When Should You Use snAppShot?
Now that you understand what snAppShot is, you need to know when to use it. By default, snAppShot is
used to package an application to distribute to several other users based on the eDirectory and the application properties.
However, because snAppShot captures changes made to a workstation during install, many situations exist in which you can use it to save time. The following sections describe how snAppShot is useful in three situations.
Complex Installations or Upgrades
Using snAppShot to aid in complex installations or upgrades can save you a considerable amount of time
spent repeating the same steps over and over. By using snAppShot, you simply need to perform the complex installation or upgrade once, record the differences, and then apply those differences to the other workstations.
An example of when snAppShot is useful in a complex upgrade is when installing and configuring a printer driver on a Windows XP client. To do so, use the following steps:
Enter the network
to the printer or browse the network to find the appropriate queue.
Use the Windows XP CD-ROM or the path to the CAB files that have the necessary files to install the printer driver.
Configure the printer drivers for the desktop.
Make the appropriate configuration changes for the printer.
steps are tolerable if it is for one or two workstations, but if 100 or more workstations need the printer set up, the task becomes monumental.
Using snAppShot on one Windows XP machine to "package" a printer installation enables you to create an Application object template that you can use to create an Application object.
Once the Application object is created for the printer installation, other Windows XP
can install the printer, with drivers, without having to use CAB files, the Windows XP CD-ROM, or make configuration changes!
Installations or Upgrades
Using snAppShot to aid in installations that must be done on numerous workstations can also save you a lot of time. Often, application upgrades or installations are very simple to perform and only take a short time on one workstation. However, that time is multiplied by the number of clients you have on your network. Many companies have thousands of clients, and, although installing an application takes only a few minutes on one client, the installation takes days to complete on all network clients.
snAppShot enables you to configure the upgrade or install to be automatically performed throughout the network. Instead of running the install or upgrade on workstation after workstation, you simply perform it once on the model workstation and use snAppShot to record the differences. Once recorded, the changes can be made to several other workstations easily and
Using snAppShot to record the changes during the update and packaging into an Application object enables you to have the upgrade performed automatically as the users log in to the network. This saves a lot of time and effort when upgrading a large number of users. It also
that every client has been upgraded.
Verifying Changes Made During an Install or Upgrade
Another situation where snAppShot is very useful is to verify or view the changes made by an application install or upgrade. Although snAppShot was not designed for this purpose, it works well because it captures the changes made during the install.
Application installations can create difficulties for other applications. snAppShot enables you to detect what the application install did to your client and enables you to correct it without un-installing or re-installing an application.
A good example of where snAppShot can help with reviewing an application install is installing a new application that updates shared DLLs in the
directory for Windows 98. The application
a working DLL with a
DLL that has
Once the new DLL is installed, the new application works fine, but a previously installed application fails to load properly. Normally you would have two options: to re-install the application that is failing to unload, or to un-install the new application and hope that its un-install mechanism
up the old DLLs before copying over them.
Using snAppShot, however, enables you to see which DLLs were
by the new application install, so that you can simply replace them from a backup, CD-ROM, or other source.