Greetings all!

At my current workplace, we're struggling with a conflict of best practices/standards...

Please tell me if you have something like these where you are...

- Vendor MSIs should not be modified, transforms should be used

- Packages (for deployment via SMS) should be self-contained

Here's the problem: for a number of large apps, the vendor MSIs are calling files external to those MSIs. My current culprits are RateFind, Visio 2003, and both Pro and Std versions of Acrobat 6.0 (and I KNOW MS Office grabs external files).

I INVITE/WELCOME/REJOICE-IN your comments and suggestions, and here are a few of my general questions:

1) How does leaving files external to an MSI affect self-repair?
2) Does this mean that the original network path must always be available to a user?
3) Can MSIs with external files be cached locally?

Thanks in advance,

- Sean Roberts
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Hi Sean,

I been in this game abt 2 and half - 3 yrs standards are always a good thing.

External files are better in one sence because when creating a Transform you dont have to worry about cab files and they can be inserted into the same dir as the MSI does however durin install it only caches the MSI and not the external files - it still grabs them from the source the same as cab files. it may be slower because they are uncompressed.

Another issue you may come accross if your asked to install the same file but to two differernt version to different users to same location this is easly resloved in INstallshiled it will work with you to change path etc.

And yes the orignal network path must be available to all users and even if you had cab files this would be the same - look in c:\Windows\installer for msis that have internal and external cab files notice the MSI file is smaller and it does not contain the cab file?

Yes MSI with external files can be cached locally but there files will be on the server
Answered 08/11/2004 by: Cocopq
Senior Yellow Belt

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Hi,

Isn't there another pluspoint to external files (or external cab 's), i mean, the main .MSI is to be as small as possible, for it only contains the install/uninstall information the client needs.
This is the data that wil be cached locally on the client.
In our company we have seen a great improvement in (install)time for especially clients that are dialled in (we have 300+ of them),
they only have to read a small .MSI where the install information is stored and can begin installation much quicker. When these .msi's were selfcontained the whole installation process would take forever.
Answered 08/11/2004 by: inert
Orange Belt

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Also when repairing as far as I know it only repairs or copies down the fails that are corput or missing so less traffic occurs
Answered 08/11/2004 by: Cocopq
Senior Yellow Belt

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Hi Sean,
I have a problem that you may be able to help me with.I am trying to package Visio 2003,problem is it hangs up when it tries to create an msi,I read somewhere that ,that was caused by the fact that its already an msi & all i need to use is a transform.....now how do I create a transform without creating an msi first.
Thanks
Answered 09/02/2004 by: omookin
Senior Yellow Belt

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Visio 2003 is already in MSI format as provided by Microsoft. To create a transform file you can use the Custom installation Wizard provided by Microsoft to create the transform.
Answered 09/02/2004 by: cdupuis
Third Degree Green Belt

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