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Win2K standard programs

Posted on 2001-08-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I am writing an installation program targeted for W2K machines only.  The program I am installing relies on a few Windows programs/utilities such as:
MDAC
MMC
IE
VML
What I need to know is how to find out what I need to check for and what I can assume is already installed in W2K.  Obviously I don't want to bloat my install program with these additional programs if they will always be there already  (e.g.  I'm pretty sure that W2K makes extensive use of MMC 1.2 so I am counting on it already being there).

Thank you,
Joe
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Question by:joeslow
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6410676
You have to run tests with standard installs and see what is missing.

That is part of the quality Assurance (QA ) testing that should be done.

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:joeslow
ID: 6410729
Thank you for the reply.  I realize you should test to see what's missing but what I'm after are things that I can assume are there...
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6411855
I don't think you need the MDAC it has been a standard since Win98. IE should also be already on the system but you may want to do version check.


The Crazy One
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by:joeslow
ID: 6413556
Is it true that IE "has" to be there in order for the OS to run?  Wasn't that part of MS's case?
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CrazyOne earned 170 total points
ID: 6413662
Yeah I believe that the Justice Department took exception to IE being integrated into the OS. Win 2000 was released before all this legal stuff came to a head and even Bill Gates during a demo to show IE could be uninstalled was unsuccessful in doing so. I would say to be safe your setup routine should look to see it is there and to compile the IE as part of your setup. Problem with doing that is those who have found a way to remove IE (if it is possible) from their systems probably won't be happy that your product is putting back on their system. Perhaps your setup needs to inform the user that without IE your product will not work and give them the option to go ahead and install IE or to opt out of the setup. :>)
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Author Comment

by:joeslow
ID: 6413686
Yes, it's starting to look like there are no "givens" and that I'll have to check.  My main reason for not wanting to do this is because then I either have to install what I need or tell the user to.  If I do it myself, the installation becomes larger and more complicated.

Thanks for your input,
Joe
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6413748
Yeah I know what you mean. It makes it even more problematic if one wants to make it a downloadable product. Some folks will strip down their setup to a bare minimum and if something is needed then have the user go back to the web site and download what they need. Problem with that is that a lot people just want a one step setup so it becomes a Catch 22 situation, damnded if you do and damded if you don't. I really dislike putting together setup routines, it almost takes as much time and effort as it does to put the product together in the first place. :>(
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by:jhance
ID: 6413771
Windows without IE is not a valid Windows configuration.  In spite of the legal mumbo-jumbo and that professor who demonstrated the "removal" of IE from Windows, it's just not the case.  First, the "removal" was not really that.  It was just a "hiding".  There are componenent parts of IE that remained and MUST remain for many things to work  Most notable of these is HELP.  If IE is not installed, HELP will not work since it is dependent on IE components.

My approach is to assume IE is present.  If it's not there, then the Windows system is considered unsupportable by Microsoft and that's good enough for me as well...

As far as the other things, MDAC, MMC, VML, none of these are required to be present (although I don't think you can install a W2K SERVER without getting MMC) so it's not safe to assume that these are present.  Most installers have a dependencies checker that lets you say what needs to be there and what versions need to be present for your application to work.  What installer are you using?  My guess is that the option to check for these is there somewhere.
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Author Comment

by:joeslow
ID: 6413819
I'm using InstallShield Windows Installer (2.01) and yes, it does allow us to check for existing products.  The current version of my installation checks for all these things but is targeted to the NT 4 platform.  I was hoping to remove some of the "bloat" because we are now only going to support W2K.  I guess I'll just leave it alone to be safe although, as you and others have mentioned, MMC, IE, and MDAC should be present.

Thanks,
Joe
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6413854
Thanks jhance for the clarification. I am wondering though if it can be assumed later down the road. If the Justice Department gets the judgement they seek it was my understanding that one of the stipulations would be that IE could not be an integrated part of the OS.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6413872
Well part of the bloat with InstallShield is the Windows Installer that InstallShield compiles with the setup. Window Installer comes with Win 2000 but I don't think it is part of the OS configuration on the NT 4 platform.
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by:jhance
ID: 6413888
Well, it would not be retroactive and so could only affect furture releases of Windows.  And whether or not this is an issue also depends a lot on just what the definition of "IE installed" vs. "IE not installed".  Or perhaps an even more general question, "What is IE?"  Is IE just the browser that show up on the desktop in response to clicking on the "e" icon?  Or is it something else.

It's a trick question and unfortunately the correct TECHNICAL answer may not be the "legal" answer....

Whatever the outcome is, I'm sure that independent sofware developers will feel the pinch over it....
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