Q&A : Application Repackaging-Part 2


This is the continuation of the article Application Repackaging part 1.

Here with 10 Questions & Answers ,I’m describing some of the basic things we need to take care while we approach to repackage an application.

 1.How do you Customize the vendor MSI?

 Vendor MSI’s should not be re-packaged or edited. Create a transform file to customize the vendor MSI. 

  • Some vendors supply utilities to customize their MSI behavior. Where this is the case, such utilities should be first considered as the appropriate method of customizing the MSI.  For example, use Microsoft’s Custom Installation Wizard  to customize the Office XP suite.  

2.When will you create a new MSI wrapper/ Wrapper Script?

This technique can be used in scenarios in which the installation program is not in MSI format and a setup capture is not appropriate.

Example:  Service packs and security patches

3.How do you treat INI files while repackage an application?

  • All INI files should keep in the INI file table, not installed as files. (File table) 
  • All hard coded paths within the INI files should be modified to use relative paths by fully utilizing Installer variables or custom Properties.

 4.What is the best practice you follow while dealing with environment variable?

  • Environment variables needs to modify in the Environment Table.   
  • All path variables needs  to be appended (by indicating [~] in the value column of the Environment table), so that they do not overwrite existing values and can be returned to their original state upon uninstall.

 5.How do you create ODBC entries while repackaging?

     It is best to create the ODBC entries through Control Panel/Administrative Tools/ODBC Data Sources. Capture the registry then add the keys to your MSI package. 

6.How do you treat auto update options in applications while you repackage?

                  This options should be completely disabled. Applications should not update themselves or prompt the user to update them. (Unless there is a requirement to auto update)

7.What are the mandatory properties that required for every Installation?

  1. Product Code
  2. Product Language
  3. Manufacturer
  4. Product Version
  5. Product Name

8.What are all the main Conflicts that  should be resolved among the Packages?

  • DLL files
  • Registry Entries
  • ODBC Resources
  • Services
  • Product Code / Package code
  • File extensions

9.What is the issue with keeping Empty Key Value paths in registry?

                  Empty Key Value paths are not permitted due to registry removal problems when the MSI is uninstalled.  To identify an empty key path the value of the registry key is set to +. 

10.What is the main advantage of using Naming Conventions?

                  This helps to uniquely identify a package  in a Distributed Software Library or in a network share where we keep the package for distribution and it support a unique standard too.

[To be continued..]


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