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Wise Package Studio, Part 7: Use Install Tailor to Create a Transform File

Created: 22 Dec 2008 • Updated: 21 May 2009 | 2 comments
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erikw's picture
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While you have finished your first explorations through your newly installed and configured Wise Package Studio, you are now up to performing several tasks that have to been done.

You probably have packaged an application or more, and in one of the articles I also guided you through the Virtual Package Editor.

Probably you have also wondered about the number of option Wise Package Studio has.

In this article I'm going to guide you through the build of a transform file.

A transform file is usually created when you already have a MSI and you want it to be installed with preset values. You can always install an application in silent mode so it will get installed with the default values, but that is not always the case.

This article will show you how to use the Install Tailor to build a transform file.

"Use Install Tailor to create a transform, which is a special kind of Windows Installer database that can be applied at runtime to a Windows Installer package to customize the installation for a particular group of end users. Transforms are not applicable to Wise Script technology."

"When you run the Install Tailor, it will simulate an installation and captures the options that you select during the installation dialogs. Then it creates a transform file that contains those selections. Because the installation is only simulated, no changes are actually made on your computer."

Start Wise Package Studio, and go to Tools.

Select Install Tailor

Now you have to select the MSI that you want to build the transform for. In this article I take the Abiword we built in the second article of this series. When you already have an MST file, then you can select that one in the line were you can select the Base MST file. That will help you alter the MST to add changes to it. Click Next to continue.

As you see we now have our own created MSI, and we are going to select to all the options we get.

This first screen is the welcome screen. Here we say Next to go to the following screen.

Now we give a Name and a Company. With the option Anyone who uses this computer various registry settings are copied to the .Default of the registry were as the user files are copied to the .Default User. If you set it to "Only for me", it will copy the registry settings to the currently logged on user registry, were as it will install the files in the Documents and setting /username part of the file system. Click Next to go to the next screen.

Now we specify the default path where we'd like the installation to be. In this case I leave the default path. If you want to test, you might change the default path to c:\Program Files \ Abisuite2-1\

Then Abiword will get installed into another folder. If you then activate the VSA we build from Abiword you will see that it will build the original directory and you also have this directory.

Click Next to go the next screen.

The next and last screen is confirming the options you selected. Press Next to install the application.

Now you get a screen telling you that your options are captured. Click OK to go to the final steps.

Now you have to answer were you would like to place the MST. I place it in the same directory where the MSI is also. The shortcut name is abiword. Now I select edit this transform file using Windows Installer Editor. And select Finish.

Now go to MSI editor. It will show you the following script:

Now you can see exactly how a transform file is built.

Every dialog is answered with the correct answer that you would like and the installation is built.

Never use a semicolon (;) in your MST file name. MSIexec will not interpret that and your installation will fail. This is because MSI exec gives you the ability to use two or even more MST's to install your application. The various MST files are then separated with a semicolon (;). So if you use a semicolon in your MST, MSIexec expects a new transform and will start trying to read a new MST.

Now we need to know the parameter to deploy a MSI to the client.

This is the correct line:

msiexec /i "ProductName.msi" TRANSFORMS="YourTransform.mst"

As simple as it can be.

In the next article we are going to build a huge transform file. I'm going to guide you through all the steps that you need to do to build an Office 2003 Transform file. But?? We are not going to do that with Install Tailor but we are using the Office Resource Kit to build the MST.

Wise Package Studio, Part 6: Building an XP Client Packaging Machine

Wise Package Studio, Part 8: Building an Office 2003 Generic Transform File


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nanya's picture
good artical ..ths helped me lot. i have doubt it that. when we need to create mst,wheathre the application has been installed in the system?? or without installing the application we can 
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nanya's picture

Is it possible to create multiple Mst for a  64 bit application

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