Deploy MSI Installer with Windows Group Policy

With Microsoft’s Group Policy, you can install the Output Messenger Client software remotely on your Client computers through its MSI Installer package easily and save the time.

At first, download the Output Messenger Client Software’s MSI Installer from the following page and extract it.

http://www.outputmessenger.com/lan-messenger-downloads/

Create a Distribution Point

Create a distribution point on the publishing server with following steps.

  1. Log on to the Server as an Administrator.
  2. Create a folder with the name like OutputMessenger MSI Package.
  3. Right-click on the created folder and then click Sharing. In Sharing properties window, enable Sharing for all users on the network.
  4. Copy the Output Messenger MSI installer (OutputMessengerSetup.msi) file from the extracted folder and Paste in the newly created shared folder OutputMessenger MSI Package.

Create a Group Policy Object (GPO)

Create a GPO through following steps to distribute the Output Messenger Client Software.

  1. Click Start, then click Administrative tools. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in window.
  2. In the console tree, Right-click your network domain, then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New button.
  4. Type a name for this new policy (for example, ‘OutputMessenger MSI distribution’) in the Name field then press Enter key.
  5. Click Properties in the new Group Policy window, then click Security tab.
  6. Select Apply Group Policy checkbox for the security groups you want to receive the installation package. If you want all users on the network to receive the package, simply enable the option for All security groups on the tab.
  7. When you have finished, click OK.

Deploy the Software with MSI Installer

Now, you can deploy the Output Messenger MSI Installer through following steps.

  1. Click Start, then click Administrative tools. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in window.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your network domain, then click Properties.
  3. Click Group Policy tab, select the policy that you created (OutputMessenger MSI distribution), and then click Edit.
  4. Under Computer Configuration, expand Software Settings.
  5. Group Policy Configuration

  6. Right-click the Software installation, click New, and then click Package on the slide-out menu.
  7. In the Open dialog box, type the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the shared installer package that you want to install on the network computers.
  8. For example,

    “\\FileServer\NameOfSharedFolder\FileNameOfMsiPackageToInstall.MSI.”
    • NameOfSharedFolder –> OutputMessenger MSI Package
    • FileNameOfMsiPackageToInstall.MSI –> OutputMessengerSetup.msi

    Note: Don’t use Browse button to access the location. Make sure that you use the UNC path of the shared installer package.

  9. Click Open.
  10. On Select deployment method console, select a deployment method.
  11. We can see three options i.e. Published, Assigned and Advanced.

    Group Policy Deployment Methods

    • If you choose Published option, the software won’t be installed but it will be placed in the Add and Remove Programs. The Users have to install the software from there.
    • Assigned option can be used to deploy the software on the Client Users Machines. It would install the application automatically when the computer is starting up.
    • Advanced option can configure the Published or Assigned options and apply modifications to the package.
  12. For this practical, you can select Assigned. It would remotely install software for client users. Click on OK.
  13. The package will be listed in the right-pane of the Group Policy window.
  14. Close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK, and then close the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

That’s all! When the client computer Re-starts, the Output Messenger Client software package is automatically get installed with default parameters.

Refer Output Messenger Client Parameters and Values to know more about parameters.

Uninstall the Software through Group Policy

  1. Right Click on the Application Package listed in right-pane of the Group Policy window and select Remove.
  2. You can choose to Uninstall the software or simply forbid new installations based on your business needs.
  3. Uninstall the Software through Group Policy

Deploy the Software with MST Installer

It isn’t possible to pass Parameters (switches) to an MSI file deployed with Group Policy.

However, you can use Transform file (MST) to install Output Messenger Client with Custom parameters through Group Policy by following the steps given below.

Create Transform (MST) file

Using ORCA tool, which is part of the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers, Edit the entries of MSI file and create Transform (MST) file.

  1. To use ORCA, simply Drag the MSI file onto the program.
  2. Select New Transform from the Transform Menu.
  3. Apply all required changes and select Generate Transform.
  4. ORCA will then ask for the name of new Transformation file.

Microsoft provides some guidelines for using ORCA on following page:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255905/

Deploy MST with Group Policy

Create a Distribution Point (update the newly created MST file also at the shared folder ‘OutputMessenger MSI Package’) and Create a Group Policy Object (GPO) as pointed initially.

  1. Click Start, then click Administrative tools. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in window.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your network domain, then click Properties.
  3. Click Group Policy tab, select the policy that you created (OutputMessenger MSI distribution), and then click Edit.
  4. Under Computer Configuration, expand Software Settings.
  5. Group Policy Configuration

  6. Right-click the Software installation, click New, and then click Package on the slide-out menu.
  7. In the Open dialog box, type the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the shared installer package that you want to install on the network computers.
  8. For example,

    “\\FileServer\NameOfSharedFolder\FileNameOfMsiPackageToInstall.MSI.”
    • NameOfSharedFolder –> OutputMessenger MSI Package
    • FileNameOfMsiPackageToInstall.MSI –> OutputMessengerSetup.msi

    Note: Don’t use Browse button to access the location. Make sure that you use the UNC path of the shared installer package.

  9. Click Open.
  10. On Select deployment method, select Advanced. If you select another option, you won’t able to apply the MST file you created.
  11. Open Modifications tab.
  12. Select your MST file (that customizes your installation) from the network share.

    Note: Again it is very important to use a UNC to the file (to the network share), rather than a local / network drive path.

  13. Click OK to complete the setup.
  14. Close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK, and then close the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

That’s all! When the client computer Re-starts, the Output Messenger Client software package is automatically get installed with the parameters (switches) you customized.

Refer Output Messenger Client Parameters and Values to know more about parameters.

Enjoy the Deploying with MSI and MST files.