I am new to deployment.

A vendor which we have used forever, packages their software in what on the splash screen says "Initializing Wise Installation Wizard..." with "Wise Solutions" in the background.  I've read in various places that there is a "Wise Script' for packaging, and "Wise Installer for Windows" and I do not know which created this.

The application is client/server model and is database driven.  During GUI installation, it asks for product key, whether it's server or client, and where the server is if the install is for a client.

I'd like to do a silent install where I specify the variables.  However, I cannot figure out how.  Tech support from the vendor is no help.  When installation takes place, it generates a unique key and registers the workstation with the database, so I do not think that I can do a recapture (I may be wrong).

From what I have read,  there is a /M= switch where I can specify a variables file.  However, I do not know how to glean the variable names.  I know that at least some of the usual switches do in fact work.  If I do a /S it runs, but then hangs, (probably waiting for input) or /M (manual install) it properly asks for the manual locations.

Any suggestions?

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When a wisescript is compiled, there is an option to make the EXE zip compatible. So in the first instance, open the EXE in winzip and see if the contents are visible as individual files. If they are, look for a file with an extension of .wse ( or possibly .ipf if really ancient ). This will be the plain text source file which you can then extract and examine to see how it works.  If the content is not visible then the non-zip option was used and it becomes very difficult to find out anything.

However, during install, an installation log file is normally created, usually in the app's program files folder, which lists all the files and registry keys installed. Again, examining this plain text file may give you some clues.

Finally, if the EXE is not a large one, I may be able to extract the source using a tool provided to me by a wise tech some years ago.  Wisescript contains no inate product code handling logic, so the vendor has either implemented this using wisescript code they have written, or they have written a custom DLL to handle the code handling. Ultimately, if you can discover the name of the variable which is loaded with the product code during the install, you could specify this in an INI file which is read by the installer during silent install, by specifying the INI filename on the command line.

Answered 10/23/2014 by: EdT
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  • Thank you. I'll see if I can find that file.
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I think you might be stuck with this one :-(

Since you've used the vendor "forever", I imagine you have a relationship with them so I'd be trying to persuade them to move to a more up-to-date deployment technology. Catching up with the 1990s would be good... Failing that, ask them how the registration is done. It can only be via an EXE or a function call to a DLL, can't it? Either way, that could be replicated in an MSI. If they won't play ball, you'll need an intensive session with ProcMon and possibly an API spy, too. In that scenario, I'd be simultaneously looking at an alternative product!
Answered 10/23/2014 by: VBScab
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