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General Question1

General Question1

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04/12/2013

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General QuestionsQ.
A.
Windows Installer is a system service for installing and managing applications. It provides astandard method for developing, customizing, installing, and updating applications.
A.
Windows Installer provides the following basic functions:
Transactional operations.
All installation operations are transactional. For eachoperation that Windows Installer performs, it generates an equivalent undo operationthat would undo the change made to the system. If a failure occurs during the middle of an installation, Windows Installer can roll back the machine to its original state.
Self-healing.
Windows Installer supports "self-healing" abilities for applications.Applications can detect common installation problems at launch, like missing files or registry keys, and automatically repair themselves.
Installation on demand.
Windows Installer supports on-demand installations of application features. For example, the spelling checker in Microsoft Office Word maynot be installed by default, but a user can trigger an on-demand installation of thisfeature.
Installation in locked-down environments.
In fully locked-down environments, usersdon't generally have permission or the ability to install applications. In most cases, theydon't have write-access to the Program Files folder of their computers or to theHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry location. If an administrator approves aninstallation package by means of Group Policy, for instance, Windows Installer canperform an installation on the user's behalf.
State management.
Windows Installer provides a set of standard Win32® applicationprogramming interfaces (APIs) and automation interfaces for applications andadministrators to use for querying the installation state on the machine. The APIs allowquerying of the current state, verification of the existing state, repair of a corruptedstate, and transition from one state to another.
A.
Version 2.0 of Windows Installer includes a number of new features and improvements over previous versions, including the following:
Installation and management of assemblies.
Windows Installer 2.0 is fully integratedwith SxS (Fusion) and Common Language Runtime (CLR) assemblies.
 
Increased security.
Windows Installer architecture was modified to increase systemsecurity.
Ability to conceal personal information.
Windows Installer provides authors with away to hide information, such as passwords, from appearing in log files.
Multiple user isolation.
Modifications to Windows Installer architecture allow for trueisolation of per-user installations since a product's per-user configuration information isno longer shared among users.
Digital signature support.
Digital signature support is included for Windows Installer-related files, such as packages (.msi), patches (.msp), and transforms (.mst). WindowsInstaller also supports digital signature verification of external cabinet files (.cab)associated with an installation.
More robust patching.
Numerous patching issues were fixed in version 2.0.
Simplified patch authoring.
Patch conflict resolution in version 2.0 eliminates some of the burden of authoring patches. Setup authors targeting version 2.0 no longer need tokeep track of every disk ID and last sequence number used by previous patches.
Improved patch and update installation.
Version 2.0 reduces unnecessary sourceresolution attempts. In the majority of cases, the user is no longer required to haveaccess to the original source location when applying a patch unless specifically requiredby the package author. Additionally, more efficient updates result from removal of unnecessary un-versioned file copies.
Support for transforms and patches from URL sources.
Windows Installer version2.0 now supports using transforms and patches from a source referenced by a UniformResource Locator (URL).
Enhancement of operating system features.
Integration with System Restore andSoftware Restriction Policies (Windows® XP features) and improved TerminalServices support.
64-bit service on 64-bit Windows.
Windows Installer is a native 64-bit service for theinstallation of 64-bit applications on 64-bit versions of Windows.
Enhanced logging.
Event logging has been greatly improved in order to aidtroubleshooting installation issues. This includes ensuring that different errors haveunique event IDs.
Configurable merge modules.
Improvements to MergeMod.dll permit authoringmerge modules (.msm files) containing attributes configurable by the consumer of themerge module.
A.
More information on Windows Installer can be found in the Windows Installer softwaredevelopment kit (SDK).Further information on Windows Installer is available in the following white papers:Windows Installer Service Overview
 
Q.A.AvailabilityQ.
A.
Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), and Windows XPinclude Windows Installer. Windows 2000 includes version 1.1 of Windows Installer,Windows Me includes version 1.2, and Windows XP includes version 2.0. Windows 2000SP3 also contains version 2.0 of Windows Installer.
A.
This table details the operating systems that each released version of Windows Installer supports.
A.
You can obtain the latest Windows Installer redistributable from theMicrosoft Platform SDK Redistributablessite. There are two different versions of the Windows Installer redistributable: one for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me; and one for WindowsNT and Windows 2000.
A.
Microsoft merge modules are provided with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. Their defaultinstallation location is [ProgramFilesFolder]\Common Files\Merge Modules. Note that not allMicrosoft redistributable components have merge modules available.
Q.A.How-To GuideQ.
A.
To hide an application from Add/Remove Programs, set the ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENTproperty to
1
. This property can be set within the Property table of the package, on the

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