Windows Installer is becoming the "de facto" software installation technology on Windows. Being preinstalled on the latest Microsoft operating systems, and also bundled with the most popular productivity packages (Office, etc.) this software installer provides a significant number of power features that improve application management and administration.
This power doesn't come without pitfalls, and the most important of them all is the complexity. Creating an MSI file requires careful planning and editing of dozens of database tables.
Hundreds of pages of documentation must be read, countless lists of rules must be followed. Building a Windows Installer package may take days or even weeks. This is where a MSI creation tool comes to help.
Using Advanced Installer’s intuitive interface you can easily add to your install package all the resources your software requires:
• Files, Folders and Shortcuts (to installed files, existing files or URLs)
• Registry keys and entries
• Environment Variables (which can be replace or be appended to existing variable like PATH)
• INI file entries
• ODBC drivers, data sources and translators
If you have merge modules for your components, they can be also added to the installation. Next you can register these resources as necessary:
• .NET and Win32 assemblies
• File Associations, MIME types
• Permissions for files, folders, registry keys and entries
If your application needs some other software to be installed in order to run, you can easily specify them as Prerequisites. Advanced Installer will search for them, then download and install as necessary. This is an easy way to install frameworks like JRE or .NET, browsers or database engines. Searching for applications, files, folders, registry keys and INI entries is also provided. Using this, installing additional files, extensions and plugins to existing applications becomes trivial.
Advanced Installer will organize your application in Features and Components as per Windows Installer guidelines. This way you can take advantage of advanced software installer features like partial install and repair without having to do anything. Further customizing the organization is easy and intuitive.
Advanced Installer can leave your software’s files unpacked, compress them into CAB files (split in multiple volumes as needed), insert them into the MSI file and add a EXE bootstrapper for backwards compatibility. Digitally signing the generated files will ensure that your customers will never have to question the provenience of your software, and the user registration with serial code validation hooks will ensure that only legitimate users get to install your software.
Packed as native EXEs, DLLs or script files and written in C, C++, VBS or JS, Custom Actions give you the full power to add anything you want, anywhere you want to your software installer.
Home Page - http://www.advancedinstaller.com/