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How to build PDFs for SMS 2003?

Posted on 2005-04-06
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
We have Windows 2003 Server Standard and it is dedicated for SMS 2003 server.

The SMS 2003 server was installed and setup before I was here.

I haven't been able to Distribute a package successful yet and I beleive that is because packages are not being built properly.

Say I want to create a Package for any software out there, ie VNC, or Acronis, or Mozilla, what software would I use to build the packages?

Apperently there are applications that assist you on the setup of an appication and then create a Package Distribution File (PDF) that I can then use in SMS 2003.

Any suggestions on applications that would help me built PDFs would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Question by:plattelectric
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by:oBdA
ID: 13720649
You can use the SMS installer to create packages. Install the download on your SMS server; this will create the SMS installer for installation on a client used to develop packages.

Installer with Installer Step-up Utility
http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/downloads/20/tools/installer.asp

PDFs in terms of SMS are not "Package Distribution Files", they're "Package Definition Files" (.sms in the meantime). It's just a small text file that tells the SMS server how to run the packages.
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by:plattelectric
ID: 13720926
Thanks oBdA.

I installed SMS Installer on the SMS server and trying to figure out how it works now. It seems that SMS Installer wants to install the application on the server so that it can take a snapshot of the prompts during installation.
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by:oBdA
ID: 13721002
You only need to install the *download* on the SMS server; this will then extract the "real" installation setup into the directory you specified. These are the files you need to install the SMS installer on your development machine. It's sort of a security mechanism, so that you can't use the downloaded SMS installer on any machine--you need an SMS server first. Don't use the SMS server to create packages.
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Author Comment

by:plattelectric
ID: 13721004
Actually "You run SMS Installer on a reference computer that is configured to match the target computers (computers that receive the installation package). When you run SMS Installer, it captures the necessary configuration data and automatically generates an installation script for the application."

I'm open to any other suggestions or gotchas.

Thanks!
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by:oBdA
ID: 13721095
Note that you can switch the view between Installation Expert and Script. Have a look at the script the SMS installer generates, and try to understand it. In some ("most", actually) cases, it's necessary to manual intervene there when creating a package.

Just in case, here's some more documentation:
Systems Management Server 2003 Product Documentation
http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/techinfo/productdoc/default.asp
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Author Comment

by:plattelectric
ID: 13721853
Strange, when I try to install SMS Installer on WinXP SP2 it says the PC is not SMS site server. My impression was that I need to install the Installer on a client PC so that I can do installs and build packages that way!
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Author Comment

by:plattelectric
ID: 13722478
I downloaded and installed AdminStudio SMS edition and it worked great on creating a package for VNC. I created package and an advertisement, but the client where the install is supposed to happen doesn't show anything Run Advertized Programs or Program Download Monitor.

What am I doing wrong?
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oBdA earned 2000 total points
ID: 13733886
As for the SMS Installer:
As I said before, you have to run the package that you downloaded from Microsoft on the SMS server. This will extract the necessary install files to allow you to install the SMS Installer on a client (you'll specify the directory where those files are placed during install). You can NOT run the downloaded package directly on a client, as this is sort of a security mechanism preventing the use of the (freely downloadable) SMS Installer on networks without SMS.
As for the advertisement, I'm afraid you'll have to consult the documentation; that's beyond the scope of this question (http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi107).
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