Software Deployment Question

Customizing the ISM before Compiling MSI

12/03/2012 3575 views

Hi all,

I am a new adminstudio application packager and so I would like to know what strategy do you use to know exactly how to customize an ism. How to you know what to modify add or remove. How do you know you need a vbscript rather then a custom action. Are there any best practice documents on what to customize on the ism to rebuilt.

Thank you in advance!!

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All Answers


This is a really difficult question to answer in general terms, since it depends on the specific application you are repackaging.

Generally speaking your distinction between vbscript and custom action is not correct. A custom action is just an action that executes something that you determined is needed during the install. This can be, amongst other options, the execution of a (VB)script.

The next important step is to eliminate from the capture all files, registry keys etc that are not directly linked to the application. Learning to identify these is a big part of gaining experience as a packager. As an exercise you could try doing a capture of a machine rebooting, or just running idly for awhile, and see what kinds of changes you capture. This can be a reference on what you might want to eliminate from future packages.


Answered 12/04/2012 by: pjgeutjens
Red Belt

  • @ pjgeutjens. Thanks ur feedback is much appreciated. While messing around with my package, I also realise that a very important step (for me at least) that can guide me through my couse of action to take for packaging is to install the software,

    By doing so, it allowed me to:

    -Identify which language, feature or components are necesarry or which one needs to be disabled for my client.
    -Automatically set the Country property to proper value
    -Automate the adding of the SerialNumber property
    -Disable Automatic Updates by creating a component
    -Whether client wants to add shortcut on desktop or not, whether preinstall script should be created as part of msi built in order to remove previous applciation versions

    Yes indeed, now my challenge is to learn how to manipulate reg key, ini, file and all its content. Other the capturing the OS prior to installaton and identify the changes after application installation, are there any tools or alternatives to eliminating junk file from ism.

  • the only good tool I know for that is your brain...
    (well, that and good global exclusion lists to avoid double work)

    And yes, when creating a package for a piece of software using a capture, installing that software is a very important step ;-)
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