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Automate Installation of Add-Ins During Setup

Published: July 9, 2012

Updated: October 4, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 Essentials

To install add-ins during setup, use the PostIC.cmd method described in the Create the PostIC.cmd File for Running Post Initial Configuration Tasks section of this document.

Add the following entry to your PostIC.cmd:

C:\Program Files\Windows Server\bin\Installaddin.exe <full path to wssx file> -q

The add-in now supports pre-install and customized uninstall steps.

The pre-install step is run before installing all .msi files specified in addin.xml. When run in the interactive mode, the progress dialog will be shown but without changing the progress. The cancellation button is disabled during pre-install phase. To implement a pre-install step, add the following contents in addin.xml (directly under Package):

noteNote
The xml schema needs to exactly follow the one below:

<Package xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WindowsServerSolutions/2010/03/Addins" xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <Id>...</Id>
  <Version>...</Version>
  <Name>...</Name>
  <Allow32BitOn64BitClients>...</Allow32BitOn64BitClients>
  <ServerBinary>...</ServerBinary>
  <ClientBinary32>...</ClientBinary32>
  <ClientBinary64>...</ClientBinary64>
  <SupportedSkus>...</SupportUrl>  
  <SupportUrl>...</SupportUrl>
  <Location>...</Location>  
  <PrivacyStatement>...</PrivacyStatement>
  <OtherBinaries>...</OtherBinaries> 
  <Preinstall>
<Executable>exefile</Executable>
<NormalArgs>args-for-interactive-mode</NormalArgs>
<SilentArgs>args-for-silent-mode</SilentArgs>
<IgnoreExitCode>true</IgnoreExitCode>
  </Preinstall>
  <UninstallConfirm>...</UninstallConfirm>    
</Package>
<…>
<…>

Wherein exefile is the executable file in the add-in package to perform the pre-install step, and must be specified. NormalArgs specifies arguments to be passed to exefile in command-line when interactive mode is used. In this mode, the exefile can popup some dialogs for user interaction. SilentArgs specifies arguments to be passed to exefile in command-line when silent mode is used (-q is specified when invoking installaddin.exe). The exefile should not popup any windows in this mode. If IgnoreExitCode is specified with true, the pre-install step is always considered successful, otherwise, exit code 0 indicates success, 1 indicates cancellation, and other values indicate failure. Tags NormalArgs, SilentArgs, and IgnoreExitCode are all optional.

A customized uninstall step can be used for any of the following:

  • Replace the built-in confirmation dialog.

  • Populate customized dialogs before uninstallation.

  • Perform certain tasks before uninstallation.

To implement an uninstall step, add the following contents in addin.xml (directly under Package):

<Package xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WindowsServerSolutions/2010/03/Addins" xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <Id>...</Id>
  <Version>...</Version>
  <Name>...</Name>
  <Allow32BitOn64BitClients>...</Allow32BitOn64BitClients>
  <ServerBinary>...</ServerBinary>
  <ClientBinary32>...</ClientBinary32>
  <ClientBinary64>...</ClientBinary64>
  <SupportedSkus>...</SupportUrl>  
  <SupportUrl>...</SupportUrl>
  <Location>...</Location>  
  <PrivacyStatement>...</PrivacyStatement>
  <OtherBinaries>...</OtherBinaries> 
  <Preinstall>…</Preinstall>
<UninstallConfirm>
<Executable>full-path-to-exefile</Executable>
<Arguments>command-line-arguments</Arguments>
</UninstallConfirm>
</Package>

Wherein full-path-to-exefile specifies the exefile already installed on the system. Arguments is optional, and specifies the command line arguments for the exefile. The exefile is invoked before the built-in uninstall confirmation dialog pops up.

The exefile can perform following tasks in this phase:

  • Pops up some dialogs for user interaction.

  • Perform some background tasks.

The exit code of this exe file determines how the uninstall process moves forward:

  • 0: the uninstall process continues without populating the built-in confirmation dialog, just as user has already confirmed. (this approach can be used to replace the built-in confirmation dialog);

  • 1: the uninstall process is canceled, and finally a canceled message will be shown to user. Everything stays unchanged;

  • Other: the uninstall process continues with built-in confirmation dialog, just like the customized uninstall step is not present.

Any failure invoking the exefile will lead to the same behavior as the exefile returns a code other than 0 or 1.

See Also

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