Lotus Notes Smart Upgrade On The Mac

I’m a big fan of Smart Upgrade in Lotus
Notes when it comes to installing upgrades on MS Windows machines. The
SURunAs wizard is probably one of the best features ever added to the Smart
Upgrade toolkit and it allows me to deploy upgrades very quickly after
they are available to download from the IBM Lotus website.

Just last Friday I had build the Smart
Upgrade package for 8.5.1 FP2 and had it setup for deployment to the rest
of the IT Dept within 30 minutes of downloading the files and before the
end of the day nearly half of the IT Dept had upgraded. All I have to do
is add in a group to the Smart Upgrade kit and the rest of the company
will be upgraded to FP2 without further IT intervention.

Everybody but our Mac users that is.
I’ve never really looked into Smart Upgrade for Mac users till now and
I found a few interesting tidbits of information as well as a few headaches…

The first thing to know about Smart
Upgrade for mac users is that you attach the DMG file downloaded from the
IBM website to the Smart Upgrade kit document. I originally tried attaching
the MPKG file that is inside the DMG but it failed when it couldn’t mount
it. Thankfully the error message made sense and it was a quick fix.

The next thing to know is that there
is no SURunAs for Macs. Once the DMG file is downloaded to the client machine
and is mounted the Smart Upgrade installer will ask for a username and
password for somebody with rights to do the install. Depending on your
environment this may be the end users password if they have admin rights
on their mac, otherwise it will be an IT member that will have to remote
into the machine to supply the password. Expect a lot of helpdesk calls
if your end users don’t have install rights.

The install itself is silent, just a
small ‘Smart Upgrade’ dialog box. Unfortunately the dialog box does not
get updated with the correct information during the install. On my computer
it was stuck at ‘Lotus Notes Is Still Running’ even though I could clearly
see in the Activity Monitor on the Mac that Lotus Notes had fully closed
and that the installer was running in the background. Once the installer
finished the dialog box changed to ‘Lotus Notes Is Installing’ and then
very quickly changed to ‘Lotus Notes is Restarting’. This is probably something
that needs to be examined.

More importantly, however, is that on
the Mac the Smart Upgrade cannot chain installs like it can on Windows
Machines. Say you have a kit to goes from 8.5.1 to 8.5.1 FP1 and a second
kit to go from 8.5.1 FP1 to 8.5.1 FP2, if a user with just 8.5.1 logs in
they will get an error from Smart Upgrade telling them to inform the admin
that there are chained installs in the Smart Upgrade Kits database. Why
it can’t download one upgrade, run it and then after Notes restarts download
the next upgrade is beyond me. This is certainly something that needs to
be investigated for future versions of Smart Upgrade on the Mac.

One oddity that I noticed is that on
Windows machines the Fix pack build numbers have a space between the Notes
version number and the Fixpack number, for example, Release 8.5.1 FP2.
On the Mac there is no space so it appears as Release 8.5.1FP2. This is
something you’ll need to remember when creating the Smart Upgrade Kit Documents.

Lastly, you can customize the install
if you want to add or remove features like Sametime or Symphony. You will
need to extract the files form the DMG file into a directory and then right-click
on the MPKG file to show the package contents. In the ‘Deploy’ directory
is the install manifest XML file where you can turn on and off features.
Once edited and saved you can then use Disk Utility to create a new DMG
file that you use in the Smart Upgrade Kits.

I hope this helps demystify the Smart
Upgrade procedure for your Mac users. Maybe a Linux person out there can
blog about using Smart Upgrade on Linux machines…

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