“App Installers is part of Jamf Pro 10.37, saving Mac admins time and ensuring that end users have the most up-to-date versions of the apps they need.” – Jamf
One of the most tedious parts of being a Jamf Admin, in my experience, was maintaining, packaging, and deploying patch updates for applications. This was especially true for vendors like Adobe and Google that would release updates so often that my computer’s wouldn’t have gotten the latest package I uploaded to Jamf Pro before a new release was made available. On top of that, you had to watch for new releases for all the apps in your environment to make sure you were in the know.
There were tools that did make things easier, such as Installomator, which is still awesome and linked here: https://github.com/Installomator/Installomator
Installomator makes the deployment of apps to your computers easy by using a script that will download and install the latest version of the requested software, no packaging required. An admin could use the built-in patch management module in Jamf Pro for reporting the latest release of a software in conjunction with Smart Group looking for computers that aren’t on the latest version and have policies scoped to that Smart Group running the Installomator script to update. This would get the admin to a more automated solution to Patch Management.
Now, Jamf Pro offers App Installers. This is a catalog of apps, curated by Jamf, that can be automatically deployed to a targeted set of computers and will keep themselves updated. The admin no longer has to worry about watching for and packaging those releases.
I’ll post my overview of the App Installers service below:
-Allows admins to deploy non-App Store apps to Macs without the need to package and upload those packages.
-Jamf will vet packages before updating App Installers and making them available.
-Jamf will repackage non-standard installers as well as drag-and-drop apps (DMGs) for deployment as a standard installer. These packages will be signed with Jamf’s signing certificate.
– Able to install both first time installation of app or update existing apps.
- Only available to Jamf Cloud customers
- Cloud Services Connection in Jamf Pro enabled
-Deployment and installation are directed using Apple’s InstallEnterpriseApplication MDM command
- Installations are not completed with policies, it is an MDM command
- InstallEnterpriseApplication command doesn’t report success or failures on application installation, only success or failure that the command was sent
- Daily inventory update may be needed to accurately track the success of App Installer deployments.
-App Installers will not manage licensing for licensed apps
- Example: App Installers can distribute Microsoft Office apps, but admins will need to apply licensing or a volume licensing after installation
-Jamf Pro checks Macs in scope every 15 minutes and then queue installs
- Expect a delay after enabling the app
-App Installers will not remove an app when a computer falls out of scope
-Currently, App Installers doesn’t support Self Service and does not have robust logging
How to use:
- Enable Cloud Services Connection
- Navigate to Jamf Pro > Computers > Mac Apps
- Click +New
- Choose Jamf App Catalog, click Next
- Choose a software title and click Add
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions from Jamf, click Continue
- Choose a Target Group (Smart Computer Group). Only (1) target group is currently supported.
- Enable the installer, then click Save.
- Did the computer get the InstallEnterpriseApplication command in the Computer’s Inventory > History > Management History in Jamf Pro?
- Use the following command to look at logs locally on the Mac for the last hour:
log show --info --debug --predicate 'subsystem == "com.apple.ManagedClient" AND category == "ManagedApps"' --last 1h
Once the InstallEnterpriseApplication command runs, we will see this, verifying that Firefox has been installed: