Computers Windows

What Is the Windows Installer?

Introduction

Windows Installer before which was known as Microsoft Installer is used for installation, maintenance, and removal of software from modern. All the installation information of users and mostly the files are also packaged as installation packages which are commonly known as "MSI files". Windows Installer includes important changes from its beginners as in Setup API. New features that Windows Installer includes now days are GUIframework and automatic generation of uninstallation. Windows Installer is considered as an alternative for previous executable installer frameworks such as before versions of Install-Shield.Third parties to use Windows Installer are encouraged by Microsoft which acts as the basis for installation frameworks.Rollback and versioning are also other important features of windows installer to enjoy consistent and reliable features. In rollback each operation that Windows Installer performs will generate an equivalent undo operation that can undo the changes made to the system.

History

Much software mostly involves one feature. Whereas complex installation programs or custom installation programs usually display a "custom setup" dialog box during installation, from which the end user can select which features to install or remove. A component is the basic part of a product. Windows Installer will treat every component as a unit. Components usually contain files, directories, registry keys, shortcuts, and other data. End user-shave no direct interaction with components. Components can be identified by GUIDs. Several features of the same package or multiple packages can use same component by the use of Merge Modules. For excellent use different components should not share sub-components.

Features

During installation user interface phase queries the target system and displays an installation wizard. It will enable the user to change various options or customize them according to there requirement that will affect the installation. While making user interface customization keep in mind that it should not affect the system. There are two reasons for this, first reason is a user can install an MSI file in quiet mode, by running the msiexec.exe command-line utility with the “/qn”commands or by specifying all the information on the command line that the wizard would normally gather. Second reason is, by clicking on the Remove button in the Add or Remove Programs will runs a product's uninstaller with a basic user interface, again with the result that any actions that occur in the user interface sequence will not be performed.An action that causes change on system should not run on user interface because user interface usually runs on user’s choice.

Tips and comments

When user clicks on the Finish or Install button in a normal and most common MSI installation wizard. Installation will proceeds to the Execution phase, in which software components are actually installed. Execution phase will help in making system changes, but it will not display any user interface elements. This execution can be carried out in two modes, first is immediate mode in which Windows Installer will have instructions to install or uninstall features of a product, from a user or an application. Whereas in deferred mode the built in script, in an immediate mode is executed in privileged Windows Installer service. Script must be executed by a privileged instruction.

By Ali Javed, published at 03/16/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
What Is the Windows Installer?. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.

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