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3f 02-17-2005 08:45 AM

Installation and Deployment Problems of Web Application
 
Hello;

We have made a web application that people can download from our web site
and installed on:

Windows XP
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows 2003 Server
Windows 2000 Server

Provided that the target machine has IIS 5.0 or above installed.

The installation files are created with Install Shield and we let Install
Shield do a lot of the work i.e. create the virtual directory, installing
MSDE, registering components, assigns security to the folder
(IUSR_ComputerName) and things of that nature. We use windows scripting host
to check if ASP is installed in Windows 2003.

Our goal is simple, we want people to be able to download and install our
software with the same amount of problems one could expect form installing a
normal application which basically means that the installation is successful
9 out of 10 times. At the moment we think that we have a rate which is more
like 1 or 2 out 10 installations are successful.

When we install in our company on any of the above OS’s we never have any
problems, it runs each time.

Know problems faced by our customers:

- Script blocking enabled (as is usually the case if they have Mcafee or
Norton antivirus installed). And since most people properly download and try
the web application on their XP Professional before installing on a corporate
server this is a major problem.
- Special configurations on the IIS that somehow gives our installation
problems

As a general rule if a customer contacts us with installation problems we
are always able to solve it, however most people do not contact us, hence a
potential sale is lost, and this even before they have seen our application.
Big problem.

Questions:

1. Are there anyone here who make and distribute web based applications that
people can download from the Internet and install without first having
contact with the vendor (you)?
2. If yes to the above, how do you tackle installation problems?
3. Would the best way for the installation be to create a batch file system
that installs the application and then completely circumvent Install shield?
4. Would a combination of scripting and active directory as seen here
http://www.eggheadcafe.com/articles/20010609.asp be a more safe way to go?

Hoping to hear something, maybe somebody here have an idea. We will be quit
willing to share our knowledge!


Steven Burn 02-18-2005 02:48 PM

Re: Installation and Deployment Problems of Web Application
 
If they've got script blockers enabled then they should already know to
disable them first if you've made it clear on the products download page,
that this is required.

Unfortunately, as far as varying IIS config's go, the best you can do IMHO,
is provide info on the products home/download page that explains what is
required, and how to configure it (a little help goes along way in my
experience).

As for your questions.......;

> 1. Are there anyone here who make and distribute web based applications

that
> people can download from the Internet and install without first having
> contact with the vendor (you)?


Make them as generic as possible (i.e. pretty much stand-alone, with
instructions on config'ing the server)

> 2. If yes to the above, how do you tackle installation problems?


Provide instructions for manual configuration

> 3. Would the best way for the installation be to create a batch file

system
> that installs the application and then completely circumvent Install

shield?

Would that not be basically the same as using IS?

> 4. Would a combination of scripting and active directory as seen here
> http://www.eggheadcafe.com/articles/20010609.asp be a more safe way to go?


Probably, but that also assumes the user is running in admin mode (not a
problem if you've explained how to run it in "RunAs" mode).

--
Regards

Steven Burn
Ur I.T. Mate Group
www.it-mate.co.uk

Keeping it FREE!

"3f" <3f@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:C816ACF5-6718-4B4B-994D-8E08B8267C6E@microsoft.com...
> Hello;
>
> We have made a web application that people can download from our web site
> and installed on:
>
> Windows XP
> Windows 2000 Professional
> Windows 2003 Server
> Windows 2000 Server
>
> Provided that the target machine has IIS 5.0 or above installed.
>
> The installation files are created with Install Shield and we let Install
> Shield do a lot of the work i.e. create the virtual directory, installing
> MSDE, registering components, assigns security to the folder
> (IUSR_ComputerName) and things of that nature. We use windows scripting

host
> to check if ASP is installed in Windows 2003.
>
> Our goal is simple, we want people to be able to download and install our
> software with the same amount of problems one could expect form installing

a
> normal application which basically means that the installation is

successful
> 9 out of 10 times. At the moment we think that we have a rate which is

more
> like 1 or 2 out 10 installations are successful.
>
> When we install in our company on any of the above OS's we never have any
> problems, it runs each time.
>
> Know problems faced by our customers:
>
> - Script blocking enabled (as is usually the case if they have Mcafee or
> Norton antivirus installed). And since most people properly download and

try
> the web application on their XP Professional before installing on a

corporate
> server this is a major problem.
> - Special configurations on the IIS that somehow gives our installation
> problems
>
> As a general rule if a customer contacts us with installation problems we
> are always able to solve it, however most people do not contact us, hence

a
> potential sale is lost, and this even before they have seen our

application.
> Big problem.
>
> Questions:
>
> 1. Are there anyone here who make and distribute web based applications

that
> people can download from the Internet and install without first having
> contact with the vendor (you)?
> 2. If yes to the above, how do you tackle installation problems?
> 3. Would the best way for the installation be to create a batch file

system
> that installs the application and then completely circumvent Install

shield?
> 4. Would a combination of scripting and active directory as seen here
> http://www.eggheadcafe.com/articles/20010609.asp be a more safe way to go?
>
> Hoping to hear something, maybe somebody here have an idea. We will be

quit
> willing to share our knowledge!
>





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