SMS Installer versus VBScript/PowerShell

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I was putting this information together for an architecture document.  Thought I’d share it because this shows why I love SMS Installer!

Microsoft SMS Installer

  • Usage: Installation “wrapper” to automate tasks such as initiating installation with parameters, reading/writing registry values, writing log files, if/then/else evaluations, dialog boxes, etc.
  • Pros: Robust application with an easy to use GUI that is simple for others to learn.  Scripting knowledge and/or experience is not required.  The compiled executable cannot be changed except through the SMS Installer application.
  • Cons: Various limitations on processes that can run.

VBScript / PowerShell

  • Usage: Perform complex automation tasks
  • Pros: Gives the ability to automate complex changes that cannot be accomplished using SMS Installer.
  • Cons: Requires scripting knowledge and/or experience.  Is highly sensitive to changes in the script, which can have a negative impact if code is not properly written.

5 thoughts on “SMS Installer versus VBScript/PowerShell

    Jay Connor said:
    May 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I never knew about this program, looks good for creating some installers.


    Karl said:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I know this application since sms2003 but never looked at it. Seems that I will need it now. I have a wrapper for now but it’s really limited so I think using this sms installer will give me more satisfaction.
    I have a sh*tty program that needs to install 7 msi’s.
    This doesn’t work great for now so I was wondering if you had a ready made script that installs several msi’s that does this.

    Mike Azmoudeh said:
    May 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Speaking for myself who started out with SMS 2,0 it is very difficult to give up SMS Installer. I’m still using it at my job for all my scripting. I even came up with innovative ways to make it work with 64bit apps. I don’t know why Microsoft gave up on it so easily.

      Paul M. said:
      February 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Mike, we still use it too. Would you mind sharing what you are doing for 64bit apps?

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