Greetings. As my name states, i am very new at generating MST files. I have been tasked with deploying Adobe 9.3 with a long list of customizations. But I've been told that I can't use the Customization Wizard, but instead, use MSI studios. This leaves me looking at numerous rows in these tables. I've done numerous web searches, but haven't found anywhere that I can make sense of these. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where a beginner can learn how to use and interpret these tables (for adobe reader or really anything). sorry if I done anything wrong here, my first forum post. Thanks all for the help!
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I've been told that I can't use the Customization Wizard, but instead, use MSI studiosClearly, whoever told you that has never customised an Adobe package in his/her life. I'd offer them a sizeable wager for them to produce a working package - which installs, uninstalls and upgrades properly - without using the Wizard. Your money's safe.
Answered 05/17/2010 by: VBScab
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I've been told that I can't use the Customization Wizard, but instead, use MSI studios

was it like, a bet? [:)]
Why not use the best tools for the job, I wonder? (and so should you)
Answered 05/17/2010 by: pjgeutjens
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Thanks for the reponse! I was spending a great deal of time searching the web for configuring MST using only those tables. Now i know why i wasn't finding specific info (there's like 1000+ rows of data). I was able to get the EULA accepted in the Component table > EULA_Accept_Registry_R > EULA_ACCEPT="NO", but that is about it.
And if anyone has used the ACW, is the Organization Name field grayed out? I think this is b/c I'm using the standard version and not the Enterprise version (that you have to apply for, but its free).
Thanx again.
Answered 05/18/2010 by: noobatx
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Not a bet (if so I wouldn't have taken it). My boss likes to encourage advanced learning.
Answered 05/18/2010 by: noobatx
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Not a bet (if so I wouldn't have taken it). My boss likes to encourage advanced suffering.

fixed that for ya [;)]
Answered 05/18/2010 by: pjgeutjens
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My boss likes to encourage advanced learning.I suppose you should be grateful that he's willing for you to spend the time doing that. Because it will take a L O N G time and be a world of pain without using that tool.

When does he propose you package MS Office using bare MSIs? That'll take you into 2011 nicely... :)
Answered 05/18/2010 by: VBScab
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Oh come on guys, Acrobat 9.0 was the first package I ever did and, while it was a bitch to do (about a month) I learned a lot while doing it. I'm looking at the documentation I created, and I'll give you some tips. Keep in mind that these might be different for your environment
In the property table, here are some of the properties I set:

COMPANYNAME
ISX_SERIALNUMBER
USERNAME
REMOVE_PREVIOUS_READER
EULA_ACCEPT
REGISTRATION_SUPPRESS
PRO_TB_SN
(I put the serial number here)
A3D_TB_SN (SN#)
TRY_SERIALNUMBER


I set the following RegKeys to disable Adobe Product Improvement Program:
SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\...
...\APIP\enabled = 0
...\Adobe Acrobat\9.0FeatureLockDown\FeatureLockdown\bUsageMeasurement = 0
...\Adobe Acrobat\9.0FeatureLockDown\FeatureLockdown\bRegisterProduct = 0
...\Adobe Acrobat\9.0FeatureLockDown\FeatureLockdown\bUpdater = 0

Look into changing the LocalTemplates.xml, as this caused roaming profile usage to increase by 14MB.

We also created a hideitems.js in [ProgramFilesFolder]\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat\JavaScripts\ with the following code:

//HideMenu.js // [File - Create Adobe PDF Using Acrobat.com], plus toolbar button app.hideMenuItem("WebServices:CreatePDF"); app.hideToolbarButton("Weblink:CreatePDF"); // [File - Collaborate], plus toolbar button app.hideMenuItem("Annots:FileCollaboration"); app.hideToolbarButton("Annots:CollabToolButton"); // [File - Digital Editions] app.hideMenuItem("eBook:Digital Edition Services"); // [Help - Improvement Program Options] app.hideMenuItem("UsageMeasurement"); // [Help - Online Support], plus sub menu items app.hideMenuItem("OnlineSupport"); app.hideMenuItem("KnowledgeBase"); app.hideMenuItem("AdobeExpertSupport"); app.hideMenuItem("AccessOnline"); app.hideMenuItem("SystemInformation"); // [Help - Repair Adobe Reader Installation] app.hideMenuItem("DetectAndRepair"); // [Help - Check for Updates] app.hideMenuItem("Updates"); // [Help - Purchase Adobe Acrobat] app.hideMenuItem("Weblink:BuyAcrobat");
Answered 05/18/2010 by: smooochy
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(about a month)

Daniel,

at no point do we deny it would be an interesting exercise to manually build the installation. As you are undoubtedly aware however, in packaging, as in the rest of business, being cost effective with available time and resources is paramount. Therefore spending a month hand-crafting the msi while the ACW is readily available, while interesting, is not the way to go.

Getting that amount of time to learn the intricacies of msi building really is a godsend, but in a production environment there's always the delivery date looming.
Answered 05/18/2010 by: pjgeutjens
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Well, from that perspective, I suppose you could 'cheat' and use the ACW to create the transform, look at the tables that were changed, and add those entries to your own transform. I actually used this method for a couple things I couldn't figure out (don't remember what it was; I did this over a year ago). However, the only reason I did it this way is because it was my very first package, and I didn't even know about ACW. I came into this job knowing nothing about packaging, and I used the tools (Installshield AdminStudio) at my disposal. Fortunately, though, I work in a reasonable and flexible environment where I don't have to worry too much about time constraints.

I understand that most other packaging jobs aren't like mine. For those jobs, I would also recommend being efficient with your time. No disagreement here. However, if your boss tells you to do something a certain way, you can object if you have a reasonable cause, but if he/she insists, you have to do it anyway. It's on him if something fails/gets delayed because you do something exactly the way you were asked. I say, take advantage of this learning opportunity! You HAVE to anyway, right? :)
Answered 05/18/2010 by: smooochy
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Hi folks,
Adobe recognizes a clear need to provide admins with more and better documentation and resources. To this end, resources are being updated and corralled in an enterprise portal here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/837/cpsid_83709.html. Note that one resource is an AIR application which contains much of the documentation and an ever growing Preference Reference documenting over 300 keys. Expect several hundred more pages of new and updated doc in the coming months.
Answered 05/21/2010 by: brogers
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