About Deployment Image
The deployment image is created by the system administrators for installing the application with the same installation configuration on multiple machines. The installation configuration includes the installation location, features, shortcuts, and so on. Once created, you will be able to double-click Setup.exe available in the deployment image to install the application with the set configuration without the need of any user interaction or internet connection for component downloads. The deployment image folder can also be moved to a shared location so that all users of the organization can directly execute the installation from there; the administrator can use this shared location in the Software Distribution System for installation of the product.
The deployment image can be shared in the network as a UNC path or pushed using SMS/SCCM.
Advantages of Using a Deployment Image
Conceptually, the deployment image can be considered as a pre-configured offline installer. Following are the advantages of using a deployment image:
Contents of Deployment Image
The deployment image contains all the files that are packaged with the product as well as the downloadable files. The image does not analyze the system on which it is created. It simply saves all the components for installation. The deployment image also saves the installation configuration.
Before You Start
Using non-root drive - If the installation drive set in the deployment image configuration settings is other than the root directory (usually c:\), make sure that the drive exists on the machine on which the application is to be installed.
The deployment settings are displayed when you run the setup in /layout mode. Following deployment image settings are displayed in the ProStructures Installation Wizard.
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To Create a Deployment Image
Following are the pre-requisites for creating a deployment image:
The deployment image is created at the selected location.
Creating Custom Packages
.msi is the preferred file format for creating custom packages. An .msi file is easy to configure at the time of installation and while the product installation is executing the installation chain, the .msi file does not need additional parameters to perform silent installation in the background.
There are many external tools that can help you create MSI, some of them are listed below:
Note: Bentley neither recommends nor supports any particular authoring tool for creating the MSI packages. The examples given here are just for information purpose.
Following is an example for creating a custom package using WiX installer.
WiX is free open-source tool set. WiX itself does not provide an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), but there are many free and commercial IDEs that can be used with WiX to develop MSI packages. Some of the IDEs are listed below:
While creating MSI packages, files need to be identified in one or all of following categories:
Files in each of the above categories should be arranged in correct directory hierarchy. The Directory Identifier (refer Directory Table) for the top most node of each category should be a Public Property of MSI package, that is, the Directory Identifier should be in uppercase. Following are examples for configuring files under Directory Identifiers as per their types:
This kind of separation of files as per delivery location will allow easy configuration of the package. It is not necessary to have all file types in same package. It is a good practice to package related file types in one package, which allows installation and maintenance to work as single unit for that package.
Command Line Parameters
As soon as an MSI is selected, ProStructures setup knows the configurable directory identifiers. Hence, when you start editing in the Command Line Parameters window, a list of possible identifiers in displayed.
Following is an example of command line parameters:
The command line parameter name and it's value should be separated by a "=".
To add another directory identifier, press <space> and then enter the directory identifier.
To Add a Custom Package to the Deployment Image
For .msi file, enter the command line parameter name, followed by "=" and then the value of the command line parameter. As you start entering the parameter name, all the available parameter names in the MSI package will be listed below the text box. You can select the desired parameter name from the list. Possible values in terms of system properties or ProStructures properties are also listed. Select the desired value or enter your own value. For example:
For .exe file, enter the command line parameter name.
Note: When an .exe file is added to the deployment image, it is necessary to provide the command line parameters that would avoid any kind of restart of machine. Also, it is recommended to add command line parameters that will force the executable to run in silent mode. Otherwise, the UI of added executable may hold the installation, unless the user of the deployment image takes action to complete installation for the added .exe package.
5. (Optional) Press <Space> and then enter another command line parameter.
6. Click Ok.
The installable is added to the Features list.
Windows Standard Directories List
Following is the list of Standard Windows Directories, which is used by the setup internally for setting the relative paths at install time. The description of CSIDL (Constant Special Item ID List) description is available here.
well-known directory CSIDL_APPDATA
well-known directory CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA
well-known directory CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMONX86
well-known directory CSIDL_DESKTOP
well-known directory CSIDL_FAVORITES
well-known directory CSIDL_FONTS
well-known directory CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA
well-known directory CSIDL_MYPICTURES
well-known directory CSIDL_PERSONAL
well-known directory CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILESX86
well-known directory CSIDL_PROGRAMS
well-known directory CSIDL_SENDTO
well-known directory CSIDL_STARTMENU
well-known directory CSIDL_STARTUP
well-known directory CSIDL_SYSTEMX86
well-known directory temp location
well-known directory CSIDL_TEMPLATES
well-known directory CSIDL_WINDOWS
well-known directory CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON
well-known directory CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES
well-known directory, the Windows volume
To Install the Application Using the Deployment Image
Depending on the setting, the installation setup wizard opens and the installation starts either in full user interface mode and opens the ProStructures Setup dialog or in reduced installation mode and opens the ProStructures Setup wizard.
3. (Optional) For Full UI Mode, follow the steps given in the To Install ProStructures topic for settings in the ProStructures Installation wizard.
4. Click Finish.