I am just trying to gauge how likely to be influenced in your purchasing choice you are by software that has a good clean MSI over a .exe based one.
Do you even get consulted on this or just dumped with software that someone else has chosen?
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Unfortunately we tend to get 'dumped with the software' after someone else has decided the software is fit for their purpose and it has been evaluated sufficiently in the target environment.

All you can really do is badger the vendor for an MSI installer, I'm sure that some vendors do listen to their customers.

Some vendors may also have the facility to provide an MSI if requested, but if you don't ask, you don't get.

Hope that helps,

Dunnpy
Answered 03/26/2012 by: dunnpy
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imho a good scripted MSI is the best you can get. if the vendor doesn't provide a MSI setup - well, an exe with parameters is still better than nothing.

so MY order of preferences is:
1) msi (if available)
2) exe with parameters
3) spied installation
4) exe run as admin, user has to install software by himself (absolutely NOT recommended)

best regards,
gYmpi
Answered 03/26/2012 by: gYmpi
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I would put a 'spied installation', if what you mean by that is a snapshotted MSI, above an exe with parameters, if those parameters don't offer the possibility to change everything your client wishes to have customised.
That's just my opinion ofc.

PJ
Answered 03/26/2012 by: pjgeutjens
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My experiences have been that we are "dumped" mostly with specialty software.

We generally have had more input (even to the point of selection of candidates) on more general purpose software, like pdf converters, media applications, etc.

As states a "proper" MSI is preferred in all cases, followed by exe with some sort of config file (ini etc) for customization.

The reason MSI is preferred is due to the robustness of installation checks, custom config and virtually ALL deployment tools has decent reporting on msi. EXE tend to not have very good reporting or error control in most deployment systems (without custom script wrappers etc).
Answered 03/26/2012 by: dandirk
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None of the companies I've worked for have ever used whether the app was MSI or EXE as a determining factor; the business needs always come first and then it's up to us to make it work with the environment. That said, if we do have an option, it's always going to be MSI, if for no other reason than standardization.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: Moedius
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I definitely prefer a MSI installer over a setup.exe. In the past, I was dumped on with the chosen software. After many struggles, I finally barked. All software purchases now get reviewed for Network Deployment capabilities prior to purchase.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: Trinity
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I've been broken at this point and almost don't care, just please for the love of god let me automate it somehow. I'm in the same boat of most of the people here; I get software dumped into my lap that needs installing. I do prefer a good MSI, or at least on package in an exe i can extract, but for simple little things like flash, reader, firefox, the exes are fine.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: Tentacle Master
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I'm with Tentacle Master on this one. I've pretty much given up on having a preference on either one. In my experience developers who have created *.exe with automation built in have worked great. I've had more MSI errors than anything else. Its a total bummer.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: lan.pham
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I prefer MSI based. If I have an EXE I will just repackage it as an MSI with advanced installer.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: ohiosoundguy
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  • It also comes down to how you are deploying software. With group policy you need an MSI where a system like Kace you can use either.
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I prefer msi installers if available.
Answered 03/26/2012 by: ckubaska
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I always prefer MSI installs
Answered 03/26/2012 by: piyushnasa
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Thanks for your views.
Answered 03/27/2012 by: wyrdfish
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I like MSI installs better as well they have been easier to work with and do what I want them to do in my experience
Answered 03/27/2012 by: shigbee
Second Degree Black Belt

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Prefer the MSI but I believe that both should be provided.
Answered 03/27/2012 by: Hammer1790
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