Knowledgebase: Respondus 4.0
Managed distribution of Respondus Campus-wide
Posted by Respondus Support

New Installations of Respondus

It isn’t currently possible to use desktop management software such as Altiris, Microsoft SMS or MS-SCCM to “push out” a full installation of Respondus. Various tools such as the spell checker and equation editor require that the setup program for Respondus be run on each client computer. However, after the initial installation, management software can be used to push software updates to machines, or to update the registry for licensing purposes. In addition, it’s possible to push the initial license keys to computers so that the user doesn’t have to enter licensing information.

Most institutions choose one or more of the following methods for distribution of the software:

* Download the installer package from the Respondus Admin Area, and link to the file on the institution's secure web site (must not be publicly available).

* Download the installer package and place it on a secure network drive or cloud drive (must not be publicly available).

* Download the installer package and place it inside a faculty resource course in the LMS.

* Make the installation of the software part of the standard image put on institution-owned computers including VM images.

There are no plans for an MSI installer for Respondus 4.0.

Software Updates

Most Respondus users obtain updates using the “Check for Update” feature inside the program. However, some institutions prefer to push updates of Respondus directly to the user’s computer. To do this, download the latest patch from which is a self-extracting zip. Using a third party zip utility, unzip or expand the file to a new folder and you will find “respond.exe” for Respondus. Some additional files may be included with the zip, such as new help files. Each of these files can be copied or pushed to computers that already have Respondus installed (usually C:\Program Files\RespondusCampus40\) to replace the older existing files with the newer updated files.

For Respondus with external single sign-on portals, there is the “Authentication Module” add-on for browser-based authentication.. The "cefsimple" folder added to the Respondus installation folder, can be pushed out to other systems following the same process as pushing out updated patch files.

Updating the License Keys

The Campus-wide version of Respondus uses a single installation password for all computers at an institution. So if management software is being used to push out registration keys to machines, both the initial licensing and the annual license renewal can be automated.

Note: License keys for 2020 and beyond require a minimum of Respondus Campus-wide or newer.

Respondus registry keys:
"kz1" - Institution name (string) - must be set exactly as listed in your license information
"kz2" - Local support information (string) - this can be changed freely as needed, but must always be non-empty and less than 120 characters
"kz3" - Installation password (string - REG_SZ) - must be set exactly as listed in your license information
"proj3" - Location of the Respondus Projects folder, usually the full path to the Windows user's "My Documents" folder.

By "pushing out" the registry keys before Respondus is installed, the program will be "pre-licensed" and the user will not be asked for the license information.

For Windows 8-10 systems with multiple Windows user accounts, the registry keys can be located in "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT". However, the automatic updating of the Campus-wide license is not supported.

For changes to the local support contact information during the year, that key can be updated without needing to update the other two keys.

If faculty retrieve a preconfigured server settings profile from the Respondus Administrator Area, the license will be automatically updated when the license is renewed. (Mid-summer for most customers in the North America).

Once the keys have been initially pushed out to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER", the "simplified licensing" in Respondus 4.0.8.xx Campus-wide will automatically update the license after the annual license is renewed. Only if the keys have been entered in "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT" will there be a need to manually push out new licenses.