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Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI

#1 2012-04-23 17:23:57
Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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Is there an msi installer for digsby? It would be really nice to be able to deploy and update digsby to my employees through Group Policy utilizing Windows Server Active Directory GPMC.  The biggest headache I have is when an update becomes available my users cannot update because they are not admins, so I must remote into each of them one by one and enter admin credentials to update their copy of digsby.

Please please please make an msi installer available, and if possible an adm to make the install more customizable.

or is there a way to turn off auto update or allow non-admins to update digsby (when the app is installed for all users, not just their profile)?



#2 2012-05-07 12:51:14
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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Anybody?



#3 2012-06-15 13:51:37
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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Hello development team?



#4 2012-07-16 12:51:07
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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April, May, June, July now... at the top of this forum and no response...guess I'm still waiting.



#5 2012-07-16 17:29:26
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
mike
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first i'd like to note that i have pretty much no idea what any of that stuff is that you mentioned (though i do understand the use-case you're asking for). i've touched group policy editor maybe 3 times in my life and other than for installing software i've never done anything with MSI packages. with that said:

if the app is installed for all users, there's of course not a way to allow a non-admin user to update it. that would essentially mean that any user can make changes to system-wide installs (potentially affecting other users with malware, etc).

automatically downloading updates is disable-able in the preferences (i believe somewhere in general/profile) and you can also set default preferences externally to the program from prefs.yaml file in (in your case) a system-wide location (see http://forum.digsby.com/viewtopic.php?id=2879 for more info). the appropriate preference for this is 'digsby.updater.auto_download' (it's present in digsby/res/defaults.yaml if you'd like to see the yamlized version of that). carbonize's tool may also have an option for it. (note: now that i think of it, i'm not sure if this will do anything more than cause a 'do you wish to download the update' popup to appear - this is likely not a useful solution for you / your users)

another option is to change users' shortcuts to add the --no-update flag, which will disallow update checks from happening. this seems like it will be the best option for you.

yet another possibility is to rename the digsby/lib/plugins/digsby_updater/info.yaml file - this will prevent the updater plugin from loading entirely. i've only ever tested this approach briefly, and i can't honestly say that it's the best answer, but i'm 99% sure that the rest of the app will work without issue. if you need to update the client, you can move it back and restart the app and go through the update as usual.

finally, if you know how to make an MSI installer I welcome any instruction or advice you may have. additionally, since there's so little that's required when it comes to the 'extra' stuff in the digsby installer. other than registry entries to make the app show up properly in add/remove programs, it's basically a glorified unzip process. if you're able, i invite you to wrap the unpacked digsby directory in an MSI package that supports your needs. doubleplusgood if there's a repeatable script or something that can be integrated into a distribution process wink

hope that helps, and my apologies for the radio silence.



#6 2012-07-19 19:00:07
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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Thanks for your response Mike, I know you guys are busy and I don't know if or how you guys even make money by producing this awesome software and providing it to the world for free!  I hope I didn't come off as pushy or annoying but I've kept this thread open in a tab in my browser for the past few months checking back ever so frequently...anyhow...

I guess my original request wasn't too clear, I just need a simple msi and never thought of building one myself because I wasn't too sure how much there was or how little was needed to run/install the application. Once I had a working msi then the group policy stuff is another issue not related to your software.  I feel like most of your first options wouldn't work as simple as I needed so lets just skip to your last section which is going to help my issue alot! And I think I can help you out as well.

In the past I came across the same issue trying to figure out how I can deploy 2 other programs we use daily via group policy (msi) however they're only available installers are presented as .exe and also a .zip file as an unglorified zip program that just works when extracted (I had not know Digsby was the same until you just mentioned it).  Just for reference I've been making my company MSIs for VLC Media Player http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html & Filezilla http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=client .  I trialed lots of msi software tools and found nothing I liked and found many to be out of our budget ($0), until one day someone led me to this amazing utility called wItem available here: http://www.witemsoft.com/togo/ The best part is it's free for commercial and personal use! The worst part is there's a tiny advertisement for wItem at the end of the installer if you manually install the generated .msi itself by double clicking the icon (this is not an issue for me as my .msi are deployed to my computer systems upon boot up silently so the users never have to interact with the installer, click next next next or see the small ad before clicking finish).  I think you'll find this tool very easy to use (maybe too easy for a developer) but I'm not a developer, I just tinker and play with things until it works, then test the hell out of it. 

Since you gave me permission to build an MSI package I took the opportunity to do so using the tool I've just mentioned.  I used as much info as I could find about you guys to fill in most of the product/detail parts and give your LLC all respective rights and ownerships of your product, dragged and dropped a fresh install of the program files\digsby into the right tab in wItem, made a few shortcuts for the start menu and your documentation forums links, checked and unchecked a few settings (I want to say I think I saw an option about removing the final wItem advertisement at the end of the installer too), built the MSI and viola.... I'll email you a link to the MSI if you'd like to test it, as well as the .wip file wItem creates that you can save and update to when you guys do make updates available for digsby.  This may solve your ++good request for a repeatable scripting, I'm not really a scripter either but its simple enough to update your app the next time just by opening up your wItem project file and working in there...  Anyhow I hope this helps you guys out a lot and I hope we can see a true MSI available from you in the near future.

I don't know how this will play out with the auto start function for digsby at startup (I suppose if I wanted it to autostart on every deployed system I could just add a shortcut to all users\start up in the start menu).  And I don't know how well this will work when a digsby update comes out, I would imagine non-admin users will still not be able to apply the update as your update would most likely modify the contents of the program files\digsby location which would not be permitted...in that case I will take this opportunity to make a 2nd version of the msi with the file you suggested I rename just completely ripped from the installer before I build that msi, I'll send you a link for that as well.



#7 2012-07-19 19:03:12
Re: Group policy deployable Windows Installer MSI
t0mmyr
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better yet as you suggested i'll just modify the shortcut command line parameter to include "--no-update" and see if that works in my msi and when you guys update digsby i'll generate a new msi using the same settings but replace all the files all intact



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