File types that you use with Group Policy Software Installation

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

File types that you use with Group Policy Software Installation

You can use the file types listed in the following table with Group Policy Software Installation.

For more information about specific Group Policy Software Installation procedures, see Use Group Policy Software Installation. For general information about Group Policy Software Installation, see Group Policy Software Installation.

File type File name extension Description

Windows Installer packages


Your software vendor typically provides these files to facilitate installation of a specific application. Keep these files with any other necessary files at the software distribution point for the software that you are managing.



Also called modifications, these files customize the installation of a Windows Installer package at the time of assignment or publication. For example, they might specify a subset of a suite of applications.



Bug fixes, service packs, and similar files can be distributed in this form.

Patches should not be used for major changes, and their effects are limited in the following ways:

  • They cannot remove components or features.

  • They cannot change product codes.

  • They cannot remove or change the names of shortcuts, files, or registry keys.

.zap files


These files are created with a text editor, such as Notepad. They can only be published (not assigned), and they specify a Setup executable program that appears in Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel for users with administrative rights on the local computer.

The correct use of quotation marks in .zap file syntax can be difficult. The following rules apply:
  • The path and name of the Setup executable program must always be wrapped in quotation marks.

  • If there are no command-line arguments, they must be wrapped in two sets of quotation marks.

Example syntax using an absolute path: SetupCommand=""\\ServerName\ShareName\FolderName\setup.exe"" SetupCommand="\\ServerName\ShareName\FolderName\setup.exe" /argument Example syntax using a relative path: SetupCommand=""setup.exe"" SetupCommand="setup.exe"/argument

Application assignment scripts


These files contain instructions that are associated with the assignment or publication of a package.