Best Practices for Application Packaging (Admin Studio)

Hi All,

I am new to application packaging using Adminstudio. 
I would like to know some best practices in packaging using Adminstudio.
It would be great if someone could share an excel sheet on it which features or components etc to be removed from the package to make a healthier  environment.

1 Comment   [ + ] Show comment
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for the information. I will go through that book to understand more about it. :) - lgovindprakash 6 years ago

Answers (7)

Posted by: anonymous_9363 6 years ago
Red Belt
Forget AdminStudio, or any other tool, for now. Before you do anything, get hold of 2 free publications, both similarly titled. One is Phil Wilson's "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer" and the other is "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer For Administrators". Without a thorough understanding of WI, you'll struggle when faced with anything beyond the basics.
Posted by: Badger 6 years ago
Red Belt

Start by installing any app you have to package on a CLEAN machine.

Then figure out what it is, what the current installation routine is. Then figure out if it fits into your system, if not, figure out how to make it fit into your system.

If it is already an MSI, just go for a silent install. If its a complicated MSI install, the Tuner tool might help you to find all the answers to installation questions.

If you find you have EXEs that need to be packaged into MSI format, first, do some practise packaging with 'simple' applications first.

Good luck

Posted by: apptopack 6 years ago
Red Belt

The books recommended from VBScab are the best ones to start with. If you are good with Windows Installer basics then you can easily understand the packaging concepts.

Some best practices followed by most of the packagers are below.

1. Remove Desktop shortcut and other help shortcuts.

2. Suppress Auto-update.

3. Validate ICE errors and fix them.

4. Suppress Auto-Reboot.

5. Follow component rules.

6. Remove junk files and registries that are not needed when creating a MSI through setup capture.

7. Remove windows update.log if captured.

8. Perform Setup capture in a clean machine.

9. Always do a manual review of the source before starting with the packaging part. Understand what is the requirement and then proceed.

Posted by: anonymous_9363 6 years ago
Red Belt
One more thing... if you give up tracking down the free copy of Phil's book, you're probably not suited to Packaging. Think about why I say that :-)
Posted by: lgovindprakash 6 years ago
Senior Yellow Belt
Hi all,

Thanks for the information. I will go through that book to understand more about it. :)
Posted by: Tempril 6 years ago
Purple Belt
A good packager once said to me - Custom Actions are for making coffee, MSI's can do most of what you need, you just need to learn and understand how to do it.  He also said other things about people who use CA's but I won't post those comments here :)
CA's are reserved for things the MSI can't do.
I learnt recently how to fix a file association using the Extension table instead of pulling in REG files.
Read, Learn, Test
Posted by: apptopack 6 years ago
Red Belt
Also learn by clicking f1 on the tool which would open up the help library.

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