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Software Deployment Question


Free or Demo MSI Packagers

07/10/2007 3746 views
Are there any Free or Demo MSI packagers? I know the Veritas Winstall from the Windows 2000 CD, but are there any others? I have the Computer Associates Software Packager, but I can not get the converted MSI files to run on machines without the CA Agent installed.
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ORCA [:D]
Answered 07/10/2007 by: HotSpot
Orange Senior Belt

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I would say if it doesn't run without an agent it is not Windows Installer standard. Check and see if the package has launch conditions in it. CA might do that in their packaging template or something. Maybe you can set up the template not to do that. Even if you want to integrate tightly with the CA back end I don't think it's a good idea to have that dependency in the MSI, as it limits your flexibility and it really is not standard.

As for free or demo, all the vendors have demo versions of their products with some limited functionality or timeout period.
Answered 07/10/2007 by: aogilmor
9th Degree Black Belt

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This is what CA support told me..."The MSI created via the packager is more of an emulation wrapper of an MSI rather than a true MSI, therefore it needs an SDO agent installed."
This is not what I wanted to hear, but oh well. I have used ORCA to edit but never create. I will check it out.

Thanks
Answered 07/10/2007 by: madsquirrel21
Senior Yellow Belt

0
Orca is pretty difficult to create with.

You may also want to look at WIX.

Its free on source forge and great for producing applications that need to be recompiled constantly (ie during a development process)
Answered 07/10/2007 by: jmcfadyen
5th Degree Black Belt

0
Is it me?!?

A Google for 'freeware +msi +create' produced enough hits to keep you busy. I used Advanced Installer (the first hit) a few years back when I dipped my toe into MSI for a stingy client who didn't want to spring for the proper tools.

You would want to avoid creating an MSI from scratch in Orca unless you are a *complete* propeller-head (no offense to anyone...)
Answered 07/11/2007 by: VBScab
Red Belt

0
You would want to avoid creating an MSI from scratch in Orca unless you are a *complete* propeller-head (no offense to anyone...)
Well if you know what you're doing there shouldn't be any problem creating clean MSIs using ORCA thus WiX has a nice XML structure which in the end is the same as using ORCA. ORCA is a nice tool and in combined with ex. vbscript it shouldn't take that long time to create a smaller package. I wouldn't use ORCA to create big once though.
Answered 07/11/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

0
ORIGINAL: madsquirrel21
This is what CA support told me..."The MSI created via the packager is more of an emulation wrapper of an MSI rather than a true MSI, therefore it needs an SDO agent installed."
This is not what I wanted to hear, but oh well. I have used ORCA to edit but never create. I will check it out.
Thanks


Yeah, that seems like a strange reply. I wonder if they even know the difference between MSI and non-MSI installations. I'd like to see the "emulation" (as they put it) and see if it really creates a MSI file. Installshield installations, for example, often contain references and custom actions with installshield binaries and so forth, will wrap everything in an EXE file and will try to prevent you from running the MSI without them. But if you dissect the MSI with Orca or Wise you can often take out the offending proprietary parts so you can run the plain MSI or use a transform - with varying levels of difficulty depending on the installation.

Also, IMHO, any vendor that creates non-MSI installations for Windows is out of their mind. setup.exe and script installations are going the way of batch files. Actually probably not even that since some batch files will still be useful...[:D]
Answered 07/11/2007 by: aogilmor
9th Degree Black Belt

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I am trying to package Jinitiator 1.3.1.22 with a custom certdb.txt placed in the lib\security dir. I found a free one on hte windows 2000 server CD in the valueadd winInstall. I suppose I will try this one
Answered 07/12/2007 by: madsquirrel21
Senior Yellow Belt

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Although winInstall is free (if you don't account for the 2000 server price) I wouldn't use it. I've only heard bad stories about it.
Answered 07/12/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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LOL...and Wise and InstallShield are flawless, of course. :)

I've used it in the past and, while it never made it to my top ten, it's perfectly serviceable.
Answered 07/13/2007 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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Maybe they have aproved winInstall to work in a better manner.
I havn't used it just heard others statements.

and Wise and InstallShield are flawless
We always could hope they were :)
Answered 07/16/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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Actually I keep a copy of WinInstall LE from the Win2000 CD handy. It captures way too much info but sometimes that is a good thing.
Answered 07/18/2007 by: kkaminsk
9th Degree Black Belt

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Hi hear you Kevin,

Capturing and monitoring tools are invaluable tools for troubleshooting and alike.
Answered 07/18/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

 
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