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Packaging a Microsoft Windows Agent

The Opsview Agent for Microsoft Windows uses NSClient++ which is a Nagios® Core compatible monitoring daemon.

The Agent package is created using InstallAware, a proprietary application for creating Microsoft Windows packages. It is capable of creating self extracting executables as well as full MSI packages for automated installation.

We use InstallAware because it works, we do not have a vested interest in InstallAware Software. There are other packaging tools for Microsoft Windows that would be equally appropriate.

Installing InstallAware Software

InstallAware can be downloaded from their website: http://www.installaware.com/ , and we choose to use the Express version. One you have installed the software you will need to register it.

Check out the Opsview source

Check out the required elements of the Opsview source code from the subversion repository:

svn co http://svn.opsview.org/opsview/trunk/opsview-base/windows_agent_pkg

The code should be checked out into the following directory:

C:\Users\Administrator\SubVersion\windows_agent_pkg

This is to ensure the files are found correctly from the saved InstallAware configuration file

Note: the repository contains pre-compiled binaries for both 32 and 64 bit versions of windows - they were originally downloaded from the NSClient++ website

Starting A Project

Start InstallAware software

To open the existing packaging information

  • Choose open in InstallAware, navigate to the package directory just checked out and open the Opsview Agent.mpr file

To recreate packaging information

  • New project: Opsview Agent
  • Choose the checked out project 'windows_agent_pkg' as the source directory
  • Product Name:
    • Opsview Agent
    • Opsera
  • Choose the import directory (use the dynamic folder option)

How the project is configured

There are many options in InstallAware, but these are the key ones that we use:

  • Application Information - this holds information such as project name, version, and default target folder.
  • Setup Architecture → Files - this is where you can configure which files are included in the agent package.
  • User Interface → Dialogs - where you configure which dialogs you want displayed during the installation process.
  • Advanced Options → Run Programs - we run some scripts on install/uninstall to handle the registration of NSClient++ as a service, and to start/stop it. These scripts are configured here.

Scripts

There are two scripts involved in the (un)installation process for this package:

  • install.vbs - this calls the above script to modify nsc.ini, as well as registering NSClient++ as a service and starting that service
  • uninstall.vbs - stops the service and then removes it

Building the project

NOTE: If building a 64 bit agent, ensure the '64 bit operating system' checkbox is ticked on the Application Requirements page and also the $TARGETDIR$ *.* is set to the right upstream directory on the Files page.

Click on the 'Single File' button in the Build section of the toolbar. You can run the installer using the 'Run' button, once it has been built successfully.

To build an MSI package from this executable, go to Deployment → Build settings and select 'Group Policy Wizard'. Point this at the executable that has just been generated, fill in the fields as prompted and hit OK.

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