Software installation on user desktops requires access privileges that often are disallowed to many or most end users. Most administrators of such networks use a configuration management tool, such as Microsoft's SMS, to “push” the software to multiple users' desktops— a method that bypasses the requirement for user access privileges. If your network serves “locked-down” Windows environments, where end users cannot install software, this sort of automated configuration management can spare the administrator many visits to individual user desktops.
To accomplish a “push” distribution, you can use the deployment configuration program to build two different bundled installation packages for each user, to be executed in succession. The first would perform the “push” installation of the necessary software, while the second would run an interactive process by which the user could make choices about the configuration of the installed software and the conversion of the user's own existing data files. This “push” method may even be used to completely automate the conversion process for end users, but would require some scripting since the package must be invoked with information specific to each end user (e.g., the user's credentials).
The Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Administration Guide provides instructions for using Microsoft's SMS to implement this “push” method of software distribution. The Administration Guide also explains how to use command-line switches with an SMS script to fully automate the process by passing the necessary user passwords, for the user’s Personal Folders (.pst) files, to the desktop installation program.