1.2. Installing Porter [for Administrators]

Command line silent installation and distribution

SWING Porter can be deployed using a silent installation which requires the SWING Porter MSI package that can be downloaded from SWING Software's website.


Here is an example of a silent installation command line (MUST be administrator):
msiexec /i <PATH_TO_PORTER_MSI> /quiet /qn /log <PATH_TO_INSTALL_LOG> LICENSE_KEY="<LICENSE_KEY>" 
CONVERSION_PROFILE_DIR="<PATH_TO_CONVERSION_PROFILES_DIRECTORY>" GENERAL_SETTINGS_PATH="<PATH_TO_GENERAL_SETTINGS_DIRECTORY>"

Option /quiet tells installer that no user interaction is required.

Option /qn tells installer not to show installation interface.

Option /log tells installer to generate installation log in provided directory.
Log can have any file name.

Option LICENSE_KEY tells installer to apply product license key for automatic activation.
License key MUST be quoted.

Option CONVERSION_PROFILE_DIR tells installer to use centralized conversion profile storage. How to extract conversion profiles / general settings?
Conversion profile storage directory MUST be accessible to all users as profiles are not copied to user machines.
Path MUST be quoted. Path MUST NOT end with path separator '\'.

Option GENERAL_SETTINGS_PATH tells installer to use centralized / managed application general settings. How to extract conversion profiles / general settings?
General settings storage directory MUST be accessible to all users as general settings are not copied to user machines.
Path MUST be quoted. Path MUST NOT end with path separator '\'.
This option disables SWING Porter general settings page for users.

For all msiexec options, run msiexec with no parameters from Start -> Run.
Stated command line can be added to .bat file, shared across computers and executed.

Command line distribution

Let's assume that SWING Porter msi file is stored on company storage server's shared drive and SWING Porter should be silently installed on user's machine.
For demonstration purposes:
  • ACMEDOMAINCompany domain name.
  • ACMEDOMAIN\Administrator- Company domain administrator account.
  • MtEverest123 - Company domain administrator password.
  • \\JOHNPC- Domain user's machine, John.
  • \\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\swing-porter-for-outlook.msi - Network path to SWING Porter msi.
  • 0000111100002222000033330000444- SWING Porter license key.
  • \\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\Conversion profiles - Conversion profiles storage directory.
  • \\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\General settings - General settings storage directory.

Recommended approach is using the PsExec tool which act's as a terminal allowing remote application execution.
PsExec does not ship with Windows and it can be downloaded here.

Here's the command line that installs SWING Porter from network share to John's machine:
psexec \\JOHNPC -u "ACMEDOMAIN\Administrator" -p "MtEverest123" cmd /c "msiexec.exe /i "\\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\swing-porter-for-outlook.msi" /quiet /qn LICENSE_KEY="0000111100002222000033330000444" CONVERSION_PROFILE_DIR="\\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\Conversion profilesGENERAL_SETTINGS_PATH="\\StorageServer\Software\SWING Porter\General settings""

Centralized network installation

SWING Porter is using AdvancedInstaller for package and deployment. This technical article is copied from AdvancedInstaller technical documentation. The original article can be found here.
This tutorial will describe how to deploy an MSI on multiple machines by using Group Policy.

Methods of deployment

Group Policy supports two methods of deploying an MSI package:

Assign software
A program can be assigned per-user or per-machine.
If it is assigned per-user, it will be installed when the user logs on.
However, if it is assigned per-machine, then the program will be installed for all users when the machine starts.

Publish software
A program can be published for one or more users.
This program will be added to the Add or Remove Programs list and the user will be able to install it from there.

Create a distribution point

The first step in deploying an MSI through GPO is to create a distribution point on the publishing server.

This can be done by following these steps:
  • log on to the server as an Administrator user
  • create a shared network folder (this folder will contain the MSI package)
  • set permissions on this folder in order to allow access to the distribution package
  • copy the MSI in the shared folder

Create a Group Policy Object

An MSI package is deployed (distributed) through GPO as a Group Policy Object.
In order to create an object for your package, you can follow these steps:
  • click on the Start button, go to Programs, select Administrative Tools and then select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • right-click your domain name in the console tree and select the Properties context menu
  • select the Group Policy tab and click New
  • set the name of the policy (for example MyApplication)
  • click Properties and select the Security tab
  • check the Apply Group Policy checkbox only for the groups to which the policy will be applied
  • click on the OK button

Assign an MSI package

A package can be assigned per-user or per-machine.
Also, if the package is assigned, it will automatically be installed silently.

In order to assign a package you can follow these steps:
  • click on the Start button, go to Programs, select Administrative Tools and then select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • right-click your domain name in the console tree and select the Properties context menu
  • go to the Group Policy tab, select the object you want and click Edit
  • expand Software Settings under Computer Configuration
  • right-click Software Installation, select the New context menu and then click on Package
  • in the Open dialog type the full UNC path of the shared package you want to assign
  • click on the Open button
  • click on Assigned and then click OK (the package will be added to the right pane of the "Group Policy" window)
  • close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK and exit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in
  • when the client computers start, the assigned package will be installed automatically
Important: Do not use the Browse button in the Open dialog to access the UNC location. Make sure that you use the UNC path to the shared package.

Publish an MSI package

When using Group Policy, you can publish a package in order to allow the target user to install it by using Add or Remove programs.

The steps for publishing a package are:
  • click on the Start button, go to Programs, select Administrative Tools and then select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • right-click your domain name in the console tree and select the Properties context menu
  • go to the Group Policy tab, select the object you want and click Edit
  • expand Software Settings under User Configuration
  • right-click Software Installation, select the New context menu and then click on Package
  • in the Open dialog type the full UNC path of the shared package you want to publish
  • click on the Open button
  • click on Publish and then click OK (the package will be added to the right pane of the "Group Policy" window)
  • close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK and exit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in
Test the package:
  • log on to the target computer
  • click on the Start button and go to Control Panel
  • double-click the Add or Remove programs applet and select Add New Programs
  • in the Add programs from your network list select the program you published
  • use the Add button to install the package
  • click OK and then Close

Important: Do not use the Browse button in the Open dialog to access the UNC location. Make sure that you use the UNC path to the shared package.

Redeploy an MSI package

Sometimes you may need to redeploy a package (for example when doing an upgrade).

For redeploying a package you can follow these steps:

  • click on the Start button, go to Programs, select Administrative Tools and then select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • right-click your domain name in the console tree and select the Properties context menu
  • go to the Group Policy tab, select the object you used to deploy the package and click Edit
  • expand the Software Settings element (per-user or per-machine) which contains the deployed package
  • expand the Software Installation element which contains the deployed package
  • right-click the package in the right pane of the Group Policy window
  • select the All Tasks menu and click Redeploy application
  • click the Yes button for reinstalling the application wherever it is installed
  • close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK and exit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in

Remove an MSI package

Group Policy also allows you to remove packages which have been deployed in the past.

Here are the steps for removing a package:
  • click on the Start button, go to Programs, select Administrative Tools and then select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • right-click your domain name in the console tree and select the Properties context menu
  • go to the Group Policy tab, select the object you used to deploy the package and click Edit
  • expand the Software Settings element (per-user or per-machine) which contains the deployed package
  • expand the Software Installation element which contains the deployed package
  • right-click the package in the right pane of the Group Policy window
  • select the All Tasks menu and click Remove
  • select from the following options:
    • Immediately uninstall the software from users and computers
    • Allow users to continue to use the software but prevent new installations
  • click the OK button to continue
  • close the Group Policy snap-in, click OK and exit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in