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AppNote: Everything You Want to Know about AdminStudio ZENworks Edition



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March 19, 2008 1:14 pm

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By Vijay Kumar Kunchakuri

Overview

AdminStudio provides a set of automated tools that help Administrators in converting legacy applications into the standard MSI format. The MSI format is very reliable and provides lots of benefits like Self-Healing, Rollback, Install on demand, etc.

AdminStudio ZENworks Edition is a limited version of the Macrovision Admin Studio Professional Edition. It consists of the Repackager, the Tuner and the Distribution Wizard Components.

AdminStudio ZENworks Edition Components

  • Repackager: Converts the Novell ZENworks projects (AOT/AXT snapshots) into Windows Installer Packages, i.e., MSI. Except for the InstallScript MSI conversion, the ZENworks Edition provides all other benefits.
  • Tuner: Allows Administrators to create a Transform File that can be used to add, modify or remove information related to the Windows Installer package.
  • Distribution Wizard: The Distribution Wizard helps the Administrator to create ZCM specific Windows Bundles – MSI Applications with a very less effort and time.

Installation of AdminStudio ZENworks Edition 8.5

The AdminStudio ZENworks Edition 8.5 is shipped with ZCM Media or can alternatively be downloaded from here.

After following the on-screen Wizard instructions, complete the installation of the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition. A reboot is required to complete the installation procedure.

You can refer to the Novell ZENworks Documentation for more information on AdminStudio Installation.

Activation of AdminStudio ZENworks Edition 8.5

Activation needs to be done for the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition. Starting from ZENworks 10 Configuration Management, only ONE instance of the AdminStudio is allowed to be installed / activated in a particular ZCM Zone.

The Activation can be done by acquiring a license key from the Macrovision Website that’s launched immediately after installing the AdminStudio (just before rebooting the machine).

After providing the Activation Serial Number, the Activation Successful message should be displayed as shown below.


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Since one and only one instance of the AdminStudio can work in an entire ZCM 10 (or later) zone, it is mandatory that the first instance of the product be uninstalled and / or deactivated before choosing to install and use it on another machine in the same ZCM zone.

Using AdminStudio ZENworks Edition 8.5

AdminStudio ZENworks Edition 8.5 primarily provides three major tools as described above:

  • Repackager – To Convert legacy applications to MSI Package
  • Tuner – To Customize MSI packages
  • Distribution Wizard – To create ZCM Windows Bundle – MSI Applications

Repackaging an Application (.exe)

  1. Launch: Launch AdminStudio using Start -> Programs -> Macrovision -> AdminStudio8.5.
  2. Login: Provide the ZCM Server URL and Administrator Login / Password credentials to login to the AdminStudio Application. Please be sure to provide the Server URL as: http:<ZCM_Server_Hostname>

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Repackager

Repackager allows the Administrator to convert legacy installers or Snapshot (AOT/AXT) files into MSI Packagers. Launch the Repackager from the home page of the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition.


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  1. Repackager Step 1: Click Next to proceed with the Wizard.

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  2. Repackager Step 2: Select the Installation Monitoring option to increase reliability and shorter repackaging times. You can alternatively use the Snapshot option to convert difference in snapshots (of system before and after installation of the product) into an MSI Package. Installation Monitoring is the recommended option.

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  3. Repackager Step 3: Select an .exe or some legacy installer file and provide the product information as shown. Click Next to continue.

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  4. Repackager Step 4: Select the path where the converted MSI Packages need to be stored. The Wizard creates a file if the one mentioned here is not already present in the machine. Now click Start to begin the installation of the executable chosen above.

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  5. Repackager Step 5: The Wizard then captures the system status before installation is begun. After which the user would be notified to complete the installation of the .exe (as in the case of a normal exe file installation).

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  7. Repackager Step 6: Click Process after the installation of the above .exe (winzip) is completed.

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  8. Repackager Step 7: Click Finish to launch the Repackager where the MSI Package conversion project can be edited or built.

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  9. Repackager Step 8: The ZCM server login dialog will be displayed. Provide the required URL and Administrator credentials to open the Repackager window. Click Build -> Build menu option to start converting the above project into an MSI Package. Also, a summary of the number of files (ini, files/folders, registry, etc) is displayed in the Repackager window.

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  10. Repackager Step 9: The AdminStudio Repackager then builds the appropriate files needed to convert the selected .exe file into a Windows Installer MSI Package. After this click File -> Save to save and exit the project.

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Tuner

Tuner allows the Administrator to Customize – Add, Modify, Remove any information (or files) from the MSI Package created using the Repackager. This enables the creation of customized MSI (with MST) packages.


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  1. Tuner Step 1: Select the MSI file created above and click the Customize button to launch the Tuner window.


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  2. Tuner Step 2: The tuner window allows the Administrator to view, modify (add/edit/remove) any of the files or information in the MSI package.

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  3. Tuner Step 3: Modify any of the files or folders, ini files, registry entries listed in the MSI package and save the project to commit the changes.

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  4. Tuner Step 4: The Tuner also allows the Administrator to validate and check for any errors / warnings that might be present after modification. Based on the various Validation and Packaging messages (errors or warnings), the Administrator can modify the package and correct the same as required.

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Distribution Wizard

The Distribution Wizard allows the Administrators to create ZCM Windows Bundle – MSI Application with minimum effort. The tool provided in AdminStudio ZENworks edition allows an easy-to-use and time-saving method to create the bundles.

  1. Distribution Wizard Step 1: Launch the Distribution Wizard for ZENworks Configuration management from the Tools tab of the AdminStudio application. Double click the icon to start the Wizard.


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  2. Distribution Wizard Step 2: Click Next in the Welcome Screen to proceed with the Wizard. You can choose to select “Do Not show the Welcome Panel again” to avoid this step every time you launch the Wizard.

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  3. Distribution Wizard Step 3: Provide the ZCM Server URL and Administrator credentials to login and start the distribution.

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  4. Distribution Wizard Step 4: Browse and select the MSI package created using the Repackager (as described above). Click Next to proceed further.

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  5. Distribution Wizard Step 5: Select one of the two options to either create a New Bundle or Update an existing Bundle.

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  6. Distribution Wizard Step 6: Provide all the relevant information such as the Bundle Name, Version Number, Icon to be used, Folder where it is to be placed and a short Description for the Bundle.

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  7. Distribution Wizard Step 7: Click Publish in the Bundle Summary Page to start distributing the bundle.

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  8. Distribution Wizard Step 8: Review the summary before proceeding and click Finish to trigger the bundle creation.

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  9. Distribution Wizard Step 9: The Bundle creation starts and displays a summary of the Publishing in progress after the creation of bundle is completed. Click Finish to exit the Wizard.

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Verifying the Bundle created Using ZCC

The bundle created using the above procedure – The Repackager, The Tuner and The Distribution Wizard can be verified for valid details and files using the ZCC. The following screenshots display that the above bundle has been successfully created and added to the ZCM database with the exact information as provided while creating it using AdminStudio’s Distribution Wizard.


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Important: the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition can be installed and activated in only one device in the entire ZCM zone. For more instances, more keys need to be acquired from Macrovision.

If an Administrator tries to login to the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition on another device in the same zone (which has an already existing instance of the AdminStudio, activated and running elsewhere in the zone), an error would be displayed stating “Invalid Usage”. See the following snapshot for the exact error message displayed:


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The following error will be thrown when the Activation of the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition is attempted on more than one machine in the same ZCM zone.


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So, if the Administrator wishes to use the same Activation Serial Number in another device of his choice (in the same ZCM zone), he must Deactivate the first instance. This can be done by executing the “RemoveUsage.exe” file present in the following directory, where the AdminStudio is installed:

“C:\Program Files\Macrovision\AdminStudio\8.5\Common”

By running the above executable, the Administrator can ensure that the “One User per ZCM Zone” Limitation is taken care of. The first instance of AdminStudio gets deactivated or detached from the ZCM Zone and allows for activation on another machine. This RemoveUsage.exe can be run from any machine in the ZCM zone where the AdminStudio is installed (even if the Administrator forgets as to which device the application was installed for the first time, there’s no need to worry).

The message “Usage Token Successfully Removed” is displayed once the RemoveUsage.exe is run.

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After this, uninstall the AdminStudio (if already installed) and reinstall the AdminStudio ZENworks Edition on the second machine where the Administrator wishes to run the application from. If it is not already installed on the second machine, the Administrator can choose to install the AdminStudio immediately after running the RemoveUsage.exe and then use the already obtained Activation Serial Number to activate the AdminStudio in the same ZCM zone.

AdminStudio ZENworks Edition thus provides all of the tools and interfaces that allow the Administrators to create, modify and distribute (as ZCM Windows Bundles) MSI Packages in an easy, time-saving, efficient and effective manner.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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