Wanting to move away from WiseScript Editor

Here at my company I've been using WiseScript editor to create MSI wrappers for years now.  I use InstallShield to create an MSI, but then I use a WiseScript to call the MSI and I use it heavily for pre and post installation purposes.  WiseScript is dead according to everything that I've found online, but I'm having a hard time finding a replacement app that gives me the same features.  Some say to use Powershell as a wrapper, but that still doesn't feel like the same features or ease of use for me.  I'm also concerned with being able to manually just double-click and launch a .ps1 file if we ever need to manually launch an install on a user's station.  Right now WiseScript creates an EXE so any admin can launch it.  To my knowledge you have to launch a .ps1 with a specific command line in the appropriate execution policy is not configured on the station, which it's not at the moment.  We currently use Symantec Management Platform as our method of application distribution. 

I'm a self taught packager so I'm completely open to new ideas but I'm having a hard time finding the right place to guide me in the right direction for best practices.  When I search for packaging best practices everything talks about creating the MSI.  That's typically not a problem for me.  I just have a hard time figuring out the pre/post installation tasks that I need to perform around the MSI.  Maybe I'm just missing something.  Thank you all for you help.

EDIT:  Doing a bit more research.  I'm curious if using a Powershell script to perform my pre/post installation work and then using something like IExpress.exe to create an EXE with my .ps1 and MSI would be a best practice?  What do you guys think?  Just to add more fun to my situation.  I just learned that Powershell is not installed on XP station, of which about 1/2 of my environment is still at.

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Answers (4)

Posted by: rock_star 7 years ago
4th Degree Black Belt

Powershell is really powerful now .

I would advice you to look into this option "http://psappdeploytoolkit.com" it gives you out exe which can be invoked and run as per your requirement .

XP machine can be patched or updated to run power shell.

  • I actually downloaded that toolkit yesterday but did not fully understand it. I did not realize that it could output as an EXE. I need to read up on it a bit more. - Sacrifice 7 years ago
Posted by: anonymous_9363 7 years ago
Red Belt
What kind of pre- and post-deployment stuff are you doing? After all, your MSIs could contain everything you might need to deploy to a workstation. For user profile-targeted stuff, you'd use self-healing, triggered by a feature containing an advertised entry-point, or Active Setup.

Then, if you want to persist with wrapping into an EXE, you compile an EXE which calls MSIExec and the MSI.

  • I check for the existence of prereq software, grab the OU of the logged in user, check if an application is current running and present the user with a prompt that is forced to the front via VBscript asking the user to close a specific application prior to launching the install. I also write everything to a log while I'm running these checks. If there's a way to do all of this within InstallShield please let me know. Maybe I'm really underestimating what I can put inside of an MSI. - Sacrifice 7 years ago
Posted by: anonymous_9363 7 years ago
Red Belt
- pre-reqs
Use LaunchConditions.

- get OU
I would do this in the log-in script and write an environment variable. That means one AD hit per user, rather than every time an installation runs. Having said that, there's no reason why it couldn't live in the MSI as a Custom Action.

- prompt
Create a custom dialog. 
Posted by: pace-support 7 years ago
10th Degree Black Belt
If you are open to evaluating new tools, try PACE Suite http://pacesuite.com/ It has a variety of features for creating and editing MSI packages.
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