Download and install latest Tablacus Explorer

In all of my current EUC deployments, I install Tablacus Explorer as an alternative to explorer.exe for use as a published application. This is an evergreen PowerShell script, that downloads and installs the latest version.

In one of my past articles I presented Tablacus Explorer as an replacement for explorer.exe in Citrix Virtual Apps und Desktops (formerly XenApp) as a published application. With automation more and more being mandatory in IT projects, I needed a way to install Tablacus Explorer evergreen with PowerShell each and every time I deploy it to Windows Clients, RDSH, Citrix virtual apps or desktops or in MDT Task sequences. Once again I used one of Trond Eric Haavarstein example scripts and altered it to fit my needs. Here are the results. Continue reading “Download and install latest Tablacus Explorer”

Download and install latest Office 365 via Office Deployment Tool (ODT)

Inspired by Trond Eric Haavarstein’s evergreen PowerShell setup scripts, I created a download and install script for Office 365 Deployment Tool (ODT).

Microsoft Office 365 is the new standard in the EUC space right now. To honor this, we need a fast and reliable way to install it with our favorite deployment tools like MDT or PDQ,  for example when you rebuild your master images.

There are a few different ways to deploy Office 365, but they are all similar:

  • You need the Office 365 Click-to-run setup.exe (Office Deployment Tool (ODT))
  • You need a XML configuration file
  • You decide to deploy from a pre-build offline cache or the files are downloaded from Microsoft each and every time

And then you go: setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

Pretty straight forward you think, but non the less I had problems with this approach. And this is due to the fact, that the Office Deployment Tool itself gets updated pretty often. And this breaks your unattended deployments sooner or later, as the setup.exe stops working. Continue reading “Download and install latest Office 365 via Office Deployment Tool (ODT)”

Installing the Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Debian Linux with Saltstack

Installing the Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Debian Linux (msodbcsql17) with Saltstack requires to pass ACCEPT_EULA=Y to the package manager. This blog post shows a possible solution.

Introduction

Microsoft offers several open source utilities for quite some time now. One is the Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Linux which can be leveraged with unixodbc. In my case, I need this driver to query Microsoft SQL Server for my Zabbix ODBC monitoring, to execute native SQL queries for monitoring purposes. As I have to take control over 30+ Zabbix Proxies, I’m currently transforming all of them into Salt minions. My goal here is to achieve 100% automation, as soon as I install the Salt minion on a fresh Debian Linux. Continue reading “Installing the Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Debian Linux with Saltstack”

My first time: Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)

After years of MCS virginity I decided it’s finally time to ditch the little farms and try out good ol’ Citrix Machine Creation Services.

Introduction

So today is my very first time: After years of MCS virginity I decided it’s finally time to ditch the little farms and try out good ol’ Citrix Machine Creation Services. In the last ten years I almost exclusively installed small deployments. The big ones have about 150 concurrent user. All are build upon XenApp 6.5 or XenApp 7.6+ with static persistent virtual machines. I always told myself, that static persistent virtual machines, together with a fully automated patch management (for example: PDQ) are enough. And this is still true, because the maintenance effort is virtually not existent. But it really bugs me, that I’m not equally familiar with at least one of the provisioning methods. You might ask, why I don’t try to learn PVS instead. Well, the simple reason is that my stomach tells me not to. The more valid reason is that MCS is included in every XenApp license and doesn’t require additional infrastructure. And additional infrastructure is always a really big topic for the customer.

This blog post won’t be a real classical Blog HowTo Guide, but more of a report of my journey to help me keep track about what I do. Maybe others suffer the same knowledge gap and are interested in my findings and the path I take. Continue reading “My first time: Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)”

Group Policy: Show only specified Control Panel items for Outlook 2016 via Office 365

Quick Tip Blog article: HowTo whitelist the Outlook 2016/Office 365 control panel item correctly.

I just stumbled over something at a customers environment. We had a Outlook 2016 / Office 365 problem in a XenApp session. We tried to access the Outlook control panel item, but it was missing. This was no surprise, as we have the GPO…

…enabled in every environment. This acts as a whitelisting for the control panel items, so the user only has access to those items, that matter to him. Continue reading “Group Policy: Show only specified Control Panel items for Outlook 2016 via Office 365”