Deploying NI Software Using Microsoft SMS or SCCM

Updated Oct 29, 2021

Required software:

NI Installer to be automated
Microsoft SMS (Microsoft Systems Management Server) or SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager)

Pre-requisites:

Before reading further, you should have already created a batch file for your NI installers. If you have not yet done this, follow the steps in Managing Activation and Permissions from NI VLM During Mass Software Installations


This document will discuss how to use Microsoft SMS (Microsoft Systems Management Server) or SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) to deploy NI software.

The following instructions explain how to use Microsoft SMS or SCCM to deploy custom batch files: 
  • Create one package for all related NI installers. The package source files should reference a network share or local directory of common NI installer files.
  • Create a program for each batch file or custom installation script.  All programs should be dependent upon the common source files contained in the above package.
  • For each program, create an advertisement to specify when you would like the batch file to run.
  • For each advertisement, specify a collection.  A collection is a group of computers on which you will install the NI software invoked in the program.  

You should not invoke MSI components individually from an NI Installer.  Rather, use a batch file to invoke each installer's setup.exe as outlined in this article.  The NI Installer framework, called from setup.exe, handles the following:
  • Dependencies - each MSI component can have hundreds of dependencies
  • Installation order of MSIs - each group of MSIs has a specific installation order
  • Bookkeeping for software functionality such as Application Builder in LabVIEW
  • Maintaining MSIs installations when multiple NI software products are installed on the same computer. 
Installing MSI's individually will likely break the functionality of NI software on that Windows installation.

For more information regarding software deployment with Microsoft SMS, refer to the following documentation:
Microsoft TechNet: SMS 2003: Distributing Software
Microsoft TechNet: SCCM 2012 Software Distribution  in Configuration Manager