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Educational Software Thread, What software is a pain to package. in Technical; Office 2007 does have MSIs but doesn't support using them directly. This is part of a move by MS to ...
  1. #31

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    Re: What software is a pain to package.

    Office 2007 does have MSIs but doesn't support using them directly.

    This is part of a move by MS to change the way software is deployed. A big problem with group policy deployment of software is that it can really slug network performance if you push out an MSI at machine startup to a large number of PCs.

    You can silently install Office 2007 (and all the recent MS products) - you just have to put the right config.XML file in the same location as setup.exe and it will install silently (or in any way you want). Put the MSP files in the updates folder and they get installed as well (and this is how you customise the setup process)

    For the future, you need to start using "Business Desktop Deployment" - details at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/l.../bb490308.aspx and when you've worked out how to do it, please let me know :-)

  2. #32
    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Re: What software is a pain to package.

    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc
    Raise Achievment in Religious studies.

    Does anyone know a good how to for Orca?
    When I deployed the KS3 English and PE titles, from memory the issue was that it wanted to be run from the bootstrap setup exe. To allow the MSI to run without the exe, see here.

  3. #33
    projector1's Avatar
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    i installed photoshop elements 4.0 via msi. The issue now is that elements has associated itself with pdf files. When the users launch a pdf file it opens up with elements rather than acrobat reder 8.
    Anybody experience this?

  4. #34

    Geoff's Avatar
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    you can use the 'ftype' and 'assoc' commands in a batch file to fix that.

  5. #35
    Gromit's Avatar
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    The only piece of software that installed 100% without problems here was Office 2003. Virtually all educational software (primary) gives us problems. Those that come with msi's promise so much and rarely deliver, and those we have to package (on Ranger 5) won't behave once rolled out, usually because they've been written for W9x and expect access to all areas of the C drive, whereas in an XP Pro environment with clients fairly well locked down, the program falls over because it can't write to a part of the C drive (all pupils' files are saved to a server share).

    What I don't understand is the software writer's concept of network installation. To me, if a product is sold as can be installed on a network, it should mean that you can make a software install GPO, link the GPO to the client OU and off you go. What most educational software's idea of network installation is you can put it on a server, then walk round all of your clients and install it on the client from the server. I can't see that as any benefit over taking the CD round to every client.

    I'd really appreciate some sort of league table of software that can show clearly who has made the effort to make it install from the server with a GPO (surely the only sane way of doing it these days with so many clients in schools) and who hasn't. Then we vote with our pockets and don't buy the stuff that won't, despite how good it might be. The downside may be that only MS software would get top ratings, as it installs so easily... However maybe it will give writers of desirable stand-alone software the incentive to get it to roll out effortlessly from a server without having to walk to every client machine.

    Although we try to have everything rolled out using a GPO or as a second option package builder in Ranger 5, I do have to have some software as part of the Ghost image, as it's impossible to roll out any other way. However, I feel that Ghost imaging is an inelegant way to add or remove software; using GPOs is far more elegant.

    As with everything, you get what you pay for, and I wouldn't mind if a piece of £50 software was a pain to roll out, but a lot of these companies are jumping on the 'let's have a maintenance charge or a licensing fee and get a steady income' bandwagon (as with SIMS) and not coming up with the goods. You can say what you like about MS but when you consider what you do get for your money compared to the likes of SIMS or some software manufacturers, it's a bargain.

    To get back on thread, we're currently bashing our heads against Coco3, as it will roll out reasonably OK but four of the simulations it claims are not installed (even though they are there in the same directory as the other five that it can show). Digital Blue for the QX5 microscopes just won't work, the software for the Canon scanners that we have everywhere won't permit us to build a package as it has some sort of licence protection on it, Catch Up Literacy CD1 is a crock (although CD2 went out with only minor tweaking), and ACTIVprimaryMV installed to a distribution point (using setup.exe /a) as if it would roll out but it never appears on the client machine, and tries to install every time the client is started.

    I wonder how many thousands of hours are wasted every year across schools trying to install ropey software? Of course, for our BSF colleagues in high schools this will soon all be done for them - if it's anything like the PFI model (and it will be, or worse) then it'll simply be 'This software won't install on the network so you can't use it.' Problem solved!
    Last edited by Gromit; 28th March 2008 at 03:30 PM.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gromit View Post

    I wonder how many thousands of hours are wasted every year across schools trying to install ropey software? Of course, for our BSF colleagues in high schools this will soon all be done for them - if it's anything like the PFI model (and it will be, or worse) then it'll simply be 'This software won't install on the network so you can't use it.' Problem solved!
    I have recently updated our software protocols. It now states that suppliers must provide an msi from which an admin install can be created and we must be able to get an undertaking from the supplier that if the admin install does not produce a GPO deployable package, they will gives us a refund or if a trial installation works it must be convertible to a full install with a license key. I know I am probably blowing in the wind, but I am fed up with "I have just bought this great little piece of software and I need it on all 650 machines tomorrow". Staff have to fill in a software purchase request that I follow up with the supplier before approval. No approval = no installation!

  7. #37

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    I am having a nightmare with Solidworks 2007 here at the moment - but i'm determined to get it cracked.

  8. #38
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    Abacus Evolve with I-Planner is often a real pain in the rear to install standalone, I would hate to try anything more complicated with it.

  9. #39
    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    Nelson Thornes Software....

    Especially the latest e-maths, which doesnt work with rthe latest flash version. No workaround - other than down grade flash! YEah like thats gonna happen for one piece of software.

    Prodesktop 8 was a pain too

  10. #40

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    Abacus Evolve with I-Planner is often a real pain in the rear to install standalone, I would hate to try anything more complicated with it.
    And I was particularly impressed by the way it seems to install its own SQL server in order to run itself.

    regards

    Simon

  11. #41
    conehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    And I was particularly impressed by the way it seems to install its own SQL server in order to run itself.

    regards

    Simon
    I hope that's an ironic comment. To me it's a bit rum that it's written so that it needs mssql running, every install that staff have done at home of this has stopped working after a while, OK with lappys, they can bring them in for tweakage, but some are desktops. I think microsoft updates broke most of them with dot.net updates.

    On a diffferent piece of kit, anybody had Maths-Whizz experiences they would like to share. The newer version is a bit better, but still requires an internet connection on the computer to complete the registration. But at least you don't have to put in different serial numbers for each year that has been purchased any longer. Still only installs for the active user and needs icons copying to all users though after. It's probably network installable now, I may phone them and ask them how to finish the install on a machine without internet access, unless somebody already knows which will make the whole packaging job doable in one swoop.
    Last edited by conehead; 4th April 2008 at 11:44 AM.

  12. #42
    chrbb's Avatar
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    Old thread but.....

    Originally Posted by Gatt
    Most stuff I tend to try and create AutoIT files for and use psexec to get it onto a users PC..
    Any chance of any help with this? I failed miserably with starspell msi. so have written an autoit script but can never get it to work with psexec.

  13. #43


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    Quote Originally Posted by chrbb View Post
    Old thread but.....



    Any chance of any help with this? I failed miserably with starspell msi. so have written an autoit script but can never get it to work with psexec.
    I use this method a fair bit. If you post up the AutoIT script and the other scripts you use to evoke it, I'll have a look.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 9th September 2008 at 04:24 PM.

  14. #44
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    I do a bog standard autoit script - winwait next etc then compile it with scite. Can i use psexec to distribute and install on remote machines?

  15. #45


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    Quote Originally Posted by chrbb View Post
    I do a bog standard autoit script - winwait next etc then compile it with scite. Can i use psexec to distribute and install on remote machines?
    Yes, I do it quite often. I tend to have an autoit script that'll run a silent install and then do any of the icon moving, reg hacking, whatever I require.

    EDIT:

    This is what I use.

    psexec \\%1 -c -d -u {domain}\{user name} -p {pass} Autoitscript.exe
    I then use this script to run it on several machines.

    echo area Started >> "Areas deployed.txt"
    FOR %%A IN (Pc1 Pc2 Pc3) DO call roll %%A
    echo area Finished >> "Areas deployed.txt"
    Just bunch the name of the PCs in between the bracket. The echo bits arn't required, I just use them to keep track of what I've done.

    EDIT EDIT:

    Just remember to use full UNC paths back to your sever in the autoit script or it won't work.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 9th September 2008 at 07:53 PM.

  16. Thanks to K.C.Leblanc from:

    chrbb (9th September 2008)



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