If you are into software (re)packaging Advanced Installer Architect edition is the tool you need. It contains support to edit and create MSI and MST packages following the latest standards from Microsoft. You can also convert EXE to MSI immediately using our powerful repackager that runs from your real machine directly in a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine. Importing MSI or MSM packages to completely re-write them in Advanced Installer is wizard based, so you easily migrate any package you have.
AppV is the leading virtualization technology today, Advanced Installer allows you to create AppV 4.5 and 5.x packages, and also convert from AppV 4.5 to 5.x very easily. Additional features are ThinApp virtualization support, SCCM deployment, MSI tables editor, and many others.
Editing MSI packages
Making small changes to an MSI is a common task, maybe adding a new property or changing a default value for an existent one, or more complex changes like adding/removing a file/registry. You don't want to repackage/import the entire setup package for these small changes.
If you were to do this with Orca you would need to keep track of referenced tables, this leading very easily to corrupted MSI packages. With our MSI QuickEditor you can easily add and remove new resources, using the power of our GUI, you don't have to keep track of MSI tables manually, that is done by Advanced Installer. And if you really want to edit the MSI tables directly, we support that too, from Table Editor page.
Creating and editing MST packages
The MSI QuickEditor is very good at making changes direclty on the original package, but sometimes you cannot save them directly over the MSI package, as it would break the vendor EULA. For this we extended our MSI QuickEditor allowing you to save your changes as an MST(transform) file, all you have to do is to select "Save as" and change the output package type to MST.
Did you forgot to include all changes in the new MST, or maybe want to modify one created by a colleague, we can do that too. Just double click the MST package and our editor will be launched automatically, then select the base MSI on which the MST will be applied and start making your changes.
Editing the content of and MSI package is now as easy as adding/removing files in Windows Explorer folders, or managing registry entries from the Registry Editor. The MSI QuickEditor is improved with each new release based on the feedback received from our users, making it more powerful and easy to use, this way you can easily package and deploy your applications on time, without worrying about any deadlines.
Vendors don't always provide an MSI installer, if you want to deploy the application through Active Directory/GPO you will need to convert it to an MSI. Of course, the easy way would be to create an MSI wrapper installer over the EXE installer (link to our article), but maybe you need to also make changes in the installation package, so you need low level access. The best way to do that is repackage the installation, converting it into an MSI installer, using our Repackager. Our latest features include repackaging installations in VMware or Hyper-V virtual machines, from your physical development machine, without installing the repackager in the VM. This is a huge improvement, increasing repackaging speed and results accuracy, allowing you to create cleaner setup projects in no time.
To help you even more into creating a cleaner setup package we've built for you a brand new method of defining filters on the fly, by running a scan of the entire machine without actually repackaging an application, and also on those filters you can directly add new resources to be ignored directly from the setup project generated by the repackager, which you maybe missed when defining the original filters.
AppV package creation and conversion
AppV virtualization is the most used technology from its market. Advanced Installer offers full support for creating AppV packages, also for importing and converting older packages to AppV 5.x.
To create a new AppV package from scratch just start our "AppV Package" project wizard from "START" page, when launching Advanced Installer. The wizard will guide you step by step and generate at the end the desired output package.
For converting an older package to AppV 5.x you start by importing the package from "START" page, under "Import" section, our wizard will give you options to create both AppV 4.5 and AppV 5.x packages during the import, you just need to select the one you want.
Editing directly MSI tables
Our MSI/MST editor has a very powerful GUI that allows you easily edit the most commons areas from the setup package, as you have already seen above. However, we all know that there are cases when you need raw access to the MSI tables, as in Orca, for this we created the Table Editor. Using this feature you can easily modify existent tables from the package, but also add and remove tables. The GUI is even better, because it helps you easily track changes made directly in the table using colors to mark the edited tables and rows.
Converting your work to an Advanced Installer project
Advanced Installer can also get an existent MSI or EXE and create a setup project from it, which you can build and modify as you would do with a new project created from scratch.
The first option to do this is to import an MSI package, please note that small adjustments are required to be made after the import, depending on the complexity of the original package.
The second option is to repackage an EXE setup package. As explained above, you have the option to repackage in a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine or directly on a physical machine. We recommend the virtual machine option as it will give you much more accurate results and also perform faster.
As you probably know, the repackaging process captures only the effects of the installation, so if the original package has custom actions that create files/registry entries you need to recreate those custom actions in the new package, or use existent features from Advanced Installer to replace them, to make sure the same installation logic is followed, as in the original setup.
In both cases you will get at the end an Advanced Installer project file, that you can easily edit and modify as if you would have created the setup package from scratch.
Integration with System Center Configuration Manager
SCCM is the standard of application deployment. We have always been following the latest standards from Microsoft, therefore deploying your application from Advanced Installer directly to your SCCM servers should be as easy as possible. If you are using SCCM 2007 or 2012 you can now deploy your applications (MSI, MSP, EXE and AppV) directly from Advanced Installer's GUI, or by creating a simple script that calls our deployment tool, streamlining your deployment. Our SCCM deployment wizard allows you to deploy packages directly from your packaging/development machine, as long as you have the credentials to connect to your SCCM server, thus skipping the step of remotely connecting to your server or even worse changing physical machines.
All of the above powerful features together with the best development and support teams allow us to release a new version of Advanced Installer each month, making it better for you with each release. Since we want you to have access to the greatest packaging tool we also made sure we have the best prices on the market.
Once you purchase a license for Advanced Installer you can use it to create as many packages as you want, we do not charge you on the number of packages built/repackaged, we only ask that you get a license for each packager using our application.