Build an msi and pkg it yourself...and maybe grab an update every 6 or 12 mos
That's what we're trying to do Jeff, however, pushing the package and automating it with all the "smarts" of (1) detecting where the previous version is installed, (2) remove the older version, (3) push the newer version along with its pre-reqs (JDK) is not that obvious.
Suppose the package is developed such that it would always extract the contents of a given new version to folder C:\sqldeveloper folder. What happens if there's already a folder like that existing. What if the user had manually installed the previous version of SQL Developer at C:\Downloads\sqldeveloper folder? How do we know where the user actually installed it previously, so that we can remove it and always stick with C:\sqldeveloper folder?
Your help would be appreciated. It would be nice if Oracle SQL Developer team would provide us with an MSI such that it would take care of (1) detecting the presence of the appropriate JDK pre-req and if not found, it would install it quietly, (2) detecting the presence of older SQL Developer version and if found, it would un-install it quietly and seamlessly and install the newer version quietly and seamlessly. This will become an important part of keeping the versions up-to-date in the organizations, now that you guys have increased the frequency of releases.
If you're going to go the MSI route, i think you start at ground Zero - previous sqldev installs, ignore them. Person gets a FRESH install.
Then going forward, you know where the previous installs are and how to treat them.
if someone goes rogue or if after initial deployment they want to get their connections/preferences moved over, it's fairly simple for them to do that on their own.
Otherwise your'e left to doing a brute force search of their machine looking for sqldeveloper.exe - unless you have desktop auditing software that already has a record of that.
We don't write to the registry, so there's no easy way to ask.
I thought of doing a search on sqldeveloper.exe, however, this exe also shows up inside Oracle Client folder at C:\oracle\product\11.2.0\client_1\sqldeveloper\sqldeveloper.exe, which will certainly confuse and mislead the IT Service Desk personnel to then follow the removal instructions, which would cause more damage. We have packaged and pushed Oracle Client 188.8.131.52 (32-Bit) onto every user's PC at C:\oracle folder.
Hope you see the need for a feature request to make an MSI or some other form to make our lives easier when deploying the tool (along with checking the pre-reqs). It is not an easy task on our side.