Why the "install multiple applications" in SCCM 2007/MDT Task Sequences option is a bad idea

By | July 13, 2011

SCCM 2007 with MDT Task sequences gives us the option of installing multiple applications in a task sequence.

Instead of adding in each Package & Program that we want to run in the sequence using the “Install Software” step, we can use the “Create Task Sequence Variable” step,  define each variable as a pairing of Package ID:Program Name, assign it a unique variable, and when we are done repeating this, add an “install multiple applications” step to trigger the installation of all of our package-program pairs.

During my testing with OSD/Build related task sequences, there are a number of reasons or scenarios where this is a terrible idea.

  • If you need to reboot or run any other type of step in between your package run, you cant. They all get run int he one hit by the install multiple apps step.
  • You have to keep referring to your package list to make sure you are adding the right package ID, you cant add packages by name.
  • You have to type the program name exactly correct, and its case sensitive, or the task sequence fails
  • If you decide the order of your installations is wrong, you cant simply drag a step higher or lower in the order (which you can with individual application installation steps). Because the variables are numbered, you have to change the variable number or the package id manually which can then mean changing other variable numbers if you need to insert something into the middle of a sequence. This is a major pain in large sequences

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