I work at a university and we have a network of about 2300 machines that we currently use WinINSTALL 6.0 to manage package creation and deployment. We are moving to M$ SMS. The problem we are encountering is locating a tool that will still allow us to split the package into a workstation side that is installed silently, and a user side that can be installed by the user if they want to be able to use the software, that way their roaming profiles don't become too large and slow the network down durring peak time of network use.

We have tried the evaluation copy of WinINSTALL 8.6 for package creation, but it requires either an Oracle or SQL database for use. We don't need or want the database functionality, and want a simple tool to capture the software installation and allow us to split it up into the two packages mentioned earlier. Then convert each into a MSI for deployment via SMS.

Is there a tool other than WinINSTALL that can do this for us?

Thank you in advance.
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WinInstall LE is a bare bones packaging tool if that is all you need.
Answered 07/08/2005 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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Thanks for the suggestion.
The problem is LE won't let us split the packages. We tried the demo and it wouldn't do what we wanted.
Answered 07/08/2005 by: CedricMordrin
Senior Yellow Belt

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If you are using creating MSI files then there is little need for the option to split pakcages as wininstall allows. The idea behind the split packages (as i am sure you are aware of, but for others on the board) is to create a machine install that contains only machine registry settings and files and a user install that contains the HKCU and possibly files going to the users profile. This was developed before the Micorosfot installer was available and as such was a good way to get software to the machine.

If you are using an MSI and it is aurthored correctly then you can deploy your MSI via SMS to the machines. Then when the user launches the app for the first time it will run a repair and create the HKCU settings and prfoile specific files.

The main difference is you are offering an entry point on the machine such as a shortcut to the app, instead of haveing the user launch the wininstall application and install the user porition. This should save you time on package development and managment.

If you are using an MSI then you should be able to use Wininstall (LE, or Packager), Installshield, Wise, or any others.
Answered 07/08/2005 by: TomB
Orange Belt

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Thank you, I've finally got time to start actually authoring MSI's and I am finding everything you are saying to be true.


@kkaminsk
I am sorry for my earlier comment, I am learning MSI's currently and didn't know that they could do what we wanted natively. Thank you for your help.

@TomB
Thanks for breaking it down, I had a feeling that was what it was supposed to do, but no one here has done anythigng different than the whole NAI distro since we went to it in 1996. I was asked to find a better, more upto date solution using SMS and MSI's.

The only question I have now, is which tool would be the best to create a custom MSI that allows me to specify where the shortcuts are created as we use a specialized start menu structure for our students. I can use a snapshot based repackager to do this, yes?

Again, thank you both for your help.
Answered 07/08/2005 by: CedricMordrin
Senior Yellow Belt

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Cedric,

There is also a process called ActiveSetup which you can read about here.

Active Setup Explained by Edward Tippelt

This might also help you maintain your split install process.
Answered 07/08/2005 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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Cedric,

Any of the tools mentioned above should allow you an easy method to change the shortcut location.

You can check out the review section on this site to possibly get some more information on the Wise, InstallShiled, WinINSTALL, etc products.

http://www.appdeploy.com/reviews/
Answered 07/11/2005 by: TomB
Orange Belt

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