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.MSI files

Question asked by markuskhouri on Nov 9, 2009

Hello all.

 

Reading the forums, it seems as if the .MSI files have kinda been a step-child of the installer. (The 2.5.8 tag does not have a complete configuration file.)

I am interested in knowing what the plans are for .MSI files, as I am looking to deploy Spark / Openfire in our environment, but require a .MSI file to do so and to have some confidence that future .MSI files will be available.
If given some direction, I am willing to offer time to work on this.
It seems as if the current .MSI files are created using a tool named Advanced Installer, from http://www.advancedinstaller.com/  Looking at the feature set (http://www.advancedinstaller.com/feats-list.html), it is unclear to me if any edition other than the $999 Enterprise edition supports the wizard screens that are currently in the .EXE file.  (Only the Enterprise edition makes use of the "Dialog Editor".)  QUESTION: Could the .MSI files be used only for automated installs, where a GUI/wizard would not be needed; GUI/wizard installs could be performed using another tool?   The free version of Advanced Installer does not seem to support manipulating the MSI package generated via command line arguments (referred to as "Command line mode editing").  The Professional edition, currently priced at $299, provides this capability.  (This ability is used in the current ANT script to, for example, pass in the version of the build via "SetVersion"; this functionality can probably be skipped / hard coded.  This is also used for "SetPackageName".)  QUESTION: Is Advanced Installer the tool to stick with?  Is there something that can be swapped in?  Does the company behind Advanced Installer offer licenses to open source projects?
A quick Google search turned up other tools to create MSI files, including MAKEMSI (http://dennisbareis.com/makemsi.htm), WinInstallWinInstall (http://www.scalable.com/wininstall), Windows Installer XML (WiX) (http://wix.sourceforge.net/index.html), EMCO MSI Package Builder (http://www.emco.is/products/msi-package-builder/features.php), and hundreds more.... I am not a Windows guy, so I do not know this area.
-markus

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