I’m at the tail-end of the development of PatchMaster to bring it up to version 1.5.

The driver for this code release was silent running mode, headless mode. And instead of releasing once done, I kept the project back longer than I normally do, several weeks in fact, so that I can return to the code here and there to tweak, finesse and add in more features. It has worked out quite well, things I would have tutted over post-release are getting handled.

Here’s what is already coded and fully working:

  • Full
    logging to CMTrace log format (log in same folder as PM process)

  • Silent
    running – Automation is here! Scheduled Task this puppy and it’s a reoccurring
    background task that only needs to be monitored via its log – This was a real time sink, because I had to rework a vast amount of code to allow silent running, and lots of test runs

  • Reuse
    already downloaded content (share content between hierarchies, download
    just the once) – Content can be downloaded once then copied to another hierarchy where PM can be run to stave off another first-run or monthly iteration of content download
  • Tweaks to the UI datagrids
  • Build prerequisite checker – Checks if a Device Group has deployments and security scopes defined, aborts the build if not
  • Tons of enhancements under the hood, optimisations and general code clean up

And I’m just finishing up with this:

  • Product version branding to control registry key changes going forwards – All the way up to 1.4 you’ve had to clean the registry manually, as I was bad-ass lazy about it, was needed due to modifying the structure of the content in existing registry keys across product versions which can lead to funky results. Version 1.5 will reuse 1.4’s registry settings and tweak whatever it needs
  • Using Distribution Point Groups instead of Distribution Points – I started but didn’t figure it out. This is low down on the TODO list, selecting your DP’s the one time isn’t that painful, most likely will get it done for 1.6
  • Reporting
    rollup SUGs for All Client, All Server and All Office to supplement the
    product rollup SUGs (rolls up all classification SUGs for a product into
    one SUG for specific product compliance reporting, now report higher up,
    for all client/server/office SUG’s)


July mentioned because I’m testing … it is June’s content

Some great suggestions from Philipp Buchwald on my blog for PM, thanks a lot Philipp you rock! While out in the USA for MMS 2018 I met Josh, who also rocks, and uses PM like a boss!

I know there are quite a few of you out there using this tool, almost all of my active customers are using PM, it doesn’t have to be all of you, some of you already have scripted solutions, or rely on ADR’s and manually handle the out of cycle releases which are frequent not infrequent.

With PM patching goes from a chore to a button click, matters not if it is patch Tuesday, taco Tuesday or titanic Thursday, when patches are released PM introduces them into your environment seamlessly, all you need to do is raise a change control to track them going through your system, as it should be, and then kick back and monitor the show using the provided reporting Software Update Groups. With PM, you can liberate lots of back-end time, and project it forwards to the client-end, troubleshoot them, bring compliance up.