Use the Package Wizard to view or define the following:

  • Package metadata
  • Prerequisite rules
  • Update source
  • Applicability rules
  • Installed rules

Note: SolarWinds fully supports packages created and provided by the company; however, we do not provide customer support for custom packages created by outside sources. For help with custom packages browse or engage in the SolarWinds community at thwack.solarwinds.com.

To open the Package Wizard:

  1. In the left pane of the Patch Manager console, expand Administration and Reporting > Software Publishing.
  2. If you want to create a new package:
    1. Select any container in the Software Publishing node.
    2. In the Actions pane, click New Package.​
  3. If you want to view a package's details:
    1. Select the container that contains the package you want to view.
    2. In the center pane, select the package you want to view.
    3. In the Actions pane, click Edit.
  4. Complete the Patch Manager Package Wizard as described in "Completing the Package Wizard".

Completing the Package Wizard

The following procedure describes each step of the Package Wizard. For detailed information about adding prerequisite, applicability, and installed rules in the wizard, see "Managing Software Package Rulesets".

To complete the Package Wizard:

  1. On the Enter or modify the package information page, enter the package's metadata. For additional information, see "Defining Package Metadata".
  2. On the Prerequisite Rules screen, add or modify rules to define whether a target computer should evaluate the update further based on its hardware or software attributes. For additional information, see "Prerequisite Ruleset".
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the Select Package page, specify the source of the package contents. For additional information, see "Defining the Package Source".
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the Applicability Rules page, add or modify rules to define whether the update applies to the target computers. For additional information, see "Applicability Ruleset".
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Installed Rules page, add or modify rules to define how to determine whether a target computer already has the update installed. For additional information, see "Installed Ruleset".
  9. Click Next.To add a rule to check whether Firefox 10.0 is installed:
  10. On the Summary page, verify your settings for the package, and then click Next to save the new or modified package.

Defining Package Metadata

The following define the fields on the Enter or modify the package information page of the Package Wizard.

Package Title (required)

The text string displayed in the update listing of the administrative console and the header of the update details. Enter a string that is concise, descriptive, and 80 characters or less.

Description (required)

A longer length text field used to provide additional information on the update, particularly its purpose.

Classification (required)

A pre-defined value that describes the type of update. The options in this menu are defined by Microsoft.

Bulletin ID

The ID assigned to a Microsoft Security Response Center Security Bulletin. This field can also hold a similar value for security updates published by other vendors. For non-security updates this value would normally be left empty.

Vendor (required)

The software company responsible for the product to which the update applies. This field allows you to sort and filter updates in the administrative console. Enter a company, or select one from the menu. For optimal performance, keep this list as short as possible.

Product (required)

The vendor's marketing name for the entity to which the update applies. This field allows you to sort and filter updates in the administrative console. Enter a product name, or select one from the menu. For optimal performance, keep this list as short as possible.

Article ID

The ID assigned to a Microsoft Knowledge Base article. This field can also hold a similar value for updates published by other vendors.

CVE ID

The ID assigned to the National Cyber Security Division's (NCSD) Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE) article that describes the issue the update is intended to resolve.

Severity

The rating assigned to a security update by the Microsoft Security Response Center. This field is required for any update classified as a Security Update.

Support URL

The URL for support information for the update, such as its applicability, deployment considerations, or the publicly available download location. Enter the URL for the vendor's authoritative source for information about the update.

More Info URL

The URL for additional information about the update, possibly not available at the time of the original update publication.

Impact (required)

A designation that dictates how target computers will handle the update. Select one of the following options:

Normal

Any update that does not fit in either of the following categories.

Minor

An update that does not require a system or service restart to be applied. Minor updates use the Windows Update Agent setting. Allow automatic updates immediate installation to determine if the update can be installed immediately, or must wait until a directed or scheduled event.

Requires exclusive handling

An update that must be installed individually, outside of a batch of other updates. Typically this includes updates such as operating system service packs, .NET Framework service packs and redistributables, and updates to the Component-Based Servicing Stack.

Reboot Behavior (required)

How the target computer should behave after the update is installed. Select Can request reboot if a reboot may be required, but is not absolutely necessary in all installation scenarios. Otherwise, select Never reboots or Always requires reboot according to the vendor's specifications.

Defining the Package Source

The following define the fields on the Select Package page of the Package Wizard.

Type

The package's file extension. Select whether the package is EXE, MSI, or MSP based.

I do not have the package content

Specifies the URL for a web-based or FTP-based download location. Enter the direct URL for the installer in the Download URL field. This field does not accept forwarding links.

I already have the content for the package locally on my network

Specifies the name and location of content you have already downloaded. Enter the package's filename in the Package field, and its web-based, FTP-based, or UNC file path in the Download URL field.

Use the Package Boot Helper program when performing installation of the software

Activates the Package Boot Editor button so you can define additional files and behavior to accompany the installer. For additional information, see "Using PackageBoot".

Include additional files with the package

Activates the Package Content Editor button so you can specify additional files to accompany the installer.

Binary Language

The language required by the update. If the update is not language-specific, select None.

Success Return Codes

The return code(s) for the package. Separate multiple codes with commas.

Success Pending Reboot Codes

The reboot code(s) for the package. Separate multiple codes with commas.

Command Line (silent install)

Additional arguments to support the unattended installation.

Using PackageBoot

PackageBoot is a utility designed to assist in the successful installation of certain updates by orchestrating specific actions before and after applying an update. Use PackageBoot to verify that any files that will be overwritten during the installation process are not currently locked. For example, locked files can sometimes cause issues with silent installations and require reboots. Furthermore, use PackageBoot to stop and start services before and after installation, execute programs (MSI or EXE) before or after installation, and terminate processes before installation.

The Package Boot Editor creates two files to include in the update package: PackageBoot.EXE and PackageBoot.XML. Both files are published with the installer to the WSUS server and then downloaded to the target computer. The PackageBoot.XML file provides the specifications for the activities and tasks that the Windows Update Agent will perform.

To complete the Package Boot Editor:

  1. Open the Package Boot Editor from the Select Package screen of the Package Wizard.
  2. In the Before applying package section, select the actions you want to run prior to installing the update. Common examples include stopping a service, running a program, or terminating a process.
  3. In the After applying package section, select the actions you want to run after installing the update. Common examples include running a program or starting a service.
  4. After you select a task in these sections, specify the action details in the right pane.
  5. Click Save to save the PackageBoot.XML configuration file.
  6. Close the Package Boot Editor.

The following define additional options on the Package Boot Editor screen:

Import

Import a PackageBoot.XML file from a local or network location.

View XML

View the PackageBoot.XML configuration file the editor will generate.

Add Action

Select an action to add to the active section of the editor.

Delete

Delete the selected action.

Duplicate

Duplicate the selected action.

Move Up

Move the selected action one position higher in regard to its processing order.

Move Down

Move the selected action one position lower in regard to its processing order.

Last modified
13:26, 24 Feb 2017

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