Understanding App Installers

App Installers are a new feature in Jamf Pro 10.37 that saves Mac administrators time and ensures end users have the latest versions of the applications they need.

App Installer Basics

App Installers are an important new way for Mac administrators to get a handle on application lifecycle management. As part of the Jamf Application Catalog (App Catalog), App Installers are a curated collection of application installation packages managed and provided by Jamf to automate and simplify the updating and deployment of third-party applications.Jamf Pro automatically acquires these packages from vendors, repackages them as necessary, and then updates the names and deploy to the specified Mac machines in the Smart Group.

App Installers Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can use the App Installer?

We only support Jamf Pro Cloud customers using App Installers.We do not support subscribed local deployment customers as we rely on cloud infrastructure. (SolutionKeys Note: After our testing, local deployments can also be used, but you need to configure Cloud Services Connection first. However, the results of this preview test do not necessarily mean that local deployments will be supported in subsequent releases).

2. When will App Installers be released?

App Installers will be released in Jamf Pro 10.37 as a preview feature.

3. Why is App Installers released as a preview feature?

Getting App Installers into the hands of customers as soon as possible, on a larger scale than we were able to replicate in testing, helps us gather feedback from the start. We’ve thought of some improvements and tweaks we’d like to make, such as releasing the app to Self Service. These will be introduced in future versions of Jamf Pro.

4. How much will App Installers cost?

App Installers are included at no additional cost for any Jamf Pro Cloud subscription customer, including Business and Enterprise plan customers.

5. Do I need to repackage the software within App Installers?

No. If the original vendor package is suitable for deployment via MDM, it will work without repackaging. If not, Jamf will repackage it for you.All packages created by Jamf are coded and signed by Jamf to make them suitable for MDM deployment.

6. Will the uninstaller be provided as part of App Installers?

No. Since removing software from a user’s device is not the best user experience, we are unlikely to offer them.

7. What software names will be provided as application installers?

We currently offer approximately 700 actively updated software name patch definitions in our application catalogue. We are currently reviewing the strategy for all of these names to ensure that we can release them as application installers.

8. How does a customer submit a software name request?

Submit a request for a new software name feature, just as you would request a new patch management software name. For some, we can add it quickly. For those with a more complex approval process it takes longer to add.

9. If an administrator removes a Mac from the App Installers scope, will the software uninstall?

If the device is cancelled from the App Installers scope, the software remains on the Mac. However, it will stop receiving updates from the App Installers.

10. If the software is removed from the Mac, will it automatically reinstall using the App Installer?

It will not automatically reinstall the deleted version. However, when an update is released for the application, the new version will be installed. We hope to give Jamf Pro administrators control over this behaviour in a future release.

11. Does App Installer support both Intel and Apple chip installers?

Yes, App Installers support both Intel and Apple chips.

12.Does the Jamf Pro administrator need to create separate processes for each chip architecture?

No. If the original software vendor provides a suitable generic installer package, we will deploy that installer using App Installers. When the vendor provides a separate installer mechanism for Intel and Apple Silicon architectures, we repackage the installer using our own custom packager that detects the architecture of the target Mac and deploys the appropriate payload for that architecture.

13. How will administrators know when new software titles are available in the App Installer? How do administrators know if the software they install on a Mac using the App Installer is running on the latest version?

While later releases will include this information in the App Installers interface, we recommend that customers create a report in Patch Management for each piece of software they want to track. Customers should also adjust the default inventory update for devices to once per day.

14. How long does it take for a software vendor to release a new version of software before it is available as an application installer?

In most cases, we will update the release to the App Installer within one business day of detecting the update. software with larger installation packages requires more quality assurance time, which needs to be within two business days.

15. The name of the software that the administrator wants to use is available in different languages, which language version will Jamf provide for the App Installer?

If the original supplier provides a multi-language installer, we will use it. If this is not available, we will use the en_US option in App Installers.

16. Can the Mac administrator determine if a user’s registered Mac is compatible with a given app installer?

App Installers performs many verifications in the background. For example, MDM commands are only sent from the target smartgroup to supported chipsets and are computers that do not already have the latest version of the given software name installed.

We are working on an extended set of metadata that will give administrators information about a given version of a software name in the interface, such as chipset architecture, minimum supported macOS version, etc. Our intent is that in subsequent releases, administrators will not need to verify that in-scope computers are compatible.

Prior to the release of this feature, if a Mac administrator was unable to perform these checks on their own, the installer package would be sent to the computer, but the installation on the computer would fail.

17. Will current customers using the Kinobi Pro service continue to receive packages after App Installers are launched?

Customers with an active Kinobi Pro subscription will continue to receive this service until their current subscription ends.

After that, we will discontinue the service to help customers transition to App Installers.

Need more information?

Please contact us for more information.

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