JAMF Software (http://www.jamfsoftware.com), developers of the Casper
Suite client management application, has released Composer 7, an
update of the software package-creation utility for IT systems
administrators. The upgrade allows administrators to create software
installation packages for computers operating within Mac networks.

When software is purchased from manufacturers for use in
enterprise-level networks, it often needs to be configured or
customized by IT personnel to meet the needs of the end-users
receiving it. By creating “packages,” any changes or configurations
can be created prior to distribution, so that the software arrives at
the end-user already pre-configured and ready for immediate use.
Creating packages that are tailored to end-user configurations allows
IT administration to save time and resources-as well as network
bandwidth, since only the required data is being distributed,
according to Blaine Mattson of JAMF.

Composer 7 is a utility that creates such packages. Part of the
Casper Suite, a client management application developed exclusively
for the Mac platform (as well as being available as a standalone
application), Composer 7 lets users point-and-click their way through
the package creation process. In doing so, it creates software and/or
file installation packages for network deployment quickly and easily,
creating packages in either .pkg or .dmg formats.

In addition to the traditional “before and after” snapshot method of
creating packages, Composer 7 has the ability to monitor the file
system using FSEvents. This allows the capture of any changes that
may occur during an installation, without having to take the time to
create a snapshot of the hard drive.

With version 7.0, you can drag the software components and/or files
to be distributed onto the Composer application window to create
pre-configured software or file packages. You can also see critical
information about files and folders without having to locate them in
the Mac OS X Finder.

Composer 7 no longer requires the pre-installation of Apple’s
Developer Tools to create PKG-style packages. What’s more, the
software now allows the building of packages from software that’s
already installed and configured, using “PreInstalled Diff” files.
These files, which can be created by the entire community, can be
updated at anytime from inside Composer’s interface.

Composer’s Package Editor adds a range of productivity features,
including the ability to manage pre-flight, post-flight and other
scripts, create and modify localizations, identify new, modified or
deleted files, and diff file creation. Composer 7 costs US$99.95.