Network Deployment Installation

A network deployment provides an efficient way to install and license the CivilGEO software on multiple computers. There are number of commercial and open source software utilities that can be used as a deployment solution across one or many computers (simultaneously) across the network.

Software Deployment Best Practices

Remember to follow these best practices when creating a software deployment:

  1. Create the deployment from a workstation rather than a server
    This helps to eliminate the need for the same computer to run the installation, read the media, and write the files. The combination of these tasks can greatly increase the amount of time necessary to create the software deployment and can even cause corruption in the software deployment. It is better to create the deployment to a shared network location from an administrative workstation.
  2. Do not create deployments over a WAN or VPN
    Network connections using a WAN or VPN are generally slow and can cause file I/O errors during the deployment creation. Running the deployment over a WAN or VPN can also result in missing or corrupt files.
  3. Disable antivirus software
    Running antivirus software while creating the software deployment may cause issues. The antivirus software will scan every file being written and read in real time, causing the process to take much longer. In addition, the antivirus software might block certain files from being written or may modify the files and cause corruption.
  4. Use a shared directory
    Before creating the software deployment, create a shared directory on either the server or on a workstation. Keep the share name short and simple. Do not include spaces in the share name. Do not nest the shared directory too deeply on the drive.
  5. Use a separate folder for each deployment image
    Creating multiple software deployments within the same shared directory can cause corrupt installations and other problems.
  6. Create and store deployments on NTFS file systems only
    Other file systems, such as LINUX, UNIX, DFS, NFS, AIX and others can cause unforeseen issues with software deployments, including file systems used on network attached storage (NAS) devices.
  7. Users should have full read/write access
    The users creating the software deployments should have full read/write access to the network share where the software deployments are to be stored.
  8. Use UNC (Uniform Naming Convention) for network paths
    When specifying network paths, use a uniform naming convention (UNC) rather than mapped drive letters. For example, use \\servername\share\folder instead of S:\folder. Not all networked computers share the same mapped drive letters and by utilizing UNC network paths, these types of problems will be avoided.
  9. Avoid modifying a deployment once it has been created
    Instead of modifying an existing software deployment, it is better to create a new deployment for each modification that you make.
  10. Avoid moving deployments between servers
    It is not recommended to move software deployments between servers. If you must do this, you may need to modify the deployment to insert its current location into the deployment structure.

Creating a Silent Installation

Our software uses the InstallShield software for installation. Using the installation that we have provided, you can easily create a silent install that allows you to deploy the software to multiple computers on your network. This makes it much easier to install the software without having to babysit the installation for each computer.

To manually perform silent installation, the following steps can be placed in a batch file or script file to automate the installation operation:

  1. Launch the Command Prompt with the Run as Administrator option in the directory where the SETUP.EXE product installation program resides.
  2. Execute the below command to install the product in silent mode (on one line):
SETUP.EXE /s /v/qn /vUSERNAME="[End_User]" /vCOMPANYNAME="[Your_Company]" /vINSTALLDIR="[D:\Target_Path]"

The installation program options shown above are detailed as follows:

  1. Silent Mode:
    The /s parameter informs the installation program to install the software in a silent mode.
  2. User Name:
    The “USERNAME=[End_User]” option is used to specify the user name. Replace [End_User] with the end user name.
  3. Company Name:
    The “COMPANYNAME=[Your_Company]” option is used to specify the company name. Replace [Your_Company] with the name of your company.
  4. Install Directory:
    The “INSTALLDIR=[D:\Target_Path]” option is used to define the drive letter and absolute path to where the software is to be installed into.

Automated Software Installation and License Deployment

When performing a software deployment on an enterprise network that has a floating network license, it can be very time consuming to visit every computer in the network and manually install the software and register the license. For each workstation, the CivilGEO software requires that the License Server IP Address and Port be manually specified.

Fortunately, the CivilGEO software and network licensing process can be deployed using a command line. This can save time and effort when using automation deployment software, such as PDQ Deploy.

To start, make certain to log in as a system administrator. Then, set up the following command within a command line batch file or other automated deployment method.

GeoHECRAS.exe /s /v/qn /vUSERNAME=Admin /vFLOATING_SERVER_IP=[Server_IP] /vFLOATING_SERVER_PORT=[Server_Port]

The CivilGEO installation program options shown above should be on one line, and are as follows:

  1. Silent Mode:
    The /s parameter informs the CivilGEO installation program to install the software in a silent mode.
  2. Without MSI installer User Interface:
    The /v/qn parameter will pass the /qn parameter on to the embedded MSI installer. The /qn is an msiexec (i.e., Windows Installer) switch indicating to run with no UI.
  3. User Name:
    The /vUSERNAME=Admin option specifies that the user is Admin.
  4. Server IP:
    The /vFLOATING_SERVER_IP=[Server_IP] option is used to specify the license server IP. Replace [Server_IP] with the IP of the license server. For example:

    /vFLOATING_SERVER_IP=192.168.20.1
  5. Server Port:
    The /vFLOATING_SERVER_PORT=[Server_Port] option is used to specify the license server port. Replace [Server_Port] with the port of the license server. Typical ports would be 8081, 8082, etc. For example:

    /vFLOATING_SERVER_PORT=8081

This weblink provides additional information on the command line parameters supported by the installation program. If you have difficulty getting this to work, please contact our technical support staff. Any member of our team will be glad to assist you.

Additional Installation Options

The installation software provides the following additional options:

Display Options

Options to control the display of the installation process:

/quiet
Quiet mode, no user interaction

/passive
Unattended mode – progress bar only

/q[n|b|r|f]
Sets user interface level
n – No UI
b – Basic UI
r – Reduced UI
f – Full UI (default)

Example to execute in quiet mode:

SETUP.EXE /s /v"/qn"

Logging Options

Options to control the logging of the installation process:

/l[i|w|e|a|r|u|c|m|o|p|v|x|+|!|*] <LogFile>
i – Status messages
w – Nonfatal warnings
e – All error messages
a – Start up of actions
r – Action-specific records
u – User requests
c – Initial UI parameters
m – Out-of-memory or fatal exit information
o – Out-of-disk-space messages
p – Terminal properties
v – Verbose output
x – Extra debugging information
+ – Append to existing log file
! – Flush each line to the log
* – Log all information, except for v and x options

Example to log the verbose output (on one line):

SETUP.EXE /s /v/qn /vUSERNAME="CEM"/vCOMPANYNAME="ABC, Inc." /vINSTALLDIR="C:\Program Files\CivilGEO" /v/lv "C:\temp\InstallLog.txt"

Restart Options

Options to control the restarting of the computer after installation:

/norestart
Do not restart after the installation is complete

/promptrestart
Prompts the user for restart if necessary

/forcerestart
Always restart the computer after installation

Example to control restarting of the computer (on one line):

SETUP.EXE /s /v/qn /vUSERNAME="CEM" /vCOMPANYNAME="ABC, Inc." /vINSTALLDIR="C:\Program Files\CivilGEO" /v/lv "C:\temp\InstallLog.txt" /v/norestart

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.

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