I would first like to thank Brian Moskalik for showing me the way. I had tried the EXE to MSI Converter prior to trying AppDeploy without any success. Brian indicated that I was likely using the “Free” version which is stripped down of pretty much any usefulness as no program seemed to work with it.
With that being said here are some very simple instructions for using the EXE to MSI Converter software by Qwerty Lab (http://www.qwertylab.com)
Give it a try. It’s very easy.
Click Here to download instructions
Again, Thank you to Brian for pointing this out.
Those of you who use Group Policy or want to use Group Policy likely know that there is a feature which allows you to push software out to your domain computers.
The primary limitation to this is that you need to use an .msi installer package rather than an .exe. Many programs you can easily pull the .msi file from the temp folder as it extracts the .exe file during installation. Others you can use extraction software to extract the .msi file. For those installer packages that don’t allow you to do that what can you do?
I have begun playing with a program called AppDeploy Repackager and have found the results are quite positive. You can find the program at: http://www.appdeploy.com/tools/repackager/download.asp
The program can seem complicated at first but you shouldn’t let that get you down. It does work it just takes some getting used to.
You should first watch this video which the developers have created outlining the Best Practices of their program. http://www.appdeploy.com/video/repack-bp.asp
NOTE: These instructions attached are to be used with programs you can install to the C:\Program Files directory and copy and paste the program file to a new location without error. For installations beyond that capability these instructions will not work
These are some of the programs I have used this method on successfully
- JMC Office
- JMC IP Gradebook
The benefit to this is now I can deploy programs like these via Group Policy either Published or Assigned (Auto Install) without ever touching the machine or getting out of my chair.
There are ways of using the product with more advanced programs but I have not jumped into that as of yet.
For more support information see the AppDeploy forum at: http://www.appdeploy.com/messageboards/
Also see the Package KB page at: http://www.appdeploy.com/packages/
Hopefully this document will help your organization out. Do let me know if I have any errors in my steps and I apologize for the length right now. I tried to be as precise and detailed as possible.
Click the link below to download the instructions.
Using AppDeploy to Create GPO Friendly Installers.pdf