Hi All,

We inherited support for this application, yet no one in my company really knows much about the architecture of this software and how it works (beyond what it basically does). I am looking at an old package for a previous version and it seems that there is a customization (MST) file associated with the install. I would like to have a look at the MST file to see what sort of customizations have been made--that would allow us to know what the software has been set to do (which might make troubleshooting easier), as well as allow us to create future packages.

I would just like to ask, how is the MST file for this software configured? Presumably a customization tool of some sort supplied by the vendor. Does anyone know?

Thanks in advance.

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Are you asking us to tell you how a specific mst was created in your company? Or is this a question about how you create an mst?

You can create an mst for any msi, you don't need to have a a customization tool supplied by the vendor like Microsoft and Adobe do.

For instance you simply copy the msi make your changes and use MSITRAN to create a transform, use wise's install tailor etc etc

surely by applying the mst you have to the msi you can see what changes are being made
Answered 07/28/2010 by: timmsie
Fourth Degree Brown Belt

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There are essentially four choices: one, one of the Wise/Altiris/Symantec products e.g. Wise Package Studio; two, one of Flexera's products e.g. InstallShield AdminStudio; three, Orca and four, InstEdit.

The first 2 are major applications and are used by packagers in corporate or development environments to either re-package legacy applications for deployment in standardised form or to create packages from scratch. They make editing of MSIs - and creation of transforms (MSTs) relatively simple as they use a GUI to front the manipulation of the MSI tables.

The second 2 are really for experienced packagers and present the bare MSI tables. I prefer InstEdit (I call it "Orca on steroids") which can be downloaded from here. Orca can be downloaded as part of the Windows Platform SDK (in spite of its scope, this is worth a download for anyone even half-way serious about continued employment in Windows "support").

If all you want to do is see the changes that an MST will apply, either of the second 2 will do the job, as they highlight each change in the various tables, but without shelling out thousands of pounds/euros/dollars for the "privilege".allow us to create future packages. For creating packages - given your level of knowledge - you should explore the first 2. Using Orca or InstEdit as a novice to do anything significant will overload the grey cells to a major extent. I am a well-known dissenter about Wise (although I prefer it in day-to-day usage to InstallShield) as their record of keeping up with technology is - to be kind - woeful. YMMV.

Before you do anything, however, I recommend that you obtain Phil Wilson's ouevre, The Definitive Guide to Windows Installer. You will find packaging a significant challenge if you don't know the fundamentals, to which this tome will introduce you.
Answered 07/29/2010 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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Thanks for the replies. Very informative and helpful.

For the time being, I just want to see what configurations have been made via the MST file, and I was curious about how the MST file for this particular software was created in the first place. I was hoping I could catch someone that had worked with this product (Lumension SDC)...
Answered 08/02/2010 by: Marmot
Orange Belt

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It's a standard distributed, client -> application server -> DB based application.

Someone in your organization is managing the application as a whole -- get in touch with them first. Actually, you will have to speak with them no matter what, as v4.4 requires a new, updated license file different from what's in any of your existing packages, and you will also need the public key and application server(s) names. The last two you can get out of the existing application you have, assuming it's current.

But back to your original question -- yes, Lumension does include an customization tool that will allow you to spit out a valid MST and command-line that won't need to be modified in an average configuration. In the older versions, assuming you weren't using DNS round robin or a LB, and had more than three application servers a single client might point to, the only additional item you might have to tweak would be adding additional servers, and I think the tool would limit it to three, though the application itself would allow ten (just Reg values).

But just ask them for access to the customization tool, or point them to it and allow them to generate. It will also let you view all installations previously created from the tool, and the tool will also let you deploy to systems directly from it.
Answered 08/06/2010 by: cjr888
Senior Yellow Belt

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