Create or update MSI (Windows Installer) based installers for files, registry etc using an XML like script. Can use in unattended builds (NMAKE, ANT, NANT builds etc). It builds a HTML report by default (with a file verify button). For both beginners and advanced users.
Common processes can be defined once and reused in multiple projects (templates). Has extensive documentation and a large user group (500+ members).
A MSI compare or disassemble tool is available which generates MAKEMSI output, this is commonly used by people wishing to automate tasks they currently use ORCA for.
Also has a framework for easy MSM (merge module) and CUB (MSI validation suite) building.
- Automatic handling of files opened by applications (in use).
- If an install fails then prior changes will be undone (no half installs).
- Enables deployment (with or without elevated privledges) to all boxes in a network via Group Policy/Active Directory. Corporate customers will definitely prefer (or in fact generally require) MSI based installers due to their ease of deployment.
- The automatic creation of XP system restore points at package install and uninstall.
- Self healing (repair) of files or registry entries.
- The advertising of complete applications (or parts) which allows installation on demand (resources not installed until required).
- Installation or uninstallation can be automated via command line parameters in a standard way (automatic support for silent or unattended installs).
- Allows merging of common "runtime files" (via Microsoft or other 3rd party merge modules).
- Configuration of MSI based products is supported by many mechanisms which are standard for all MSI installers. MSI files are databases which can be manipulated (by the end user) to tweak them or alterations can be done via separate transforms or options can be overridden from the command line. This can change install file and shortcut locations and control which features get installed plus much more.
- Microsoft Windows product logos require MSI based installers