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InstallAware is a software installation solution for Windows Installer that enables MSIcode scripting for rapid setup development without the high cost and steep learning curve of other setup solutions. With InstallAware you can build sophisticated installations in record time without any programming or scripting skills. InstallAware provides you with the latest features and technology support, with the advantages of true rapid-Windows Installer development productivity.

Lower Setup Development Costs

  • Hybrid Installation Technology with InstantInstall Acceleration - Your setups are 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. When you use the Native Code Setup Engine, InstantInstall Acceleration delivers setups that install an order of magnitude faster compared to all other Windows installers.
  • MSIX Builder - InstallAware shipped the first MSIX Builder of the industry in 2018.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Out-of-the-Box Windows 11 Support - From displaying installation progress on the Windows Taskbar, to pinning them to the new Windows 11 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 2022, .NET 6, and Azure DevOps eco-system integration.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mica Material and Dark Mode - InstallAware lets you build Microsoft Fluent Design System compliant installation wizards. InstallAware setups automatically support Mica Material and Dark Mode on Windows 11, with just a straight recompile. They also gracefully scale back on downlevel platforms to support Acrylic Material and Aero Glass.
  • 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.
  • One-Click Technology Preinstalls - Deploy technology modules and runtimes, such as Microsoft SQL Express 2017, from your setup in a single step. Any related preinstalls are added to your project automatically. Plus, the preinstall sequence branches by platform.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dynamic Scanning Tool - Automatically add the file dependencies for your application to any selected directory or feature in your project.
  • 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.
  • Legacy Project Converters - Automatically import or convert project files from Wise, Inno Setup, or NSIS.
  • 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.
  • 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

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

Improved Download Success Rates

  • Free Unlimited Triple-Mode Web Updates - Deploy an unlimited number of royalty-free application updates to your end-users. Plus, its possible to customize the update user experience - freely edit update dialogs, and tweak the update logic. Choose scheduled updates, or manual on-demand update checking, or automatic updates to guarantee that the latest version of your application always gets run and/or installed. Also ideal for building dynamically updated Software Bundles with your product.
  • 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 without user interaction, for successful unattended installs.
  • Decentralized Distribution - Host your setup on decentralized, peer to peer networks, improving redundancy, reducing costs, and eliminating any single points of failure. Your end-users would be uploading and sharing your setup even as they are downloading and installing your application. Also, manually download any torrent file or a magnet link as part of your installation.
  • 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. New 64-bit compression saves up to 30% more on large setup packages, in addition to your 32-bit compression savings.

Industry Leading Installation Technology

  • 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.
  • Sell for Ethereum, Lookup Past Sales on the Blockchain - Cryptocurrency is here to stay, so why not make the most of the new monetary revolution? Eliminate the need for middle entities and sell your software directly to your end-users from a simple, one-step installation wizard page. Permit reinstallations as flexibly (or as strictly) as you like, again as an innate part of your setup experience.
  • 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.
  • 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 2022 64-bit.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • .NET 6 Support - Create .NET installations and distribute the .NET Framework, including .NET 6. Advanced compression reduces the size of the .NET Framework by up to 67%, simply by deploying the Framework with InstallAware - beating Microsoft's own best compressed sizes.
  • Universal Database - SupportRun 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.
  • Java Installation Support - Build Java application installations, with support for preinstalling Java Virtual Machines and runtime environments on Windows systems. Complete project sample included.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 - The new Scheduled Tasks view 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

  • Refined User Interface - Deliver setups that display the latest visual themes. 18 unique dialog themes, non-rectangular setup windows, Flash and HTML billboards, and brand-new fading/sliding wizard transition effects make your setups more interesting and more interactive.
  • 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.

Enterprise Software Deployment Support

  • 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 cloud, public or private, using InstallAware's Direct Deploy setup push technology.
  • Set Access Permissions - Restrict or grant permission to system resources with a single script command. Manage groups and named account privileges.