My Experience with @BrianLala SharePoint AutoInstaller – I like it 3


So… as an avid user of Twitter I noticed a few tweets going back and forth between Spence @Harbars and Brian @BrianLala about this tool on CodePlex called AutoSPInstaller.  I have heard about it in the past but most recently and after speaking to Spence about what he ‘coined’ the Idiot Button i.e. the Farm Configuration Wizard; I have been on the quest to find a way to automate creating Service Accounts after installing the SharePoint bits.  Spence does have a few blogs on the topic which i have used to great success, but in the end PowerShell is there for a reason, i just needed to know how to use it.  As a DEV, I wasnt looking forward to learning PowerShell, though i know I have to, but this #AutoSPInstaller utility allows me to cheat – at least for a time – and I get the best of both worlds.

I felt it necessary to blog my experience because there are at least two gotchas that I am aware of but overall my experience was satisfactory.

So after downloading the tool, the first thing i will encourage you to do is.. yes.. Read the “ReadMe” file that is included. It details what you need to do to fire off the script.  The tool comes with a few XML files that you will have to modify; by that I mean, configure. However, these configuration steps is just a matter of providing nomenclatures for your Databases, your Account Names for Service Accounts, your Passwords for those accounts, and whether you want to install features by indicating 1 or 0 (zero). 

There is a Launch.bat file which executes the PowerShell (*.ps1) file; which inturn interrogates a Setup(optionalfilename).XML file for configuration specifics.  In my modifications to my Setup.XML i also renamed to file to include the NETBIOS name of the Server, this allows me to have a specific file for each server in the Farm.

The First Gotcha I encountered had to do with the Installation of the Bits; the script provides for executing the PreInstaller which does work; however I had an issue whereby one of the packages failed so that didnt allow the SharePoint Install to run after the PreInstaller completed. Basically, the script didnt have a graceful exception rule for instances where the PreInstaller fails.  What I got was a generic error BUT, the script log file did tell me where the error was encountered and I did notice it was in the [Region] for the PreInstaller. So I just ran the AutoInstaller by itself and then re-ran the AutoSPInstaller Launch.bat file

The Second Gotcha I met was right after I executed the batch file.  The error is below in the screen shot.  

AutoSPInstallerError

The Error isnt that descriptive but after going back to Twitter and on CodePlex I saw that I either had to do one of the following

  1. Do a “Run-As” and run the batch file as an Administrator or
  2. Turn off User Access Control (UAC)

What I found particularly interesting is that  although I ran the file on the SharePoint box; which is where I got the error, it was actually referencing an issue on a separate Box, i.e. the SQL Box 

So, I elected to make the changes to UAC because I also don’t like the interruptions when i am installing products.

After I completed those issues with my mitigation techniques; it was smooth sailing. I have included below some screenshots of the process and the resultant logs

AutoSPInstallerRocks

Below is the Command Window iterative logs; which is also captured in a log file

 AutoSPInstallerOutPutWindow1

AutoSPInstallerOutPutWindow2

Below are all my Sites that were created. 

 AutoSPInstallerPortalSite

So in Conclusion.

You are going to have questions on this blog, the first one may be..Well Fabian “What do i do if I wan to build out a Farm that Includes more than one Server (in-fact I fielded a question on Twitter already on this one)..

image

the answer is to create another specific Setup[YourNameHere]Inputs.xml file and this time it will JOIN the already created farm rather than create a new Farm.  There are several “If Exist” statement in the PowerShell script that does checks for that. Now though I did this in my Lab fortunately this week, I am on a project where I need to do a Base Install of SharePoint 2010 and I plan to use the tool for that. I will let you know how it goes…

As usual, I welcome any Comments, Questions,

Cheers!


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