How to Create CS5 Deployments With Adobe Application Manager

Dealing with the Adobe CS (s adbe) suites can be a daunting task when you have to do large-scale deployments. Trying to use Apple Remote Desktop (s aapl) requires the install be a package file, and Adobe doesn’t want to make it easy, so they like to use application files instead. In the past, I’ve tried many different solutions to deploy a configured CS installation to classrooms. I had the most success using Composer from JAMF Software, until now.

Adobe now has its own tool for creating deployment packages of its CS5 products for OS X computers. The Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAM) may be a mouthful, but it’s a blessing to those of us who have been waiting for such a tool to arrive. It allows you to create a custom install package file using your CS5 media. Not only that; it will allow you to bundle updates into the install or create a separate update package. I’ll walk through both of these operations.

Creating a Custom Package Install

First thing you need to do is download AAM from Adobe’s site. Once installed, insert your CS5 media and run the AAM program. The first screen will present you with the option to create an Installation Package or an Update Package.

  1. First, we’re going to do an Installation Package, so select that option. Next, we need to give our package a name, which will become the file name in the end. We need to give it a save location, too, and also pont it to the install media.
  2. On the next screen, give it your serial number and click Next.
  3. You then can disable any products you don’t want in the package or just let it install everything.
  4. Now we get to the heart of it. We have the ability to disable all the different options that are a pain to deal with when deploying a product like CS5. The default settings are good, but I also like to check the “Disable Air…” box also. Updates are shut off so users won’t be constantly bothered by update dialogs.
  5. Now we come to the update portion. Unfortunately, the program won’t go out and grab all the available updates for you. They have to be downloaded by hand and added to this window. It’s easy enough though, head over to Adobe’s update site and grab whatever updates pertain to your install. Just click the Add Update button and point it to the DMG files you’ve downloaded.
  6. Click Build and go take a break.

When the build is finished, you’ll have a customized PKG file that you can either use to install CS5 remotely using Apple Remote Desktop, or run by hand.

Creating an Update Package

After you’ve created your install package, you should also create an Update Package that you can also run through Apple Remote Desktop to remotely update any existing CS5 installation.

  1. Re-launch AAM, and this, time click the Update Package button. Give it a name and a Save To location.
  2. Hopefully ,you still have the updates you downloaded earlier when you built the Installation package. Otherwise, head over to Adobe’s update site and grab the updates you want to include. Click the Add Update button, and select the DMG files you want to be a part of this.
  3. Click Build, and it should complete itself rather quickly.
  4. That’s all there is to it. I hope Adobe stays on this track and continue to provide tools that make it easy for us admins to deploy its products in the future. Even if you just want to create a custom installer for yourself in case you ever lose your original install media, this is a great way to do it.