Distributing Novell Filr for Windows with ZENworks Configuration Management

Distributing Novell Filr for Windows with ZENworks Configuration Management

This solution provides instructions for distributing Novell Filr with ZENworks Configuration Management on Windows devices. As with other solutions powered by the ZENworks bundle management capabilities, the bundles created as part of this solution are also available to you by subscribing to the ZENguru zone. For more information about subscribing to the ZENworks zone please refer to this solution.

In a future solution I will provide guidance on how to also deploy the application

As with other bundles provided via this subscription, I always recommend that you bring the bundles into your zone as a sandbox bundle, test them in your environment and then publish them as copies. This allows you to always review and test any changes I might find necessary based on customer feedback before they impact your production environment.

In order for this solution to be valuable to you, you must be a licensed customer for the following products:


  • ZENworks Configuration Management 11.3 or higher

  • Novell Filr 1.1



As new versions of Filr become available I will attempt to create new bundles that make those versions available so that you can chose the one that is appropriate for your environment.

Building a Bundle set to Distribute Filr for Windows



Novell Filr for Windows requires more than just Filr – it requires the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 libraries and the .NET Framework 4 or higher. You could use the downloadable executable that comes with Filr to install these components, however since I typically find that there are a number of applications that have these dependencies, I prefer to abstract these dependencies from the application and let ZENworks install them as a chained dependency. This allows me to provide updates for these dependencies in the future if needed without having to rebuild the application. As such to distribute Filr for Windows we will use the bundles described in these other solutions:


Because Novell Filr provides both a 32-bit client and a 64-bit client the version of the C++ libraries that are required will differ depending on the architecture. We will utilize Action Level system requirements to account for this. Also because of this we will disable the Distribute Files action in the Distribution action set so that files are only distributed during the transaction of the Install or launch action sets as needed. For more information about this refer to <link to distribute action set info>.

If you choose to subscribe to Novell Filr bundle from the ZENguru zone, then the other bundles will be automatically replicated as well since there are chained dependencies.

To build the Novell Filr 1.1 for Windows bundle, do the following:


  1. Retrieve the MSI installers for Filr from your Filr server.

    1. Download the 32-bit and 64-bit Filr installers from your Filr server’s web site.

    2. Open the %temp% folder.

    3. Delete the files and folders currently in this folder.

    4. Run the 32-bit installer and then copy the MSI file from the folder that is created to a location on your hard drive.

    5. Exit the installer.

    6. Run the 64-bit installer and then copy the MSI file from the folder that is created to a location on your hard drive.

    7. Close the installer. You now have the MSI installers you need to be able to install Novell Filr as an msi application through ZENworks bundles.



  2. Create an empty bundle that can be used as the bundle to install Filr.

    1. In ZCC, go to the Bundle page and browse to the folder you want to create the bundle in; then select New > Bundle…

    2. Select Windows Bundle

    3. Select (Empty Bundle).

    4. In the name field enter Install Novell Filr 1.1; then click Next.

    5. Select the option to Define additional details; then click Finish.



  3. Customize the Distribute action set.

    1. Click the Distribute tab.

    2. Check the checkbox in front of Distribute Files.

    3. Click Disable. This prevents both the 32-bit and 64-bit files from being pushed to the device during the install of the app.

    4. Click Apply.



  4. Add an action to install the .NET 4.5.2 framework to meet the Filr dependency and to only install the framework if .NET 4.5.2 is not already installed on the machine.

    1. Click the Install tab.

    2. Select Add > Install Bundle.

    3. In the Action name field, enter Install .NET 4.5.2.

    4. In the Bundle field, browse to the .NET 4.5.2 bundle you’ve created.

    5. Select the Requirements tab.

    6. Select Add Filter.

    7. Select Registry Key Value.

    8. In the Key field enter, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full

    9. In the Value field, enter Release

    10. In the type field, select Integer

    11. In the comparator field, select <

    12. In the comparator value field, enter 379893.



  5. Add an action to install the Visual C++ 2010 32-bit libraries to meet the Filr dependency.

    1. Click the Install tab.

    2. Select Add > Install Bundle.

    3. In the Action name field, enter Install VC++ 2010 32-bit.

    4. In the Bundle field, browse to the 64-bit Visual Studio C++ libraries bundle you’ve created.

    5. Select the Requirements tab.

    6. Select Add Filter.

    7. Select Architecture

    8. Select 32.



  6. Add an action to install the Visual C++ 2010 64-bit libraries to meet the Filr dependency.

    1. Click the Install tab.

    2. Select Add > Install Bundle.

    3. In the Action name field, enter Install VC++ 2010 64-bit.

    4. In the Bundle field, browse to the 64-bit Visual Studio C++ libraries bundle you’ve created.

    5. Select the Requirements tab.

    6. Select Add Filter.

    7. Select Architecture

    8. Select 64.



  7. Add an action that will install Filr on 32-bit Windows devices.

    1. Click Add > Install MSI.

    2. In the MSI field, browse to the 32-bit Filr MSI (NovellFilr-x86-1.1.msi)

    3. Under MSI Properties, select Add.

    4. In the Name field, enter RESTARTEXPLORER

    5. In the Value field, enter No. This prevents the Filr installer from restarting explorer. This is important since you will be running the installer as the SYSTEM user and you don’t want explorer to be run in that context on reboot.

    6. Click Advanced.

    7. In Executable security level, select Run as secure system user.

    8. Click Requirements.

    9. Select Add Filter.

    10. Select Architecture.

    11. Select 32.

    12. Click OK.



  8. Add an action that will install Filr on 64-bit Windows devices.

    1. Click Add > Install MSI.

    2. In the MSI field, browse to the 64-bit Filr MSI (NovellFilr-x64-1.1.msi)

    3. Under MSI Properties, select Add.

    4. In the Name field, enter RESTARTEXPLORER

    5. In the Value field, enter No. This prevents the Filr installer from restarting explorer. This is important since you will be running the installer as the SYSTEM user and you don’t want explorer to be run in that context on reboot.

    6. Click Advanced.

    7. In Executable security level, select Run as secure system user.

    8. Click Requirements.

    9. Select Add Filter.

    10. Select Architecture.

    11. Select 64.

    12. Click OK.



  9. Create an action that will configure the Filr registry settings that you may want to customize.

    1. Select Add > Registry Edit.

    2. Create the HKLM\Software\Novell\Filr key in the tree.

    3. Add keys and values as described in the Filr documentation.

    4. In the ZENguru apps you can extend each of these are defined and use a variable so that they can be set. If you elect not to do some of this configuration, be sure to clean up unwanted registry keys in your copy of the app.

    5. Click OK.



  10. Add a Reboot/Shutdown script to reboot at the end of the install to make the Explorer extension work.

    1. In the Select action option, select Reboot.

    2. Set time to reboot to a value acceptable in your environment. The ZENguru version is set to -1 which means the user must click OK to reboot.

    3. Enter a reboot message for the language(s) that are important to you.

    4. Click OK.

    5. Click Apply. You should now have a bundle that looks something like the one below:FilrBundle



  11. Configure System Variables to populate the custom registry settings you created.

    1. If you used variables in the registry action, click the Settings page.

    2. Click System Variables.

    3. Add the variables that you used. The screenshot below shows the values used in the ZENguru version of the application:FilrVariables

    4. Click OK to save the changes. You now have a bundle that will install the .NET Framework and C++ libraries if needed, and then install and configure the Novell Filr client for Windows.





Building a Bundle Group for Filr



In my environment where I have both OS-X and Windows devices I find that I often create bundle groups for certain applications that run on both OS’s. This allows me to associate a particular user, user group or user container with that bundle group and then provides that application to any workstation that the user decides to use – whether OS-X or Windows. This is useful as long as you have the required licenses to support it. In the case of Filr the application is licensed on a per-user basis so any user that you allow access to Filr can access their files from any mobile, desktop or web connected device. I expect over time as we pull in the mobile management capabilities that I will see further value in this as it will allow a single assignment to work across traditional devices and mobile devices.

To create the Filr 1.1 bundle group:

  1. In ZCC, in the folder where you want to create the bundle group, select New > Bundle Group.

  2. In the Group Name field, enter Filr 1.1

  3. In the Description field enter the description you want users to see when viewing properties of the application.

  4. Click Next.

  5. At the Add Group Members page, click Add

  6. Select the Install Filr 1.1 – bundle you created in the previous sections.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Click Finish.


You now have a group that can be used to assign the Filr app to users, user groups, workstation groups or folders. With that single assignment the user will be able to utilize Filr across their Windows or OS-X devices once you create a Filr bundle for OS-X.

Pointers for Resolving Issues in Subscribed Bundles



If you choose to subscribe to the bundles in the ZENguru zone, you will most likely see subscription issues because I have heavily used variables. The variables I have used allow you to configure the Filr client as part of the installation either via registry settings or PLIST changes on the managed device. To facilitate this process I have abstracted most of the configuration so that you can do so without needed to change the actions, but rather you can use the Issues tab of the subscription to address most of these. The following variables are used by these bundles:

FILR_URL: This value specifies the full URL to the server such as https://filr.zenguru.info .

FILR_ACCOUNTNAME: This value specifies the name of the account, on a normal default install this will be the host name portion of the URL, in my app the default value is ZENguru, which means when provisioned the account with say <username> on ZENguru .

FILR_USERNAME: This value specifies the username that you want automatically configured in the client. In my configuration this substitutes the user’s LDAP common name. If you need to use a different name you can modify this to use another variable, or you can remove this if you want the user to have to enter their username.

FILR_REMEMBERPWD: This value specifies whether you want the remember password checkbox checked by default or not. The possible values are true or false. The default value is true which means that the user’s password will be saved unless you set this to false.

FILR_SYNCDIR: This value specifies where you want the user’s local files that they sync from Filr to be stored. In this app I’ve configured the value to point to the user’s My Documents directory in a subfolder called Filr.

FILR_AUTOSTART: This value controls whether or not the application should auto start after reboot. The possible values are true or false; the default is true.

FILR_AUTOCFG: This value controls whether or not the application should auto configure. If set to true then the user can specify only their username and password. If set to false then the can walk through the configuration wizard on first startup.

If for some reason you do not want these values to be used, and instead you want the user to manually configure Filr, you can remove the Pre-Configure Filr action or modify it in whatever way you see fit.

Summary



In this solution I looked at how to build a ZENworks bundle that will distribute and configure Filr in your environment. I also provided information on how to customize the bundle if you choose to mirror it from my zone. I hope you found that useful. Look for additional solutions soon on how to distribute Filr to OS-X with ZENworks and to mobile devices with ZMM.
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