Hello all..
Sometimes, when one is in kind of a hurry to get a package done (that is, when a customer can't wait for you to get it done RIGHT [;)] ) there is off course, a way to cheat. The company i work for (do some repackaging next to some other tasks) doesn't have a "MSI only" policy. If the customer is in a hurry and there's a good way to deploy something, after testing vendor applications with a silent commandline for install/uninstall, i deploy them with silent commandlines using SMS. I mean, why repackage if it isn't nessecary, right? Don't fix what aint broke.. [:)]

Anyways, i was just wondering, i have to do a major repackage of an app.. It's the already legendary sap 6.40. We've always deployed SAP using SAP's own netweaver installation platform. Why? Cause it makes easy patching. Just create another admin image, sync clients, done..
Well, won't ya know it, this time is kinda different. To make this new entire installation work like it's supposed to, i need the SAP gui, dotnet framework, all different kind of patches and third party programs. SOme usinjg the netweaver platform, some Installshield installers, some using some other installers..

So i was thinking about my options. Of course, i could repackage each program individually, but a lot of those programs are patches of some sort with different dll's etc. I could, off course send each package individually after another using SMS, but it's going to take ages to have a complete install. Furthermore, I am in no way capable of testing the functionality of the entire thing. After a repackage, I'm still gonna run into issues with patches later on i think..

I could also create one complete package, but that would mean repackage the whole lot when another patch comes out.. So that would be a bad idea aswell. Since i don't know anything about SAP except how to install it, not a good option.

So, that leaves me with 2 options, but using the silent commandlines.
Option 1: I was thinking of creating a Netweaver admin image on the SMS servers with a current patches, so that the Sap release can be patched over there. After that, running patch after patch andf program after program with silent commandlines, from within an MSI. Why an MSI..? So that the user is informed that an installation is going on. Running files execute deferred from within the MSI with silent commandlines. Since the package is going to be big (over 600-700 mb) it might take a while. Thus informing the user that something is going on seems like a wise move.
Option 2: Stick with the netweaver setup. Create an entire installation using netweaver. I saw that the netweaver setup allows an admin to use a scripting language simular to visual basic script. Could also be used to show the user something is going on on the workstation, and deploy all the programs one after the other.

The more i think of it, the more i'm wondering if this is good or bad practise. I probably won't get all the apps to work properly using a silent commandline and would have to re-package those anyways, but the one's that do work, what's thwe harm.. If it makes patching in the future easier.. Right..? Any thoughts on this? TIA
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