Hi everyone.

Can anybody please let me know how you would accomplish the following with Zen (6.5 if it matters).

1) MSI app object receieved, associated, tested, and deployed to user.
2) New application chosen over the app installed at point #1 above - now the task is to deploy this application instead of the previous one. It is MSI based as well.

Restrictions:

1) MSI's are vendor supplied, not repackaged with a tool suite.

My thoughts are that you could make a new app object that installs the new application via MSI. As a pre-distribution script you could uninstall the previous msi install using msiexec and the guid of the app.

Is there a cleaner way to do this?
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Aren't you using MSI's natively in Zenworks? You can install them with distribution scripts but I don't understand why you are doing that. The only time I saw MSIs being installed using distribution scripts was with Zen 4 in a locked down environment. And that was due to a bug in the product.

You should be able to make a MSI Zen object with the new MSI (look for the MSI tab) in it. Just remove the user association to the old object and associate the users to the new object and be done with it. This all works providing both objects you are using have the MSI being installed via the MSI tab.

If you are using distribution scripts then yes have the pre-distribution script remove the old version with the msiexec /x <GUID> and if you want you can have the same script install the new version as well.
Answered 08/25/2005 by: kkaminsk
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What about editing the vendor msi to activate the uninstallation through the msi native process? Just add the GUID of the old app to the Upgrade table of the new app and put the RemoveExistingProducts action in InstallExecuteSequnce somewhere between 1400 and 1500 that should do it.
Then you just create one new MSI-Zen object (as kkaminsk told you) distribute it to the users and the Windows Installer does the rest...
Answered 08/26/2005 by: rpfenninger
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Well, that sounds great. Will the new MSI successfully install even if the old application it wants to uninstall to upgrade isn't there? Will it complain at all or do all of this silently?

And kkaminsk - yes, you are correct. That is much cleaner. I wasn't sure if you unassociate a user from an app and then associate them to the new one, if the uninstall would happen before the new MSI install occurs. Will it always work this way necessarily?
Answered 08/29/2005 by: shuffle
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And kkaminsk - yes, you are correct. That is much cleaner. I wasn't sure if you unassociate a user from an app and then associate them to the new one, if the uninstall would happen before the new MSI install occurs. Will it always work this way necessarily?

Yes the ZEN agent should always process the uninstalls before the installs. I have seen wierdness on ZEN 4 when you are dealing with large application chains but that usually just means ZEN will uninstall more applications than it needs to. It did eventually figure out what needed to be on the desktop in the end but it made large application chains somewhat undesireable.
Answered 08/29/2005 by: kkaminsk
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ORIGINAL: shuffle

Well, that sounds great. Will the new MSI successfully install even if the old application it wants to uninstall to upgrade isn't there? Will it complain at all or do all of this silently?


Yes, no problem. The RemoveExistingProducts action checks if there is an installed product that has to be upgraded or uninstalled. If yes, it will do it, if no, that action will be skipped an the next is going to be run...
Answered 08/30/2005 by: rpfenninger
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What about editing the vendor msi to activate the uninstallation through the msi native process?

Just note that I would side with ZEN managing this. If you do dependency chains and never unassign applications this could create problems for you.
Answered 08/30/2005 by: kkaminsk
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Our company's policy is (as far as possible) to only have one version of any software in the field. So we upgrade the customers workstations with a newer version uninstalling the old one and also unassign the users from the old zen app object.
However, what kind of trouble do you think could we run in?
Answered 08/30/2005 by: rpfenninger
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It really depends on how you implement the applications. The sites I've seen have objects for each icon then the icons are chained to an object that actually installs the application on demand when an icon is clicked. If you don't get rid of the old objects that install software or at least remove them from the dependency chain the old MSI can come down again.
Answered 09/01/2005 by: kkaminsk
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