Systems Management Question

cleaning up installs via sms (without packaging) using scripts?

01/16/2007 4395 views
Hi. I work for a large engineering company in the UK as an application deployment analyst.

This entails, doing initial discovery of application, writing up instruction for installation for packagers, then doing i initial quality assurance\uat, then distributing the appllication via sms. Most applications are packaged, but then due to sla's there are some that we don't package, and just deploy direct from media onto sms.

Some of the applications do not install very well, e.g. instead of installing to c:\program files, they install to root of c: drive. There are some which do not create shortcut on start menu.

Is there any vbscript\custom action that can be run to remedy this so that a vendor msi or vendor setup.exe file can be modified (without packaging) so that it installs to c:\program files, and creates shortcut on the start menu, and removes shortcuts from the desktop, and adds lock permissions.

Please advise. This would be very much appreciated
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If you as an application deployment analyst are doing quality assurance of packages then I would strongly recommend you to build up your knowledge on how the MSI technology works and how the tables are used. If you do not have this knowledge or time to learn then use another packager to verify and validate the package made by others. If the package behaves in an unwished manner which is descovered through production deployment it seems that you misses a vital step in the application life-cycle; Testing.
Make sure that you test deploy in an isolated similare production environment with standard clients. Through the test deployment you will notice missbehaviour and in such way can be fixed before production deployment.

There is no general or simple way to validate that every package does behave as you want, vendors does not know your environment and it would be impossible for them to know every environment on the planet.

I suggest you set up guidelines for packaging, test phase and deployment.
Answered 01/16/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

Thankyou very much for the reply. I think you might have misunderstood the question though. There is no problem with our packaged applications, and I do understand that there is no way that a vendor can know every environment, but i was just asking about the case of applications that are deployed over sms direct from the vendor media (i.e. without any packaging). Is there any vbscript that can be run to add lock permissions, force the application to install to c:\program files, force installation to create shortcut on start menu, and to delete shortcut etc.

Please advise
Answered 01/17/2007 by: kantama
Yellow Belt

Well using vbscript it's possible to create an MSI from scratch fromout an MSI template but I wouldn't do that ;)
Search around for vbscript and I guess you find more then enuf.

Do not use the LockPermissions table as these permissions will overwrite any existing. Search for setacl, secedit and you'll find discussions on what to use instead.

The INSTALLDIR will most often be used to point where the applications should be installed so by verifying that the value of Directory_Parent column value is set the ProgramFilesFolder should be enuf. Be aware that CustomActions could be authored to change any directory/property pointing to another folder.
Answered 01/17/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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