ESRI UK Productivity Suite and the .NET 2 framework

In this post we troubleshoot the installation of Productivity Suite 1.3.1 for ArcGIS 9.2. 

Productivity Suite is a bundle of tools produced by ESRI UK.  It is installed as an extension on top of ArcGIS. We use it to load UK Ordnance Survey data delivered in a GML format into ESRI Geodatabases.

In principle the installation sequence is:

  1. Get a PC with Windows XP and the latest  Windows XP Service Pack (in my case SP3)
  2. Install ArcGIS Desktop 9.2. Select the ‘Complete’ option to make sure all components are installed
  3. Install the latest  Service Pack for ArcGIS 9.2 (in my case SP6)
  4. Install Productivity Suite 1.3.1

Steps 1-3 did go well.  But when I launched the Productivity Suite installer it came up with an error message saying the .NET Support features for ArcGIS are not installed, these are required for Productivity Suite, therefore it cannot install Productivity Suite. I am stuck.

Now it becomes technical – if you are only interested in resolving the installer problem you can ignore the text in italics.

What was going on? I had done a ‘Complete’ ArcGIS installation, which I assumed would also install the .NET Support. It turns out ArcGIS only installs the .NET Support features if the .NET framework is present on the target PC.  I had a freshly installed Win XP with no .NET framework, so ArcGIS did not install its .NET Support features – even with a ‘Complete’

So I need to install a .NET framework, then install the .NET Support for ArcGIS, and finally should be able to install Productivity Suite.

First we install a .NET framework. ESRI supplies the .NET 2.0 framework with ArcGIS, this is good enough.

From the ArcGIS 9.2 CD run the file \dotnet\dotnetfx.exe.

Now we install the .NET Support features for ArcGIS. These are part of the ArcGIS setup. However, when I go to Add or Remove Programs > ArcGIS Desktop > Change, the setup runs, but does not offer to add the .NET support.

Okay, I decide to start from scratch and uninstall ArcGIS. Then I start a new installation – and surprise, it still does not offer installing .NET Support!  Is there some registry entry that makes the ArcGIS installer believe .NET was still not installed? Anyway, i resort to RTFM and install it from the command line:

Go to Start > Run, type cmd and hit OK. A Command Window opens.

In the Command Window type:
(all on one line, replace D: with your CD drive letter, and keep upper/lowercase)

msiexec /i D:\desktop\setup.msi /qb ADDLOCAL=Applications,.NET_Support,Extensions SOFTWARE_CLASS=Professional

This reinstalls ArcGIS, forcing the .NET Support features to be installed. (And setting it to ArcInfo configuration.) For details on the parameters see the installer documentation on the ArcGIS CD.

Now launch the Productivity Suite 1.3.1 installer… and viola! It installs without any problems!


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