Ok first off let me say that while some vendors are helpful in getting their apps to corporate desktops....Adobe is not one of them.

1. Their msi can not be imported into GPO Deployment without "altering" the vendor msi. Which is a pathetic effort in app packaging by Adobe.

2. Some of the custom actions they use are set to run in "User" context and as such do not actually install the components even with the user having "Elevated Rights". For example the PDFMakerX.dll will not register as a User Context custom action. Thats just one of them.

3. After spending far far too long on this app I have now got it to install via GPO as a published app and working with Word, Wordpad, Excel etc. But their is a but....read on.

4. The Elements interface is not usable because it constantly considers intself broken and wants to self repair itself using its own custom dll.

5. This app refuses to uninstall via GPO!!!!!!!!!!! If you remove it from AD or remove the user from the app group it should automatically uninstall because it is out of scope. This uninstall is not managed by the msi but by a file called uninstmanager.dll
The msi copies this file to the temp folder and also places a run command in the registry under Runonce. After this attempt the msi throws up a 2735 error and says the file cant be installed. I'm still investigating this.

In order to get it working in a locked down environment I have had to create an mst and change all of the "User Context" custom actions to "System Context".

I had to remove the adobe shortcuts to the Elements interface because it just doesnt work.

If I cant uninstall this app then I sure as hell am not going to deploy it and seeing that we bought 1000 licenses....thats a huge waste of money.

I'm interested to hear any other stories concerning this app and also any success stories.

To all the ppl that have emailed me from all over the world......I'm sorry I havent been more helpful and I wish you luck. Keep your eyes on this board and I'll post any other tidbits I find out over the next few days. I have got a doco currently on my efforts with this app and I'll post the final instructions if I ever get it completely done.
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Jim, sad to hear that you are having so many issues. Let me see if I can find a copy of Elements somewhere and give it a shot. What are you using to create your MST file? ave you contacted Adobe to see if they have any "enterprise Deployment" documentation for Elements? What i have found in the past is that the Adobe user forums are great, lots of people post there. Send me some more info in email (you should still have it) and I will take a look.
Answered 06/09/2004 by: cdupuis
Third Degree Green Belt

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By the way, which do you think is worse... look for a new poll
Answered 06/09/2004 by: cdupuis
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I'm off for a few days but I'll send you my Integration document when I get back to work. I'm not typing it all out here but here is the outline. :)

Open the msi in Wise.
I removed the UnsupportedInstall custom action and recompiled.
Changed workstation to US English and ran the installtuner to create the mst. You have to do that. Create mst and save.
Opened the mst in Wise.
Removed the shortcuts for desktop (tsk tsk...not allowed in environment)
Did a couple of little things for the environment......nothing drastic at all. I didnt even add my HKCU\Software\Appname\Version# key because I wanted to keep it clean and tight.
Published in AD in User OU. Added Authenticated Users as an AD Group because its going OU wide. No biggie.

It installs with errors and doesnt register the PDFMakerX.dll correctly.
Some of the custom actions dont actually run or fail.
Users can't uninstall it. uninstmanger.dll throws the hissy fit and leaves everything installed.

btw.....this is all happening in DEV....god forbid trying to deploy to Production.

So I open the mst and change the User Context custom actions in Execute Deferred section to System context and viola. It works fine via GPO and all works ok......but Users still cant uninstall it (see above). AD wont even remove it because of the error.....so its stuck on the machine forever as an orphan.

But here is the weird part.

If the user maps to the server with the msi on it and runs my shortcut which is msiexec.exe /i yada yada with the transform, it installs perfectly, works a treat and the user can uninstall if from Add/Remove Programs with a reboot to clean it out.

I'll send you my verbose log and look at the bottom at the 2735 error. Its trying to install and copy the uninstmanager.dll to the Users temp folder prior to creating the Runonce key in the registry to run after the reboot. It's just a cleanup of the Adobe PDF printer as far as I can see.....but the msi within AD is "installing" the file for some reason.

I'm too young to have a heart attack......but this one is getting me closer.
Answered 06/10/2004 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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Well I got it done and its not perfect but its working and can be deployed and uninstalled on a machine basis only. I had to give up on User deploying it because I basically ran out of time and energy.

The good thing I suppose is that Adobe here in Australia want me to be a pre-release tester for them and at least I'll get a crack at their installs before they go out into the world to cause mayhem and headaches.
Answered 06/18/2004 by: MSIMaker
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