single MSI install output

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AndrewM
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single MSI install output

Postby AndrewM » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:37 am

I am evaluating IA Express and am wondering if there is a way in which to produce a SINGLE MSI build. I see there is a single EXE build option, but my client wants a single MSI in order to do a Silent push install VIA active Directory. I would like to know if your product is capable of this....

(BTW by single MSI, I mean no external files / dependencies)

sinan
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Postby sinan » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:35 pm

Because of the scripting technology used in InstallAware, single file MSIs are not possible. However I need to stress that InstallAware is still a pure MSI solution - every install action goes through an MSI file, and the outside EXE simply sets some conditions in the MSI file for the scripting magic to work.

For more information:
http://www.installaware.com/installawar ... taller.pdf

As for what needs to be done to support Active Directory, you can actually use EXEs in AD, if you are publishing apps. If you are assigning apps, then all you need to do is wrap the InstallAware EXE inside an empty MSI which will simply silently call the InstallAware EXE when run.

Of course, you can also use advertising, self-repair, install-on-demand in this way. Just pass the command line parameter

Code: Select all

ADVERTISE=TRUE


to make this happen.

TroyW

Re: single MSI install output

Postby TroyW » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:51 pm

AndrewM wrote:I am evaluating IA Express and am wondering if there is a way in which to produce a SINGLE MSI build. I see there is a single EXE build option, but my client wants a single MSI in order to do a Silent push install VIA active Directory. I would like to know if your product is capable of this....

(BTW by single MSI, I mean no external files / dependencies)


I believe InstallAware 2005 2nd edition has support for this via it's new "Group Policy Wizard". I just ran this on my Setup.exe created by InstallAware. After clicking "OK" to create a single MSI for AD deployment, I received this confirmation prompt:

---------------------------
InstallAware Group Policy Wizard
---------------------------
Conversion complete. You may now use
C:\\Files\\Troy\\Desktop\\test\\testmsi.MSI
to assign
C:\\dev\\release\\install\\TntMPD\\1.7.0\\SetupTntMPD.exe
to users via Active Directory/Group Policy Deployment.
---------------------------
OK
---------------------------

I believe this means that the "testmsi.msi" that I creates is completely independent. (Correct me if I am wrong, Sinan.)

--Troy

sinan
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Postby sinan » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:59 pm

Thank you, Troy. Yes, this is correct.

Bikedude
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Postby Bikedude » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:10 am

sinan wrote:Because of the scripting technology used in InstallAware, single file MSIs are not possible. However I need to stress that InstallAware is still a pure MSI solution - every install action goes through an MSI file, and the outside EXE simply sets some conditions in the MSI file for the scripting magic to work.


Maybe I am just discussing semantics here, but if IA does not cough up a single .msi file (that doesn't in turn simply install a wrapped installer executable/engine) then it is not a _pure_ MSI solution.

A pure MSI solution would allow administrators to take a peek inside the installer beforehand and get some idea of what files it contains and which registry keys are tampered with.

Many installers are not very complex, and I suspect the majority of these do not need (nor contain) a single line of script code.

Would it be possible for a future IA version to cough up a MSI file for those simple installers?

CandiceJones
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Postby CandiceJones » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:07 am

Whether an installer is pure MSI or not depends solely on whether it actually uses the MSI engine to actually carry out the install actions through. In this regard, a lot of installers out there, such as InstallShield/Wise, would be un-pure MSI installers, because they have their legacy scripting engines tagged on top, and these engines do most of the work.

Whether the generated setup packages are obfuscated or not is an entirely different matter and would not be related to purity. InstallAware MSI files can certainly be loaded up in an editor, but good luck deciphering them. In this regard, you wouldn't call a Dotfuscator-processed .NET assembly "unpure .NET", although you would probably call it secure (as you may also call an InstallAware MSI package).

If you want to make your MSI files customizable, there are innumerable ways to do it with InstallAware - all of which are safer than having sys-admins having to load up and reverse engineer your package design and logic. If you are investing money, and time, into InstallAware, it would serve you well to learn to do things the high-level, InstallAware way - as opposed to fighting with it and trying to force it to narrow constraints which it was designed to break developers through from in the first place :)
Candice Jones
InstallAware
Home of The Next Generation MSI Installer
Get your free copy today - http://www.installaware.com/

Superfreak3
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Postby Superfreak3 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:56 pm

I remember coming up with the same question a few years back when I was evaluating an earlier version of IA.

With IA 9, is there a Release configuration setting of some sort that will prompt IA to spit out an all encapsulating, standalone .msi file instead of one wrapped in a Setup.exe?

With the Group Policy Wizard, if still same functionality in IA 9, is this an extra step that needs to be undertaken post install compile if I want to get at the .msi? Also, if this is the way I have to get the .msi, are .cab file within?

CandiceJones
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Postby CandiceJones » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:54 am

You will need to use the Group Policy Wizard post-build to encapsulate your InstallAware setup inside an outer MSI file. You can call this tool from the command line to automate your build process.

InstallAware uses 7ZIP compression which produces smaller files than CABs, even with Group Policy deployment, so you won't find CAB files anywhere.
Candice Jones

InstallAware

Home of The Next Generation MSI Installer

Get your free copy today - http://www.installaware.com/

Superfreak3
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Postby Superfreak3 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:55 am

Are these zip file encapsulated in the .msi or not?

CandiceJones
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Postby CandiceJones » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:14 am

They aren't ZIP files. They will be encapsulated in the external MSI based on your build mode. With a single file build, they will all be encapsulated. With a partial web deploy build, they would not be encapsulated.
Candice Jones

InstallAware

Home of The Next Generation MSI Installer

Get your free copy today - http://www.installaware.com/

Superfreak3
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:13 am

Postby Superfreak3 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:17 am

And the single file build mode setting is something set in the Group Policy Wizard correct?

CandiceJones
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Postby CandiceJones » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:40 pm

Nope. Its a very fundamental InstallAware build setting.
Candice Jones

InstallAware

Home of The Next Generation MSI Installer

Get your free copy today - http://www.installaware.com/

Superfreak3
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Postby Superfreak3 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:46 pm

Oh, yes this builds a single .exe then Group Policy Wiz needed to pull out the .msi. I get it now.

IA should try to make that an option to build single .msi. I believe you said the type of compression you use prohibits this, but if they select to build single .msi, just call Group Policy Wiz from command line after the setup.exe is created.

I guess that's kind of hokey, but it would get the job done.


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