Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

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Ryan.Midwest
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Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Ryan.Midwest » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:35 pm

I'm with an MSP and we have a few clients which use PDF XChange for their PDF editing needs and may have more in the future. Consequently we're looking for a good way to automate updates.

The built in updater requires admin rights and just confuses most users anyway. Our usual method to to automate this kind of thing though our RMM. It has built in components for more common applications and we usually write scripts for others.

I poked around on the tracker website but didn't see a page with a list of downloads that it would be easy for the script to draw from. Ideally I'd like the equivalent of ftp://ftp.adobe.com/ which a simple PowerShell script can just pull the latest update package from and run it. Does Tracker have anything like that?

A few couple related questions.

Are there any update packages at all or just full installers?

If not, can you just install a newer version right over an older version without uninstalling first?

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Paul - Tracker Supp
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:01 pm

Hi Ryan,

welcome to the Tracker forums.

The Tracker Updater should not require Administrative Rights to check for updates, of course the installation itself does. Having said that we are hearing reports of cases where the updater IS requiring Administrative rights. We are investigating this.

We do not have an equivalent of ftp://ftp.adobe.com/ per se, however you can probably make sue of the fact that all our installers latest version will always be at the same URL, namely https://trackersoftware.com/<installer name>.
For the Editor example:
https://www.tracker-software.com/EditorV8.x64.msi
https://www.tracker-software.com/EditorV8.x86.msi

I do not believe the Tracker Updater can be accessed via a script for you to check yourself what is the current version, but you could probably script pulling that from the Version History. This is for the Editor for example: https://www.tracker-software.com/produc ... or/history

We no longer do patches to upgrade from one version to another. The installers are designed to run over the existing installation without uninstalling first.

I hope that helps!
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Ryan.Midwest
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Ryan.Midwest » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:54 pm

Thanks for those links Paul.

It looks like I could at least pull the latest version from that page and then get the installer if it's newer than what's on the machine.

I'm not 100% sure on how this licensing works though. Will the latest version from that link even install on a machine with a license with expired maintenance? Will it just fail or will it deactivate the license?

If that won't work, can I query the license status from the command line and download older versions from somewhere?

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TrackerSupp-Daniel
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:35 pm

Hello Ryan,

the installer should always successfully overwrite the old one, regardless of license status. If you have NOT disabled user interaction for the installation process, they will be notified during the installation of the new version if no license keys present are valid, and that the editor will revert to "trial mode" until a new valid key is installed.

As such, we instead recommend you use the Tracker updater for automatic updating, since it offers a convenient checkbox (unchecked by default) which can prevent the updater from installing updates which are incompatible with your maintenance plan.
image.png
Outside of the updater, there is no way to automate updating and also ensure you do not update beyond your maintenance coverage. Although if you ensure that you keep your maintenance renewed and active at all times, this is not an issue.

If you do happen to accidentally update beyond your maintenance coverage, you can always download the appropriate installer for your license key from your account page: https://www.tracker-software.com/login

Kind regards,
Daniel McIntyre
Support Technician
Tracker Software Products (Canada) LTD

Support: <Support@tracker-software.com>
Sales: +1 (250) 324-1621
Fax: +1 (250) 324-1623

Ryan.Midwest
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Ryan.Midwest » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:27 pm

The piecemeal nature of all our current licensing (buying small quantities as needed) is going to make that quite a handful to manage.

Is there any centralized way to manage your updater, with registry keys, group policy, or something?

Also, is there either a standalone installer for the updater or a command line switch to just install the updater from the msi package?

We've had trouble with it in the past so we didn't normally install it.

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Paul - Tracker Supp
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:42 pm

Hi Ryan,

indeed ensuring the updates are only run on machines that have a suitable license is best handled by our updater as we do not have an API or other mechanism to hook into the updater.
Is there any centralized way to manage your updater, with registry keys, group policy, or something?
You can manage the Updater via a Group Policy, but only to enable/disable it. https://help.tracker-software.com/sysad ... dater.html

In the Updater preferences is an option you can uncheck to prevent updating beyond the version your license is valid for: "Include Updates That Are Incompatible with Maintenance Plan". It's not available via Group Policy, but I think it should be so I will approach the Development Team and see if that can be added.

I would suggest that between those two settings your users will only get updates for which their key is valid, or no updates if disabled. In this manner you would still have users individually updating if permitted but not past what their license is good for.

Another approach would be to speak to the sales team (sales@tracker-software.com) about consolidating your licenses such that you have only one key. In that case you can choose when to update (or not) all your users at the same time with the same version and key. That would be my preferred approach, disable updates for all, check for updates on an administrative machine and when you see the need you can push updates to everyone at the same time and know they all have the same version and license.

Of course an adhoc approach works as well, as long as you are OK with users updating at their discretion and the resulting mix of versions you'd be supporting.
Also, is there either a standalone installer for the updater or a command line switch to just install the updater from the msi package?
We don't have an installer just for the Updater, but as you pointed out, it is part of all the product installers, to install just the Updater you'd need to run an installer suppressing all components but the Updater. I think it would make more sense to just push the latest product you want updated and include the Updater for future use if you need it. Again, if you are going to push the updates I'd leave things as you have them, not allow users to update adhock, and push your updates specifically for the users and versions you want.

I hope that helps.
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If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

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Ryan.Midwest
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Ryan.Midwest » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:01 pm

I think I'll need to take that back to my coworkers so we have a discussion about how we want to push the licensing with our clients.

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Tracker Supp-Stefan
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Re: Looking to Make an Automatic Update Script

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:48 pm

Hell Ryan,

Certainly - please do that, and let us know if there is anything else we can help with from our end!

Regards,
Stefan

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