Thursday, April 30, 2015

Installing a windows MSI on the commandline, detecting MSI parameters (aka properties)

Installing a MSI is fairly straightforward. Here's an example of installing python without any gui prompting to a designated directory.
msiexec /i "python-2.7.9.amd64.msi" /passive TARGETDIR="C:\tools\python2"
But how do I know about the TARGETDIR option I hear you say? Amazingly the msiexec binary can't tell you what parameters (public external properties) the MSI will accept. TARGETDIR appears to be a standard installshield property, but the MSI can expose others. The only way I found that doesn't require additional tools was to enumerate the parameters by dropping the MSI onto this piece of VBScript:
Call GetArguments(ArgArray) 

If IsArray(ArgArray) then 

For Each ArrayElement In ArgArray 
Wscript.Echo GetMSIProperties(ArrayElement) 


WScript.Echo "Drag and drop MSI-File over the Script" 

End if 

' ---------------------------------------- 
Private Function GetMSIProperties(strMSIFile) 

Dim oWI : Set oWI = CreateObject("WindowsInstaller.Installer") 
Dim oDB : Set oDB = oWI.OpenDatabase(strMSIFile, 2) 
Dim oView : Set oView = oDB.OpenView("Select * From Property") 
Dim oRecord 

Set oRecord = oView.Fetch 

If oRecord Is Nothing Then Exit Do 

iColumnCount = oRecord.FieldCount 
rowData = Empty 
delim = " " 

For iColumn = 1 To iColumnCount 
If iColumn = iColumnCount Then delim = vbLf 
rowData = rowData & oRecord.StringData(iColumn) & delim 

strMessage = strMessage & rowData 

Set oRecord = Nothing 
Set oView = Nothing 
Set oDB = Nothing 
Set oWI = Nothing 

GetMSIProperties = strMessage 

End Function 

' ---------------------------------------- 
Private Function GetArguments(SourceArray) 

Dim iCount : iCount = 0 

If wscript.arguments.count > 0 then 

ReDim ArgArray(wscript.arguments.count -1) 

For Each Argument in wscript.arguments 

ArgArray(iCount) = Argument 
iCount = iCount +1 

iCount = Null 
GetArguments = ArgArray 

End if 

End Function 
Which will pop up a GUI window with information about the MSI including the available properties. If you're building MSIs regularly you probably already have the relevant SDK installed and can use Orca to inspect the property table.

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