Mac OS Managed Software Center

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William Paterson University uses a program called Managed Software Center to maintain the university supplied software installed on university supplied Mac OS machines. The Managed Software Center runs a periodic check for available updates and notifies the user of any pending updates every 2 days (including weekends). Most updates are installed in the background without any intervention required by the user. The software may be manually run by the user or a tech and software installation does NOT require administrative permissions to run.

If you are attempting to do an update and you are asked for an administrator's password you are not using Managed Software Update. You should cancel whatever it is you were trying to install and delete the installer.

Managed Software Center (MSC) resides in the Applications folder and can be run at any time the user wishes to check for updates so long as they are connected to the university network (ethernet, wireless or VPN). Once MSC base presented the user with a list of pending updates, those updates may be installed at any time, with or without a network connection.


Yes. Even here.

Dock Icons

MSC Dock Icon.png

The Managed Software Center Dock icon.

Computers managed by IT will have a Dock icon for Managed Software Center (MSC).

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The Managed Software Center Dock icon indicating available updates.

MSC runs a check for updates in the background. If it finds any, it will post a notification on the Dock icon with the number of pending updates.

Running The Application

MSC Managed Software Center Main Screen.png

This is the main Managed Software Center screen. *not all software pictured may be available to you.*

If you Managed Software Center (MSC) you are usually greeted with this screen. MSC will show you all available software for installation. An item may be disabled based on your hardware (example: the Adobe CC Production Suite cannot be installed because I have too little space left on my hard drive).

On the right side are Quick Links. You can use any of the links there to go to:

1) The IT home page.

2) The Helpdesk ticketing system.

3) The IT Wiki page for Mac OS information.

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Opening a Help Desk Ticket via MSC

For your convenience these links will open within the MSC application rather than a browser and will work while off campus like any browser link.

Installing Applications

MSC Demo Install.png

Installing Audacity.

If you see an Application you wish to install just click on it. In this example Audacity is requested.

MSC Demo Install 2.png

Audacity is ready to install.

The audacity installer has been downloaded and is ready to install. Go to the updates window to complete the install.

Removing Applications

Removing software is as easy as installing it.

MSC Removal -Before and Pending.png

In this example Adobe AIR has a remove button. You can click on it to initiate a removal.

Once we click on any of the removal buttons MSC will initiate it's software removal process. It will notify you that the application "Will be removed." You should go to the Updates window to complete the uninstall.

MSC Cancelling Update.png

An item for removal can be cancelled by clicking on the x

When you see a little "x" next to an update item this means that you can cancel that particular update. This does not show up for all items.

The Managed Software Center Updates Window

MSC Update list with descriptions.png

This is the main Managed Software Center screen. *not all software pictured may be available to you.*

On some occasions you will open MSC and it will default to the updates screen and you will see a list of 1 or more items that are pending for install.

Note the message in Template:Color at the top of the screen. This message will inform you that one or more updates have an "install by" date and time. The update(s) that have due dates will also show their install by information in their line item. DO NOT ignore this warning. You may safely postpone these updates by closing the application. However, once the due date has arrived your computer will begin a countdown (usually 30 minutes) to do those installs.

Non security items are usually set to install 2 weeks after they have originally been posted. You will be notified at least 4 times prior to forced install in that time. If you have been out on leave and your computer has not been used for an extended period of time, it is STRONGLY suggested that you run MSC before starting any work.

Security related items may have a very short "install by" window per university computer policies. It is strongly suggested that if a security update install appears to install that software ASAP.

Due Date Warnings and Conflicting Applications

There are two update warnings that you may see from time to time.

Mandatory Updates

MSC Mandatory Updates.png

This is a warning for a pending mandatory update. Please heed this warning. Your machine will likely log you out and do the update within the next 30 minutes.

Conflicting Applications

MSC Conflicting Applications.png

This is a warning about conflicting applications.

Some updates require certain applications to be quit before they will run. In such cases you will be notified of which applications need to be quit. If you have an update that has to be installed by a certain date and you are constantly running a conflicting application (usually the Office suite or a Browser) this can become an issue. Please schedule some time to have the conflicting applications all quit before the pending install by date.

Please heed any warning notifications that MSC presents to minimize the possibility of a forced update occurring during an inopportune time.

About (This is for the original software. Disregard after Jan 5 2015)

William Paterson University uses a program called Managed Software update to maintain the university supplied software installed on university supplied Mac OS machines. The Managed Software Update runs a periodic check for available updates. The software may be manually run by the user or a tech and does NOT require administrative permissions to run.

Managed Software Update resides in the /Applications/Utilities folder and can be run at any time the user wishes to check for updates so long as they are connected to the university network (ethernet, wireless or VPN):

Checking for items.png

Fig. 1: Checking for updates after being launched by the user

When Managed Update is run it will check against the central server for a list of available updates. It will also check the APPLE SUS for Apple supplied updates. When it finds updates it downloads the package installers. By IT default Managed Software Update will notify the user once every 5 days:

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Fig. 2: Managed Update has found an update and is downloading the install package.

A message will appear listing the available updates, in this case the Office 2011 14.3.1 update :

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Fig. 3: Window informing the user that there are available updates. Note that the user may postpone some installs. Some items are marked for an unattended install and will happen without user intervention. Also note the "optional installs" button.

Users can opt to do the update later if they are busy. Eventually installs will not wait. Below we see that 4 items are flagged for install. Certain items will have an “install by” date and if the user has not done the install. Newly imaged machines will have all items flagged.

Past due items.png
Fig. 4: Managed Update is indicating that some items have passed their "install by" date. At this point the user still has the option of postponing updates.

Users can install with or without a logout depending on the item(s) to be installed. Some items require a logout.

Update options.png
Fig. 5: User has the option of having the computer do a logout to do updates. Useful for end of day updates. If a pending update requires a logout, then Managed Update will notify the user so that they may plan accordingly.

Eventually Managed Update will get aggressive with updates and display a message similar to the one below. Note the warning about saving work.:

Forced Logout.png
Fig. 6: In this case the user has postponed updates to long. Managed update will display a stern warning.

If you have gotten the above warning do NOT ignore it. The machine will log you off regardless of what you are doing. If you are teaching a class it will happen while you are teaching. If you are working on a file, it will quit the program you are using. Do not ignore these warnings. We do our best to not mark items with "install by" dates. When such an item is marked it is an item that is extremely important. Do not take the warning lightly.

Optional Software

There are certain items that are optional installs for all faculty and staff, click for a list of Current Optional Software For Mac . They may install these items at will. They may select these by selecting the "optional software" button. Note that some items carry a disclaimer.

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Fig 7: In this example the user has initiated a manual update check. Managed Update has informed the user that they are up to date and gives them the option to look at optional installs

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Fig 8: A partial list of available optional software. The user (or tech) can also go here to remove a previously installed optional install. (Updated December 11, 2013)