Deploying Encompass SmartClient with PDQ Deploy

I work in the financial services industry, and we’re no strangers to horrible software. I’ll talk about some of the other pieces in other posts, but as a starter, let’s look at Ellie Mae’s Encompass.

Encompass is a glorified web browser that connects to their API. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter how it does what it does. What matters to a sysadmin?

“What does it take to deploy? My company spent $XXX on PDQ Deploy/SCCM/flash drives for the poor sods who work our help desk.”

Joke’s on you, because not only do they not distribute a deployable installer, the one they do distribute is actually a download/install manager (with no silent/unattended switch) that requires local admin rights. That installer then downloads and runs a handful of other installers that actually install the Encompass SmartClient. Did I mention that run-as doesn’t work either?

I work for a company of about 300 and am part of a 3-man IT department. Going desk to desk, interrupting users, switching accounts, and installing this was not going to happen (to say nothing of the hundred or so users who are out of state or work remotely). This is the solution I came up with. It’s not especially pretty, but it more or less works. The one prerequisite not included in this is .Net Framework 3.5. Make sure you have that or it won’t start.

  1. Download and run the Encompass installer from You’ll need to run this from an account with local admin rights. Once you hit install for the “Encompass Prerequisite”, it’ll run the install manager and start downloading executables. From there, you can grab the installers for the constituent components from %LOCALAPPDATA\Applications\. These will change, but here’s a copy of what our package tree looks like right now. Also included is a sanitized export of the PDQ Deploy package .xml file. You’ll need to replace “YOUR_PDQ_DEPLOY_SHARE.COMPANY.TLD” with the appropriate path. If you can’t afford/use PDQ Deploy, here’s a batch script to install everything. Sorry, Powershell purists. I’m lazy. Run it in the encompass_install folder.
    ECHO Installing Encompass SmartClient and prerequisites:
    ECHO Installing Visual Studio (1/6)...
    START /wait msiexec.exe /i "VC2005SP1\vcredist_x86\VCREDI~3\vcredist.msi" ALLUSERS=1 /qn /norestart /log output.log
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Installing Anyuni PDF Converter (2/6)...
    START /wait PdfConverter\Install.exe -s
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Installing Encompass Document Converter (3/6)...
    START /wait BlackIce\DocumentConverter.exe /s
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Installing EPD Converter (4/6)...
    START /wait EPDInstaller\EPDInstaller.exe /qn /norestart
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Installing SmartCore Base (5/6)...
    START /wait sccoreinstaller\sccoreinstaller.exe /qn /norestart /log sccore.log
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Installing SmartCore Client (6/6)...
    START /wait encsc\encsc.exe /qn /norestart /log core.log
    ECHO Complete.
    ECHO Importing Encompass SmartClient registry settings...
    START regedit.exe /s encompass.reg
    ECHO Complete.
  2. Since I didn’t have a convenient little bundle to deploy, I used a combination of USSF¬†and brute force to figure out the silent switches for everything. Most of the installers break down to .msi files, so it’s not as bad as you’d think. In the PDQ Deploy package, I’ve also added switches to write log files for each step.
  3. You’ll need to either have your users enter the client ID themselves or add it to the registry. I recommend not giving them the opportunity to break anything. Here are they keys to add (we did it through group policy):
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Ellie Mae\SmartClient\C:/SmartClientCache/Apps/Ellie Mae/Encompass]
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Ellie Mae\SmartClient\C:/SmartClientCache/Apps/Ellie Mae/Encompass]

    Replace XXXXXXXXXX with your client ID.

  4. From here, you should be good to run. The first time you open the client after entering the client ID, it’ll take a minute or so and update itself. Once this is complete, the client should be usable.

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