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I am preparing a software installation in Windows environment for my application. During installation it asks for Subscriber ID which should be entered into text field. I am wondering if it is a best solution for mass installations. I know that for mass installations IT teams use systems like Microsoft System Center which allow automate deployment. But I do not know much about capabilities of such systems. Can such system automate data entry into the text fields? Will it be better to change installation process and ask not a text but a file which contains Subscriber ID? By the way, I am looking for beta testers for my software. This software let user view Microsoft Project files without having Microsoft Project installed.

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This isn't an appropriate place to ask for beta testers for your software. –  Ben Pilbrow May 31 '10 at 14:16
    
Even if it is just a note to my question? Should I delete it? –  Denis May 31 '10 at 14:18
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The thing is it isn't really relevant to your question, and this is really just a place for your server problems. It will probably be OK to leave, it was just an FYI really. –  Ben Pilbrow May 31 '10 at 14:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Build your installer upon the Windows Installer platform, this will create a .MSI file which can easily be deployed through Active Directory and Group Policy or Systems Center.

One of the strongest features of Windows Installer databases is the concept of properties, these are key value associations, one of which could be SubscriberID. Setup your installer to only prompt for the SubscriberID if it is blank in the windows installer database.

Provide your customers with instructions on creating a Transform (.MST File) which can be applied to the MSI file to "inject" the SubscriberID into the installer.

If you are using Visual Studio I highly recommend the WiX project for creating a MSI file. Advanced Installer is also very powerful. There are many other products so have a search around see if you can find something that does exactly what you want.

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