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Install product from the WEB

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 14:22

Hi Everyone,

I have built an installation package for our product and I need to give an option for our users to install it from the WEB

I did the following:

- I put the installation package on the WEB server.
- I built a java script that calls the WindowsInstaller.Installer

Basically it works, but there is one problem.
When the Installer wants to copy files from the installation package, located on the WEB server, to the user's computer, it uses the short mode of names for the files and directories and as a result I get "File not found" error.

For example:

The internet site is "http://www.aaa.com" and the files of the package are located on \program files\Bin under the root directory of this site. When I run the installer, it searches the files under "http://www.aaa.com/progra~1/bin", which create a "File not found" error.
Do you have an idea how can I 'tell' the installer to search the files in "http://www.aaa.com/program files/bin".

I work with Windows Installer 2.03.




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Posted 11 April 2002 - 11:54

This behaviour comes from MSI, not ISWi. Some info is given in Microsofts documentation for the Windows installer. Search for "Downloading an Installation from the Internet" for some help.

I also tried to get it to work with MSI V1.2 and I also had these problems with long/short names. I forgot how, but I brought it to work with long names, but not if they contained spaces. So this doesn't help, "program files" contains a space. Spaces are transferred as "%20" in http requests, but MSI doesn't support this translation (in my tries) - I didn't get it to work with uncompressed files.

The only solution I really brought to work was the use of compressed files (cab-files). As the mechanism of IWSi to compress files didn't work as I wanted, I wrote a VBScrript which compresses the files to cabs on a component based selection mechanism and changes the *.msi occordingly. If you're interested in the VBscript, send me an Email with the text "CAB-Script" in the subject.

I didn't try MSI 2.0 for webinstallations until now, but according to MS's docu, it still doesn't work with proxy servers.

So, the best solution still seems to be something like a single downloadable installation file created with something like PackageForTheWeb. Disadvantage: The user will always download the whole installation, even if only 20% are really installed. For slow internet connections this is a knockout.