Packaging MS AdCenter for SCCM Deployment

One would think that since Microsoft created SCCM, it would be really easy to distribute their software using it.

One would be wrong to think that.

Recent updates to Microsoft AdCenter are forcing users to update to the newest version, which is not possible for users in our environment who are not Admins due to the way our GP is configured. I spoke with a number of people at Microsoft, finally getting in touch with a Senior Development Lead for AdCenter who was actually super-helpful. Apparently, the installer used to be available as an MSI, but was changed to only allow per-user installs (so that non-admin users could update the software themselves) after requests from companies that apparently have very different setups than mine. Until the installers can be changed to allow the inclusion of an OPTION of a per-system install, here is my solution:

  1. Download the win36-binaries.zip from http://wix.codeplex.com/releases/view/75656 as well as the AdCenter Installer executable.
  2. Run the command line wix36-binaries\dark.exe adcenterdesktopinstaller.exe -x <output directory> (this will put the MSI for AdCenter and the EXE for the AdCenter Prereqs in “<output directory>\AttachedContainer\”)
  3. Use a program like Advanced Repackager (free to try for 30 days) to capture the installation of the MSI, and then use Advanced Installer to modify the installation directory to put the files in “Program Files (x86)” instead.
  4. Create a package in SCCM for the Prerequisites using the EXE from step 2 with the command line “adCenterDesktopPrerequisites.exe /q” to run it silently.
  5. Create another package (via definition) for the AdCenter install itself using the rebuilt MSI you created in Step 3.
  6. Set it so that the AdCenter Prerequisites installation runs before the AdCenter installation in SCCM.
  7. Deploy!

Let me know if you have any questions!!

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