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Windows Installer is the "de facto" software installation technology on Windows. Being preinstalled on all 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 an MSI creation tool comes to help.
Advanced Installer makes MSI creation a snap
Our software installer simplifies the process of building Windows Installer packages by providing a very easy to use, high level interface to the underlying technology. The program implements all the Windows Installer rules and follows all the advised best practices.
With this simple, intuitive interface, building a Windows Installer package will take just a few minutes. Start the program, add a few files, change the name, hit the Build button and you are done. No scripts to learn, no seminars to attend.
Advanced Installer integrates in automated build tools
The Advanced Installer project files are stored in XML format. This way, they can be easily checked into a version control system. The software installer also operates at command line, so you can build your release packages in a completely automated script, like Make, Ant or NAnt.
Furthermore, the most common operations are also implemented as command line actions, so you can modify your project in an automated fashion.
Install and register the resources composing your application
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 replace or be appended to existing variables 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 a previous version of your product is found already installed on the target computer, Advanced Installer can upgrade it and ensure that older versions will not be installed over newer ones.
Search, download and install Prerequisites
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 plug-ins to existing applications becomes trivial.
Organize your application in modules and components
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.
Secure and choose your package's presentations
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.
Extend the installation process with Custom Actions
Packed as native EXEs, DLLs or script files 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.
Customize the installation User Interface
Installer Analytics for package monitoring in real time
Learn how your users install, upgrade or uninstall your applications. Track failed installations, where on the globe you are most popular or which version of your application is them most used one.
More and suggest new features
Many more features are available. Just download Advanced Installer and give it a try. And if you require some new ability that is not already implemented, please let us know. Almost every feature in our product today was requested by someone just like you, someone who really needed it. With your help, we are continuously improving Advanced Installer to be the best, most useful and easiest to use product in its class.