When the Adobe CS4 products came out, I spent a lot of time looking into how to deploy titles like Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Even using the CS4 Deployment Toolkit, nothing would allow me to create a .msi installer that would work with Group Policy, only for Microsoft Systems Management Server and Apple Remote Desktop.
While I’m hoping to get my organization to invest in the IT architecture with Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager, it’s still in the future. I finally found a free moment today to pessimistically look into deploying the new Adobe CS5 titles using Group Policy. My negative outlook was defied and there is a successful method for deploying Photoshop CS5 and Dreamweaver CS5 and it should also work for the rest of the CS5 titles.
The Creative Suite Enterprise deployment tool has been renamed to the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition and we’ll be using it to create our package. It was announced that the AAMEE was available June 1st and you can download it from the Adobe Developer Connection site. It comes in both Windows and Mac variety and we’ll obviously be using the Windows edition at version 1.0. You can find the CS5 Enterprise Deployment Guide, the AAMEE Readme, and other related resources on the same page as the download.
With the 86MB executable downloaded, you’ll need to run it to extract the installer. Then run the setup to install AAMEE. Once installed, you can launch the program by finding it on the Start Menu or at “C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeOOBEPDAppEnterpriseAdobeApplicationManagerEnterpriseEdition.exe”
The first thing you’ll have to do is accept the Adobe License Agreement on behalf of the computers/users to which you’ll be deploying the software. The next step is to name the package, point where you want the file saved, and browse to the title’s install directory. I had best luck working with both folders locally, copying the install files to my hard drive and creating a temp folder to hold the deployment package.
The next page will have you enter the serial number for your product and it will verify if it is entered correctly. You can also choose to proceed without a serial and users will be prompted to input one later after it’s been deployed.
The Options page after that allows you to choose what components get installed with the main product title.
On the next page, you can configure the behavior of the program such as disabling the EULA and other product launch attributes, forcing installation, and where to install.
After that, the package will be built. This process took less than a minute each for Dreamweaver and Photoshop.
The process will conclude with a summary of what has happened. You will see the product, its serial number, the selected language, and a link to the build log in case you need to do some troubleshooting.
My package is 460MB in size for Dreamweaver CS5 and 1.04GB for Photoshop CS5. Copy the folders the build process created to your deployment server. Then you can create a new software installation in a Group Policy Object by locating the .msi under the Build directory of the files you copied.
I’ve had success with Dreamweaver CS5 and Photoshop CS5
For even more options if you are using SCCM or ARD, see the CS5 Deployment Guide for all the details.
If you also need to deploy Adobe Acrobat 9, 404 Tech Support also has you covered: Using Group Policy to Deploy Adobe Acrobat 9