Following on from my last post which talked about deployment of VLC Media Player 2.0.4 we are going to look at pushing out 7-Zip 9.20 in the enterprise.
7-Zip has been around for as long as I can remember and its a very good alternative to WinRAR and WinZIP – both of which are chargeable. Functionality wise its definitely on pair with any paid solution available today. Also .7z compression format is one of the best to use if you care about final file size – to quote 7-Zip themselves here is what they have to say:
Compression ratio results are very dependent upon the data used for the tests. Usually, 7-Zip compresses to 7z format 30-70% better than to zip format. And 7-Zip compresses to zip format 2-10% better than most of other zip compatible programs.
Quick compression ratio stats show how well 7-Zip does against the competition:
FILE SETS: Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7 for Windows and Google Earth 3.0.0616 for Windows after full installation.
Deploying software in the enterprise can be quite complicated, it doesn’t have to but it can be at times. There are tons of people that will just “install” what’s necessary to get them out of trouble (even if it means doing it 100 times over and over!) The same group of people cannot really distinguish between installing and deploying and if you happen to have them on board – you’re in trouble. Now, I don’t even remotely consider myself software packager but when deploying applications I usually follow few simple rules to take care of the basics. Here are the rules:
I. Installation has to be silent with no user intervention required. You run the install and usually don’t even know when its done unless you watch out for msiexec processes etc.
II. Once installed you should run it and no popups / random windows / activation, registration dialog boxes etc. should come up. It simply has to open nice and clean.
III. Again, once installed no extra rubbish should be copied to users desktop / start menu / run once etc. No auto update services should be allowed to start. No tray icons should be visible etc.
If you’re able to achieve all of the above you’re better than most. What we are essentially looking for here to clean and sleek deployment of whatever we need to push out to our client machines. No one likes to login to a machine and see 10 popup windows asking you do to do stuff. Horrible experience before you even start doing anything. Lets get to it!
In case someone is looking for just the .msi as opposed the rest of the junk that Microsoft provides – here it is!
Orca is kind of forgotten now, but still incredibly powerful, .msi database editor. If you ever had/will have something to do with application(s) delivery/deployment its simply a must have tool.
Each time I have to deploy an application, its no doubt, I will have to use Orca to some extend.
Remember Adobe Reader X and that nasty shortcut it creates on the desktop for all users? I bet you do. The only way to remove it is to hack the .msi database and drop “certain” record from “certain” table – job done!
Besides all that, ORCA is One Really Cool Application! 🙂