Best Practices Question

Best Practices for Application Packaging (Admin Studio)

02/15/2016 5795 views
Hi All,

I am new to application packaging using Adminstudio. 
I would like to know some best practices in packaging using Adminstudio.
It would be great if someone could share an excel sheet on it which features or components etc to be removed from the package to make a healthier  environment.
1 Comment   [ + ] Show comment


  • Hi all,

    Thanks for the information. I will go through that book to understand more about it. :)

Community Chosen Answer

Forget AdminStudio, or any other tool, for now. Before you do anything, get hold of 2 free publications, both similarly titled. One is Phil Wilson's "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer" and the other is "The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer For Administrators". Without a thorough understanding of WI, you'll struggle when faced with anything beyond the basics.
Answered 02/15/2016 by: anonymous_9363
Red Belt

All Answers


Start by installing any app you have to package on a CLEAN machine.

Then figure out what it is, what the current installation routine is. Then figure out if it fits into your system, if not, figure out how to make it fit into your system.

If it is already an MSI, just go for a silent install. If its a complicated MSI install, the Tuner tool might help you to find all the answers to installation questions.

If you find you have EXEs that need to be packaged into MSI format, first, do some practise packaging with 'simple' applications first.

Good luck

Answered 03/06/2016 by: Badger
Red Belt


The books recommended from VBScab are the best ones to start with. If you are good with Windows Installer basics then you can easily understand the packaging concepts.

Some best practices followed by most of the packagers are below.

1. Remove Desktop shortcut and other help shortcuts.

2. Suppress Auto-update.

3. Validate ICE errors and fix them.

4. Suppress Auto-Reboot.

5. Follow component rules.

6. Remove junk files and registries that are not needed when creating a MSI through setup capture.

7. Remove windows update.log if captured.

8. Perform Setup capture in a clean machine.

9. Always do a manual review of the source before starting with the packaging part. Understand what is the requirement and then proceed.

Answered 02/15/2016 by: apptopack
Red Belt

One more thing... if you give up tracking down the free copy of Phil's book, you're probably not suited to Packaging. Think about why I say that :-)
Answered 02/16/2016 by: anonymous_9363
Red Belt

Hi all,

Thanks for the information. I will go through that book to understand more about it. :)
Answered 02/16/2016 by: lgovindprakash
Senior Yellow Belt

A good packager once said to me - Custom Actions are for making coffee, MSI's can do most of what you need, you just need to learn and understand how to do it.  He also said other things about people who use CA's but I won't post those comments here :)
CA's are reserved for things the MSI can't do.
I learnt recently how to fix a file association using the Extension table instead of pulling in REG files.
Read, Learn, Test
Answered 03/10/2016 by: Tempril
Purple Belt

Also learn by clicking f1 on the tool which would open up the help library.
Answered 02/22/2016 by: apptopack
Red Belt

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