A few months ago my long and lasting journey with Adobe CC started and I was pretty eager to deploy the software in our enterprise. As it comes out, with a little help from Adobe, that just made me crazy and a few pretty pointless and sensless tests I finally managed it somehow to get Adobe CC deployment via GPO. None of our users have local admin rights due to restrictive policy in our enterprise. All testing and configuration was made on Windows 7 Enterprise (x86 and x64) machines.
As we don't use SCCM in our environment it was critical to use "simple" GPO rollout for software. As there are MSI's with all the packages I started my journey...
To start it all of:
As it seems, you cannot buy licenses any more permanent and you can buy them via subscription. OK, that's one way to go and since we need all these products in future we went in evaluating it. Since we cannot buy licenses in a big order like adobe wants us to we were only left to buy the creative cloud for teams and not for enterprise. Still, this was fine to, since adobe offered the cloud packager and a lot of documentation, i thought at least.
To test and make sure that we can deploy all of the wanted features of creative cloud we bought 2 licenses for the IT-staff. During testing, late semptember/october 2014, with the cloud packager in version 1.6 I was able to deploy the packages and software as we wanted. Just as information, we wanted our users to have Bridge, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamveawer, Prelude and the most important thing, we did NOT want the creative cloud desktop application due to company restrictions. Well as mentioned before everything worked as charm and I was just happy to start ordering the licenses for all of our users and get things done
Well, as a lot surely know, the process of ordering the licenses and getting things rolling in a enterprise sometimes takes a little (more) time. After about one or two months later everything was ready and set and I was feeling like this is going to be a piece of cake. Make new packages with the cloud packager, create the gpo's, test the deployment, invite the users and I'm the king of the jungle.
That was what I thought...
Adobe was so nice to release the newer and more improved version (I think 1.7 or 1.8) of the cloud packager, that suddenly hasn't been able to deactivate the creative cloud desktop application. Well, not a problem I thought to myself, I'll just uninstall it later on and it's fine. Since there are about 20 users that were getting the software it would be a not so nice job, but once done it's done and it shouldn't happen again.
Then i was hit by Adobe with a colossal fist right in the face! Why are you asking? Well as I mentioned above, the deployment via GPO worked fine and now? Not anymore, since the exception deployer couldn't install the applications it just broke everything and didn't even try to install the other applications that don't need the exception deployer. After a few e-mails and further testing, run as local admin, run installation after being copied to local, I lost fate that this is ever going to work.
Adobe gave me the best help they could and I even had a deployment expert in on a web session and he gave me a short commandlet (exception deployer) and said that it has to work this way but surprise, it didn't. As I was getting more and more frustrated by this situation and the exception deployer I started to shrink down the packages as much as possible so that there are no applications that needed to be deployed with the exception deployer. I run tests and guess what? It worked! Man, was I happy that after almost a month things started getting in the right shape. As I couldn't sleep because of this mess I started testing the applications that Adobe techs said needed the exception deployer. I created a new package just for Lightroom 5 (yeah, I know there is a newer version out now, but not at that moment) and saw that it landed in this exception folder that is made during packaging with the cloud packager. I was just curious to test it and made a new GPO for just Lightroom, as a MSI was also within the package I figured, why not give it a try? It worked again!?! I was pretty surprised due to the information that it shouldn't be working, as Adobe techs stated.
The simpler problem was the creative cloud desktop application. After having the Adobe techs in on a websession they stated, that it should work if I choose enterprise licensing to get rid of this software. But due to Adobe's updating policy of the creative cloud packager, there has been a newer version released (1.9) that opted out this feature to deactivate the installation of the creative cloud desktop application. I thought myself, why? Just please tell us why Adobe do we need this? But OK, there was also a solutions for this problem, the adobe creative cloud cleaning tool. If you create and XML file that is being read from the cleaning tool you can run this and "almost silently" uninstall the software via GPO. I gave it a shot and it works like a charm.
To be honest I thought, that Adobe due to it's status as THE software company when it comes to creating/editing multimedia content they would know about the problems some of their customers across the globe could be having. As it seems, they don't care enough or haven't ever had somebody with a similar problem(what I cannot believe, but all right) to share some more detailed information about a case like this.
I know, why have we bought it, if we don't need any cloud space? Well it's simple, Adobe creative products are needed and the CS6 products won't be here forever so it's better to start sooner than later with migration to a newer release. Still I was hoping to get more help from Adobe....
Just to share the packages with you:
"Complete 32Bit" package includes: Audition CS6+Updates, Bridge CC, Dreamweaver CC 2014.1, Edge Animate CC 2014, Fireworks CS6, Illustrator CC 2014, Incopy CC 2014, InDesign CC 2014, Photoshop CC 2014, Prelude CS6
"Complete 64Bit" package includes: Audition CS6+Updates, Bridge CC, Dreamweaver CC 2014.1, Edge Animate CC 2014, Fireworks CS6, Illustrator CC 2014, Incopy CC 2014, InDesign CC 2014, Photoshop CC 2014, Prelude CS6, Premiere Pro CC 2014, SpeedGrade CC 2014
"InDesign 32Bit" package includes: InDesign CC 2014
"InDesign 64Bit" package includes: InDesign CC 2014
"Lightroom 5 32Bit" package: Lightroom 5
"Lightroom 5 64Bit" package: Lightroom 5
None of these packages needed the exception deployer to be run. It was all tested on different (also different machine specs) 32bit and 64bit machines. The OS was always Windows 7 Enterprise.
To uninstall the creative cloud desktop application i wrote a batch file:
IF EXIST C:\log_adobe_cc_cleaner\*.* EXIT ## checks if this folder is existent. If not it continues. If there is the folder it stops and won't run again ##
mkdir C:\temp_adobe_cc_cleaner ## creates a temp folder, as the uinstall tool can only be run locally ##
xcopy \\your_server\your_share$\adobecc\adobecc-cleaner\*.* C:\temp_adobe_cc_cleaner\*.* /Y ## copies the complete content of the folder to the newly created local folder ##
call "C:\temp_adobe_cc_cleaner\AdobeCreativeCloudCleanerTool.exe" --cleanupXML=C:\temp_adobe_cc_cleaner\cleanup_desktop_app.xml
xcopy "%Temp%\Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool.log" "C:\log_adobe_cc_cleaner\*.*" /Y ## copies the log file to folder, creates the folder itself ##
rmdir /q /s "C:\temp_adobe_cc_cleaner" ## removes the adobe creative cloud unintaller from local machine, leaves the log file folder for further check if the creative cloud uninstall tool needs to be rerun ##
The XML file has following written:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Product productName="Adobe Creative Cloud" version="2.0"/>
<!--<Product productName="Adobe ID CC2014 x32 AppBase" version="10.0"/>-->
<!--<Product productName="Adobe Id Credentials" version="1.0"/>-->
Updating of the Adobe products is done with Secunia CSI in our enterprise, but there is also the posibility to remotely run the updatemanager.exe or via logon/logoff script.
What I also found out, was the dependency of vcredist for adobe products. You need the 2010, 2012 of them and most importantly in the x86 and x64 version! In case you get a .DLL missing error.
I hope this here helps someone who has lost a lot of nerves and a lot of time due to the deployment of Adobe creative cloud applications. I stil hope that there is going to be a better and easier way to deploy this.
Excuse me for the bad english, good luck with your deployment and maybe we can get Adobe a bit smarter from our all experience to make us a good deployment method.