What's New with SMS Installer

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Nov 29, 2001


by Dana Daugherty

This article provides an overview of the new features in the newest release of SMS Installer (version 2.0.148)

Dana Daugherty's latest article provides an overview of the new features in the most recent release of SMS Installer, version 2.0.148. The major addition in this version is integration with Windows Installer, with built-in tools for compiling new scripts and converting old ones into the Windows Installer format.

Version 2.0.148 provides integration with Windows Installer. There are tools provided to compile new scripts into the Windows Installer format and tools provided to convert old scripts and program executables to the Windows Installer format.


SMS Installer Interface

The new interface includes the option to compile as a Windows Installer package. This provides the .msi file. It can be run using the standard Windows Installer syntax: MSIEXEC /option package.msi /option


Installer Step-up Utility (ISU)

ISU is a command-line utility that will convert SMS Installer packages into Windows Installer format. It is located in the Microsoft SMS Installer program group. Syntax can be found using this command: ISU /?


Purpose of Conversion

What's the purpose in compiling or converting scripts to the Windows Installer format? Windows Installer is an installation service that contains the following parts:

-    An installation service that resides on the operating system

-    A standard format for defining the state of an installed application

-    A management API for applications and tools

If you haven't noticed, nearly all applications now use the Windows Installer for setting up the application. Previously, each setup program used its own setup rules. A system could have a hundred or more programs installed in its lifetime. Each of these programs would have been installed or uninstalled based on its own rulers. New programs could break existing ones, and uninstalling programs could leave multiple files behind. As you can imagine this can quickly turn into a real mess. It only makes sense for SMS Installer to join the "team". 

Why continue to use SMS Installer? SMS installer provides many flexible programming features to SMS admins that aren't readily available and at no additional cost. It's a good tool and provides some integration with SMS.


Helpful Links

Download SMS Installer v2.0.148
http://www.microsoft.com/smsmgmt/downloads/installer.asp

Deploying Windows Installer Files using SMS
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/sms/deploy/depovg/deplymsi.asp?frame=true


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