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Application Install/Release tools

The application I work on is a distributed web based architecture.  The application layer is a combination of COM objects, .NET objects, and .NET webservices.

We just finished our first alpha install, and I spent many many hours setting up COM+ applications, registering components, creating virtual directiories, and the like.

The install tools that I'm familiar with all seem to be designed for applications that are installed completely on the client.

What kind of tools are available that are designed to automate this kind of server side setup?  We've tried automating some of this through scripts, but they're not very robust. 

Future installs will (hopefully) be done by techs, not programmers, who as much automation and error handling as possible is a good thing.  Does anyone have experience with installs like this?

Thursday, March 6, 2003

I am not aware of any Server-specific installation tools, but I have written installations in both Wise and Install Shield to perform server installations.  I believe either of these should be capable of doing most of the tasks you mentioned, such as registering COM objects, etc.  Good luck.

Tom Davies
Thursday, March 6, 2003

The installer projects in Visual Studio .Net seem to be pretty good at doing this sort of thing. And you can include .Net code in the installer to do anything more advanced than what is provided by default.

Thursday, March 6, 2003

For the COM+ stuff, just click on the application (package) in Component Services and use the Export menu option.

This should create an MSI file which, when double clicked on the target machine, will install and register everything for you.

Don't know anything about the .Net stuff though. Sorry.

Friday, March 7, 2003

This sounds like consultantware (ERP). You should send out some highly paid consultants to configure and install this.

Friday, March 7, 2003

That's what we're trying to avoid.  Sending out a programmer to do the install is a waste of time and money, and interferes with the development schedule.

Friday, March 7, 2003

I have written an Installation for a server package in InstallShield 7.0.  Both the InstallShield Professional 7.0 and latest Wise installer will work.  Would you feel more confortable using MSI then use it.  Both Wise and InstallShield have MSI Install Systems.  Issue is InstallShield use a C/Pascal Like Scripting language and Wise Script appears more VB like.  There will be a little over head in learning the scripting langage but will it save time for your developers.

A Software Build Guy
Monday, March 10, 2003

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