[wpkg-users] Why I love WPKG and how we use it as a MSP with multi tenancy and mobile devices

Matthew Broadhead matthew.broadhead at nbmlaw.co.uk
Fri Jun 29 10:02:56 CEST 2018

i use WPKG and it works fine.  but what i don't like about it is that i 
have to write scripts to upgrade packages and using the examples from 
the website which seem incomplete.  what would be better is if wpkg 
could pull the scripts from a central resource where they could be 
tweaked by users until they function correctly

On 28/06/18 21:44, QiQQ Partners wrote:
> I read a lot messages with the question, what will be the feature of 
> WPKG. I’m also not really sure what the future will be of WPKG, but I 
> can say that it’s extremely reliable and when you test all you’re 
> packages in Win 7 32,64-bit and Win 10 32, and 64 bit for installing. 
> upgrading and removing you can trust on it.
> One month ago I had the problem, that I  need to renew our way of 
> deployment. We need to deploy software over the internet and WPKG is 
> based on a network share. I’m already using WPKG for a long time and 
> it never disappointed me, but I really need mobile device management. 
> Because at the moment we used a combination of Active Directory, 
> scripted and synced group policy’s to our clients who are having one 
> way AD trust.
> So I was looking for other software than WPKG to deploy my software, 
> there a very much applications from free till to expensive. But mostly 
> are using a push method and don’t show the users what’s  going on 
> their computer. I love the way WPKG works, so I started to combine 
> WPKG with our RMM tool N-Central.
> The most important part from WPKG are for me:
>  1. It’s check system works perfect
>  2. Remove command are included, to keep computers clean
>  3. It is a GET system, not aPUSHsystem like almost all alternatives.
>      1. GET: The machine is running WPKG-GP, and is asking what it
>         packages needs to be installed, updated or removed
>      2. PUSH: I have a package, I do a scheduled deploy, but when
>         pushing software can already be in use… So sometime packages fails
>  4. Almost zero problems, when using with WPKG-GP. It runs on boot
>     before the login screen. So no other software is running and
>     install and remove commands can do there work perfectly under
>     system account
>  5. To give you’re clients the option to install software when they
>     have time, just deploy WPKG-GP Client. It’s written in Putty and
>     gives users a small tray icon what checks for new software.
>      1. When new software is found, it brings up a popup
>      2. When clicking the popup, clients can say to install.
> i.The applications say to close all windows
> ii.Will do a synchronize
> iii.Let the user know when ready
>  6. When clients forget to install updates, on reboot WPKG-GP will
>     take it over and deploy packages at boot.
> But mobile devices, what about them? We had this problem, that mobile 
> devices can’t reach the network share. Before we installed the 
> Softether VPN clients that starts before WPKG starts. And it was 
> working perfect, but now we wanted to implement it for clients without 
> any server. So we setup the following:
>  1. Make webserver, SSL based and place the next files on it:
>      1. Folder as software share, where al package zip files are stored
>      2. %custommername%.hosts.xml
>      3. profiles.xml
>      4. packages.xml
>  2. Implement the URL’s to config.xml, we also did enable
>     “applyMultiple” variable to match at more hostnames
>  3. Make a zip on the place it on the http server
>  4. With N-Central we created a Automation Script, called WPKG deploy
>      1. New computer, we install N-Central agent
> i.Let it create a system environment variable %custommername%
> ii.Push out the task WPKG Deploy, this download WPKG.zip and extract 
> files WPKG.JS and config.xml to your own folder
> iii.Runs the command: cscript foldername\wpkg.js /quiet 
> /install:wpkg-gp,softwareaudit,python,wpkg-gp-client
> iv.Now N-Central give a message, WPKG is installed
> v.We open WPKG-GP Client
> vi.Press update and everything will be installed
> vii.Reboot computer and WPKG-GP will do the rest when needed
>      2. We  can redeploy config files and wpkg.js when needed with
>  4. All packages are having variables, to make it more easy.
>      1. Software source
>      2. Download and unzip commands
>      3. Destination
>      4. All you need
>  5. All packages are stored on the https server
>  6. All package packgename.xml are stored in separated folders on the
>     server
>  7. A Powershell script combines all separate package.xml to one
>     packages.xml, because WPKG can’t crawl through the separated
>     package xml file if you place them in the packages folder.
> A export from N-Central will export the hostname, client and site name 
> to a CSV file. I’m busy making a Powershell script to import this CSV 
> file and automatically renew the hosts.xml file and based on the site 
> variable I can add specific packages to specific groups of computers.
> Because we don’t want to make all packages, we created a perfect 
> NinitePro integration, that do’s:
>  1. Give a applist input, to Ninite for checking if applications are
>     installed or need to be upgraded or installed
>  2. All packages, have a check like:
>     <check type="execute" path='%comspec% /C
>     %INSTALL_SOURCE%\versioncheckv2.bat "%NINITEPACKAGENAME%"'
>     condition="exitcodeequalto" value="1" />
>  3. Almost all applications are installed and checked in combination
>     with WPKG and Ninite.
> Some people will say why don’t you use N-Central or Ninite agent to 
> deploy the software. Because I love they way WPKG is build, with 
> perfect check, install, upgrade and remove command. And because it 
> starts before Windows is running, so it uses a GET option we have 
> computers that are installed a long time ago and never get in to 
> problems. Also it’s very clear to the user with WPKG-GP and WPKG-GP 
> Client what’s going on, just like Windows updates.
> After 2 weeks of redesigning and testing our share based WPKG, I 
> rebuilded it to a powerfull location and server independent package 
> managment system. With a lot of thanks to the projects: WPKG, WPKG-GP 
> and WPKG-GP client.
> Things to do for me:
>  1. Integrate other package managers as Chocolaty and Npackd. That
>     WPKG will check for this repository’s if there are needed
>     installs, upgrades or removes
>  2. Add client side SSL certificate to my https WPKG sever
>  3. Add a variable, when inside the client network don’t set the local
>     https server.
>  4. Maybe sharing my complete script and package database on Github
> So I hope that everyone that’s thinking that WPKG is death, it’s open 
> source and you can build what you want.
> Greetz ARKO
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