Software Deployment Question

Worth Repackaging - Thoughts?

07/16/2019 449 views

Hi all, 

Looking for general opinions\views. 

I have recently joined an organisation whose historical approach to application packaging is immature...... Basically they never authored MSIs and had a stab at App-V which they quickly backed out of in a political storm of misery. 

As part of a domain migration we are looking to stand up a greenfield SCCM environment to continue co-management. I believe MSIx is at least 18 months from being usable so I'm weighing up the pros and cons and keen to hear views.

1. Spend the time\money discovering and packaging MSIs to a single standard 
2. Spend the time\money discovering and sequencing the applications to a single standard
3. Rationalise the application stack (both products and versions) but retain the mix of installers (EXE, MSI, VBS, PS, CMD)

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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All Answers


Personally, I avoid "repackaging" as much as possible. One of the benefits of the MSI infrastructure is that you shouldn't need to repackage an installer, use a transform instead. The original MSI should be left intact so that it can be swapped out for a new version when one is released by the vendor. 

In the rare cases that the vendor doesn't supply a silent method of installation, then more complicated scripting or repackaging might be necessary, but in my experience the titles that require that extra effort are few these days. Back when I was managing software on Windows NT 4.0 systems for CMU, repackaging was a must, today, not so much.

Note that I don't count extracting the MSI and other files from a setup.exe as "repackaging", although I guess that would be the correct term. 

Answered 07/17/2019 by: chucksteel
Red Belt

  • I see extracting the MSI as "unpackaging"
  • Cheers for the response. I guess my question relates more to MSIx. Is there a benefit in moving to MSI or App-V first or will bulk conversion be available for setup.exe
    • I haven't looked into MSIx in that detail, and until the day comes when I'm forced to distribute everything as an MSIx (which I'm guessing won't happen), then I'm not going to spend time worrying about it. Even the MSI standard, which has been around for, what, 20 years almost, hasn't been adopted by everyone.
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