Automating the Tibco Spotfire Webplayer installer

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Published on: 21/02/2016

Tibco Spotfire is one of the commercial options for Business Intelligence Analytics, with several different components available to be installed.

Some of the components, such as Tibco Spotfire Server (which is the core of the Tibco Spotfire platform), are more or less easy to automate if you decided to go for the GNU/Linux version as it works on Red Hat, and you can use Oracle as DB, even as AWS RDS (I will create another post for this).

But some other components can be tricky, specially those running on Microsoft Windows.

Sometimes the manual just states something like “grab the setup.exe file, run it and select/write these options at the installer”.

This is the case for Tibco Spotfire Webplayer. It only runs on Microsoft Windows, and the instructions are “run the installer and select/write these options”, something that it is not useful if you want automated deployment, for example because you want to deploy this as part of an instance or as part of a bigger environment.

Fortunately there’s a way to avoid this problem!

The installer for Tibco’s Spotfire WebPlayer is in fact an InstallShield installer with an embedded MSI (Windows Installer). You could try to run /? or /help to get more information, but that won’t work as it will show generic help common to all InstallShield installers.

The trick is to get the MSI file from the temporal folder used by InstallShield, then use ORCA to get all the information about the MSI file, see which parameters do we need to apply, and then construct a command that can work with all the stuff.

So for versions 6.x and 7.x, this is the command line you need to use (example is for 7.0.1)

setup-7.0.1.exe /S /v/qn /VVIRTDIRNAME=<VIRTUAL_DIRECTORY> /VEMAILADDRESS=<EMAIL_ADDRESS> /VSERVERURL=<SPOTFIRE_URL> /VDEFAULTSITEPORT=<IIS_PORT> /V/quiet

Where:

  • <VIRTUAL_DIRECTORY> Is the directory, related to IIS root where the Webplayer will be served
  • <EMAIL_ADDRESS> Is just the email address to be shown at the Webplayer interface to contact the administrators
  • <SPOTFIRE_URL> Is the URL for the Tibco Spotfire Server (which is a required component to use the WebPlayer)
  • <IIS_PORT> Is the TCP port where IIS is listening.

As you can see, we have several other arguments:

  • /S and /v/qn will make the InstallShield installer quiet and will prevent any dialog with questions.
  • The rest of the /V arguments are used to pass the arguments to the MSI installer.

If you want to run this from PoweShell, then you need to modify the syntax a little:

start -wait -FilePath “setup-7.0.1.exe” -ArgumentList ” /S /v/qn /VVIRTDIRNAME=<VIRTUAL_DIRECTORY> /VEMAILADDRESS=<EMAIL_ADDRESS> /VSERVERURL=<SPOTFIRE_URL> /VDEFAULTSITEPORT=<IIS_PORT> /V/quiet”

The -wait parameter is important because otherwise the installer will run on background and the rest of the PowerShell script will run immediately.

Needless to say, this only automates the installer. For other things you’ll need to struggle with XML files, install Windows features such IIS (and configure them), etc.

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