OneAgent for Windows—Enhancements to *.msi-based deployment

Some time ago, we decided to take a stab at a number of architectural challenges present in the OneAgent installer for Windows. We’re happy to say that this project is moving along at a steady pace. We’ll share the complete list of benefits, both direct and indirect, once this project is completed in several weeks. Today we’d like to give you a heads-up about one visible consequence of re-architecting the OneAgent for Windows installer.

“So what did you change, exactly?”

Briefly, before the change, the *.exe and *.msi artifacts were built separately. Consequently, each new version of OneAgent for Windows consumed double storage space: one for the *.exe file and one for the *.msi artifact. This storage space was consumed not only on our own infrastructure but also on each of the Dynatrace cluster nodes in the case of Managed deployments. And it added to the network traffic in terms of new version distribution.

We decided to change this and build only one artifact, *.exe, but in such a way that the *.msi file can easily be extracted.

“How can I get the *.exe and *.msi files for OneAgent installation on Windows?”

It’s simple. To get the *.msi and *.bat files you previously needed to download the MSI package using the dedicated link and then unzip the two files within.

The change is that from now on, to get the *.msi file, you need to download the regular *.exe installer and unpack the *.msi and *.bat file from within using the command line:

.\agent.exe --unpack-msi

And that’s it. Pretty easy, right?

“How does the new process compare to the old one exactly?”

The number of steps are the same in both cases and the net result is identical. A comparison of the previous and new steps to accomplish the same goals is shown in the table below. Differences are marked in bold.

  Previous solution New solution
UI
  • Go to Deploy Dynatrace > OneAgent for Windows.
  • Click Download MSI package.
  • Unpack the downloaded *.zip file to get both the *.msi and *.bat files.
  • Use them in Group Policy or other deployment methods.
  • Go to Deploy Dynatrace > OneAgent for Windows.
  • Download the agent.exe file.
  • Unpack the *.msi and *.bat files from the agent.exe file using the ".\agent.exe --unpack-msi” command.
  • Use them in Group Policy or other deployment methods.
API
  • Download the MSI package using the .../api/v1/deployment/installer/agent/windows/default-unattended/ REST API method.
  • Unpack the downloaded *.zip file to get both the *.msi and *.bat files.
  • Use them in Group Policy or other deployment methods.
  • Download the agent.exe file using the .../api/v1/deployment/installer/agent/windows/default/ REST API method.
  • Unpack the *.msi and *.bat files from the agent.exe file using the ".\agent.exe --unpack-msi” command.
  • Use them in Group Policy or other deployment methods.

“How much time do I have to update my scripts?”

The mechanism allowing for *.msi files to be extracted from *.exe files is available with OneAgent version 1.167 and Dynatrace SaaS version 1.168. With these releases, the backend endpoints for downloading the MSI packages files become deprecated but will be still available within the product for the next 3 months: until OneAgent version 1.173 and Dynatrace version 1.174. After that time, the only way to create *.msi files will be to extract them from the *.exe installers.

We strongly advise that you update your automation scripts within the next 3 months. In case of any questions, please reach us via Dynatrace ONE, Dynatrace Answers, or your customer guardians.

Stay tuned for more announcements on other changes and improvements related to OneAgent installer for Windows, coming to this Dynatrace Blog page shortly!

Stay updated