Welcome to the Wise Solutions system administrator resource area, dedicated to providing you with original articles, links, case studies, white papers, downloads and tips specifically focused on application packaging, Windows Installer, best practices, QA and testing, and much more.
Utilities and Downloads
Windows Installer Command Line Builder: This utility allows you to build command line parameters for Windows Installer (.MSI) packages without having to learn the complicated syntax for the parameters. You can then execute the command line parameters from within this tools or create a shortcut that includes the parameters.
.MSI Diff: Compare two .MSI files and view a report of their differences. This tool can document installation changes for a software release or to troubleshoot problems by comparing the last know working installation with the current one.
Microsoft Elevated Privileges Application Launcher: The Elevated Privileges Application Launcher (EPAL) tool from Microsoft provides the ability to let an application launch under some other user privilege so that it has access to certain components of the local registry or file system. EPAL requires Active Directory for directory-based control of the feature.
Windows Installer (.MSI) Info and Reference
Getting Started Guide for Wise Package Studio: Includes an overview of how to install Wise Package Studio, configuration best practices, and system requirements.
Inside Windows Installer (.MSI) Migration: Learn how to take full advantage of Windows 2000 and XP by migrating applications to Windows Installer format.
Windows Installer FAQ: A wide range of useful information from Microsoft - from getting started to security, upgrades and troubleshooting.
Windows Installer Support Center: A central location for Windows Installer information and support from Microsoft.
Windows Installer Service White Paper: An overview the Windows Installer Service, including the technological benefits it provides to system administrators.
Windows Installer and Office 2000: Read about how to modify code to take advantage of some Windows Installer features, including advertised features and the automation interface.
Platform SDK - Windows Installer: Links to Microsoft's documentation on Windows Installer 2.0, including a road map to the documentation, an overview of the Windows Installer service, and a reference guide for Windows Installer functions.
Platform SDK Update - Windows Installer 2.0: Links to download the Platform SDK for Windows Installer 2.0, including Windows Installer runtime needed to create 64-bit installations and .NET-enabled installations.
Administrators View of Software Installations: Breaks software management for sys admins into three phases - preparation, management and removal - and describes recommended approaches for each phase.
Windows Installer Benefits for System Administrators - White Paper: Describes the benefits and implementation of Windows Installer technology, including packaging applications, customizing installations, troubleshooting, and more.
Windows Installer FAQs: Commonly asked questions and answers about Windows Installer service from AppDeploy.com, which offers a wide variety of useful resources on application deployment.
Windows Installer Error Codes: A list of error codes returned by Windows Installer API, MsiExec.exe, and Inst.Msi.exe. Additional descriptive error messages are available in the Windows Installer SDK help.
The Role of Software Packaging in the Patch Management Process: As soon as a patch is released, the race is on to test and distribute the patch before a hacker exploits the vulnerability. Integrating your packaging and patching methodologies improves and streamlines the patch rollout process. This white paper describes how Wise Package Studio tools quickly assess and test a patch's impact on the destination environment.
Application Request Portal Integration Reference: Describes how to integrate third-party application request portal systems with Wise Package Studio’s software packaging workflow process.
Wise Automation Reference: Describes methods to programmatically control Wise for Windows Installer and Wise Package Studio’s Windows Installer Editor.
Wise Software Repository Automation: Describes methods for automating tasks related to importing, managing, and reporting on data in the Wise Software Repository.
Preparing Windows Installer Installations for Deployment: This white paper discusses repackaging legacy .EXE installations into Windows Installer (.MSI) format and customizing .MSI installations using transforms. It includes useful techniques for determining if installations were authored with Windows Installer, and offers suggestions for working with non-standard .MSIs, as well as building transform (.MST) files to facilitate integration into a managed environment.
A Practical Guide for Patch Testing: This white paper provides a practical overview of patch management and testing and its relation to enterprise software packaging.
The Patch Testing Dilemma: See how Wise Package Studio helps solve the Patch Testing Dilemma in this multimedia demonstration.
Patch Impact Assessment with Wise Package Studio: Learn how Wise Package Studio helps stop patch deployment problems with fast, efficient patch impact assessment and testing.
The Case for Quality Assurance in Enterprise Software Packaging: An overview of quality assurance practices in Enterprise Software Packaging. Read this comprehensive overview on improving your packaging ROI and the quality assurance approach detailing the different testing stages and practices that can help organizations make the most of their software packaging strategies.
Enterprise Software Packaging: What is Enterprise Software Packaging? An overview of best practices, procedures and the value of a structured approach to preparing applications for your enterprise.
Repackaging Basics - White Paper: An overview of a Best Practices approach to repackaging for Windows Installer in the corporate environment.
Windows Installer Best Practices for Sys Admins: Best Practices recommendations from Microsoft for admins using Windows Installer packages for deployment.
Windows Installer Best Practices: A detailed list of suggestions for producing high-quality Windows Installer packages. Please note that the Swynk.com Web site also provides many other valuable resources for system administrators.
Software Installation Best Practices: A brief explanation of Microsoft's defined rules for creating a Windows Installer database.
Disadvantages of Replacing Applications: Explains some disadvantages and difficulties of repackaging applications for use with Windows Installer. Please note that some of the limitations described in the linked article do not apply to advanced repackaging tools, such as Wise Package Studio.
Allen & Overy: International law firm migrates to Windows Installer standard and Windows® 2000 with Wise.
Progressive Software Services: Belgian IT firm turns to Wise for .MSI migration.
Provident: Wise does more with application deployment: a desktop engineering team's quest for the best solution.
HG Computer Consulting: The essential product for system administrators.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology: Wise eases the pain of Windows 2000 migration.
National Telcom: Belgian IT firm turns to Wise for .MSI migration.
Streamline Deployments with Altiris Deployment Solution: Altiris® Deployment Solution™ helps cut the cost of deploying and managing the servers, desktops, notebooks, and handheld devices in your environment with an easy-to-use, integrated solution that provides operating system deployment, configuration, computer "personality" migrations, and software deployment across hardware platforms and operating system types. Learn more at http://www.altiris.com/Products/DeploymentSolution.aspx.
.MSI Custom Actions with Wise Package Studio and KiXscripts Editor: Authored by Bob Kelly of AppDeploy.com, this paper describes the steps that may be taken to generate an .MSI package using Wise Package Studio that spawns a scripted installation using the familiar KiXtart scripting language.
Deploying Windows Installer Setup Packages with SMS 2.0: This Microsoft article describes the benefits of using Windows Installer packages with System Management Server 2.0, and explains several different deployment scenarios.
How to Manage Windows Installer Local Policies: Describes how the behavior of Windows Installer can be configured by an administrator using the Group Policy Editor (GPE) and the Active Directory, including how several user machine policies can be configured on a local PC.
Windows 2000 Software Installation and Maintenance: Describes Windows 2000 software installation and maintenance, one of the key change and configuration management features, reducing your organization's Total Cost of Ownership.
Application Deployment Using Microsoft Management Technologies: Explains the application deployment features in the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system (including Terminal Services), SMS 2.0, and Microsoft Application Center.
Evaluate Wise Package Studio
Discussion and News Groups
MyITForum.com: One of the leading knowledge and informational forums for system administrators. This Web site provides administrators with the opportunity to gain insight about what they do by learning and sharing from other experts throughout the world.
Desktop Engineer's Junk Drawer: A Windows Installer discussion list from a system administration and management point of view, rather than a programming/API point of view.
Appdeploy.com: A great resource for packaging tools, tips, news and information.
Wise Solutions Newsgroups: A discussion group for Wise Package Studio, along with general discussions related to Windows Installer service issues.
Wise Education Center: Training on Windows Installer and repackaging, as well as consulting services for creating custom installations.