Open for Voting
over 3 years ago

Add Technical Support for Custom Packages

I would like to suggest that technical support reconsider supporting and troubleshooting customers who need help deploying custom packages in PatchManger.  While the software has the PackageBoot feature and the ability to create custom packages, technical support is not available for problems with these processes.  As a system engineer and programmer I appreciate the unique challenges involved in anything "custom", but I feel there are valid reasons why PatchManager is a powerful tool for deploying custom software updates and since this ability exists in PatchManager there is potential to make the product all the more powerful for customers.

In healthcare we have the challenge of computers always being on, rarely getting rebooted, and shared with many individuals.  With the ability to deploy custom software updates using the WSUS mechanism, we can ensure updates get deployed consistently and timely.  I am not suggesting that SolarWinds troubleshoots the third party software -- just the update process.  For example, most sotware vendors issue an MSI or EXE for installing their updates/upgrades.  Most of these programs have a silent or quiet mode, but there are often unique challenges in deploying them in an unattended mode, e.g. stopping a process or service before executing them or running a script after installation.  These are things PatchManager has the capabilities of doing.  But there are often bugs and hickups along the way.  Having technical support for these features would open up the door for PatchManager to be the powerful tool for deploying updates for the applications that businesses use day in and day out.  Think about it.  Companies don't run on Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader.  Sure they use them every day, but the software that matters most is their vendor of choice for whatever market niche they're in.

PatchManager has huge potential.  Instead of just being the patch mechanism for the Microsofts and Adobes of the world, why not make it the premier patch deployment tool for any company needing to update their software?  Please reconsider supporting custom packages!

  • Back in the day, I used ORCA to create application packages. It wrapped around the install and did the install within the MSI install process. Very complicated to use but very good. Orca.exe (Windows)

  • Third party support through companies like Loop1 Systems is a reasonable way to get tech support for customizations.

  • I understand why a company would be hesitant to offer this support, and it could be like opening Pandora's box if not presented carefully. Providing support for custom packages would be a great benefit to customers, but the support should be focused on the custom package features of the Patch Manager product and avoid getting into specific functions and peculiarities of a particular third party installer.

    Personally, I would be happy with some more comprehensive documentation on the custom package features. The existing documentation is somewhat sparse and doesn't address many known quirks or offer best practice guidance.

  • I'd just like more assistance with unexpected behavior.  Such as using a NOT File Exist in applicability, and installed rules.  There are multiple discussions on Thwack about it, but no answers. 

  • Seconded. 3rd party updates are one of the main reasons we purchased the software. Promoting greater content exchange would be appreciates.