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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.
Ability to convert EXE packages to MSIs
Import packed SharePoint solutions
Minimal progress dialog for image slideshow
Digital Signature command line option
New path variable command line option for merge module projects
Redesigned Custom Actions view
Enhancements to existing features:
Available users and groups are now displayed in username edit controls
Added connection/session timeout configuration for IIS web applications
Removed minimum HTTP bindings requirement for web applications
Temporary files support for "Call function from standard DLL" custom actions
Maintenance command lines are now updated automatically when selecting MSI package prerequisites
Multiple selection support for image slideshow
"CFBundleShortVersionString" can now be customized for MAC OS X builds
Removed mandatory value requirement for App-V server settings
Java Launcher now supports services which use "System.exit(0)"
Added support for PKCS #12 digital certificate with .p12 extension
Crash when adding a driver
Error when navigating through tables in Table Editor
Crash when deleting a file referenced by another element
Crash when deleting a folder referenced by a chained package
Crash when adding a file extension in a Windows Mobile project
Error when importing a WiX fragment
Error when selecting an MSI for an Attached custom action
Error when duplicating a Default Program in File Association view
Error when using an installation path ended with multiple backslashes
Enhanced UI started the EXE bootstrapper after a prerequisite reboot
EXE bootstrapper command line did not escape quotes in the MSI command line options
EXE bootstrapper was automatically enabled when adding feature-based prerequisites using the wizard
Feature-based prerequisites did not support pseudo-formatted values for their URLs
"Automatically use the previous version's language" option enabled the "Check for a newer version before install" functionality
"Check for a newer version" bootstrapper option did not use the correct URL
"/justcheck" Updater option did not support the "-url" parameter
New line tokens were ignored by text file updates
Office Add-In configuration registry keys were incomplete
Some build options were ignored when using copy/paste
Prerequisite settings were not saved before exporting to repository
Global search could not find installer properties
ICE38 component automatic fix broke the fix for a different component
ICE38 validation error was not re-evaluated before an automatic fix
Empty custom tables were not inserted in the MSI
File registration did not work for DLLs which had MPR.DLL as a dependency
Assembly native image was not generated correctly
Assembly native image settings were not converted correctly for older projects
An incorrect error was shown when a .NET Installer Class Action failed
Duplicate installation paths were available when installing some side by side packages
Test Installation UI did not work in Themes view
.XAP files could not be signed individually
Command line interface did not support argument values which started with "-"
Image slideshow could not be started through Install button on Spring theme
Image slideshow could not be started through Typical button on Air theme
Wrong dialog was displayed when adding a property in a project which contained a MAC OS X build
Autorun view was not updated correctly when changing the current build
Bootstrapper UI options were not updated correctly for a silent install
CD/DVD Autorun was not automatically enabled when creating CD/DVD builds
Application toolbar was not updated correctly when selecting a dialog chain
Control strings were not translated for some predefined dialogs
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