Chapter 4. Working with Windows Installer

The Windows Installer Service (WIS) is an engine for the installation, maintenance, and removal of software for Microsoft Windows systems. Much more than a new setup file format, WIS introduces a number of new features and challenges for administrators that warrant special attention.

Although not new to Windows Vista, it will be important to understand WIS in order to prepare applications for deployment effectively. There is a lot to know about Windows Installer, and it has become a specialty area that many administrators now focus on as a core area of expertise. It has also been regularly updated to provide improvements and new features. This chapter will introduce WIS and its architecture, management, and some best practices to keep in mind along the way.

Introducing Windows Installer

Most everyone who is involved in software management, be it software distribution or packaging, has heard of the Microsoft Windows Installer service (WIS). This powerful service has been created by Microsoft to help manage the software lifecycle on Windows systems. With the release of Windows Vista, Windows Installer is in its fourth edition. Version 4.0 was been specifically designed to run on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Windows Installer version 3.1 runs on earlier operating systems back to Windows 2000. Therefore, version 3.1 will work with Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003. If you're running ...

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