I have been tasked with deploying "Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition" (SQL Express) to several client PCs within our environment. I am looking for any Best Practices recommendations for how to do so, properly.

I can deploy SQL Express via the setup.exe - this will only take ~ 36 MB of space on each of my deployment servers, but it will break the MSI-based installation's resiliency/self-healing functionality.

I can deploy SQL Express via the extracted MSI files from the setup.exe - this will take ~ 161 MB of space on each of my deployment servers (not to mention bandwidth requirements), but the MSI-based installation's resiliency/self-healing functionality will function properly.

Best Practices recommendations?

Regards,

TX Techie
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For a bare minimum install of SQL Express 2005 you need just the following components:

sqlrun.msi
sqlclient.msi
sqlsupport.msi
sqlwriter.msi

It's aprox 150mb

We've used this method for a couple of programs that required an instance of SQL Express. Of course best practice is to use Microsofts recommended installation of running setup.exe But who wants to do what MS wants?
Answered 07/15/2009 by: joedown
Second Degree Brown Belt

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ORIGINAL: TXTechie

but it will break the MSI-based installation's resiliency/self-healing functionality.



I can understand your concerns over disk space requirements on your servers and possible bandwidth issues, but can't understand why you believe that by using setup.exe would lose the self-healing functionality ?

Setup.exe, after all is essentially just a wrapper enabling the chained deployment of several MSI's stored internally in the exe file)

Once installed as far as the day to day running of the software is concerned and any self-repairs/maintenance operations that need to occur, this is an MSI-based installation. The only other time setup.exe gets a hand in things is when an uninstall is performed (from Add/Remove Programs).

If it were the case that by using setup.exe you lost self-heal capability, Microsoft may as well have just released the package as a full legacy installer and saved themselves the trouble of creating the internal MSI's ?

Regards,

Spartacus
Answered 07/16/2009 by: spartacus
Black Belt

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ORIGINAL: spartacus

Setup.exe, after all is essentially just a wrapper enabling the chained deployment of several MSI's stored internally in the exe file)

Once installed as far as the day to day running of the software is concerned and any self-repairs/maintenance operations that need to occur, this is an MSI-based installation


spartacus,

Thank you for your response. Since I am highly worried about bandwidth (I have to deploy this to many PCs at many different locations where the network link between the clients and the distribution server is 128k - 512k), and using setup.exe won't break self-healing... does it make sense for me to copy the sqlexpr32.exe (~ 36 MB) to the local PC; extract it silently; run the extracted setup.exe via command-line for a custom install; and then delete the extracted files (or are they needed for self-healing)?

TX Techie
Answered 07/16/2009 by: TXTechie
Senior Yellow Belt

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