The Only Real Alternative to InstallShield in Windows Installer Authoring Tools
San Francisco, CA, December 13 2005 – InstallAware Software Corporation has released InstallAware 5 for Windows Installer – software for building and repackaging installations on Windows, .NET, IIS, and SQL Server platforms.
“Since their acquisitions by Macrovision, traditionally strong brands in the installation space like InstallShield have been wavering in strength,” says Sinan Karaca, Chief Architect at InstallAware Software Corporation. “Macrovision has focused their efforts on licensing technologies instead of installations. Installations themselves have had to take a back seat in their new display of copyright protection technologies, much to the dismay of the setup developer”.
InstallAware 5 offers unique, compelling advantages over InstallShield and other Windows Installer authoring tools. One of these is compression, with packages created with InstallAware being half the size of the competition (or less). For instance, the newly released Microsoft SQL Express 2005 installer, compressed with InstallAware, is exactly half the size of the regular installer. An installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 with Service Pack 1 is one third the size of the regular installer. “Because our core business is making installers, we are better able to keep up with advances in the field, such as compression,” says Agustin Berge, Director of Development at InstallAware Software Corporation. “Our strong focus on installations allows us to actually advance the state of installation technologies, instead of repackaging what is already available in other tools.”
Another unique InstallAware 5 feature is partial web deployment. Bulky setup features such as application runtimes or rarely used features can be stored away in web media blocks, while the main setup itself remains self contained and works without mandating an Internet connection. This new web deployment technology is available exclusively with InstallAware, and works with any web server supporting HTTP or FTP connections– there are absolutely no custom requirements.
InstallAware 5 also improves the setup authoring process, providing the only Windows Installer IDE with two-way integrated Visual/Code views. Setups may be defined in state-based fashion using the file, registry, shortcut, and other visual views common to most tools. What’s unique about InstallAware however is the underlying code view. Any time a visual view is used, it updates the underlying code view, which contains a conditionally flowing setup script, complete with language elements such as If and Else directives. This setup script permits the creation of an intelligent setup program that branches into different execution paths at runtime based on system conditions – a capability that is not available with any other Windows Installer tool. The setup script may be directly edited using the script editor, and when switching back to the visual view, the round-tripping IDE keeps the changes in sync. When the setup is built, the output is a pure MSI logo compliant database with no proprietary scripting engine that needs to be pre-installed.
Among major new scripting enhancements in InstallAware 5 are Include Scripts and Instance Transforms, which add considerable flexibility to setups. For instance, multiple copies of the same product may now be installed simultaneously on the same computer. While this is not ordinarily possible with Windows Installer, and requires at least version 3.0 of Windows Installer (which is unavailable for Windows 9X operating systems), InstallAware makes this a snap – a single script command, called Transform Instance, is all it takes. “What we’re done here is advance the state-of-the-art in installers,” says Agustin Berge. “We’re pushing the envelope in terms of what can be done with your setups – from showing interactive product demonstrations during installation, to extending the capabilities of Windows Installer – we’re advancing the technology itself.”
InstallAware was the first third party installer to support installing Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, even before InstallShield. InstallAware 5 extends this leadership by providing a new application runtimes view that makes installing the latest setup pre-requisites a snap – just check the pre-requisites that your application needs from the list, and everything else is automatic. For instance, when the Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 pre-requisite is selected for installation, all pre-requisites of Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 are automatically selected as well, taking the guesswork out of resolving pre-requisite dependencies. Every pre-requisite installation performs system checks at runtime to assure that its minimum software and hardware requirements are met, ensuring a consistent and reliable installation experience for all users on all Windows platforms.
InstallAware 5 is available in four editions, with prices starting at US$199. A time limited trial and more information is available at http://www.installaware.com/.
About InstallAware Software Corporation
InstallAware Software Corporation, founded in 2003, is a software development company focused solely on state of the art software installation tools which offer the highest compression ratios and bullet-proof installations. The company produces software installation and compression technologies for the Windows Installer (MSI) platform on the Microsoft Windows Operating System. InstallAware is supported by thousands of users worldwide, and is a Borland Technology Partner. For more information, visit www.installaware.com.
InstallAware Software Corporation
Phone: 415 830 4715
InstallShield® is a registered trademark and/or service mark of Macrovision Corporation and/or Macrovision Europe Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries.