Friday, September 3, 2010

Silenting installing Revit Add-ons

Working for an organization with multi offices, installing software can be a time consuming. I'm not IT, don't want to be IT, but making sure that everyone has functioning software is more often than not something a BIM or CAD Manager needs to attend to.

To minimize time someone has to spend installing software, I wanted to create a batch file to install Revit and then the add-ons. The only interaction I want to have to do for the install if to double click on a single file and walk away. Working with some of the talented people at Autodesk I have been able to create a batch file to install the main product and several add-ons for Revit. The add-ons, like worksharing monitor are the tricky ones to silently (no user interaction) to install.

To automate the install process, the first thing I did was create a network deployment. Autodesk's Help file provides some basic information on completing that task. For add-ons that are a standard .msi file, I used one of the following command lines to install the software in silent mode (thank you Anthony).

msiexec /i /quiet
msiexec /i /passive
msiexec /i /qn (No UI)
msiexec /i /qb (Basic UI)
msiexec /i /qr (Reduced UI)

I now could then make my batch file to install Revit. The following is the basic syntax for installing:

pushd \\network folder install location
RevitVersion.lnk (name of the network deployment shortcut)
msiexec /i addonname.msi /quiet

Below is the batch file that I created for our Revit Architecture 2011 64-bit install. Note that we store our add-ons in a different folder location so we don't need to have duplicate copies for 64 and 32-bit versions as well as Revit flavors. Comments are shown in itlaic

pushd \\adclic03\bim\Installs\RAC2011\64-bit\
RAC2011-64.lnk
popd (This resets the folder location)
pushd \\adclic03\bim\Installs\RAC2011\Additional add-ons\ (location for 2011 add-ons)
msiexec /i worksharingmonitor.msi /quiet (installs worksharing monitor)
msiexec /i globelink2011.msi /quiet (installs globe link)
msiexec /i 2011dblinksetup.msi /quiet (installs DB Link)

This has simplified the install procedures, but we must still install any add-ons that are an .EXE separately like the Revit Extensions. I'm sure there is a way to do that, just haven't found it yet.

There are of course other methods to install apps, like pushing thru Group Policy, but I don't have a means to perform that. If you have any suggestions or comments, let me know.

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