This guide is intended for any organization who would like to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Silverlight in their environment. Some of the things you can find in this guide are installation switches, update behavior, value proposition on why to deploy, group policy adm / admx / adml files, and instructions on how to deploy Silverlight via group policy & SMS.
Back in May of this year I was presented with a side project to work on by Tim Sneath for this guide. I accepted and it’s great to have it finally released. I had help from our SMS team doing a test deployment to 60k machines using the document, documentation reviewed by a number of people, and of course help from the Silverlight product team.
As an FYI – Efforts were made to create an MSI of Silverlight which could be deployed via group policy in addition to the script method, but there were challenges with this based on the way Silverlight inherently installs. The Silverlight EXE extracts into an MSI and MSP file – both of which are required to install in order for Silverlight to function. So if we gave you this version of the MSI, you’d have to go back and install the MSP separately after the MSI install (yuck). In trying to package the exe into an MSI, you can’t have two MSI files trying to install at the same time – so this doesn’t work either.
At any rate, the guide still shows you how to install Silverlight via group policy using the provided script. Each group policy method (MSI and script) have advantages and disadvantages; the script method should be sufficient for most organizations. In the future, there will be more installation/upgrade options and updated versions of the guide. Future availability of a MSI package for group policy deployment is uknown at this time.
So please, download here and feel free to provide feedback.
1) Many people seem to overlook the “important” notice on page 20 to answer the concerns about the HKCU registry settings for UpdateMode. We intentionally did not create an ADM(X) template for this reason. You should not be using this to control the setting because users can manually override this. In the guide it states:
“The Silverlight control’s Automatic Update policy can be set per-user or per-machine. If an administrator sets a per-machine setting, then this overrides the per-user setting. We recommend that you manage Silverlight by using the Administrative Template settings in Group Policy whenever possible because these settings are always written to a secure per-machine key in the registry. This means that users cannot change settings by using the Silverlight user interface or by modifying the per-user update mode registry key.”
2) As for the problems with importing the ADM(X) templates, errors will occur if the ADMX file is saved with any other name than SL_PARAMS.admx. You will get the error as follows:
“Expected one of the following possible element(s), <target>,but found <using> instead.
File C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\name.admx line3. column 69″
To fix this, save the file as SL_PARAMS.admx (matches to <target prefix> syntax under %systemroot%\PolicyDefinition).