This method is designed to work with installers equipped with standard Windows controls. Its mechanism is based on recording user actions during the installation for future playback on the remote computers without disturbing the remote user.

Recording a method

Installation context must be set in the Software passport. Before recording, make sure that the program isn’t already installed locally. Also, close all running applications and temporarily disable the antivirus if you use one.

Proceed to the Macro tab and click Record right next to it.

The TSD window will be minimized and the Macro recording window will be displayed.

After clicking Record, simply install the program.

It’s not recommended to set the install location using Browse, as the interface of the Browse window on the remote computers, as well as folder structure, may differ from yours. To prevent such behavior, use Browse (the yellow folder button) in the Macro recording window.

This will allow you to choose the installation path so that browsing for path is not recorded. Then simply press Insert into the focused field (the button with the blue arrow pointing down), and the installation path will be inserted into the Browse field in the installer.

When the installation is complete, click the Save the macro button.

During recording, additional installers will automatically start after the main installer. Both the main installer and its add-ons will be packaged together.

Do not use Ctrl+V or the context menu to paste any data into the installer. Instead, you can type it into the field manually or press Paste from clipboard (to the right of Browse). Then use Insert into the focused field. This procedure can be used with any fields that have to be filled in during the installation (e.g. a serial number).

The Macro method doesn’t support non-standard controls such as:

  • Internet ads and requests to install extra utilities, which are downloaded from the Internet;

  • Pseudo-container controls that can emulate behavior of several controls at once.

Monitoring installer processes

It’s important for TSD to know when the installer completes its operation in order to provide all the necessary automatization when recording the macro and to know when to start deploying the next program when deploying several programs. That’s why the main installer process is monitored during recording, and the recording ends when this process ends. If the main installer leaves behind any child processes, TSD will prompt the user to ask whether the installation is complete.

Answering ‘no’ effectively means that the macro recording is over.

The negative answer will be saved, and only the main installer process will be monitored during deployment. Such a scenario may occur if, for example, the installer finished by opening the developer’s website page in the browser.

When the answer is ‘yes’ – for example, if the basic process was a self-extracting archive, and installation will be performed by a child process – a list of all the monitored child processes will be displayed. Recording will stop automatically when all the processes from this list close, or by pressing the Installation is complete, stop monitoring button. Child processes which have not closed before the button is pressed will be ignored during deployment.

Installers often have an option to run the installed program. If you continue to monitor this process, it’s possible to make changes to program settings before stopping recording, and these changes can be deployed along with the program on the target nodes.

Non-standard controls are more common in programs than in their installers. If you interact with such controls when changing settings, you will receive the appropriate warning after recording, and you won’t be able to deploy this macro.

Editing the deployment package

After recording the method, you can view all the actions recorded during the installation. The result can be edited to eliminate accidental or unnecessary actions.

The Macro editor contains:

  1. The header;
  2. The Macro window strip;
  3. Selected window’s screenshot;
  4. The list of actions in the selected window.

The recorded Macro package displays the following information in the header:

  • The date and time of recording;
  • Operating system it was recorded on, and its architecture;
  • The number of steps and actions;
  • The filesizes of the deployment package and of the separate installers.

To the right are two buttons: Rerecord and Delete.

The list of actions contains action descriptions and the name of the window/control where the action took place. All actions can be enabled/disabled: either in bulk by using the Process actions in this step checkbox, or by using separate checkboxes.

The deployment package is saved after every operation.

To display actions from a different window, select it from the Macro window strip.

After recording the deployment package, the installed program may be uninstalled.