Create Complex Windows Installer Setup Packages With The New InstallAware 7 » read source
InstallAware Software Corporation has released InstallAware 7, a setup authoring tool for ISVs and enterprises deploying products, patches, and web updates. InstallAware 7 creates Windows Installer setup packages with support for the latest technologies, including Microsoft .NET 3.0, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, and 64 bit operating systems.
Regardless of how the MSIcode script is authored, InstallAware always produces a "Vista Certified" logo compliant, stand-alone MSI file. This results in tremendous savings on what would normally be extensive training and development costs for getting up to speed with Windows Installer technology. InstallAware takes a novel approach to building Windows Installer setup packages. Instead of having developers face the internals of Windows Installer - such as multiple interconnected database tables, complex component authoring rules, error-prone custom action programming, and sequencing - InstallAware presents a human readable, self-descriptive script called MSIcode, which spells out line by line each setup action to be taken, along with their associated conditions. Even non-programmers find it very easy to create sophisticated setups with InstallAware, calling this ease of use "the convenience of obviousness".
Changes made in the MSIcode tab are reflected back in the Design tab, making two-way integrated editing possible, tremendously multiplying developer productivity, and positioning InstallAware as the Visual Basic of software installers, with its visual design and automatic code generation capabilities. The new InstallAware 7 IDE is the first setup authoring toolkit to utilize the Ribbon UI, fully leveraged to highlight the core differentiating features of InstallAware. The Design tab consists of over 30 design views, which enable developers to visually build their software installer. This tab is similar to the graphical editors found in most other setup authoring tools. However, as developers work on the Design tab, the IDE automatically emits and updates MSIcode script in the background. Switching to the MSIcode tab reveals the full setup script, which can be customized and edited in any way necessary.
In addition to being a language that describes how to create MSI packages, MSIcode also extends Windows Installer technology with branching code flow capabilities. This makes it possible to create intelligent setups with runtime decision making capabilities not available before.
Allen Bauer, Chief Scientist at CodeGear (formerly Borland), says of their recent switch to InstallAware: "Using MSIcode, we have drastically reduced the need for creating custom plug-ins. Our InstallAware setup dynamically defines the features and files to be installed. Instead of building, maintaining, and shipping separate installers for all the languages, IDEs, and product editions that we offer, we are now able to build and deliver a single install image. This has dramatically reduced our integration workload along with reducing our costs."
Among other time and money saving InstallAware features are, up to 67% smaller setup packages, the ability to serve unlimited web updates without any fees or royalties, building setups with partially web deployed segments (such as for application runtimes), a one-click patch authoring process which builds binary patches simply by referencing old installer versions, full support for all Windows versions from the original release of Windows 95 Gold to the latest 64 bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate, fully customizable dialogs, interactive HTML or Flash content as progress billboards, custom Vista Aero Glass regions, and unattended deployment via Active Directory Group Policy or other network deployment technologies.