Application Installations with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2102 Update 1

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1 is the latest iteration of the Microsoft Solution Accelerator. It includes updates to aid the deployment of the latest Operating Systems, including Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. This article describes the process and the options you have for adding and configuring the applications that you’re going to install during your OS deployment.

After you’ve installed the MDT 2012 Update 1, you’ll need to have a deployment share. Deployment shares are not created by default during the installation of the MDT, so you’ll need to create the deployment shares after opening the deployment workbench if you haven’t already done so.

Applications are added to the deployment share in support of a Lite Touch Installation (LTI) deployment method. For Zero Touch Installations (ZTI) and User Driven Installations (UDI), System Center Configuration Manager is utilized for managing the applications through use of packages. LTI, ZTI, and UDI are the three deployment methods used to deploy Operating Systems with MDT. You can find out more about those different methods in Petri’s article about Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1: Overview and Installation.

Organize your Applications in MDT 2012 Update 1

As the number of applications in the deployment shares continues to increase, the need to keep them organized also grows. You can help to keep things organized by creating folders in the application folder.

How to Create a Folder in the Applications Directory

To create a Folder in the Applications directory, you use the deployment workbench.

  1. In the deployment workbench, expand the Deployment Share.
  2. Right-click Applications, then select New Folder.
  3. On the General tab, add a folder name (required).
  4. Add comments to describe the folder (optional).

How to Create the Application Folder with PowerShell

You could also use PowerShell to create the folder. Once you’re familiar with the PowerShell commands, it’s easier to create multiple folders or create the folders on multiple deployment shares by using PowerShell.

To show how using the script may benefit when creating multiple folders, I’ll use PowerShell to create three folders to describe the three categories of computers I intend to deploy: Developer, Desktop, and Server.

​Import-Module "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\bin\MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit.psd1"

New-PSDrive -Name "DS001" -PSProvider MDTProvider -Root "C:\Deploy"

$folders = “Developer”,”Desktop”,”Server”

$folders | Foreach-Object {new-item -path "DS001:\Applications" -enable "True" -Name $_  -Comments "Applications used for $_ deployment" -ItemType "folder" –Verbose}

How to Import an Application into the Deployment Share

Like creating a folder, you will usually use the deployment workbench to import the applications into the deployment share. This is the easiest way to do it, and it’s a straightforward process. If there are multiple deployment shares, or if you need to import many applications as quickly as possible, then the process is also able to be scripted with PowerShell.

How to Import Applications with the Deployment Workbench

  1. First, open deployment workbench and expand the deployment share into which you want to import an application.
  2. Right-click the Applications directory, and select New Application.
  3. On the Application Type page, select Application with Source Files. This is the most commonly used option for a Lite Touch Installation. Click Next.
  4. Enter the name of the application.
  5. Enter the publisher, version, and language or the application. (Optional)
  6. Click Next.
  7. Put the current location of the installer and source files in the Source Directory, then click Next.
  • If you want to only keep the files in the deployment share and not in the original location, then put a check in the “Move the File” checkbox.
  • On the Destination page of the New Application Wizard, enter a name for the folder that will be created in the application directory of the deployment share. Then click Next.
  • On the Command Details page, add the name of the executable that installs the software. Also include any switches on the executable that make the user interface experience the way you want it. For example, you might have “ProgramName.msi /qn” to make the MSI install with no user interface.  Leave the working directory as the default. Then click Next.
  • On the summary page, review the options to ensure that they are the way you expect them to be.  Click Next.
  • During the operation, the progress page shows the steps being taken.
  • After completion, the confirmation page displays the output. You can click View Script to see a PowerShell script that can be used to complete the process next time.

How to Import an Application into Multiple Deployment Shares with PowerShell

Just as when you create a folder, the simplest way to create one folder on one department share is by using the GUI. However, when you have to batch many operations together, you can save time by using PowerShell. For this example, I will use PowerShell to import one application (I’ll use Camtasia) into multiple deployment shares.

To do this, I first import the Deployment Toolkit commands into PowerShell; this will give me a list of all deployment shares open on the Deployment Workbench. Once the list of shares is created, batching operations together becomes easy through the use of the Foreach-Object cmdlet.

​#Load the MDT commands
Import-Module "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\bin\MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit.psd1"

#Get the list of Deployment Shares, and save them as a variable
$deployShares = Get-MDTPersistentDrive

$deployShares | Foreach=Object {
$ShareName = $_.Name

#This is a long line, but don’t be afraid. It actually shows each of the fields we used in the GUI.

Import-MDTApplication -path "$ShareName:\Applications\Developer" -enable "True"  -Name "Techsmith Camtasia 8"   -ShortName "Camtasia" -Version "8" -Publisher "Techsmith" -Language "English"  -CommandLine "Setup_CamtasiaStudio8_x86_ENU.msi /qn"  -WorkingDirectory ".\Applications\Techsmith Camtasia 8”   -ApplicationSourcePath "C:\Users\Toshiba User\Downloads\Camtasia_Setup"   -DestinationFolder "Techsmith Camtasia 8"  -Verbose

}    #End Foreach-Object

How to Change Options on Imported Applications

After the applications have been imported, they can be accessed through the Deployment Workbench. Right-click the application whose options you want to modify, then select Properties. All options can be modified through the properties dialog box.

In addition to the options that are set during the import, you can also change:

  • On which OS the application can be installed
  • The GUID of the application package (read-only, it cannot be changed)
  • Dependencies, which are applications that must be installed before this software is installed

Loading applications into the Deployment Shares is just one of the tasks involved when deploying operating systems through the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1.

Using either the Deployment Workbench GUI or PowerShell, you can import applications into one or more deployment shares easily. You can leave a flat structure with all applications in one folder, or you can create folders in the Applications directory of the Deployment Shares to keep the applications organized.