As most individual contractors and repackaging experts know InstallShield-based msi-packages can be .. *cough* troublesome .. to deploy on a wide scale. And very much so if you decide you don't want to use SMS and instead opt to go for GPO policies only - you have pretty much two choices, deploy using a mst with a msm from InstallShield or repackage the app. You could also try to use the badly designed isscript.msi but then be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops.

Next, you might want to know that according to Macrovision UK using the msm's from the Eval versions of AdminStudio to deploy InstallShield-based apps if you do not own a full AdminStudio license is -illegal-.

"What?", you say, "aren't those msms supposed to be redistributables? They are in the InstallShield knowledge base for crying out loud!"

Well thing is they are only redistributable if you yourself own a valid license of AdminStudio. Those in the knowledgebase are "old ones" that are provided to you as a courtesy.

I know this because when I registered to download the AdminStudio Eval I actually put my real name and phone number (I know, who does that??) for registering the download. Later, a rep from Macrovision UK called me and asked what I had used the eval for. I replied I had been checking out the product and "oh and yeah that msm was useful".

From that point onwards the conversation turned a little unpleasant as I was told I was in violation of the AdminStudio Eval license and so forth. After hanging up the phone I realized I had two choices, either persuade (all) my clients to buy their own AdminStudio license to be entitled to use the msms or develop an all-new way of deploying these apps (Adobe suite++, MindManager, the list goes on and on, and this forum has its share of requests for these msms) if not repack them all. Needless to say I wasn't too happy about this.

What really gets to me here is that the software dev companies that buys InstallShield, all their clients, probably have no idea about this - when they package their software for distribution a vital component is missing (the msm) that you will have to buy if you want to use common deployment strategies.

When you buy a software from one of InstallShields customers, don't you want to know that you will be able to deploy it on your network, if so needed?

This, even to me who wrote it, sounds really strange and I kind of think that there has to be something fishy about all of this. But according to Macrovision UK this is indeed true. If anyone has more or more correct information, please comment.

Oh, and don't we all love Wise :-D
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Replying to myself, but nheim makes a valid point in another thread:


You could write an email to the vendor of a package, which requires the ISScript engine, to send you the MSM. They in fact could have included it in the beginning without additional license fees.


Sound advice, and it seems to solve the main problem, as using a msm you get from the software vendor should be completely legal. This must be regardless if you, the entity responsible for the software deployment, own a MacroVision license or not.

I feel that this is ignorance more than anything else on MacroVisions part - why do they make us go through all this fuzz just to be able to deploy software packaged with InstallShield without breaking licenses?
Answered 11/21/2006 by: jib
Purple Belt

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May I suggest that when you're emailing the vendor, ask them to stop using ISScript altogether!
Answered 11/21/2006 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

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