Creating Software Installation Packages with SMS Installer

Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 includes SMS Installer, which is a tool that you can use to create software installation packages. These packages are known as SMS Installer-generated executable files, which are self-extracting files that contain everything that is necessary to install the software, including a script to control the installation. Although SMS Installer-generated executable files are created specifically for use on SMS clients, you can also post them to the Internet or package them on a CD or floppy disks. SMS Installer creates installation packages that can gather information about the current system, install and delete files, search for files, prompt users for information, and update both system files and the registry. You can customize the package to prompt the user for information or run unattended.

SMS Installer now includes the Windows Installer Step-up Utility (ISU). ISU is a command-line tool that migrates setup packages from the SMS Installer format to the Microsoft Windows Installer format. The resulting setup package is a Windows Installer setup package with an .msi file name extension. The new setup package can be run on any computer that supports Windows Installer. For more information about how to use SMS Installer, see the SMS Installer Help. SMS Installer also creates Windows Installer packages and can open SMS Installer-generated executable files.

This chapter begins with a description of how SMS Installer fits into the larger picture of software distribution. Then, the chapter describes how to create and modify installation scripts, test SMS Installer-generated executable files, and use these files to distribute software.

In This Chapter

  • SMS Installer Overview

  • Customizing Scripts with the Script Editor

  • Testing SMS Installer-generated Executable Files

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