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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS & MSI in Technical; Originally Posted by CyberNerd So it sounds like you are asking them to just produce an MSI and not support ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    So it sounds like you are asking them to just produce an MSI and not support it's installation method?
    But thats what they do now just with an exe file they have no way of knwing wether i double click it write a script etc

    Im tempted esp as ive just had to run round installing dotnet4 on a load of pcs as it now needs that to install it as a ts remote app only one place to fix it then

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    But thats what they do now just with an exe file they have no way of knwing wether i double click it write a script etc

    Im tempted esp as ive just had to run round installing dotnet4 on a load of pcs as it now needs that to install it as a ts remote app only one place to fix it then
    There are other remote installation methods that will deploy .exe files. WPKG, for example will do it, for free.
    It just seems to me that because there are loads of educational apps that don't deploy by MSI, insisting that deployment files are MSI kind of misses the point - get a better remote software deployment tool that does work, no?

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    Remember this, Phil?


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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    So it sounds like you are asking them to just produce an MSI and not support it's installation method?
    Why wouldn't they support it? An installer is an installer. It sticks files on a disk, registry records in the registry, registers dlls and starts services. It is not some giant leap to go from one installer to MSI!

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Why wouldn't they support it? An installer is an installer. It sticks files on a disk, registry records in the registry, registers dlls and starts services. It is not some giant leap to go from one installer to MSI!
    They've already got an installer, just your deployment method doesn't support it.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    They've already got an installer, just your deployment method doesn't support it.
    The deployment method used by the majority of their customers. The one built into every domain (which the majority of their customers have), the one which has been built and tested for 10 years, and works with any deployment system I can think of.

    So, what's your argument again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    So, what's your argument again?
    Get a better deployment software and stop whining about the fact that Capita don't support the system you chose. I'm quite happy they don't insist everyone deploys with Active Directory, it keeps costs down for other schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Get a better deployment software and stop whining about the fact that Capita don't support the system you chose. I'm quite happy they don't insist everyone deploys with Active Directory, it keeps costs down for other schools.
    MSIs are in no way locked to Active Directory. If you wanted to you could use Novel eDirectory and their ZenWorks package to deploy MSIs with no AD lock in in site. Alternatively WPKG (open source) will quite happily deploy MSIs. MSIs are just a very nice and easy to use packaging format that 99.999% of companies use unless they want to lock you into a proprietary way of deploying their application.

    In the commercial world if you couldn't deploy it via MSI it's very unlikely it'll get a look in. If you can't use a standard enterprise deployment solution (such as Zenworks, SCCM or A.N.Other) to deploy and track why would you waste your time? I have to say I find it quite telling that for a brand new SIMS install that's only recently been completed Capita didn't bother to install SOLOUS 3, nor do I want to use a special console to deploy SIMS. I'd much rather then time and effort that was spent developing SOLUS 3 had been spent on redesigning the SIMS database schemea so that it actually made sense, made use of modern (as in the last 20 years) database techniques (views, stored procedures?!? what are they?!) and gave actual reasonable performance.

    Why reinvent the wheel when there's a perfectly satisfactory system already in place that 99.999999999% of schools, business, managed service providers and anyone thats spent any time in IT already uses.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Get a better deployment software and stop whining about the fact that Capita don't support the system you chose. I'm quite happy they don't insist everyone deploys with Active Directory, it keeps costs down for other schools.
    You seem to think that MSI means 'Locked to Active Directory', it doesn't. It means 'runs on Windows'. That's all. It works with pretty much every method of deployment I've ever encountered, whilst other installers don't.

    So, it isn't the deployment system that's the problem, its the installer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Get a better deployment software and stop whining about the fact that Capita don't support the system you chose.
    Imagine if Capita released a version of SIMS for Linux or Mac OS X. Would you want them to use something other than DEB/RPM or PKG/ZIP/DMG?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Imagine if Capita released a version of SIMS for Linux or Mac OS X. Would you want them to use something other than DEB/RPM or PKG/ZIP/DMG?
    YES! exactly, If if I had the choice they would offer it as a jnlp/war that runs on over 3billion devices and doesn't require installation at all. but that isn't going to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You seem to think that MSI means 'Locked to Active Directory', it doesn't. It means 'runs on Windows'. That's all. It works with pretty much every method of deployment I've ever encountered, whilst other installers don't.

    So, it isn't the deployment system that's the problem, its the installer.
    The issue I have isn't with MSI per se - it's that there is an assumption that the majority of capitas customers (which are infact primaries) have a ready and waiting group policy install system, which they don't. A better solution is solus3 because it will install SIMS on workstations regardless of they domain membership.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post

    The issue I have isn't with MSI per se - it's that there is an assumption that the majority of capitas customers (which are infact primaries) have a ready and waiting group policy install system, which they don't. A better solution is solus3 because it will install SIMS on workstations regardless of they domain membership.
    You don't need to have a domain or Active Directory to use MSIs. A properly authored MSI can decide which OS it's running on, so you only need one MSI for XP, W7 or server. This is standard stuff, I've authored quite a few myself. With proper tools (I use Flexera Adminstudio), you can use the full power of the MSI scripting language, or component 'install level' flags. There are three modes of MSI install - deployed (through group policy), manual and administrative.

    MSI makes deployment so easy, whether in a large organisation (our AD has close to 7,000 machines), or manual install, or from a push-script. It would be simple for Capita to provide an MSI for GP deployment, which could also be pushed out by whatever publishing system they chose to make, for those users that do not use GP deployment. It would have taken a fraction of the effort.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 3rd October 2011 at 09:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    You don't need to have a domain or Active Directory to use MSIs.
    PLEASE stop telling me this. I really am quite familiar with methods of deploying software. I'm repeating myself a bit now, I'm just saying that there are stacks of non-msi files that need installing on a school systems so having something that remotely deploys .exe is better than using something that only deploys .msi
    At some level Capita need to decide which remote deployment system they will support, and they decided solus3 was the best option. I really don't have a problem with that - they don't need to repackage to msi because they have a system that remotely deploys SIMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    PLEASE stop telling me this. I really am quite familiar with methods of deploying software. I'm repeating myself a bit now, I'm just saying that there are stacks of non-msi files that need installing on a school systems so having something that remotely deploys .exe is better than using something that only deploys .msi
    At some level Capita need to decide which remote deployment system they will support, and they decided solus3 was the best option. I really don't have a problem with that - they don't need to repackage to msi because they have a system that remotely deploys SIMS.
    Ok, why are you assuming that SOLUS3 *doesn't* work with MSI files? As Matt40k said earlier, it does. So, the fact they're using MSIs would make absolutely zero difference to the thousands of primary customers. However, most primary schools have IT support of some form, and therefore should have someone with half a brain who can deploy MSI files with or without active directory, or SOLUS3 or any other specific deployment system. Hell, you can even just write a script to use psexec and msiexec to do the install for you with MSIs. Can't get much simpler than that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, why are you assuming that SOLUS3 *doesn't* work with MSI files?
    I wasn't assuming it doesn't work with MSI, it just doesn't need to.

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