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How to Enable Wise Web Capture on Windows 2003 Server

Created: 26 Dec 2007 • Updated: 26 Dec 2007 | 1 comment
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Richard Jeffrey's picture
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Wise Web Capture, which runs from a browser, lets you capture installations on a clean machine without installing any additional software. The snapshot method is the same as the snapshot method used by SetupCapture, leveraging a before and after comparison. Wise Web Capture does not use the global exclusion list - Wise Web Capture uses a predefined exclusion list to determine which items to ignore during the capture.

Wise Web Capture also lets you capture on a computer that is running a non-supported operating system like Windows 95, 98, or NT4.

This method is to be used when only a true 'clean machine' is acceptable.

The file that results from the capture is an encrypted .MSI, with the extension .MSI_. You cannot open or install this encrypted file, but you can decrypt it on a computer that has Wise Package Studio installed. You can decrypt to MSI by using the Web Capture Conversion utility or by double-clicking the encrypted MSI_ file from a Wise Package Studio computer.

I'm waiting for a response from Symantec regarding which browser software and versions are supported under Wise Web Capture. Under Internet Explorer v7, once you connect to the Wise Web Capture site (http://servername/wise_web_capture) you are required to install an Atiris Inc OCX file from the MsiRepackCtrl.CAB file located at 'C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Wise Solutions\Web Capture'.

I have had issues running this utility from both Firefox and Opera browser software.

It looks like the home page (WebCap.aspx) is intended for Microsoft Internet Explorer v5 and contains JavaScript code.

Software Requirements

The Wise Web Capture application must be installed on a Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server on your network. IIS 4.0 or later required; 5.0 recommended.

ASP.NET, along with the .NET Framework version 1.1, is installed as a part of Windows Server 2003. You may simply need to add it as a new program from Control Panel or enable it by using the Configure Your Server wizard.

Version 1.1 of the .NET Framework must be installed on the server. You can download it here.

ASP and ASP.NET must also be installed and enabled on the server.

If you want to install ASP.NET on a domain controller, there are special steps you must take to make the installation work properly. For more information, see article Q315158, "ASP.NET Does Not Work with the Default ASPNET Account on a Domain Controller," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at

ISAPI extensions must be installed and enabled on the server.

To enable ASP, ASP.NET & ISAPI Extensions in IIS Manager:

  1. From the Start menu, click Run.
  2. In the Open box in the Run dialog box, type inetmgr, and then click OK.
  3. In IIS Manager, expand the local computer and then click Web Service Extensions
  4. In the right pane, right-click ASP.NET and then click Allow.
  5. The status of ASP.NET changes to Allowed.
  6. Do the same, if required, for Active Server Pages (ASP)
  7. Ensure the All Unknown ISAPI Extensions are set to Allowed This can cause the Web Applications to be greyed out.

You should now run the Wise Package Studio application maintenance from the Control Panel and choose Modify.

IIS Worker Processes

A worker process is an application that runs in user mode. Its roles typically include processing requests to return a static page, invoking an Internet Server API (ISAPI) extension or filter, or running a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) handler. A worker process is physically implemented as an executable file named W3wp.exe and is controlled by WWW Service Administration and Monitoring. Wise Web Capture runs as a worker process, invoking ISAPI.

If you see the Web Applications windows with the Web Applications to install greyed out, it typically denotes:-

  • You have not entered a correct license key
  • You do not have one or more of the software requirements installed or configured properly

You should see an enabled Web Applications window like the one below. Ensure Wise Web Capture is checked.

After installation you will see the Wise Solutions folder structure under the [Driveletter]:\InetPub\wwwroot folder. You will now have a Wise_Web_Capture web site.

Running the Wise Web Capture

From a browser type the http://servername/wise_web_capture address and you will be presented with the Logon screen. Enter a valid Workbench user name and password and click Submit. Next close all other applications, specify the target installation name and click Next to begin the initial scan. After the initial scan, leave the window open and run the installation you want to capture. When the installation finishes, return to the window and click Next to begin the final scan. The captured installation is encrypted and saved to the file you specified. In Wise Package Studio Workbench, run the Web Capture Conversion tool to decrypt the file. You may see the prompt for the OCX install, just select install.


Wise Web Capture would not appear to support rebooting between captures, I have not been able to fully test or find confirmation, but again I will update when I receive more information. As I'm testing this on VMware I can't actually reboot to test myself. I have a feeling that it won't be supported as the way the IIS interface is handled; it will not be able to restart following a reboot.

I did test that the Wise Web Capture was not using the global exclusion list in the Wise Share Point (Repackage.INI).

It does seem strange that the Wise Web Capture is performed on a clean machine, and the documentation seems to point to decrypting the encrypted file on a machine with Wise Package studio installed. My issue is that when you edit the resulting MSI file on a Wise Package Studio machine the file source paths are broken. They point to the original local path, for example C:\Program Files\Application Name\File Name.EXE which obviously doesn't exist on the Wise Package Studio machine. If you then need to install Wise package Studio on the clean Wise Web Capture machine to compile the MSI, this all seems fruitless and over complicated.

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ThinkTankTed's picture

Remember, the default project file for Wise for Windows installer is a ".wsi" file not an ".msi" file, which is what you get when you decrypt the web captured ".msi_" file. Just use the MSI->WSI conversion (listed under "Tools" in the menu bar) and you will get a wsi file, and all of the source files needed to compile an .msi from that .wsi, with the added bonus that the source paths are stored as relative paths and thus the project is portable between computers, directories, etc.

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