“Powerful and easy to use Windows Installer authoring tool. Install, update and configure your products safely, securely and reliably.”Caphyon Ltd.
Their website is among the best product sites I’ve seen with lots of screen shots and tutorials throughout its extensive feature lists (this is how you market to IT pros!).
Key things to know
Many Available Editions
You needn’t pay for what you don’t need with so many editions available: Free, Professional, Java, Enterprise and Architect. But as an admin, you’ll find yourself looking squarely at the Architect edition as this is the one that includes the repackager and application virtualization capabilities. You’ll find the top features for the Architect edition here but to highlight a few: You can control Hyper-V and VMware instances from within the repackager, you can convert captured installations to AppX format, you can import and directly edit App-V 5.x packages. ThinApp support is also provided as an output format and can be imported into a project.
From an Admin perspective, a good repackager is crucial and Advanced Installer has it covered. It utilizes the standard method of comparing before and after-installation system snapshots, but not just on your local development machine, but it also makes it easy to do so from a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine. Their scanning boasts support for some situations where you may not expect a snapshot to be effective such as for detecting the installation of services, drivers, scheduled tasks, firewall settings and more. It is even clever enough to help detect embedded MSI installs that may be spawned by an executable setup to help you avoid the common pitfall of accidentally repackaging MSI setups.
Application Virtualization Support
Advanced Installer can asses and help you plan your packaging options by validating your existing projects against compatibility rules for App-V and ThinApp. It then offers automated fixes (e.g. store drivers in a separate MSI). Bypass the standard sequencing process for App-V packages by converting MSI packages directly and using its direct graphical and command line editors for App-V packages. A tutorial on creating an App-V package with Advanced Installer is provided here.
Graphical MSI Editor
If you’ve looked at any MSI packaging tool, you know to expect a GUI editor as an alternative to direct editing of tables. Advanced Installer’s user interface is as easy as you’d hope. Work with files and folders as you would in Windows Explorer. Configuring registry entries is based on the Registry Editor experience in Windows. It allows you to configure MSI installers on the fly and save changes as MST transform files, App-V or ThinApp package types. If you want to have access to more complex features you must migrate to an Advanced Installer project using the MSI import. However, a MSI Quick-Edit feature can be useful when carrying out simple changes such as adding Merge Modules or performing ICE Validations and Fixes.
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