May 20, 2022 08:05 AM
Hello @jauluck -
Great questions, I'll restate them and provide my answers inline below:
The community repo is called the Package Feed Module and it’s an optional, paid add-on for AdminStudio. You can see the current list of applications available and search by specific product or vendor here: https://www.flexera.com/adminstudio-pfm
In order for AdminStudio to automatically spin up virtual machines for either automated Repackaging / App Virtualization conversion or for run-time testing of applications, the Automated Application Converter would need to be configured. More info here:
AdminStudio Release Notes, System Requirements -- Automated Application Converter
AdminStudio Product Help -- Getting Started With the Automated Application Converter
The Automated Application Converter (AAC) is limited to spinning up 3 virtual machines within the AdminStudio evaluation. If you purchase AdminStudio Professional, you can spin up a single VM at once and with AdminStudio Enterprise edition, there is no limited on AdminStudio’s end for the number of currently running VMs (though you should consider what your hypervisor host machine can accommodate).
It’s a limitation of what information can be extracted from an EXE installer, since EXE installers can differ greatly in how they operate as they could have been built with any number of different installation development tools (InstallShield, WiseScript, NSIS, etc.).
Detection methods and other application information are hard-to-downright not possible to read from EXE installers directly. Detection methods typically involve the main application executable(s) contained in the installer to use as determining of the application in question is present on the end point; particularly, it’s any executables that are installed that also have shortcuts that point back to them. This detection information can be easily obtained with an MSI package, as the entire installation sequence, logic, and contents are easily readable; EXE installers are essentially a “black box” and is not easily readable or extractable without running the installer itself, though some EXE installers do support an “administrative installation” which allows you to dump the contents of the installer payload out to a folder…but it depends on the EXE technology used! For EXE installers that are opaque, it requires executing the installer and letting it run to better understand what those primary application EXE files are and their path when installed on an end point. This researching of the contents via installer execution can be aided via the AdminStudio Repackager solution, where it can provide detailed insight into what gets installed on a machine using the original installer, even if creating an MSI installer from this captured output is not required/desired.
When any installer is imported into the Application Catalog database, AdminStudio performs an examination of installation technology used for that package. If the package is an MSI, then it’s a standard syntax that can easily be obtained. For EXE installers, they can differ from one to another. However, AdminStudio can recognize installers developed from the major installer vendors, then AdminStudio will provide the publicly known standard silent installation command-line arguments (and for uninstallation, where available) for the application installer. However, this may only be a starting point, as the EXE installer may need more parameters in order to pass the proper responses typically gathered during the user-interactive installation sequence, so the EXE installer has all of the information it needs to complete the installation.
Other EXE installers, like ones developed by the application vendor themselves, may not support silent arguments at all, forcing IT admins to look at other solutions including the Repackager tool included with AdminStudio to run the installation interactively once on a clean virtual machine image. In this process, the installer’s files, registry keys, etc. that is added to that clean machine is watched and captured. This information can then be used to turn the original, non-silent-supported EXE installer into a fully silent-capable MSI installer. More info on Repackaging here in the Product Documentation:
(All links included in this post are for the current version of AdminStudio at the time of this posting. The latest version of AdminStudio documentation can be found here.)
May 20, 2022 09:04 AM