Scripting Question

Could some one explain what a TRANSFORM is used for?

01/27/2014 2428 views


Could someone explain to me what a TRANSFORM is used for then it comes to scripting. I was recently asked if I have ever used it before. I would like to know:

1) What roles does it play when I am building packages in SCCM

2) When should it be used?


Thanks in advanced!


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  • I just want to add to this, I recently was given the task to deploy Screen Capture software to 50 computers. Avaya did not had any white papers on the installation as far MSI custom switches, since I had to enable encryption. So after many tries I was not able to enable encryption, so I used Orca to open the MSI and went to Property and changed Encryption from 0 to 1. Then I created a new transform. Then I tested it using msiexec /I Avaya.msi TRANSFORMS=custom /passive then I loaded to KACE and viola I deployed software to 50 computer in less than an hour. A transform file can have customizations when installing a software such putting a shortcut to desktop, enabling or disabling custom stuff depending on your need. Transform file is your friend.

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2: Transforms

MSI files are essentially SQL-databases wrapped in COM structured storage files. Transform files are "partial databases" constructed via installation tools such as Orca, Installshield or Wise, etc... These transforms can customize or override almost all settings or database fields in an MSI - including what "parts of the application" (features) are installed. After creating a transform you specify its application to the MSI at the msiexec.exe command line:

msiexec.exe /i myinstaller.msi TRANSFORMS="mytransform.mst" /qn

Windows Installer will then merge the MSI and the tranform before installation starts. This is the approach used by large organizations who want full control of how the MSI gets installed. TRANSFORMS property on MSDN

Answered 01/27/2014 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Use them when a silent /qn will not suffice and you need to do mods. Always remember KISS - keep it simple ...

    Office install is a perfect example of a good use for a tranform file.
    • Clear and perfect! Thanks!
    • ...except now, of course, MS uses a combination of patches and a set-up configuration file for modifications. Yes, patches are quasi-transforms but they're not deployed with the TRANSFORMS property.

      @OP, note that TRANSFORMS is a public property and must always be specified in UPPER CASE in a command line, just like all public properties, otherwise they're ignored.
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