Deploy Microsoft Visio Viewer 2002
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Revised: September 2002
Microsoft Visio Viewer 2002
Summary This article discusses how to deploy the Microsoft Visio Viewer 2002 across a corporate network.
Download the Microsoft Visio Viewer 2002 from the Downloads on Microsoft® Office Online. (3,790 KB)
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You can deploy Microsoft® Visio® Viewer 2002 across your corporate network. Within a Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server environment and using Active Directory®, you can also customize the deployment of the Visio Viewer to target specific users, groups, or computers within your corporate network.
This article describes the following deployment scenarios:
Deploying the Visio Viewer from an administrative installation point.
Assigning or publishing the Visio Viewer using Active Directory.
In addition, this article also includes information on creating a transform (MST) file that allows you to customize your deployment of the Visio Viewer.
For deployment of the Visio Viewer over your corporate network, you might also need the following:
Visio 2002 SR-1 Resource Kit: You can download the resource kit as a Microsoft Word file from the Visio Web site. It contains detailed information about deployment and deployment issues.
Windows Installer SDK: The Windows Installer includes applications that allow you to modify the MSI file for the Visio Viewer and/or create a transform file. You can download the Windows Installer SDK from the Microsoft Download Center.
About Deployment Methods for the Visio Viewer
When you download the Visio Viewer to a single computer that multiple users access, but that is not necessarily connected to a network, all users of that computer can use the Visio Viewer. If Microsoft Visio is already installed on the computer, those users will be able to use both Visio and the Visio Viewer. Installation of the Visio Viewer for a user on a computer will not change the file extension associations for other users who have Microsoft Visio installed on that computer.
Important: For computers connected to a corporate network, you should always install the Visio Viewer from an administrative installation point. For instructions, see "Deploy the Visio Viewer from an Administrative Installation Point" later in this article.
From an administrative installation point, you can:
Distribute a command-line pointing to the administrative image containing the vviewer.msi file.
Distribute a shortcut to the vviewer.exe file for users to run.
Deploy the Visio Viewer from an administrative installation point.
Publish the Visio Viewer in Control Panel on your users' computers using Active Directory.
Distribute Command-line Options
When users double-click vviewer.msi on the a network share, installation runs with no command-line options. To apply your custom command-line options, users must click Run on the Windows Start menu and enter the path to vviewer.msi along with the command-line options you distribute.
To simplify this process, create a batch file in MS-DOS that runs vviewer.msi with your command-line options. Or you can create a Windows shortcut and add your custom options to the command-line box. Users double-click the batch file or shortcut to run the Setup command line that you have defined. You can store the batch file or shortcut in the root folder of the administrative installation point.
Distribute a Shortcut to vviewer.exe for Users to Run as Administrators
Create a shortcut on the network share to vviewer.exe.
Right-click the shortcut, and then click Properties.
Select the Run as different user check box, and then click OK.
You must then distribute this shortcut with the domain, name, and password of an administrator account.
After distributing the shortcut, each user must do the following:
Double-click the link to the shortcut.
Enter the Name, Password, and Domain of the administrator account to install Visio Viewer 2002.
Deploy the Visio Viewer from an Administrative Installation Point
For computers connected to a corporate network, first create a network share. Users on your corporate network can then access this share and install the Visio Viewer as long as they have permission to do so. After creating the network share, create an administrative installation of the Viewer.
In Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows XP environments, different users have different levels of rights and permissions. In these environments, default users have limited access to system areas of the computer. Because of this, users must have elevated privileges and computers must have a group policy set to allow installation of the Visio Viewer 2002.
For more information on setting elevated privileges for users and for setting group policy for computers, see "Installations that Require Elevated Permissions" in the Visio 2002 SR-1 Resource Kit.
You can also set a Windows Installer system policy that grants users the administrator rights they need to install the Visio Viewer.
Important: Use caution when granting administrator rights to your uses. It may compromise your system security.
Note: For elevated installations to work, you must set a group policy for elevating privileges for users and computers in order for users to install the Visio Viewer. Use the Group Policy editor (gpedit.msc) and enable Allow Users Control Over Installs for the group. If you are deploying the Visio Viewer with elevated user installations and you are not using Active Directory for deployment, you must delete the ALLUSERS property in the Property table of the vviewer.msi. For more information on modifying the Property table of the msi, see Modify Installation with a Transform File below.
To run setup on an administrative installation point
Create a network share and save the vviewer.msi to this location.
Create an administrative installation point.
Copy the Visio Viewer setup files to the administrative installation point.
Note: For more information on creating an administrative installation point and copying setup files to that administrative installation point, see "Installing and Customizing Visio 2002" in the Visio 2002 SR-1 Resource Kit.
Click the Windows Start button, and then click Run.
Browse to the administrative installation folder where you've copied the setup files and click vviewer.msi, then click OK.
In the Open field of the Run dialog box add the command Msiexec /a, For example, Msiexec /a c:\administrative installation point\vviewer.msi.
Note: If you've created a transform file, apply the transform file to the msi by adding /ttransform to the end of the command line, where transform is the name of the transform file you created. For example, Msiexec /a c:\administrative installation point\vviewer.msi /t vtrans.mst.
For more information on creating a transform file, see "Modify Installation with a Transform File" later in this article.
On the Setup screen, do the following, and then click Next.
Enter your Organization name.
Change the Install Location.
Important: You must change the installation location from the default location to the location of your administrative installation point. If you are using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC), this location should be at least three levels deep.
If you downloaded the vviewer.exe file from the Microsoft Office Downloads Web page, accept the default Product Key. If you are installing the Visio Viewer from a CD, enter the product key from the CD case.
Accept the Microsoft End-User License Agreement (EULA).
If you do not accept the EULA, users will not be able to do a silent installation of the Visio Viewer from the administrative installation point but will be required to run the full installation in order to accept the EULA.
Setup runs for the administrative installation. Users on your corporate network can now access the installation point and install the Visio Viewer. You can then distribute command lines to run the Visio Viewer msi on users' computers in unattended mode by adding /qb- as a command line option.
Note: For more information on modifying and distributing command line options, see "Customizing the Visio Installation" in the Visio 2002 SR-1 Resource Kit.
Modify Installation with a Transform File
You can modify the properties of the Visio Viewer 2002 installation by using two tools included in the Windows Installer SDK:
Orca, which allows you to open vviewer.msi and make changes to the tables in the msi.
Msitran.exe, which allows you to generate a new transform (MST) file based on the changed tables in the msi.
You can download the complete Windows Installer SDK from the Microsoft Download Center. The Windows Installer SDK includes the Msi.chm, which contains additional information about creating Windows Installer transform files.
Note: Creation and modification of transform files for the Visio Viewer 2002 are not supported in the Microsoft Office XP Custom Installation Wizard.
To modify the Visio Viewer msi by creating a transform file
In Orca, click File, and then click Open. Navigate to the location where you saved vviewer.msi.
The Tables column displays the names of the tables in the MSI on the left. The window on the right displays the properties associated with those tables.
Navigate to the Property table. You can add properties and make changes to properties in the Property table. The following table provides some of the main properties you can modify.
Determines how to install the Visio Viewer on a computer.
Edits the contact field on the Support Info page in the ARP.
Displays the link to online Help.
Displays the Support phone number.
Disables the Change button in Add/Remove Programs.
Disables the Remove button in Add/Remove Programs.
Hides the Repair button on the Support Info page in Add/Remove Programs.
Specifies the icon that is displayed in Add/Remove Programs.
Specifies the location of the Readme on the Support Info page in Add/Remove Programs.
Prevents the Visio Viewer from being displayed in Add/Remove Programs. Can be used to lock out users.
Links to update on the Support Info page in Add/Remove Programs.
Populates the Organization field on the User Information page.
Directs the installation location for a standard installation.
Limits the user interface. Equivalent to using /q on a command line.
Clears the Organization field on the User Information page.
Clears the Username field on the User Information page.
Turns off user intervention on the File Type Association page.
Populates the PIDKEY fields on the User Information page.
Specifies the output directory of an administrative installation.
Specifies a transform or list of transforms.
Populates the User Name field on the User Information page.
Important: If you are deploying the Visio Viewer with elevated user installations and you are not using Active Directory for deployment, you must delete the ALLUSERS property. To do this, right-click in the ALLUSERS row, and then click Drop Row. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the row, click Yes.
If you are doing a silent installation of the Visio Viewer, you must add the ASSOCIATE property to the Property table then create a transform file. Set the value of ASSOCIATE to 1 or 0. 1 turns on file association; 0 turns off file association. During silent installation, files will or will not be associated with the Visio Viewer according to the value.
After modifying the property values, click File, and then click Save As and save the msi file to a new name in the same directory where vviewer.msi is saved.
Copy Msitran.exe from the location where you installed it, to the folder where the two msi files are located. By default, Msitran.exe is installed on your computer in the \\Program Files\MsiIntel.SDK\Tools folder.
Click the Windows Start button, and then click Run.
Open a command prompt, and navigate to the folder where vviewer.msi, your modified msi, and Msitran.exe are located.
Create a transform file by typing Msitran.exe, the name of the original Visio Viewer msi, the name of your newly created MSI, and the name you want to give to the transform file at the command prompt.
Msitran.exe –g vviewer.msi vviewer2.msi vtrans.mst
Press Enter to create the new transform file, then exit the command prompt.
Msitran.exe creates the transform file and saves it in the same folder as the two msi files.
You can now apply the transform file to your administrative installation of the Visio Viewer, or you can use the same file if you are deploying the Visio Viewer using Active Directory.
Note: If you are deploying multiple copies of the Visio Viewer, you need to create a transform for each one of your scenarios. In addition, you should also create a modified vviewer.msi for each one of those scenarios, and then create your transform file based on that modified MSI.
Deploy the Visio Viewer using Active Directory
After creating the administrative point and any necessary transforms, you can deploy the Visio Viewer using Active Directory. You can set a policy for the Group Policy Object (GPO) so that the Visio Viewer is only available to specific groups. You can also modify the type of installation for these groups.
For example, you may have groups in your corporation who have Microsoft Visio installed. If one of these groups also needs to use the Visio Viewer, you can set a group policy so that only the group that needs the Visio Viewer can install it and use it.
Note: For more information about creating a transform file for installing the Visio Viewer, see "Modify Installation with a Transform File" earlier in this article.
Publishing the Visio Viewer to users requires that all the computers in your organization are running Windows 2000 or later. You must also have implemented a Active Directory service and Group Policy structure.
When you publish the Visio Viewer to users, it is available to all users in the designated group the next time they log on. Users install Microsoft Visio through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. The Visio Viewer is then installed, along with any transform file associated with the MSI from your administrative installation point.
To deploy the Visio Viewer 2002 using Active Directory
On the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
In the console tree, right-click the domain or organizational unit for which you want to set the Group Policy.
Click Properties, and then click the Group Policy tab.
Under Computer Configuration or User Configuration, open Software Settings.
Right-click the Software Installation node, and then click Properties.
In the Software Installation Properties dialog box, click the General tab, and then browse to the location of vviewer.exe.
In the New Packages section, select Publish.
This specifies that when you add vviewer.msi, by default you want it published with standard package properties.
In the Installation User Interface Options section, specify what level of information the user will see during installation. Select one of the following options:
Basic: Displays minimal information when users install the Visio Viewer. This installs the Visio Viewer in unattended mode and requires no user interface. This setting corresponds to the /qb- command line option.
Maximum: Displays all installation messages and screens during the installation of the Visio Viewer.
To publish the Visio Viewer using Active Directory
Open the Group Policy snap-in, click Computer Configuration or User Configuration, and then click Software Settings.
Right-click the Software Installation node, click New, and then click Package.
Browse to the Visio Viewer msi.
In the Open dialog box, select the Visio Viewer MSI in the File Name list, and then click Open.
In the Deploy Software dialog box, click Advanced published or assigned.
To modify installation using a transform file
In the Properties dialog box for the Visio Viewer msi, click the Modifications tab, and then click Add.
In the Open dialog box, browse to find the transform file that you want to apply to the installation of the Visio Viewer, and then click OK.
Re-associate File Types with Microsoft Visio
Default settings associate all Microsoft Visio file types with the Visio Viewer. If Visio is already installed, Visio will continue to be associated with VSD and VDX files. Therefore, when you open a VSD or VDX file from within Internet Explorer, you will launch Visio rather than the Visio Viewer.
If you want to re-associate file extensions with Microsoft Visio rather than the Microsoft Visio Viewer, you must use Control Panel to do a repair of Microsoft Visio.
To re-associate Visio Viewer file types with Microsoft Visio
Click the Windows Start button, and then click Control Panel.
Click Add/Remove Programs, and then select Microsoft Visio.
Click Change, and then click Repair to make file extension modifications.
Steve Scott has been a technical writer for eight years, the last four of which have been with Microsoft Corporation. He specializes in network technologies and documentation geared towards IT professionals.