Understanding MSI Installer Models/Settings for Different Environments

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Understanding MSI Installer Models/Settings for Different Environments
How to produce a product build involving multiple targets from common installer base and the associated options to do so... 
Jeff Heisz




Posts: 2
Joined: 2018-10-03
Hopefully this is an 'up-to-date' topic, as I've been searching and reading documentation for days and have different/conflicting details from various blog articles from 8 years ago.

We are using Add-In Express to develop a product to be deployed by our customers. We don't have control of the deployment models aside from the installers we provide. And we don't have access to those environments either, it becomes a long back-and-forth to debug any issues, so we're trying to avoid it up front.

To date, we've got a single installer built using WiX (MSI) and generated by the Add-In Express provided 'Create Setup Project'. It has served us well to this point but now that our product is going into a more general release mode we are running into problems with the different modes of installation.

For example, our current installer is built according to the 'dual-mode' instructions. However, one of our customers is doing an automatic deployment using msiexec /q but setting ALLUSERS to true and installing under an administrative profile. If we do that by hand, the MSI does the proper installation and registers for all users. But when they push it through SCCM, it installs for all users but only registers for the admin user. The logs indicate the adxregistrator.exe is indeed running in per-user mode. We've tried all sorts of settings but it doesn't make it work properly.

So, what I want to do is generate two installers for release. One as a dual-mode installer where users can initiate the deployment. The other as a system-only installer for the above client (and others that hit the same situation). What I can't get straight from the documentation is how to cleanly do this.

My main question is around the RegisterForAllUsers property on the module itself. It's not clear exactly what this property *actually* does - either (a) it influences the ADX tooling for the register action in Visual Studio and the package setup generator or (b) it somehow actually manipulates the behaviour of the plugin itself.

If (a), then I would expect to set it to False (which is what it currently is) and generate my installer (which I did) and I get a dual mode installer. Then set it to True and generate my system-only installer. Once the installer projects are created, the setting does nothing except change how it works in my VS development environment.

But if (b), then do I have to set it to False, build the dual-mode installer, then set it to True and build the single mode installer. This would be incredibly awkward and break all of my automation scripts for doing the 'official'builds. Yuch.

Hopefully the question is clear. In a different way of asking (in case it makes it clearer), exactly *what* is reading that property (and when)?

jmh
Posted 02 Nov, 2018 08:41:38 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17123
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello Jeff,

Ah, the dual-purpose set-up doesn't support silent mode. To work around this, you need to use the features WiX provides. The chances that a fix will be included in the upcoming build are rather vague; I wouldn't like to promise that we will provide such a fix soon (within this week).

If I have a more definite understanding about the fix, I'll let you know.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 05 Nov, 2018 08:08:33 Top
Jeff Heisz




Posts: 2
Joined: 2018-10-03
But as a quick workaround, I'd like to have a separate installer that's not dual mode but system only. But I'm not sure to do so if I need to change the setting in the module properties and if that will then break the dual mode installer (want to have *both*).
Posted 05 Nov, 2018 10:36:22 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17123
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello Jeff,

You can modify the settings as recommended in section Deploying a per-machine Office extension via an MSI installer, see the PDF file in the folder {Add-in Express}\Docs on your development PC. Then undo the changes and build the dual purpose installer.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 06 Nov, 2018 07:15:13 Top