Managing SMS Installer IPF Files

Monday Aug 16th 1999 by ServerWatch Staff
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One of the most useful and cost saving functions of Microsoft SMS is being able to deploy software automatically to client workstations...

By Nick Beaugeard

Bio:
Nick is head of the Systems Management Division at TSG Australia. Using a combination of technology, procedures, documentation and process, TSG now deliver a coherent and quality set of solutions based around Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0. Nick has been a freelance consultant for the last seven years working in London, UK and the US. Upon moving to Australia, he was coerced to work for a Microsoft Solution Provider Partner, TSG Australia and concentrates on delivering quality solutions.

Visit TSG Australia at: www.tsg.com.au

ARTICLE
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One of the most useful and cost saving functions of Microsoft SMS is being able to deploy software automatically to client workstations. Although an extremely powerful function, without a quality control practice for managing packages during the design, testing and release phase, organisations run the risk of deploying a package which may cause operating systems to fail, rendering users machines dysfunctional. This is compounded when packages are deployed to server systems. If the package is not fully tested, serious service disruption can be caused.

The question is, how can we easily ascertain what functions a package is performing and how can this be easily reviewed by operations staff?

This article discusses Microsoft SMS Installer however other tools, for example , Seagate WinINSTALL can be used and the procedure documented below followed.

The question posed was, "How do we understand what a package does?".

In coming to an appropriate answer, I looked for where this information was stored. With Microsoft SMS Installer, it is in the *.IPF file. When I first looked at this file, it seemed extremely cryptic. How would I ever be quickly able to gather information on this package and present it in an easy to understand form?

After some investigation, I found that the IPF file is constructed of logical blocks and these contain items and values. Unfortunately, not all similar blocks contain the same items and values.

At the client site I was working at, a requirement is for IT specific information to be presented in a HTML form. Thus I came up with the idea of IPFPARSE. IPF parse is a small command line utility which extracts pursuant information from the IPF files and presents it as a "cute" web page, automatically generated.

You can download IPFParse.EXE here

With this tool, we can simply provide information from an IPF file and present it in a format that users and management can easily understand.

The programs are included in this email. A sample IPF file and results file are also provided.

Nick Beaugeard
nickb@tsg.com.au

Package Description for web1

Created: 08-09-1999 11:37:42

Global Information

Version6.0
Title EnglishTSG SMS Web Site Creation Installation
Flags00010100
Languages0 0 65 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LanguagesListEnglish
Default Language2
Japanese Font NameMS Gothic
Japanese Font Size10
Start Gradient0 0 255
End Gradient0 0 0
Windows Flags00010000000011010010110000011000
Log Pathname%MAINDIR%\INSTALL.LOG
Message FontMS Sans Serif
Font Size8
Disk FilenameSETUP
Patch Flags0000000000000001
Patch Threshold85
Patch Memory4000
FTP Cluster Size20
Variable Name1_SYS_
Variable Default1C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM
Variable Flags100001000
Variable Name2_SMSINSTL_
Variable Default2C:\PROGRAM FILES\MICROSOFT SMS INSTALLER
Variable Flags200001000
Variable Name3_ODBC16_
Variable Default3C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM
Variable Flags300001000
Variable Name4_ODBC32_
Variable Default4C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM
Variable Flags400001000

Wizard Information

Direction VariableDIRECTION
Display VariableDISPLAY
Bitmap Pathname%_SMSINSTL_%\DIALOGS\TEMPLATE\WIZARD.BMP
X Position9
Y Position10
Filler Color8421440
DialogSelect Program Manager Group
DialogSelect Backup Directory
DialogDisplay Registration Information
DialogGet Registration Information
VariableEXPLORER
VariableDOBACKUP
VariableDOBRAND
VariableDOBRAND
Value1
ValueA
Value1
Value1
Compare0
Compare1
Compare0
Compare1
Flags00000011
d
Direction VariableDIRECTION
Display VariableDISPLAY
Bitmap Pathname%_SMSINSTL_%\DIALOGS\TEMPLATE\WIZARD.BMP
X Position9
Y Position10
Filler Color8421440
Flags00000011

Variables Set

Variable Value Flags
SYS %WIN%  
APPTITLE TSG SMS Web Site Creation 10000000
GROUP   10000000
DISABLED !  
MAINDIR INETPUB\WWWROOT 10000000
MAINDIR %SYSDRIVE%:\%MAINDIR% 00001100
EXPLORER 1  
MAINDIR %SYSDRIVE%:\%MAINDIR% 00001100
BACKUP %MAINDIR%\BACKUP 10000000
DOBACKUP B 10000000
COMPONENTS   10000000
BRANDING 1  
DOBRAND 1  
BACKUP %MAINDIR%\BACKUP  
BACKUPDIR %BACKUP%  
COMMON %COMMON% 00010100
MAINDIR %MAINDIR% 00010100
CGROUP_SAVE %GROUP%  
GROUP %GROUPDIR%\%GROUP%  

Checking if file or directory exists

Pathname Flags
%SYS% 10000100

Registry Key Gets

Variable Key Default Value Name Flags
COMMON SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion %SYSDRIVE%:\Program Files\Common Files CommonFilesDir 00000100
PROGRAM_FILES SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion %SYSDRIVE%:\Program Files ProgramFilesDir 00000100
STARTUPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %WIN%\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp StartUp 00000010
DESKTOPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %WIN%\Desktop Desktop 00000010
STARTMENUDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %WIN%\Start Menu Start Menu 00000010
GROUPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %WIN%\Start Menu\Programs Programs 00000010
CSTARTUPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %STARTUPDIR% Common Startup 00000100
CDESKTOPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %DESKTOPDIR% Common Desktop 00000100
CSTARTMENUDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %STARTMENUDIR% Common Start Menu 00000100
CGROUPDIR Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders %GROUPDIR% Common Programs 00000100

Strings Parsed

Source Pattern Variable1
%WIN% : SYSDRIVE

INI Values Read

Variable Pathname Section Item
NAME %INST%\CUSTDATA.INI REGISTRATION NAME
COMPANY %INST%\CUSTDATA.INI REGISTRATION COMPANY

INI Files Edited

Pathname Settings
%INST%\CUSTDATA.INI  

OCX/DLL Autoregister

Description English
Updating System Configuration, Please Wait...

Scripts Included

Pathname
%_SMSINSTL_%\Include\uninstal.ipf
%_SMSINSTL_%\Include\rollback.ipf

Installed Files

Source Destination Flags
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\adovbs.inc %MAINDIR%\SMS\adovbs.inc 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\adojavas.inc %MAINDIR%\SMS\adojavas.inc 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\ChangeReq.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\ChangeReq.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\Changes.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\Changes.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\modchg.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\modchg.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\NewChange.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\NewChange.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\modpkg.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\modpkg.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\Packages.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\Packages.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\PAF.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\PAF.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\PKGSGN.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\PKGSGN.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\updpkg.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\updpkg.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\rev.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\rev.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\wsheet.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\wsheet.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\all.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\all.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\ALLSOE.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\ALLSOE.asp 0000000000000010
c:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\SAA\SMS\below.asp %MAINDIR%\SMS\below.asp 0000000000000010

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