Best Practices Question

Desktop Authority - best practice for Flash installs?

06/06/2013 4087 views

I'm looking for ideas on how people are managing flash. We want to centrally push out the first-time flash install. The installer is a .msi so it can be easily pushed silently with desktop authority.


My question is about validation logic. I don't want it to re-attempt to install with each boot, so normally I would use a file-exists or file-version validation logic. However, flash uses the file version number in the exe's and dll's it installs (thus the file name changes for each version,) so I can't use a simple file check. DA doesn't support wildcards in the file existence logic so I am thinking my choices are:

1) use a one-time rule and hope nothing goes wrong

2) use the actual file name in the file-exists logic, rewriting the rule every time flash changes versions (and filename)

3) let it reinstall every boot

4) stop using .msi and run a batch file that installs and sets a flag, then i can check via the flag.


None are great solutions and I was thinking I am missing something and was wondering what others are doing for this type of situation.


Answer Summary:
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  • I spent little time with DA about two years ago so I'm not an expert on it, but it has the ability to "run once" tasks, right?

    If you let MSIEXEC run every time, it'll see it's installed and exit without running the full install but it will generate an errorcode.

    If you run a CMD and you're using DA to capture success/failure information, you'll get false positives since the CMD file will always run successfully, regardless of the tasks it executes.

All Answers


it's a little more work, but I use the MSI installer.

First sign up/fill out the form/license request to get access to Adobe's distribution page where they post the MSI and SMS packages.

When a new version of Flash comes out (so by the time I finish writing this I'm sure there will be another) I download the msi of both the activex and the plugin and save them to disk somewhere.

I go into Software Distribution and un-publish the existing flash packages, and then delete them.

Then import the new versions, which are exactly the same but for version number (DA doesn't let you import two msi files of the same name, even though they're different versions) and then publish them. I don't even have to change the "MSI Packages" elements, since they're the same named msi files.

I have those elements set to login/refresh so within an hour or so, or next login, they get the 10 seconds or so of the DA marble/escher staircase animation while it upgrades Flash. DA does all the heavy-lifting as far as registry key checks or version checks or anything else like that and if the version installed is not equal to the version in the element, it gets upgraded.

The only downside is the few people on my network who have admin privileges. If they click OK and upgrade Flash when the popup appears, then DA tries to install the now-older version every hour and fails but I've solved that by telling those few people not to install Flash updates on their own, but to let DA manage it for them.

Answered 11/01/2013 by: DocJelly
White Belt


I use the uninstall key to check the version and if it is less than the value I provide (or does not exist at all) run my compiled script using an Application Launcher element to install flash. Keep in mind that the GUID changes for every revision of flash so you will need to update the GUID and the DisplayVersion number for each update.


If you have 64-bit machines you will need to use a separate Application Launcher element with the aproperate regkey. Notice "Wow6432Node" in the middle.


Answered 07/01/2013 by: spoirier
Senior Yellow Belt

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