Corporate deployment

How to install the add-in for several users

How to save time when installing Ablebits.com add-ins for several users. A short tutorial for system administrators and IT specialists.

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Time is not the same as money;
you can't put it on deposit.



Introduction

Your company purchased several licenses of our add-ins. Thank you so much and welcome to our friendly community! Now you, as administrator, need to install the software for your end-users and naturally you want to do this quickly and smoothly.

All you need is the add-in's setup file (you can find it on the download page for registered users on Ablebits.com) and some folder on your network drive accessible by all users for which the add-in should be installed.

A few bits of helpful information

  1. The setup files of all our add-ins are Windows installer packages (.MSI) and they support all Windows Installer command-line options.
  2. The add-in is installed only for the current user account, not for all users of the system.
  3. The license is per user, not per machine. You can install the add-in on 3 machines of the same user.
  4. Add-ins are installed into the user's personal folder, administrative or power-user permissions are not required.
  5. Our add-ins are compatible with all personal and server operating systems starting with version 2000.
  6. To track installations we use the online activation system on our activation server. The activation key is bound to the Hardware ID, which is a combination of hardware serial numbers.

How to install the add-in on a Terminal Server

Installation on a single Terminal Server or a Terminal Servers Farm for users with roaming profiles

To install the add-in on a Terminal Server you need to have a special version of the setup and a special license of the add-in intended for installation on terminal servers.

According to our license policy 1 license can be installed on a single Terminal Server or a Terminal Servers Farm for a single user. You can obtain such licenses, designed specially for installation on a terminal server, on this page.

If you do not have a license yet and want to evaluate the add-in before purchasing, you can download a fully-functional trial version here.

  1. Download the latest version of the setup file for installation on Terminal Servers.
  2. Unpack the setup and run the setup.exe file under the admin account on every Terminal Server to which the user(s) of the add-in will be connected.
    • The setup will install and register the add-in for all users of the server.
    • By default the add-in installs to %ProgramFile(x86)%.
    • On this stage the add-in will only be registered on the server, but not loaded into a user's Excel/Outlook/Word.
    • You can use Administrative installation to create a network image for subsequent installation to the server(s). It is not necessary to specify "registration name" and "registration key" in this case.
  3. Please use the "enable-for-current-user.reg" file from the setup folder to install the add-in to your end-users. Use the Group Policy Registry Preference or the logon script to add the contents of the file to the registry of the add-in's users.
  4. If you have a license and want to automatically activate the product at the first start, please fill "RegistrationName" and "ProductKey" in the "enable-for-current-user.reg" file with your license information.

How to create a network image for subsequent installation by end-users

As an example, we are going to install the Add-ins Collection for Excel.

  1. Download the latest version of the setup file on the download page for registered users.
  2. Unpack the downloaded setup file to any folder.
  3. Run the setup in order to create a network image. To do this, enter the following string into the command line:
    msiexec /a excel-addins-collection.msi
  4. This will run the Setup wizard. On step 3 called "Installation settings", browse for a network folder in which a network image will be created. Enter your Registration name and Registration key in the corresponding fields. It should look similar to this: Create a network image: Installation settings
  5. Finish the process and wait until the network image is created.
  6. You can create a network image silently. If you dislike working with wizards and want to save some more time, you can specify the setup folder and license info in the command line when running the setup file. Here are the command-line options (switches):
    TARGETDIR="setup folder"
    REGISTRATIONNAME="" and REGISTRATIONKEY=""
    - your license information.

    Here is how it looks in our example:
    msiexec /a excel-addins-collection.msi TARGETDIR="Z:_Setups\Ablebits Add-ins Collection for Excel"
    REGISTRATIONNAME="Add-in Express Ltd." REGISTRATIONKEY="EACL2-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"


    In this case the wizard will not disturb you; it will go unnoticeable and create a network image in the specified folder silently.

How to deploy the add-in to end-users

1. If your users work in a network with a domain structure based on Microsoft Windows Server, you can assign the add-in to a specific user(s) using Group Policy. Please see the following links for detailed instructions:

How to use Group Policy to remotely install software in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows Server 2008
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816102

Assign software to a specific group by using Group Policy in Windows Server 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324750

We recommend choosing "Assign software" as a "Deployment type". In this mode the add-in will be installed for the users automatically next time they login to the domain.

2. Your users can also install the add-in themselves from the network image created by you, provided they have the rights to install software. The network image contains all the necessary registration information.

How to activate the add-in

At the first start of an Office application after the add-in installation, the add-in will attempt to get activated in the silent mode. If activation is successful, the "About" window with license information will be displayed to the user:

Successful Activation

Error during automatic activation

An error may occur if your firewall blocks the attempts of the add-in activation module to connect to our activation server (http://www.activatenow.com).

Solution:

  1. Add a rule for activatenow.com to your firewall settings , or
  2. Ask your users to activate the add-in manually. To do this, they need to click the key icon at the bottom of the add-in's window or pane, choose "Manual Activation" and click the Go button on the next step. The activatenow.com page containing the activation code will open in their browser. They need to copy it and paste into the "Activation code" field, then click Next.

Please give your users the following link to our web-site for step-by-step instructions: http://www.ablebits.com/support/activation.php#manual

If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us.

 
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