K informed me yesterday that the Local Installation Source Tool (listool.exe) has been RTW (Released to Web). Terri (my PM on LocalCache) always called this thing the "Cache Movin' Tool" in her specs. Anyway, listool.exe was an intern project last summer that Terri and K pushed out the door. Finally.
So what does it do? The listool.exe does three very useful things that I wish we would have been able to ship on the Microsoft Office System 2003 CD from day one:
1. Enable the LocalCache - this feature will direct the Office Source Engine (codenamed "injector") to ensure the products you choose are cached. My suggestion is that if you are having any problems patching that you run this option for all your products.
Note: listool does seem to require your original source media even if you already have everything cached. K, why doesn't listool direct injector to only cache files that are missing or corrupt? That seems unfortunate.
2. Move the LocalCache - this feature will move all the cached files from one volume to another. There was a lot of debate early in the LocalCache feature design whether the user should be prompted to pick the volume where files should be cached or not. I'm not one for hiding behavior from users and suggested the user should be presented a combo box (or something, I don't do UI) that displayed the available volumes for caching. However, Terri had a very good point that it is difficult to explain to novice users what to do when presented with such a combo box. In the end, I was overruled but Terri added a section to one of the LocalCache specs (there were 8 or so, I had all kinds of crazy ideas) about the "Cache Movin' Tool". So here we are.
Note: you don't get the option of caching individual products to different volumes because the test team ran out of time to verify that LocalCache worked properly in those cases. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have a feature coded to completion and then have it get cut because testing can't get to it in time. Anyway, injector supports caching to separate volumes but all of the tools (Office's setup.exe and now listool.exe) ensure all products are cached to the same volume.
3. Disable the LocalCache - this feature obviously directs injector to uncache all of the files that were LocalCached and ensures they are never cached again. If you turn off this feature then if the Windows Installer ever requires the original source media you will be prompted for your CD (for example, during patching). I am admittedly biased, but I highly suggest you not disable the LocalCache.
Note: Throughout this blog entry, I've referred to what the Office Resource Kit calls the Local Installation Source or LIS as LocalCache.