The “MSI Enterprise JRE Installer”, or “Java MSI Installer”, allows system administrators to quickly and consistently roll out pre-configured Oracle JRE updates to Windows systems via automation tools. It is a commercial feature entitlement for Java SE Advanced and Java SE Advanced Desktop customers. The alternative to the Java MSI Installer is to use the public “exe” installer, which is designed for manual installation on one machine at a time.
MSI stands for “Microsoft System Installer”, and has a consistent format to manage information normally entered manually, and allows the customization of installations through the use of transforms. System Administrators can then mass-install (or uninstall) these MSIs through desktop management systems like Microsoft SCCM.
The Java MSI Installer documentation appears at https://docs.oracle.com/javacomponents/msi-jre8/install-guide/ and provides information including a list of supported configurations. The Java MSI Installer is available to Java SE Advanced and Java SE Advanced Desktop licensees through My Oracle Support (MOS).
Please note that a Java SE Support entitlement alone does not permit use of the Java MSI installer. A Java SE Advanced or Java SE Advanced Desktop license is required for each desktop, and server the Java MSI installer will target.
WLS Enterprise customers are provided a Java SE Advanced entitlement, and may use the MSI to install on the systems where WLS runs, they cannot however deploy the MSI across unrelated systems without a separate Java SE Advanced or Java SE Advanced Desktop license.
The Java MSI installer is only available through MOS for licensees of Java SE Advanced and Java SE Advanced Desktop. There are Java MSI installers for JRE 7 update 95 and later, and JRE 8 update 20 and later. There is no MSI installer for JRE 6.
Oracle releases Java updates a minimum of four times per year following the Critical Patch Schedule, and also releases additional feature and ER updates throughout the year.
The Java MSI Installer saves the system administrator time as they can re-use configurations and deploy a new Java update quickly, and in line with the critical patch schedule. Without the Java MSI Installer, administrators must manually build, manage, and test their own packages several times per year, through unsupported means. Unless the administrator is proficient with creating MSI installers this will take time and any mistakes coud result in costly delays, and risk with enterprise-wide Java deployments.
The public executable “exe” installers available from Java.com, OTN or MOS are intended for individual users who will manage their own installation. Some organizations may choose to manually build their own MSI package from scratch for internal use. These MSIs or and bundle derived from extracting the contents of the executable installers are not supported. Using executable installers in desktop management systems like Microsoft SCCM is not supported.
Some users may try to extract and modify the temporary MSI contained within the executable installer; this MSI is very different from the Java MSI Installer made available to Java SE Advanced and Java SE Advanced Desktop customers, and is not intended for enterprise use.
The Java MSI Installer available to Java SE Advanced and Java SE Advanced Desktop licensees is fully compliant with MS ICE standards and is designed to be run standalone, making it possible to deploy silently over frameworks such as SCCM and Active Directory. All MSI 'Modes' are supported: Install, Remove, Rollback and Repair along with Installer options and configuration of commercial features (e.g. UsageTracker).
The temporary MSI contained within the executable installer is not intended to be run standalone and its use in this way may cause issues. This is especially true as it relates to “FilesInUse”, and product registration when run silently, or over deployment frameworks. There is also no 'Repair' mode available, and it is not possible to configure some commercial features; moreover, the internal MSI format is designed for the executable and subject to change or removal at any time. Compatibility between systems may be problematic and any organization taking the time and effort to use this approach will need to carefully re-test their installation and uninstallation processes with every single update. Any issues encountered in this situation will not be covered by Support.
The Advanced Management Console provides a feature called Java Install Customizer, which allows users to create a new customization, or to simply bring forward their previous configuration. Various other MSI customization tools are available from third parties.