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Scalable Smart Packager Professional

I am trying to learn how Smart Packager to work in order to customize an application, package it as an MSI file and deploy it through SCCM 2012.
First, I want to know if Scalable Smart Packager is Wininstall are the same , or they are 2 different products, because I thought WinInstall LE is a product made by Scalable company.

Second, I have downloaded Firefox.exe file then converted it to MSI file. I opened up the Scalable Smart Packager Discovery window, and click Start to start the discovery(it will record the  customization), I ran FIrefox MSI , and installed Firefox, then in the home page of firefox I typed CNN.com and set Remember history to Never. Then I stopped the Smart Packager Discovery, this created another MSI, that will be deployed to end users,so I deployed the MSI ,created by Smart Packager, using SCCM 2012, and it got deployed successfully to end users.
However, when a user opens up Firefox, there is no customization that I have previously done, such as the homepage that was set to CNN.com, and the remember history that was set to Never...

I am not sure what I have done wrong , and why the customization was not deployed properly.???

Any help will be very much appreciated.

Thanks
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jskfan
Asked:
jskfan
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4 Solutions
 
Vadim RappCommented:
Applications like Smart Packager create the MSI by monitoring the changes that occur in the file system and in the registry during the installation. Since Firefox keeps its settings not in the registry but in the profile file, it's impossible to set them by MSI. The only possibility there could be to actually install the profile file that Firefox has created during the monitored installation, although it would require quite an experimentation and most likely is impossible. Another way is to write custom action that would run a script that would set it using Firefox own methods, along the way described at http://mike.kaply.com/2012/08/29/setting-the-default-firefox-homepage-with-autoconfig/ (that website has more information you are looking for). Keep in mind that this as well will be either difficult, or impossible for security reasons, since once installed, Firefox will probably treat the attempt of an unknown (to him) program to change its homepage as an attack.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
I followed this video from Scalable:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYqDrWBBL6M
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Vadim RappCommented:
Understood.

By the way, MSI created by a repackager usually requires significant amount of work in order to make the MSI really useful. That work requires very intimate knowledge of both Windows Installer and of the repackaged product. For example, these two packages were both products of repacking, but followed by weeks of work on the result.
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If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

 
jskfanAuthor Commented:
So when you deploy an application to end users with all settings you have pre-configured, and you want the App to be deployed zero touch from end user...What do you to achieve this ??

I guess Microsoft office, does not need a third party packager, since it has MOCT (Microsoft office Customization Tool).
Correct me on this if I am wrong..

For other Applications, I do not know if each has its own packager or there is a universal packager that packages all Applications before they get deployed....????
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Vadim RappCommented:
To thoroughly answer your questions would require to write a large article that would explain what deployment methods exist, what is MSI, what is transform, what is the difference between setup.exe and MSI, and much more.  If you are interested, you can read about all that on the internet, there are also some books.

Briefly: to your 1st paragraph: see my first reply. You can do it if the settings are either in the registry, or in a standard .ini file. With Firefox, it's neither, so there's no easy way. You can read about what's possible in Firefox on the website mike.kaply.com referenced in my 1st comment.

To the 2nd paragraph: MOCT created a transform for Office up to 2003, or XML configuration file that Office's setup knows how to read in Office 2007 and later.  I.e. Office setup knows that there can be that xml file with customizations, and if there is, it will do  what the xml file says. This is possible because Microsoft programmers have programmed this possibility into their setup, and documented how to use it. Firefox programmers did not do anything similar.

To your 3rd paragraph: using a packager, you can create an MSI from any application that performs any changes in the system, including installations. But since you have SCCM, this is not necessary since SCCM can deploy setup.exe.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
<<<But since you have SCCM, this is not necessary since SCCM can deploy setup.exe. >>>

The Customization is the concern, deploying is not big deal...even Firefox can be deployed with no issue. but to customize an application with settings that domain Administrator is supposed to configure, is the big challenge...
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Vadim RappCommented:
Whatever is possible, you will find on mike.kaply.com. Since on his website he indicates "I help people to customize and deploy firefox", maybe the best answer is to simply hire him.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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