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InstallAware Studio Admin Features


InstallAware Studio Admin is the premier software installation solution for Windows Installer that provides you with true Windows Installer rapid development productivity.



Lower Setup Development Costs

Hybrid Installation Technology

Exclusive! Hybrid Installation Technology with InstantInstall Acceleration

Your setups are now faster, immune to corrupted Windows Installer stacks on target systems (which would cause your setups to fail through no fault of your own), and best of all, you get to switch between Native Code and Windows Installer setup engines at runtime, as often as you need! Choose the Native Engine and enjoy setups an order of magnitude faster with InstantInstall Acceleration.


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InstallTailor MST Transform Creator

New! InstallTailor MST Transform Creator

InstallAware Transformer InstallTailor MST Creator runs through the setup wizards of an MSI file, collecting any changes you make to built-in properties, directories, and features; then saving these (after you pick and edit the changes to include) in an MST transform file, together with an optional shortcut (.LNK) to install your MSI with your brand-new MST pre-applied!


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MSIX Builder

New! MSIX Builder

InstallAware shipped the first MSIX Builder of the industry in 2018! An enterprising vendor, who shall remain unnamed, had a clever idea. They simply searched and replaced all APPX strings in their legacy tool with MSIX instead, including the output file extension, and advertised MSIX support, months before they were ready. With InstallAware, what you see is what you get - no trickery involved!


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Windows Store Bridge

Exclusive! Windows Store Bridge

InstallAware effortlessly bridges Win32, Win64, and .NET apps to the Windows Store, creating a Universal Windows app from a customizable template and helping your end-users download your apps directly from the Windows Store.


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Application Runtime Wizard

New! Application Runtime Wizard

The Application Runtime Wizard is a point-and-click way to create new, reusable technology prerequisite installers for application frameworks in addition to those that ship built-in with InstallAware. Consume new runtimes you build from all your InstallAware IDE instances, and inside any setups you create.


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Build Events

New! Build Events

New Build Events fire before and after compiling your setup, then before and after compressing your setup, and finally before and after wrapping your setup inside a Group Policy MSI container - giving you all the interrupts needed to inject any type of custom logic into the InstallAware build process.


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Virtual Machines

Exclusive! Automated Virtual Machine Unit Testing

InstallAware is the only installer featuring virtual machine testing for your setups in an automated, customizable fashion. Use InstallAware's default unit test script, or customize and build your own. Test on multiple virtual machines simultaneously and see at a single glance failure and success on different guest operating systems.


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Windows Installer is finally scriptable. Its MSI without the rocket science.

Exclusive! Simplified Windows Installer Development

InstallAware’s powerful MSIcode simplifies setup development by transparently managing all of your Windows Installer conditions, installation sequences and parameters using a concise and human-readable setup language. Drop-in setup actions are configured using dialogs, without requiring programming skills. MSIcode builds a standard Windows Installer database package that fully supports advertising, install-on-demand, elevated privilege installation, and resiliency.


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Exclusive! Hybrid App-V Builder
Instantly build any InstallAware setup project as an App-V Application Virtualization Package. There's nothing new to learn! Embrace and extend App-V technology by packaging both 32 bit and 64 bit applications inside a single, merged App-V binary. Best of all, InstallAware's App-V Builder costs only 1/5th of the competition - for a more capable product!.


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Exclusive! App-V Viewer

InstallAware is the only installer to ship with a fully functionaly App-V Viewer. Inspect the files, registry keys, application entry points, virtual services, and even the environment variables contained inside any App-V binary - even those that weren't built using InstallAware's App-V Builder.



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New! Digital Rights Management
InstallAware DRM protects any Win32, Win64, or .NET application - with zero changes to your existing source code! Use any number of expiration parameters in Try-and-Die mode.


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Windows 10 October 2019 Update

Exclusive! Out-of-the-Box Windows 10 October 2019 Update Support

From displaying installation progress on the Windows Taskbar, to pinning them to the new Windows 10 Start Menu Live Tiles/Taskbar, InstallAware gives you the best exposure for your applications through smart use of the latest technology. Now with Visual Studio 2019, .NET Framework 4.8, and Windows 10 October 2019 Update eco-system integration.


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Run ARM64, 64bit and 32bit setups from the same installer

Exclusive! Set up 64 Bit and 32 Bit Systems with the Same Installer

Detect and support x64 systems including AMD64, EM64T, and ARM64! Only InstallAware allows you to ship a single hybrid MSI for both your 32 bit and 64 bit customers.


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Detect and manage setups on virtual machines

Exclusive! Detect and Manage Setups on Virtual Machines

Now InstallAware can check your target system and detect whether the operating system is running on a virtual machine. A simple checkbox lets you limit distributions to physical machines.


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InstallAware provides rapid MSI development.

Exclusive! Mirrored Code and Visual Development

InstallAware's advanced development tools include wizards, templates, drag-and-drop editing, and refined task views—with the added benefit of immediate MSIcode generation. Start a project in seconds in with visual tools, then switch to the Code View to add branching logic, variables, and advanced configuration options. Unlike InstallShield's isolated script and visual environments, when you modify settings in one view, the other view changes instantly.


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Import .MSI and .MSM files

Import .MSI and .MSM Files

Directly import MSI databases and Merge Modules created by other packaging applications, and edit them within InstallAware.


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Acrylic Material and Transition Effects

Exclusive! Acrylic Material with Fading/Sliding Wizard Transition Special Effects

InstallAware is the only installer that lets you build Microsoft Fluent Design System compliant installation wizards. InstallAware also ships with a built-in Acrylic Material setup theme so your setups look light years ahead of your competition! Now with fading/sliding wizard transition special effects, to the delight of your your app-savvy end-users.


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Point-and-click to build installation dialogs.

Dialog Designer

InstallAware's powerful dialog editor lets you customize the 18 pre-built setup themes, or design your own themes. A full range of visual controls are available, including Explorer-style browse functionality, and HTML/Flash containers.

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One click dependency preinstalls, for MSXML, J Sharp, IE 6, C++ Runtimes, and more.

Exclusive! One-Click Technology Preinstalls

Deploy technology modules and runtimes, such as Microsoft SQL Express 2014, from your setup in a single step. Any related preinstalls are added to your project automatically. Plus, the preinstall sequence branches by platform.

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MSI Custom Actions are much easier than with InstallShield.

Exclusive! Customization without Complexity

InstallAware setups launch without having to install dependencies or script engines. Still, you can completely customize your setup even if you don't have a computer science degree, or advanced Windows Installer knowledge.

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Build tiny patches based on byte-level diffs.

Exclusive! 1-Click Patching

Select your old and new setups, click Build Patch, and InstallAware automatically generates a native MSP-file that is packaged using advanced compression.

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Add DLLs to your project in six easy steps.

Extend Setups with DLLs

Run any DLL as part of your setup, without requiring a particular function format or Windows Installer sequencing. MSIcode allows you to pass parameters from your setup to a DLL and integrate the return values.

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Plug in C++ or Delphi code.

Exclusive! Extend Setups with Plug-Ins

Build your own setup plug-ins that natively interact with InstallAware MSIcode. Use your favorite programming language to perform complex setup tasks, without being encumbered by MSI constraints or a foreign development environment.

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Generate complete setups from the command line

Automation Interface

Programmatically create, modify, and compile setups. Available in a standard Win32 DLL that can be called from any Windows application, and as a COM object for use in ASP scripts on a web server.

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Build multiple MSI product configurations from the same script.

Exclusive! Integrated Product Configuration Management

All the code necessary to build different configurations of your product is included in your project, plus compiler variables allow you to specify different output media, product names, compression settings, even different feature sets from the same source.


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Let multiple Windows Installer developers collaborative on the same setup.

Reusable Scripts

Reference separate blocks of MSIcode using the Include Scripts command, which allows you to build a collection of setup functions that can be used in many different setup projects.


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Let multiple Windows Installer developers collaborative on the same setup.

New! Script Functions

MSIcode now includes a new Return from Include Script command, which helps you build your very own MSIcode functions with their custom return values.


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MSIcode lets you spend less time debugging, but the integrated debugging tool also speeds testing.

Integrated Debugging

Debug your setups visually with the integrated debugger. Set variable watches, step through code line by line, override variable values.

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Dynamic Scanning Tool

Automatically add the file dependencies for your application to any selected directory or feature in your project.

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Enhanced! Automated Translations

Use InstallAware's Localization Wizard to automatically translate your user interface and MSIcode script. Switch languages at compile time or runtime. Existing translations are preserved when making changes to your MSIcode and user interface.

Project converters for Wise, InnoSetup, and NSIS.

Legacy Project Converters

Automatically import or convert project files from Wise, Inno Setup, or NSIS. Import compiled InstallShield Express or InstallShield Basic MSI projects as .MSI files.

Import .REG files

Import .REG Files

Directly import Registry Keys and Values stored in .REG files or COM servers. Simply click Import from the Registry View, then browse to the file.

Help balloons and context-sensitive help

New! Auto-Correcting Fields

Now with the auto-correcting IDE, you are spared from common authoring mistakes and pitfalls. Dismissible help hints have also been added to guide you through certain processes.


Fully Support Installation Standards

InstallAware produces Windows Installer packages that meet the stringent requirements of the Designed for Windows logo program.

Complete MSI Support

All InstallAware setups fully support industry-standard Windows Installer technology, and Group Policy management features. No proprietary runtime packages or dependencies are ever required. All packages are built to comply with Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo certification specifications for application setup.

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InstallAware packages fully support self-healing applications and software resiliency.

New! Advanced Service Configuration with Service Failure Actions

Configure advanced Windows Service settings. Define failure actions to be executed at each successive failure of your service, bullet-proofing your deployments. Run programs (with custom command lines), restart computers, display reboot messages, restart services, and more.

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SHA256 code signing

New! SHA 256 Code Signing

Microsoft's requirements for code signing for 2016 and beyond are complex. InstallAware has distilled the requirements to fully automate SHA 256 bit code signing, single or double, as determined by the operating system hosting the build platform, whether files are already signed, and the type of file being signed.

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InstallAware packages fully support self-healing applications and software resiliency.

Self Healing Applications

Create self-healing applications by choosing the Advertised File Types option in the InstallAware IDE. No changes to your own program files are required.

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InstallAware packages fully support Windows Installer Advertising features.

Installation on Demand

The Advertised Shortcuts option in the InstallAware IDE activates installation on demand for your application. The source files can be placed in a Web Media Block — which accepts any URL or network file path — for remote download and installation.

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InstallAware setups install in locked-down environments.

Elevated Privilege Installations

InstallAware setups fully support installation onto secured or locked-down systems with the proper Group Policy settings.

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DIFx Device Driver Installations

Windows Driver Install Frameworks (DIFx) Support

Install drivers on x86, x64, and ia64 platforms. Optionally check for presence of the device, manage signature warnings and Add/Remove Program entries. Complete sample project included.


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Improved Download Success Rates

Completely scriptable web updates

Exclusive! Completely Scriptable Web Updates

Make it easy for your users to update their software, by automating the notification, download, and setup process. Deliver unlimited updates without additional usage fees. Plus the update client source code is provided within your project for complete customizability.


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Download and install only the components that are called by your setup.

Exclusive! WebAware Installation™ Technology

Reduce download size by removing technology dependencies (such as the .NET Framework) or rarely used features from your main setup file. The main setup will download them seamlessly from the web as needed. Files required by the minimum configuration are included in the main package, which installs without a web connection. Interrupted downloads are automatically resumed after a brief pause, ensuring successful away-from-the-keyboard installations.


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Compress MSIs and Windows Installer packages using 7Zip compression.

Exclusive! Superior 64-bit Compression

Reduce the size of your setups and download packages by up to 90% with the LZMA compression algorithm and BCJ2 compression pre-processors. Only InstallAware provides advanced compression for Windows Installer setups. Now with advanced 64-bit compression, you'll save an astounding 30% extra, on top of the previous best available InstallAware rates - even beating Microsoft's own pre-packaged runtime installers on size.

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Industry Leading Installation Technology

Chain together multiple MSIs and track their progress in your dialogs.
Exclusive! Run Nested MSI Setups and Capture Progress
Deploy any MSI setup seamlessly within your InstallAware Wizard — even capture progress from the nested MSI. Install any feature set that the MSI offers, fully customizing the setup from the command line.

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Post to Facebook and Twitter

Exclusive! Post to Social Networks

Query for social network credentials at any time your setup is running on end-user systems. Tweet on Twitter, and Share on Facebook, obtaining the success state of the postings before continuing with your installation. Just create an app on Twitter and Facebook, paste your credentials in the new InstallAware plug-ins, and you're good to go social.


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Install multiple instances of the same MSI on the same machine.

Exclusive! Multi-Instance Support on All Windows Platforms

Allow users to install multiple copies of your application on the same system, without requiring instance transforms or adding an MSI 3.0 dependency. Supports Windows XP through Windows Server 2016 64-bit.


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Install and configure web applications for IIS.

Enhanced! IIS Support

InstallAware makes it easy to start, stop, and install IIS websites. Set up virtual folders and application servers. Configure permissions, logging, default pages, and MIME types. Support for IIS 8 is now included.


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Unpack and repack your Merge Modules and MSI dependencies to save between 20 and 67% over CAB file compression.

Exclusive! Dependency Decompressor

Unpack third-party MSIs and Merge Modules you wish to include with your project and leverage InstallAware's superior compression on your application's dependencies during the build process to further reduce the size of your installation package.

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Install .NET applications, the .NET framework, and .NET assemblies.

.NET 4.8 Support

Create .NET installations and distribute the .NET Framework, including .NET 4.8. Advanced compression reduces the size of the .NET Framework by up to 67%, simply by deploying the Framework with InstallAware.

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Run database scripts in the MSI without having to install the driver first.
Enhanced! Universal Database Support
Run SQL scripts on Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, and My SQL platforms. Absolutely no client software is required on the target system to connect to the databases. SQL Server instances are now detected automatically on the network.

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Install Java applications on Windows systems.

Java Installation Support

Build Java application installations, with support for preinstalling Java Virtual Machines and runtime environments on Windows systems. Complete project sample included.

NEW! Serial Number Generation

A new sample project provides MSIcode to build a unique 25 digit serial number generator and perform serial number validation in your wizard based on variables such as username, company, and/or other criteria. Serial numbers are not restricted to a simple range of numbers.

Compression Hyperthreading Feature Icon

Exclusive! Multi-Core Compression

Dual core, hyperthreaded processors, and multi core systems are automatically detected, allowing compression tasks to be spread across multiple (logical) CPUs to linearly reduce build times.

Dynamically list features based on target conditions

Exclusive! Dynamic Feature Lists

Use MSIcode and variables to define product features based on target conditions or user entitlements. Only InstallAware provides feature-level customizations at runtime.


Minimize setups to the system tray

Exclusive! System Tray Minimized Setups

The new System Tray MSIcode command allows you to minimize your setup as an icon in the system tray. Use the MessageBalloon command to prompt users when a process needs their attention.


Schedule Windows tasks

Exclusive! Schedule Windows Tasks

The new Schedule Task MSIcode command lets you set up jobs to run on a local machine. Check for internet connections, launch programs, and pass command line parameters.


Superior User Experience

15 User interface dialog themes

Exclusive! Refined User Interface

Deliver setups that display the latest visual themes. 18 unique dialog themes, non-rectangular setup windows, plus Flash and HTML billboards, make your setups more interesting and more interactive.

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Chart Image showing user feedback and dynamic product registrations

Exclusive! Collect User Feedback and Product Registrations

An easily edited sample project demonstrates how to perform online user registration as part of the installation process. When uninstalling, the project asks the user for product feedback and submits it to your website.

image: Validate users over the web from your setup

Exclusive! Dynamic User Validation

Use the included Authentication sample project to pass parameters or credentials to your website and save the results in a local file, which you search for the required authentication. Open access to certain features or to the entire setup.

Automatic Removal of Prior Versions Feature Icon

Exclusive! Automatic Removal of Prior Versions

When a previous version is detected, InstallAware will provide the option to uninstall it before proceeding with the installation — automatically. Other Windows Installer tools simply allow the setup to fail and exit.

image: Autorun CD Browser

Autorun CD Browsers

Create a simple and completely customizable wizard that appears automatically when your product CD is inserted, enabling users to launch setups, view documentation, launch a web browser and view resources on your website. All MSIcode functions are available for use in the CD Browser.

Enterprise Software Deployment Support

Repackage legacy setups into Windows Installer .MSI packages

New! Industry's Fastest Unicode Setup Capture with Stackable Filters

Use direct, driverless capture technology proprietary to InstallAware and eliminate the need for clean machine captures. Create and save multiple system snapshots and compare any arbitrary two - including those sourced from different hardware and underlying operating systems. Three new stackable filters help eliminate captured noise at varying degrees of aggression, and you may also create/stack your own filters.

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Deploy InstallAware setups via Active Directory and Group Policy Objects.

Exclusive! Active Directory and Corporate Deployment Support for any EXE!

InstallAware setups are easily distributed through Group Policy Objects, and other software distribution systems. Now with the industry-unique capability to push any EXE across an Active Directory domain, without requiring any specialized client or server software - and indeed, without even needing to use Group Policy/MSI files! Build your own clouds, private or public.

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Set Access Permissions with Windows Installer Feature Icon

Set Access Permissions

Restrict or grant permission to system resources with a single script command. Manage groups and named account privileges.