In a previous post, I mentioned how the installer answer files simplify the installation of SQL Server for Team Foundation. Several folks have since asked me to elaborate on these files. Answer files are INI files preconfigured with the settings required for the SQL Server installation. The beauty of the answer files is that they eliminate the possibility of human error during critical component installations.
There are several answer files, depending on what type of installation you are performing:
- SQL2005ForATDT.ini – installation file to install all the necessary SQL Server components for Team Foundation Server
- SQL2005ForAT.ini – installation file for the Application Tier to install Reporting Services
- SQL2005ForDT.ini – installation file for the Data Tier to install the SQL Engine, Analysis Services, etc.
Inside the answer file(s) you will be using, you may want to change a couple parameters, including the setup user and company, and the instance name for SQL Server.
The command to run setup using the answer file is as follows. It is important to note that the PIDKEY should be left blank for MSDN versions of SQL Server:
<Installation Root>\setup.exe /qb /settings <Answer File Path> PIDKEY=<ProductKey>
For a more detailed list of hands-free installation of all the required pieces, check out this series of posts by Grant Holliday.