Hi. We've been creating MSI packages on our CC3 network at a primary school with mixed success. Sometimes we can do it without a hitch and other times - often for very basic software - we get nowehere. We're using WINLE and the AppWiz. Neither of us has been on the package build course, and are not likely to get ever get funding for it.
Our biggest problem is that the shortcuts don't show up in the program set. Or when they do, they seem to "displace" another shortcut. And once in a while, the shortcut shows up but doesn't work. We do know about copying and pasting into the shortcut bank, and we always start with a clean workstation. And we have declared surrender on DigiBlue.
Can anyone give us any tips, or any recommendations for a package build sequence that helps? If the RM course really does help, we'll start a campaign to get one of us sent on it. It looks like RM used to have a troubleshooting guide on the Knowledge base, but it's vanished.
The course I went on was extremely useful (plus good food and one of the few away days we get). I think RM Support will only help so far unless you have been on the course as well so you will hit barriers if you try and sort some things through them.
As for hints or tips, not much I can say sorry. Make sure the maching is clean, the package user is reset & follow the wizard. If you are merging a current MSI then make sure it is in it's own folder. If shortcuts are missing make your own and put them in the shortcuts folder in the package folder. Makes sure you run the software at least once during the build process & possibly even check the options to see if there is anything you want set in there.
Creating packages that way can be very hit and miss at times and largely depends on the software you're trying to package up and whether it was written properly in the first place.
With shortcuts - generally speaking if the shortcut works on the clean machine, these should work on the network. If not, check the target and change if necessary. Make sure they point to a drive letter and directory, not UNC path. Something to also bare in mind is that shortcuts that don't point to an executable file or don't have an icon will not show on the Start menu group when normal users log on.
RM also provide some help for building packages for common software called Blueprint - have a look here (RM account required).
Ohhh and as for surrendering with DigiBlue, I think everyone has.
Do you look at the RM Community forum? That can be a very useful place for information on packages, either problems occuring or tricks to get things working.
There used to be an RM article with a huge PDF giving information about creating a package for different software. It gave an ease rating, any tips, or problems and the like. Of course I can't find it now but you may have more luck.
Thanks very much, everyone. Some of the things you've said have helped already. I feel incredibly thick for not knowing about the shortcut folder. I have been on the CC3 course, and we did a highly condensed session on package building, but the instructor didn't think he could really go into much detail. Fridays are "package build" days, and I would like to finish one with all the hair I started with.
If I had my druthers, I would go on the course. We also have used the Blueprints for a couple packages. I come from a programming background and don't find the ideas about it difficult, but I always have the feeling that the RM stuff is doing things I don't know about. (Wearing a tin foil hat helps, I am told.)
Cheers. An don't feel you need to quit talking....
Hi Michelle, there are three ways to make packages
If the program will run from the workstations hard disk you will need to make an MSI Package.
If the program will run from a CD you will need to make a Virtual CD ROM.
If the program will run from a CD ROM and from the hard disk at the same time you will need to make a Virtual CD ROM, and then make the package from the inserted virtual CD (NOT the real CD). This links the MSI and VCD together.
I have been on the course and made some notes in Word that I can email to you if you like. firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to everyone for all your suggestions. I went in this afternoon and shifted some shortcuts, tweaked some targets, renamed a few things and now all those noddy little annoying packages are in their program sets, working nicely for garden-variety students. We may now go back to a CD-based program we had given up on and have another crack at it.
The troubleshooting package pdf seems to have been taken off the RM site. If anyone has a copy banging around, I would love to have one.
Make an EXEFile package that calls one batch file on allocate and maybe another on deallocate and you can do lots of very useful things very easily e.g.
-You have some app with an EXE installer that supports a variant of a /silent switch.
-You want to run any XP CLI command on the workstations (once)
-You want to run a script on the workstations (once).
-You want to simply copy one or more files to the workstations.
-You have a vendor MSI like JRE that won't uninstall with the routine msiexec switches (call msiexec from those batch files with the required switches)