Part2 – Tools of the trade – your tools in EUC – SetupCommander
Yesterday, September 23rd, VirtualExpo was held. A online conference elimination travel, hotel costs. VirtualExpo is organized by @XenAppblog (Trond Haavarstein). Together me my co-worker Hayscen de Lannoy (@HdeLannoy) we created a light session about tools we use in the field. In our work we see people struggling with tools and something oblivious about them. Some tools are used already but not always user efficiently. so our thought was that we show real quick how to use them and we hoped that the majority of the audience would gain something from it. If you watched and knew all tools and the way we used them, the session was not for you…. hope you still enjoyed it. Let’s talk about the the second phase we discussed, packaging with Setup Commander
For the rest I hope we got you triggered to try the tool or try the way we used it. Let’s do a little recap as promised about the tools we presented. As we said in during VirtualExpo we went along as if we had a little project. Project have a certain organic way of going along, I think in phases;
- Assessment phase where you determine what you’re up against
- Application packaging where the applications are created including the specific configuration
- Application deployment where you deploy the applications and the configuration to the golden images
- Fix issues, every project has issues that need to be fixed
So with the four phases we have presented five tools, the fix phase sometimes needs more angles to look at. So let’s make a quick list of the tools we talked about at VirtualExpo. The second article is about phase two – packaging with Setup Commander.
- For part 1 about phase 1 please click this link – link –
- For part 3 about phase 3 please click this link – link –
- For part 4 about phase 4 please click this link – link –
A tool presented by Hayscen de Lannoy was Setup Commander, it enables you to add industry chosen settings to application packages. There are more ways of packaging applications but it is always a big thing to get all the settings right. What we see often is the struggle to find the way to disable e.g. the EULA for an application or to disable the application auto update feature.
So there is a product we use for that, Setup Commander. It has a vast database with application settings and you can create your own application MST from an MSI file on the fly selecting what you want to set as a setting.
The installation is a breeze, there is no database and no backend, you just install it and load the license file. You need to have connection to Internet to work with the product as it downloads the latest definitions from products regularly and will check for it when you open the store. The store is the location where all the applications are located, that’s the place to start.
It is compatible with the major deployment products, like MDT, SCCM, KACE and RES ONE Automation. There is export and import functionality available to work with those products. You get asked when starting what you want to work with.
When you only work with Executables you don’t have the advanced features but it will create the installation file for you with the silent installation parameters.
Create an application
So let’s create an application like we did in the demo, let’s create an Adobe Reader package. You start by opening the application Setup Commander and click on the menu item Setup Store. The program will download the setup store database so you always have the latest version and additions.
Once the Setup Store from Setup Commander is ready you can search for a partial name, latest additions or per vendor as shown in the application already. So normally you know which vendor you are looking for an you can click on that vendor you need. So we created a Adobe Reader application. Select the version that you want and download it.
Depending on what deployment method you use you will now create the deployment file to import this application for deployment. We used RES Automation but it could be anything. So if you now right click on the application you are presented a menu.
The menu gives you a lot of options, you can edit the MSI with Orca, Advanced installer or InstEd. You can search on ITNinja for a solution if it is not in the list here and as we selected RES ONE Automation for deployment we can create a RES ONE Building block.
So right click on Adobe reader of any application you selected and Choose “Create RES ONE Building block”. You will see the next screen pop-up. In this section you can select what you want to set for the application, per application it will differ to the amount of settings that are possible.
If you would scroll down you’ll see the EULA setting we set, that is that stupid pop-up every user is complaining about, just like the update one and Google Chromes import question. So to disable just mark the setting. As you see there are more settings, click around and tune to what you like. If you click OK here the MST file is created, that easy. Now we have two files in the directory.
So the next screen to pop-up is the screen that asks you for the building block, how do you want it to be named and more things like that.
Again if you click Ok here the XML file that you need to import it into RES ONE automation is created by Setup Commander. So clicking ok and see what happens. The directory is filling up and now we have three files there, the MSI, the transform MST and the RES Building block XML file.
You have the ability to auto import it into RES ONE Automation but only if RES One Automation is open already. So if you do click OK and the resources and modules are created. easy does it.
Setup Commander can make your life in projects a lot easier, it’s not a free product but searching for tuning things on the Internet also is not free. They can be found at http://www.setupcommander.com if you are interested… tell them we send you, perhaps we get a share also 🙂
This are phase 2 packaging of applications, let’s move on to phase three the deployment…