Articulate Presenter

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Deployment Tips (2)

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Command Line

 

 

This ships from the vendor as an InstallShield based installer.  Internally, this installer unpacks and runs an MSI to install the software.  However, although it contains an MSI, it does respond to the InstallShield response file recording and silent installation syntax.

 

Launch the vendor installer using the following command line:

 

Studio-09-Update-8.exe –r –f1”<path-to-installer>\silent-install.iss”

 

Where “<path-to-installer>” is replaced with the path where you’d like the response file to be created.

 

When the installer is launched with this command line, it will display its normal installation wizard.  Click through this wizard as you would if manually installing the software, selecting the appropriate options.  When the wizard finishes, you should find a file named “silent-install.iss” in the path specified on the command line.

 

Once the software is installed, launch the installer again using the command line given earlier, but with a file name like “silent-uninstall.iss”.  For example:

 

Studio-09-Update-8.exe –r –f1”D:\ArticulateStudio\silent-uninstall.iss”

 

This time wizard will offer the option to remove the product.  Select that option and click through the wizard to remove the software.  When you are finished, you should find a “silent-uninstall.iss” file in the path you selected.

 

To silently install the software, run the installer with the silent installation syntax, which resembles the following:

 

Studio-09-Update-8.exe –s –f1”<path-to-installer>\silent-install.iss”

 

This will silently install the application on the system.

 

To uninstall the software, use the same command line but replace “silent-install.iss” with “silent-uninstall.iss”.

 

Note:  If you will be deploying this application on multiple Windows versions (e.g., Windows XP and Windows 7), you should create a separate response file for each platform to ensure a proper installation.

 

Setup Information:
Setup Type: unspecified
Deployment Method Used: unspecified
Deployment Difficulty: unspecified
Platform(s): Windows
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Script

 

The DRM scheme used for this application is not very corporate-friendly (in my opinion).  Each user gets an individual license key, and that license key becomes tied to a particular machine/user installation until the vendor is instructed to release it.

 

Deploying the software fully-activated would mean a lot of extra work to capture the appropriate files and/or registry keys for each licensed copy, and even then it might not work.  The compromise I chose to implement for this one was to add code to my deployment script to establish an Active Setup script that runs for each user at login. 

 

The Active Setup registry key was written to:

 

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\AS09u8

 

The value of that key was set to the following:

 

Cscript “C:\Program Files (x86)\Articulate\Presenter\SetKeys.vbs”

 

The VBScript referred to in that command line (SetKeys.vbs) contains a “Select Case” statement that knows each of our license keys and pairs them to a specific user name.  Once it has identified the license key associated with the current user (if any), that key is written to the following registry path:

 

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Articulate\Fireball\1.0\AP6\LastAttempt

 

The value of the key is set to the user’s individual serial number.

 

When the user launches the product and clicks the Register link, the software grabs the value of this registry key and pre-populates the serial number box with that value.  This makes it much easier for the user to register the software on their system once installed and reduces the likelihood of them entering an incorrect value.

 

The down side of this approach is that users have access to the serial number (though they won’t be able to use it anywhere else) and that if users' logins change the script may not be able to find the user’s license key.  (This could have been resolved by looking up each user’s SID and doing the Select Case on that, but since we only tend to deploy this software at rebuild/refresh time which is very infrequent, I chose not to put the effort into it.)

 

Setup Information:
Setup Type: unspecified
Deployment Method Used: unspecified
Deployment Difficulty: unspecified
Platform(s): Windows
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