Subpar installer (silent install, product selection, SQL dependency) Follow


There are multiple topics about issues and lack of features with the installer,

For example
and here
and this
and that
and more.

So there clearly are several issues and limitations with event the most latest 2021 R7, and seems like these issues have been present for several years now without any real solution.

The main things to note:
- EXE installer has silent install mode, but it's not usable on any machine / script driven installation solution, product needs hands on install and/or fiddling with psexec. This is unacceptable behavior in paid product not aimed at consumers.
- All the products in the suite will get installed, even if you only need the Designer for example
- Every install will include SQL Express 2014 LocalDB and Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0, even if you only choose to install License server, check out the SQL install from GUI or give it the INSTALLSQL=false -flag.
Btw, Microsoft has Compact 4.0 deprecated and this should not be used anymore.

I've also noticed that upgrade installing Bartender x64 version over x86 will install in wrong directory (Program Files X86) but that's cosmetic. Also upgrade install tends to fail by only partially installing the product so it's safer to uninstall previous version first.

So my question is, can we expect better installer in foreseeable future, or should we just change to competing product?


Anyhow, I've used quite many hours of trying to workaround the issue and almost the thing working as intended by extracting the contents from the .EXE installer, and running the MSI with some tinkering with MST transforms disabling the unneeded Conditon and LaunchCondition settings and giving the msiexec handpicked Features (from Feature table of the MSI)

So managed to indeed silent install only Bartender Designer from MSI. But installing it without LicensingService will bring up error of missing lisencing service component, ToolkitPro1531vc142x64U.dll. Even if the actual license server resides in network server and that information is passed to the installer along with serial key and  modified BTLM.ini file. Seems like a design flaw.

Also tried to install the (unneeded) LicensingService feature to workstation too, but that will only bring up error messages #7588 or #2622 of security policy not allowing to run Bartender. the actual reason based from logs is that the licensing service doesnt find a database to use. But again that should be in the licensing server machine, not on the workstation. There is also mentions of a system database on the licensing service logs. How does licensing service need those databases?



Xabier Clemente
Comment actions Permalink

Hello Marcus,

Thank you for your comments regarding the BarTender Installer.

I've notified the development team about the issues noted in your post and here are some of the insights we are able to share with you at this moment:

  • We are aware of the issue with PsExec and working towards finding a solution. Right now, there is a possible workaround that has helped in some cases in which customers were using newer versions of BarTender, where the .NET framework 3.5 dependencies are no longer a prerequisite (BarTender 2019 R8, for instance), in those cases, BarTender was silently installed using the following commands (I'm sure this goes without saying, however, please take care of changing the path in order to reflect your desired install location and your BarTender version and service release):


    REMOTEMACHINE -c -i -s "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp\BT2019_R8.exe" FEATURE=Bartender INSTALLSQL=false


  • Regarding the ability to choose what applications are installed; In BarTender 2019 and up, the installation wizard was simplified and optimized, including the following changes: 
  1.  You no longer need to specify the BarTender edition you are installing.
  2. All add-on applications are installed by default.
  3. All translations are installed by default.
  4. The .NET SDK is installed by default since the BarTender system database is installed by default, as it is now used by all BarTender editions.

    BarTender Designer itself is the main application. Installing it is the vast majority of the payload and needed for most, if not all of the other companion applications. So this feature was made by design and it is expected to remain as such for the time being.


  • Finally, when it comes to your issue when including SQL Express 2014 LocalDB and Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0; could you tell us whether you are deploying BarTender remotely? If this is the case, we are aware of this and treating it as a bug, so we expect to have it resolved in incoming releases of BarTender.

Hopefully, this information was of use to you, and please, feel free to reply if you have further questions regarding the BarTender installer and/or create a new post if you have questions regarding other topics.

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