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How to use NAL Application Dependencies

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By James Davey

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Posted: 5 Apr 2007

In our school system, we have dozens of applications distributed to workstations. Some of them, like Autodesk, are a suite of programs that must be installed in a specific order. Others may require something like a Java update be completed before installing. Here's how to use the Application Dependencies feature of NAL to effectively install any program that requires prerequisite programs be installed first.

As a hypothetical example, suppose we need QuickTime installed before we can install Autodesk 2006 on a workstation. Then we want to upgrade Autodesk to SP1. Here is what to do.

  1. Create NAL objects for all the applications that need to be installed. In our case we will have NAL apps for Quicktime, Autodesk 2006, and Autodesk SP1.

  2. To get all three installed, we only need to associate the final application in the string (Autodesk SP1) to the workstations or users who need it. The others will take care of themselves.

  3. Open the final application object and look at the Run Options, Application Dependencies tab. In our case, we cannot install Autodesk SP1 unless Autodesk 2006 is installed, so click Add, then find and select the Autodesk 2006 NAL application.

  4. Since we need to wait until Autodesk 2006 is completely installed and the system has rebooted before installing SP1, we check the Reboot Wait box and do NOT check the Continue Distributions Immediately box.

  5. Now open the Autodesk 2006 NAL app and go to Run Options, Application Dependencies and do the same thing as above, only this time put in Quicktime as the dependent application.

  6. Now we are done. To verify that everything is proper, reopen the final application in the chain (Autodesk SP1), go to Run Options, Application Dependencies, and click the Show Chain button. You should see the following:

Now you can verify that to install Autodesk SP1, Autodesk 2006 will be installed first, preceeded by an installation of Quicktime. Simply associate the Autodesk SP1 application object to whomever needs it and all three applications will install, including any intermediate reboots that may be necessary!

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