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Install the Agent software without the Agent Maintenance Wizard?

General Information
In order for the workstations within a particular Ticker Tape Site to display any messages sent to that Site by the Administrator software, it is necessary to install a light-weight piece of software onto each workstation, the Ticker Tape Agent.

Once installed, the Agent software sits unobtrusively in the background, without affecting the use of the workstation, periodically checking its configured Message Control File for new messages from the Administrator software.

The Ticker Tape Agent software is supplied as a standard Microsoft Installer File (MSI) and can be deployed to workstations in a number of different ways, including via login scripts, Group Policy, application deployment mechanisms such as Microsoft SCCM (aka SMS) or, for small-medium deployments of a few Sites with up to a 250 Agents per Site, via the Agent Maintenance Wizard built into the Ticker Tape Administrator software (as described in the Install the Agent Software via the Agent Maintenance Wizard topic)

The most appropriate deployment method for your environment will depend upon a range of factors including will the number of Ticker Tape Sites you'll have, the number of workstations in each Site, whether you've already got a corporate deployment mechanism in place and the skills available within your organisation.

Installing the Ticker Tape Agent without the Agent Maintenance Wizard
The Agent software is supplied as an industry standard Microsoft Installer File (MSI) file and is available in the "Agent Install" directory underneath the main Ticker Tape Administrator installation directory - therefore, in most cases, this means the Agent MSI is in the “C:\Program Files\AmberSoftware.co.uk\Ticker Tape Administrator\Agent Install” directory.

As mentioned above, being a standard MSI, the Agent can be installed in a variety of different ways if you choose not to use the Agent Maintenance Wizard - from a simple command in a login script through to leveraging enterprise level application deployment technologies such as Systems Centre Configuration Manager. Advantage can also be taken of the flexible installation control options provided by the Microsoft Installer software, allowing you to deploy the Agent completely silently if you wish.  Background information about MSIExec and a full list of the switches you can use to control an MSI installation is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa367988(VS.85).aspx


Irrespective of exactly how the Agent software is deployed, the most important aspect is that the parameters on the installation command line are correct - in particular, that the MESSAGEFILE parameter is correct. This is the location of the Message Control File for the Site that this Agent will be associated with and it should be the same as the  MCF Download Location configured during the initial setup of the Site. For more information on configuring the different aspects of a Site, see the How do I ... Add / Edit a Site? topic


As a simple example, the process to install the Agent on a single workstation completely manually - by typing the command in on the command line - is shown below;

This particular command line tells the MSIExec software to install (/i) the Ticker Tape Agent completely silently (/qn) and specifies the location of its Message Control File via the MESSAGEFILE parameter. While the command line is reasonably straight-forward, note that the location of its MESSAGEFILE parameter is specified as a MSIExec 'public property' and as such it must be in uppercase and specified without a preceding slash. Omitting the /qn switch will show the Ticker Tape Agent installation interface and allow you to step through the process (though this isn't normally desirable on a typical mass deployment)


In this instance, the Agent will be installed and configured to look in the 'TickerSite' share on the USBOSFILE server for its Message Control File - By specifying other different MESSAGEFILE public properties on the command line during installation you control where the Agent polls for its message updates; it is this mechanism by which workstations are effectively grouped into Ticker Tape Sites.

In reality, the computers in any particular 'Site' would usually be dictated by their physical location and would be configured to poll their Message Control File on a server that's local to them on the same LAN - the example installation line above could be used on the client computers physically located at the Boston office for instance to configure them to poll a file server within that office.  Agents within the London office however may be configured to look at their local file server by specifying a MESSAGEFILE public property of \\UKLONFILE\TickerSite for example.

Similar MSIExec command lines as used above can also be called from a login script or via a corporate application deployment mechanism such as SCCM to deploy the Ticker Tape Agent to many workstations - the technicalities of doing this are, of course, dependent upon exactly what's being used to deploy the Agent as well as your environment and corporate policies but any company with an existing method to deploy applications is normally well-versed in MSI-based software distribution.

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