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Creating a microsoft sms deployment package with installshield

Posted on 2006-10-30
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I have been tasked with finding someone to create a SMS deployment package with either installshield (Which we currently have licenses for) or wise install packager.  These apps will be commercial apps that are already packaged but we will need to create a package that will automate the install via SMS.  I was told this was a developer/engineer type issue so I am posting it here.  As with all of my other issues this is last minute and I have a meeting about it in 4 hours so it will be max points.
Thanks!
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Question by:Gizneek
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by:programmer1024
programmer1024 earned 300 total points
ID: 17835233
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by:Shakti109
ID: 17835782

Are you looking for a person to actually create the install packages and then transfer the installers (.msi) to your company, or are you looking for technical information about windows installer, .msi's, installshield, Wise pacakge studio, how they integrate with the SMS architecture, etc?

From having deployed applications through SMS basically since it's inception and trying to piece together what you have described, it sounds more like you are looking for the deployment scripts (wise script, sms installer script, etc).

A large number of commerical applications that are sold today are already pacakged into .MSI format. There are a few cardinal sins of packaging and one of them is : "Thou shalt not re-package an .MSI".

That is to say, you wouldnt do an install-capture of an .msi based application, you instead create what is called a transform and apply this (which has your custom settings, etc) to the .msi as part of the install process.

Usually, a very common sequence of events to deploy applications through SMS is :

1) Create an installation script that automates the installation. This can be anything that can be "executed" by SMS as an application. The most common forms of installation scripts are either SMS installer scripts (which is really a stripped down version of WISE script), WISE scripts, etc etc that are compiled into executables. This script contains logic to execute the application installer in an automated fashion, provide error handling and logging, etc.

2) Create a package definition that references the above insatllation script.

3) Create an advertisement to a collection that references the above pacakge.


You can even directly call an .MSI based application as a pacakge definition and pass it command line parameters to make it "silent", require no user input, and even customize pieces of the installer itself (server i.p's, default configurations, etc).

There is a ton of detail left out there, but basically depending on what you are asking for, the person doing the "work" will at the very least need admin access to the SMS console on your network, and unless there is a group that handles network resources like installation points/shares, central package stores, etc they will need access to all of those resources on the network.

Can you clarify what you are looking for, a human to do "the work", or help as to how this kind of thing works?
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by:Gizneek
ID: 17835849
Help as to how it works.  It will need to be silent so there is no interaction at all.  And the access to the other "admin" areas will be no problem.
Much appreciated so far!
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Shakti109 earned 1700 total points
ID: 17836779

Ah, in that case :

SMS works by way of a client (that runs as a service) on each local machine that is part of its coverage area (called a site, either primary or secondary).

Depending on the version of SMS (1.0-2.0 or the newer versions) this client will act on the instructions sent by the advertisements (the name for an automated job sent by the SMS servers) using either an "installation" account, or a machine account that SMS creates.

The instructions can be anything from an inventory (hardware or software, etc), a script that then calls an installation, or just about anything that can be "executed".

As to how to make an installation silent, there are several subtelties with using SMS (any deployment mechanism really). You can force an .msi pacakge to be silent by way of command line switches that most install packages obey.

A common syntax is :

MSIEXEC.EXE /I "path to .MSI" /QN- /LWAMOE c:\temp\Appname-InstallLog.txt

The /I flag tells it to install, the /QN switch says perform the installation with no user-interface or intervention, /LWAMOE c:\temp\appname-installLog.txt tells the installer to write out a "log" file of everything it did to the location/name you specify.

This is essentially what the wise-script / sms-script would call inside of the script. Because the script is being executed by the SMS service, you want the "wrapper script" (which is the wise-script/sms installer script that then calls the .msi) itself to display no user-interface as it runs, so when the package is created you supply it with the /S flag.

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by:Gizneek
ID: 17837952
thanks a bunch!  
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