This is kind of a rant/solicitation of opinion.

I have all of my apps msi based with no installed icons traditional
icons. All of the icons are zen app's that call the program with a
dependency on the installer MSI.

In my utopian dream this would let me

Have any application we're licensed to have available to any user
without having to install it first. They click it, it installs if it's
not there.

Keep the applications updated simply by slapping a patch on the main app
object, and bumping the guid

Remove access to applications if needed.

My reality is this.

Having applications available works. 98%.. There's dependancy issues
like requiring the latest windows installer, which I have as an app and
built. But, if a user has grabbed this off windows update, or another
app they got on a cd installed it, that install will fail.

Solution? Try and deploy things like that to every machine ahead of
time and remove the dependancy.

As far as keeping the application updated... My biggest problem is self
updating applications. I bump the guid on firefox and it installs that I bundled up. That's great except they had a little red
arrow in Firefox informing them of this upgrade and clicked it already
so they already got the update and it put all of the "real" icons back
which I didn't want. I can clean those up, not a huge deal. But if you
use Microsoft Update (we're not a SUS shop) and apply office patches
that way, and then I tack them onto the end of the office app object in
Zen, it gets ugly...

Solution? Not sure what I want to do yet. Figure out how to disable
all update methods for apps and do them through zen the way I wanted?
Or stop doing them through Zen and make sure they auto-update?

The thing that's really killing me is this.

1) Icons re-arranging themselves. ZFD 6.5 Sp2 with I believe hotpatch
3 under XP Sp2. It's occured in diffent forms for me since Zen 4.x
Right now, what will USUALLY fix it for a while is to move the icons
where I want them, and then quit applicatione explorer so that it saves
the position and then relaunch it.

This really annoys the users and I'm tired of hearing what a stupid
program this is that they have to do that. (5 calls today about it already)

2) You can't make a shortcut off the start menu to the desktop if it's
a zen icon. Why not? You can for any other icon, users expect these to
function the same. They don't. You have to open the application
explorer and drag with the left button to the desktop. I'm told it's
not possible, but we were told it wasn't possible to hide that long guid
after the folder name if you had it set to show system folders and what
not, but we've found out that's not true and you can in fact hide it.
Anyone have a workaround for this one?

3) You can't drag a copy of the icon out of the application explorer to
the quick launch and have it work properly. When you logout, it's gone.

Solution? Drag to desktop. Then drag with right mouse to quick launch
and create a shortcut. But don't delete the one off the desktop, that
will break it.

So here is my problem. I have what would be a great system to make my
life easier, but instead has turned into a complaint generator about all
of the goofy things that they have to do and why can't they just have
their old icons back so they can just work. That's on top of the admin
issues I have which I will eventually work around. What I can't work
around is the negative end user experience that's being generated.

I could just give them back icons and then push patches using msiexec
checking first to see if they are applied, but doesn't that sort of
defeat the whole point?

Maybe it's a complete waste of time doing what I'm doing and I should
just revert back to that method. Anyone else running into these types
of situations besides me?

I got an earful today from a management type about this which is what
prompted my post.