LANDesk LaunchPad provides a known location for users to find their physical and virtual applications and URLs. It reduces calls to the help desk that involve application installation or icons missing from the desktop. LaunchPad supplies a list of known applications to a known group of users (or devices). It keeps you from having to go from system to system (manually or using remote control) to fix application-specific issues.

LaunchPad keeps users from deleting icons or breaking installed applications. It updates end-user desktops automatically with new applications for designated groups. Users will be able to log into any machine and have their links pulled down into the LaunchPad on that machine.

You can create a distribution package link that seamlessly ties together the installation of an application with its execution (also known as a Just In Time, or JIT, link). A JIT link definition is created in the console by selecting Distribution Package as the link type, and associating a software distribution package with the link.

When a JIT link appears in LaunchPad and is opened by a user, LANDesk client software will attempt to deploy the associated software distribution package before the target application is executed. Note that unlike targets of "executable"-type links, targets of JIT links must be themselves executable files; LaunchPad does not resolve file associations for JIT links as it does for ordinary links.

If the package deployment is successful, the target executable will be launched and the link will be marked so that thereafter the deployment will be skipped and the executable will be launched directly.

Because JIT links are designed to hide the installation process from the end user, software deployment packages which will disrupt an end user's normal work flow, such as those requiring a reboot, significant user input, or an unusually long time to install should not be associated with JIT links. These types of software distribution packages should be deployed using either the LANDesk Software Distribution Portal (which allows the user to control the time and manner of deploying the package) or a standard push distribution during off-hours.

Non-JIT LaunchPad links will not be displayed in the LaunchPad window if the target is not found, so you can create an ordinary link to an executable or file which will be installed later. The link icon will not appear in the LaunchPad window until the target has been created by one of these alternative methods.

To open LaunchPad in Management Suite
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > LaunchPad Link Manager.


Adding links to LaunchPad

Items are added to LaunchPad as links. The links (displayed as icons in LaunchPad) can represent applications, utilities, links to web pages, and so forth. Before the links can be displayed, the following instructions must be completed.

When deploying LaunchPad links to a client computer, the links will not appear on the computer (Desktop, Start menu or LaunchPad window) until the LANDesk software distribution policy synchronization program is executed on the computer. When invoked, the policy synchronization program will contact the LANDesk core, and request and download any updates, including new LaunchPad links.

Normally, the Policy Synchronization program is scheduled to run periodically on the client computers. Administrators may also run policy synchronization at will using the procedures below. Another alternative is to allow users to invoke the policy synchronization program for themselves, using a LaunchPad link, as described in “To set up a policy synchronization program link on client machines” below.

To run policy synchronization (policy.sync.exe) one time on a client machine
  1. Execute the following command:

"%ProgramFiles%\LANDesk\Shared Files\httpclient.exe" "http://localhost:9595/policy.cgi.exe?action=start"

To force a synchronization on a client from the core
  1. Open the Management Suite console on the core.
  2. Click Tools > Distribution > Manage Scripts.
  3. In the left pane, click All Scripts.
  4. Right-click the "Package Sync" script and click Schedule.
  5. From the network view, drag the client you want to synchronize onto the Package Sync task.
  6. Right-click the Package Sync task and click Properties.
  7. In the Schedule task page, select Start now and All devices in the Schedule these devices box.
  8. Click Save. A script will run invoking policy sync on the targeted client. Because you selected all devices, if you want to rerun the task in the future, simply click Start now and then Save on the Schedule task page to re-run the script.

NOTE: Remember that each machine targeted with this script will attempt to contact the core and update its policies. If you send the script to a large number of machines, this may burden the core server.

To set up a policy synchronization program link on client machines
  1. In the LANDesk console, create a LaunchPad executable link labeled “Refresh” that targets “"%ProgramFiles%\LANDesk\Shared Files\httpclient.exe" "http://localhost:9595/policy.cgi.exe?action=start".
  2. Right-click the link and click Schedule.
  3. From the network view, drag the clients you want to deploy to onto the link’s task.
  4. Right-click the task and click Properties.
  5. Click the Schedule task pane and click Start now. The link will appear on the client machine the next time policy synchronization occurs.
To add links to LaunchPad
  1. If LaunchPad is not open, click Tools > Distribution > LaunchPad Link Manager.
  2. In the LaunchPad toolbar, click Add new link.
  3. Click the pages in the left pane, and fill out the fields in the right pane. See the additional information below for the fields in these pages. When finished, click Save.

Link Info page

Provide basic information for the link, like its type, location to install it to, and so forth.

Target page

Select the application the link will run, any command-line arguments, including current working directory

Icon page

Use this page to customize the icon in LaunchPad that represents the link.

Distribution package page

LANDesk Process Manager

LANDesk Process Manager creates a shortcut to start and schedule a process.

To set up Process Manager
  1. On the Link Management toolbar, click Setup Process Manager > Configure Process Manager.
  2. Specify the database username and password.
  3. Specify the database server and the database name.
  4. Click Test connection. Check the results to verify you were successfully connected to the server.
  5. Click Configure and restart services.

Process management relies on the exchange of data between the server and the database. The Database utility enables you to connect the server to the intended database by providing the proper authentication information, configuring the settings, testing the connection, and restarting the services. By using the Database utility to establish the connection to the database, you are provided with status information, such as verification that the server is in fact connected to the database, validation of the user credentials, the server and database name, version, and so on.

Simply by connecting to a database it becomes the active database. If you want to connect your server to a different database, you follow the same process of connecting to that database. Once you have authenticated to the database, tested the connection, and restarted the services, it becomes the active database that the Process Manager server interfaces with.

Note: Process Manager currently requires Microsoft SQL as the native database. However, you can use any ODBC-compliant database with your workflows and database listeners.

Scheduling tasks

Use the Scheduled tasks window to configure and schedule tasks for LaunchPad. The Scheduled tasks window is divided into two halves. The left half shows task tree and tasks, and the right half shows information specific to what you've selected in the tree.

To schedule a task
  1. Select the link you want to schedule.
  2. In the Link management toolbar, click Schedule.
  3. Select the link and click Properties.
  4. On the Schedule task page, set the task start time and click Save. Click Help on the individual Schedule task pages for more information.