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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Silent install of Client for Dynamics AX


In my studying for the new Dynamics AX 4.0 Install & Config exam, I came across the silent install options. I thought this was very neat, because a big fat client base network could really benefit from this type of install. Here is one example of the silent install syntax:

'Setup.exe HideUI=1 AcceptLicenseTerms=1 LicenseTermsVersion=en-US InstallClientUI=1 ClientConfig=0 ClientAosServer=[An AOS Server] ClientLanguage=en-US ClientConfigFile="\\[Server]\[Share]\[Config File Name].axc"'

With the above a system or network admin could easily install the Dynamics AX client on a lot of machines through either the use of logon scripts, or Group Policy [GPO] and MSI package. Either way, this is very handy to realize and know when working with new implementations and helping the new client get their fat client machines installed.

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Blogger gl00mie said...

1) software installation via logon scripts is only possible when users have Administrator or Power User rights on the local computer - and that should be avoided in "big fat client base networks";
2) software installation via Group Policy does not support executing programs and passing them command line parameters (at least in w2k/w2k3). One can only supply MSI package to install via Group Policy and MST (MSI Transform). For a silent install via Group Policy you need to create this MST and specify all the parameters there.

1:57 AM  
Blogger brandon said...

You bring forward very good points. True a logon script accessing and making use of said silent install would require the user to be a local Admin.

A simple way around this would be to create a console application in VS.2005 that used impersonation that made this execute with Admin rights.

So if you know any C# then this is VERY simple to overcome.

6:10 AM  
Blogger gl00mie said...

Now let's talk about local admin impersonation. How would a program (written in any language) impersonate itself as a local admin, i.e. create a security context of a local admin (or a user in a local admins group)? As I understand it would need to pass authentication using admin's creditionals, i.e username and password. And where whould the program get the password? or where would it store it? If there whould be a program in my logon script that impersonates itself as a local admin and starts another program, the next thing i'd do is patching this program to start cmd.exe instead and raising my rights to a local admin (at least).
My point is that starting a setup program with command line parameters is not the way applications are usually installed in large networks. If it is the way you want to install applications then at least you need some kind of a client software to be preinstalled on each client machine that would take care of running setup in an appropriate security context. And cmd.exe run in a user context is certainly not that kind of software.
So these parameters for silent install are mostly inteneded for developers that may need to reinstall AX client or recreate a test environment frequently.

9:48 AM  
Blogger brandon said...


I will refer you now to the DAX 4.0 Install & Config Courseware on PartnerSource. It talks you through, exaclty how to make use of MSI packages and deploy the client, via silent install in such a fashion. This IS a way that can be done, in Large networks, and done correctly. I have deployed software a lot before via MSI and GPO, and had no trouble with Local user rights. The GPO happens with a Deploy As, controlled via AD, and can happen before the Local Users security context is applied. This way does Not use the local user security context. Again please refer to the DAX 4.0 Install & Config Courseare PDF on PartnerSource.

~thanks :-)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks, very useful. But got couple of questions :)
Is it possible to do something similar but with the sp1 installer?
And also where can i found information about commandline parameters for the axconfig executable?
i'm getting mad with this :P Thanks in advance.

Aridane Álamo.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very old thread but figured I'd throw in a suggestion:

We use CPAU to create an encrypted job file with the credentials used to install as an administrator. You create a batch file calling setup.exe, run cpau against the batch file, and then in your logon script call cpau to decrypt the job file and it will run the batch file as your specified administrative user. Very useful little tool for installs such as this.

12:55 PM  

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