Product Documentation

MSI Converter

Oct 08, 2015

You use the stand-alone Web Application Source to MSI Converter tool to generate an MSI file from a set of web application sources files. Because this tool can be run independently of AppDNA, you can send it to the web application administrators and ask them to run it on the web server, for example. Afterwards they simply send you the MSI files and you import them into AppDNA on the Web Direct Import tab in the Import Web Applications Screen.

This means that you do not need to request permissions to access the web application source files on the server.

Note: The standalone MSI Converter tool is also available to generate an MSI file from any application with source files on your file system. The tool is suitable for applications that are installable using xcopy or for applications with missing source media. Although the MSI Converter tool does not capture additional components in other folders or special registry keys, it does provide a starting place for analysis.

To start the stand-alone MSI Converter tool:

  • From the Windows Start menu, choose Citrix AppDNA > Web Application Source to MSI Converter.

    If this option is not available, you must install the stand-alone web capture tools as described in Installing the Stand-alone Web Capture Tools.

About the tool

The main part of the web Application Source to MSI Converter window lists the folders that contain the web application source files that you want to capture into an MSI file for import into AppDNA.

You can double-click in the Product Name, Product Version, and Manufacturer Name columns to edit the details. This is useful because these details are used to identify the web application when you import it into AppDNA (although you can change these details within AppDNA).

The space below the list of folders displays a log of the processing. Click Refresh to update this part of the screen with the latest details.

Toolbar options:

Select – Click to select a folder that contains the files that you want to convert into an MSI for import into AppDNA. This adds the folder to the list.

Search for folders – Opens the Search for Folders dialog box. You can use this to enter sophisticated folder search options. The options are:

  • Path – Specify a folder that contains subfolders that contain the source files from which you want to generate an MSI for import into AppDNA.
  • Pattern – If you want to restrict the search to one or more specific folders, enter the name here. You can use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard.
  • Recurse – Select this check box to specify that you want to search for folders within the folders that are direct children of the folder specified in the Path box. Clear this check box to search only one level down from the folder specified in the Path box.
  • Details mapping – This controls how the initial values in the Product Name, Product Version, and Manufacturer Name columns are derived. You can edit these values later by double-clicking in the columns.
    Option Description
    <No mapping> Use the default values – Product Name is Unknown Product, Product Version is 1.0.0.0 and Manufacturer Name is Unknown Manufacturer.
    …\Product Base the Product Name on the name of the last folder in the path and use the default values for the Version and Manufacturer Name.
    …\Manufacturer\Product\Version Base the Manufacturer Name, Product Name and Version on the names of the last three folders in the tree, respectively.
    …\Manufacturer\Product Base the Manufacturer Name and Product Name on the names of the last two folders in the tree, respectively, and use the default value for the Version.
    …\Product\Version Base the Product Name and Version on the names of the last two folders in the tree, respectively, and use the default value for the Manufacturer Name.

Import list – Opens the Import List dialog box, where you can specify a CSV file that contains a list of folders to import. The options are:

  • Path – The name and path of the CSV file that contains the list of folders to import. This can optionally also specify the product name, version and manufacturer in the following format:
    Directory,ProductName,Version,Manufacturer  c:\test,TestApp,1.0.0.0,TestCompany
  • Override CSV details using path regex – This controls how the initial values in the Product Name, Product Version and Manufacturer Name columns are derived. You can edit these values later by double-clicking in the columns.

    You can select a predefined option from the drop-down list. The available options are as described for the Search for Folders dialog box, except that the <No mapping> option derives the values from the CSV file. Alternatively you can enter your own regular expression.

    Note: Regular expressions are a widely used text pattern matching language. There are many resources on the World Wide Web for learning about the syntax. For example, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/az24scfc.aspx.

Configure – Opens the Configuration dialog box where you enter the locations of the generated MSI files and log files and processing options.

  • Generated MSI location – Specify where you want the MSI output files stored. This is where you can find the generated MSI files after running the tool.
  • Log file location – Specify where you want the log files stored.
  • Heat options (blank = default) – Heat is a tool that the MSI generator uses internally to generate the MSI. You can use this box to enter configuration options. Click the ? to get a summary of the various options and their syntax. This is an advanced feature. Leave this box blank for the default options. For more information, see http://wix.sourceforge.net/manual-wix3/heat.htm.

Start – Start converting the selected folders.

Cancel – Cancel the conversion of the selected folders.

Select all – Select all folders in the list.

Invert – Select the folders that are not currently selected and deselect the ones that are selected.

Remove – Remove selected folders.