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Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

Migration User12-22-2010 08:40 AM

  • 1.  Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-20-2010 09:32 PM

    Is there any documentation on this product anywhere??  I have the beta downloaded and installed, but since it's so drastically different than 6.9, i have no clue what to do next.



  • 2.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-20-2010 11:19 PM

    if i remember right, on the server itself, there's links to documentation in the start menu under altiris.  if not there, then check your installation location (both program files and program files (x86)) for the docs. 

  • 3.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 08:45 AM

    The HELP menu in the console


    <install path>\Program Files\Altiris\Documentation


    do a search for *.pdf on the Program Files\Altiris folder on the server.

    There should be .chm and .pdf's for all the solutions except barcode. The names are rather cryptic, but in 7.0 that's where they are.

  • 4.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 10:21 AM

  • 5.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 10:38 AM

    Wow - brave soul!

    Most of the documentation we have for Deployment Solution 7.1 in the KB is fine.  Use it.  The exceptions would be as follows:

    1) Deployanywhere and BootWiz now have an interface in the console instead of having to go to external 32bit apps to add drivers.  Should be easier, not harder.

    2) There is no deployment console.  The entire console now is Silverlight with drag-and-drop, so no reason to have our own.  Simply ignore any references to the Deployment Console.


    Overall, jobs and tasks are still managed the same way, though navigation is faster and a bit different.  The screen shots will look different.  But for the most part, what you can find in our docs right now on DS will still apply.

    Sooooo, take a look at the KB's.  We have a support Quick Start that might get you going in the right direction.  :D

  • 6.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 11:39 AM

    This post struck a nerve with me.  The documentation is there just as Shane lists but it is really, really weak.  In the past, there have been screenshots and other visuals but the documents that I found for 7.x were pretty much straight text and then some of the text did not match the wording that is on the screen.  With a drastic change that the 7.x version brings, I would have hoped that Symantec would have put a little more effort into their documentation.   Some of us are in organizations where our training budget is completely gone so we have to rely on good documentation and not just a rough outline or glossary of terms.  Sorry that's just the way it is...also, probably doesn't help that I had to shovel a foot of snow before work so I'm a little cranky.   Here's the 7.1 Deployment User Guide.  I don't know if they have an Admin Guide for the 7.x version or not as I've never found it.

    Now, check out what the old 6.9 sp4 version looked like (it's much more in-depth):

  • 7.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 12:02 PM

    training will help if you're coming from 6.x or are a total newbie to altiris, but if you CAN get training, don't do it yet.  I just took some 7.0 classes (and even the DS 7.1 class) and in playing with the ITMS 7.1 beta, i can confidently say that they will be almost starting over from scratch writing documentation for itms 7.1.  it's THAT different. 

    there was an article by someone, called something like "ZOMG It's a New Console!" that goes into more detail on this.  But until the product itself is final, I wouldn't expect to see "final" type documentation either, if for no other reason than because by defenition, stuff WILL change before the release candidate(s) come out, so there's no point in spending a ton of time documenting that stuff.

    i'm ok threadbare documentation because i've been using altiris for a few years now.  I'm no expert, but i AM their target audience for the beta. 

    IMHO, someone who has never used Altiris before is NOT their target audience for the beta, and that's why I think thomas said you're brave for starting with a beta.  it's quite a task, and won't be easy, BECAUSE of that lack of documentation.

    If you can, wait till march when they release the final product and the documentation to go with it.  I think you'll have much better luck and less wasted time. 

  • 8.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 12:50 PM

    In a sense I agree with you but even for a seasoned admin there was some shortfalls to do with the lack of doc for this Beta. 

    I had a serious problem getting ServiceDesk installed and eventually gave up.  I must have spent 20 hours on that, all the while posting my issues with ZERO response to requests for a good document for it.  I cannot believe that Symantec did not take screenshots of their pre-configuration and installation. 

    I did see many others that had the same similar issues configuring IIS 6 compatibilityfor Win2k8 X64 and really wonder how many people actually got it installed and played with it.  Symantec has to realize that we volunteer to Beta Test and a little help with go a long way in their development.

    I have a big feeling that Symantec will release yet another untested product to the masses and play the REACTIVE game again!!!  Just wait and see what happens when it is release time.

  • 9.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 01:25 PM

    I also have not found the documentation very helpful. I have used altiris for many years and in the past ver 6 documentation was much better than the recent stuff. I also agree that some screenshoots would go a long ways in making it me not want to bang my head on the desk.

    Going from 6x to 7x is such a huge change and screen shoots would have been much appreciated.




  • 10.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 02:06 PM

    my only problem with IIS in win2008 r2 was forgetting to add that role before starting SIM.  I do like how the readiness checks get done sooner in the beta than they did in the 7.0 SIM, which is a nice thing even though it doesn't (in theory) get used very often. 

    I'll admit that i haven't tried to mess with all facets of 7.1 beta.  Our primary focus is on NS (or whatever they're calling it this week), DS, asset and inventory.  Since we use HEAT, we won't be using SD, and several other solutions just don't apply to our environment so we didn't spend any time on them.  That doesn't excuse symantec from not replying to your threads on SD!  I agree that if they're gonna have an open beta, they need to at least acknowledge input from us! 


  • 11.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 02:26 PM

    The primary reason I started writing my Altiris 6 Cookbooks was in response to these kinds of reactions from my customers to the native Altiris documentation. I have written an Altiris CMS7 Cookbook (available from my website) and plan to do the 7.1 edition in due time... as soon as I can figure out how to install it! That was a joke...

  • 12.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 02:53 PM

    Thanks for the link Shane.  Didn't know about it.  I guess I haven't had a need for it as I've been working with Altiris for 9 years now but this change is quite a bit different.  I'll keep checking to see when you have the 7.1 edition.  Thanks again.

  • 13.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-21-2010 07:24 PM

    Thanks everyone for the posts!

    I've been using Altiris for over 5 years now and NEVER needed documentation with 6.x.  It seemed to just work and make sense.  With that being said, I've been through the KB quite a bit to refine my processes and of course for issues.  But as far and using the product, I've never had so many issues.   I'm not wanting to move away from 6.9, but i figure i'd like have somewhat of an idea on what is to come... 

    I will check out the links and the KB to see if i can find any answers; thanks for the links and the info!  Although from what i'm hearing, the documentation won't help much  :) 

    My biggest issues right now is that i can't seem to even get PXE to work.  I just want to see if i can create and deploy an image and push software.  That's all i care about, but i can't even get the damn product setup with PXE to start!  It's definitely quite different.  I hated NS when one of my prior companies used it before, so I'm PRAYING it's not 100% like that.  I love the drag and drop features and also the instant execution of jobs in 6.9.

  • 14.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 07:32 AM

    1) DS 6.9 is very intuitive for imaging, and very simple.  It is also very mature as a product line, has lots of sample jobs you can emulate, lots of wizards, and of course the 32bit console makes it fast, generally.  It's also a 1-trick pony in a way, and much easier to make intuitive, because all it has to do is imaging, really well.  Oh, and frankly, it's the best product there is on the market for that.

    2) DS 7.1 is a new product, in many ways, and we've made mistakes - as you'd expect with something new.  Some of the mistakes we made, frankly, was trying to re-create the 6.9 "look and feel" to help people who were upgrading.  The problem was that we were trying to integrate into a new platform and hold to an old standard, which works against ourselves.  The most important thing to rememer though is that it's new.  It has a similar number for the build to match the NS product, but it's really very new.

    I don't say that as an excuse - it's not.  It's simply a way of looking at things to help understand how difficult it is to get a product up to speed.  I've been supporting DS for about 6 years, and believe me, we STRUGGLED in the early DS 6.1 days.  The Engine had issues, PXE had issues, hidden partitions had conflicts, and on and on.  But we tend to forget once we look at what we have.  Most importantly though, we "expect" the next version to be better.  And well we should.


    All that said, there is one benefit to starting out with the ITMS beta.  There are some things we're finally getting right now.  The task assignment with drag-and-drop in the console is much better than we had in the previous/current release.  The console is MUCH FASTER than in the current release.  The look and feel, though different (very different) is more intuitive than it was before.  There is more "wizard" action than there was before, to help you get things done.


    But boy is it different!!!!


    May I suggest to all readers of this post that perhaps we should look at this a bit like when Vista/Win7 released?  Or when XP released?  Or when Win95 released?  Each time a new "look and feel" of the OS released from MS, we had complaints and grumbling.  I know, because I've been supporting Windows WS and Servers since Win3.1.  Every time the Look and Feel changed, it was a learning curve, but eventually, the new "look" catches on and we end up loving it and hating the next one.

    ITMS 7.1 is a huge change - granted - from DS 6.9, but it's a bit like Win7 to XP, and there are some nice things happening in there that will make managing systems a lot more intuitive than before.  There's a lot of effort that has gone in to making all the products more intuitive or less of a pain, depending on how you look at it.

    And believe me, there's more coming for DS.


    Finally, we do have some documentation for DS that you can use right now, beyond what we are "officially" creating.  I created a little utility called SMART for DS7 that you could install that includes some docs, but I've not upgraded it to work with ITMS 7.1.  Sooooo, I'll post my documentation seperately, still under the SMART for DS7 headings.  There are currently 3 such postings (I wish I knew how to remove 2 of them) and I'll add a few more.  These are "draft" documents, because I'm not the documentation team, and I've never officially had time to get sign-off or completion on them.  I erred on the side of posting early to get it in your hands rather than posting 100% complete, if that makes sense.  One of them is how to set up and configure PXE.  Another is how to troubleshoot DS (just finishing this) at a relatively high-level.  I think both may be useful for you.

    Look for an intial version of both of these within 24 hrs.


    Thanks for your product support!

  • 15.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 08:17 AM

    Really look forward to seeing these docs Thomas.  And a big Bravo to the rest of your post! It is only through the acknowledgement of shortfalls that the process can begin to rectify them.

    Personally, I think that the 6-7 move is more like XP to Vista.... its all getting there but still a bit more functionality & polish required to push the metaphor all the way to Windows 7 ;-)

  • 16.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 08:40 AM

    Edit - comment deleted.

  • 17.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 08:53 AM

    I don't know the answer to that.  In my department, we've discussed this several times, and we can't come up with a good answer.


    I can say though that I've learned something very interesting over the past 6+ years working here.  I've learned that what a tech "needs and wants" is often pretty far off from what a manager buys or thinks the tech needs and wants.  I learned this the hard way as I lost a sale (well, it wasn't mine, but still) because I gave the techs what they wanted in the presentation, and management, who holds the purse, bought something else.  It took a very highly placed Sales manager to educate me on what happened.

    Our product managers are stuck in this really difficult spot between what we know you "need" for your job and in what Sales demands we create or they loose the accounts.  I realize this doesn't fit every company and scenario, but the simple truth is that managers "love" the concept of a web app you can run anywhere.  They love it.  DS therefore needed the overhaul, so that we could sell it.

    As a long-term tech-geek, I hate web apps.  Hate is the best word I can think of.  I really do NOT like them.  I hate web chats, web forums, web everything except for web data distribution.  I love 32bit apps.  They're faster, more compatible, and frankly easier to use IMO.

    But all I have to do is look at industry, this forum, and everything else to realize that I'm just gonna have to get used to the whole "Web" thing.

    As for DS - you can still buy it stand-alone, but never again in the way you're used to.

    That said, we will be making it easier to use.  Yes, we actually know your complaints, and talk about them all the time.  TRUST me, we do.  Time and resources being what they are, we have to hit the big/core issues first, and then do the soft-touches.  But we're working on it.  One of the latest discussions we've had for instance is the possibility of putting some of the sample "jobs" back into the program to help out new users.  Would be nice, no?  We'll see - it's still just a discussion right now, but we'll see.

    Anyway, hang in there.  We're getting there, and trust me, the people who made DS work the first time, are pretty interested in making this one work again.  We've not come even close to giving up.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • 18.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 09:16 AM

    Thomas, I take it you seen my post before I deleted it.  Sorry - frustration.  No offense to your co-workers but you seem to be about the only person out there lately who can answer questions or is willing to answer questions.

    In addition to what I wrote, I have one critical question and I've heard two different answers which is greatly troubling.  Let me re-word the question so it matches the topic at hand.....Does the documentation that you will be releasing discuss whether or not DS 7.1 will or will not support WIM images and does the documentation offer any step by step instructions?   We are planning budgets for next year and so this information is crucial.  We have standardized on WIM images and we cannot even think of moving forward with this product if it won't support WIM images.

  • 19.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 12:27 PM

    I have not heard if WIM made it into ITMS 7.1 either (due in March).


    My docs are 1) help in getting PXE up and running and 2) top-tier troubleshooting.  Seeing as I am not on the Dev team, OR on the Documentation team, this is simply my best effort in helping where I can when I can (as it's not my job).  I'll put out DRAFT copies just so you guys will have SOMETHING rather than nothing.

    The first Doc is already out in my SMART tools set of stuff, but I'm going to start breaking out componenants so you guys have an easier time getting to things.  Not much.  Just a few.


    Keep posting out here folks.  I try to keep watch.  And where I can contribute, I will.


    For documentation, if you can think of specific things that would be helpful, OR specific samples, that will help.  No way under the sun that I could possibly rewrite our manuals.  :P

  • 20.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-22-2010 02:43 PM

    Search for SMART DS7 and they'll show up 'cause they'll all have that in their title.  That's how I classify my "non official" DS stuff.  :D

    And I meant it when I said very draft.  No screen shots yet, and links to KB's are missing in these guides.  It's pretty obvious where they're missing from.  I kicked these out in a few days between other work, so I've only gone so far.

    If you read them, I'd really really like any feedback you can give.  That will help me be sure I don't leave garbage in them and add stuff I missed.


  • 21.  RE: Deployment Solution 7.1 Beta Documentation?

    Posted 12-23-2010 12:55 PM

    The first article is now available here:

    Thanks for creating these Thomas!