Friday, August 7, 2009

BizTalk 2009 - Silent/Unattended Install

I am currently involved in a BizTalk 2009 upgrade. We are lucky enough to get some new hardware that screams and we are now running 64bit. We are taking this opportunity to try to streamline our server deployments. This includes Rapid Deployment images at the OS level and scripting as many installs as possible based on server naming convention.

When I was asked whether BizTalk could be silently installed I assumed it could be but had to do some investigation. This is when I stumbled across this page:

Initially we thought about silently installing all components and then just configuring the features that we needed (No EDI). This was a good idea until we got an error message indicating that the install could not continue because we didn't have VS 2008 SP1 installed. The purpose of these scripted deployments were to target our Test/Prod BizTalk and SQL farms. Since these servers would be used in Test and Prod we did not want VS 2008 installed.

The next option was using the /S switch which allows you to provide a configuration file that would include all of the features you want to install. The problem is that the document is not real explicit about where you would find this configuration file or the format that the file needs to be in.

/S Performs a silent installation of features found in the specified configuration file. Note To install all features, specify ALL for the parameter of the configuration XML file.

After some pointers from
Matt Milner, Alan Smith and Bill Chesnut I was able to get this working.

Here are the steps that you need to follow in the event that you have a farm where you want installations to be consistent across the farm:

  1. Download Pre-requisite Cab files. (Thiago has the links on his blog)

  2. Mount Media

  3. Install BizTalk on initial node

  4. Configure BizTalk on initial node

  5. Export configuration file based on initial configuration

  6. When you open the file, you will find a lot of information but the key information that you need are in the "InstalledFeature" tags.

  7. Now that you have this file, you can use it as in input to your silent install command. Here is the command that I used:

x:\Setup.exe /CABPATH "x:\temp\" /S x:\ScriptedInstallDir\ExportedConfigurationFile.xml /L c:\temp\BizTalkInstall.log /FORCERESTART /INSTALLDIR "x:\program files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009"

Note: I initially tried the install using the the /QUIET switch but was then prompted with an error indicating that I could not provide a configuration file and use the "Quiet" switch. This wasn't the end of the world for me as an interface is displayed but it does not require any action - no buttons or prompts to click through.

So if you have a farm you will probably want to take advantage of this features since it will save you a little time and will ensure that you have a consistent install across the farm. It doesn't help you much with your initial installs though.


Olof Szymczak said...

You should checkout my Silent Install application that I developed for automating a biztalk 2009 dev enviroment

Kent Weare said...

Very cool! I hadn't seen this before so thanks for sharing it.

Olof Szymczak said...

let me know if you have any issue getting it going.