I’ve written a good quantity of code in my IT profession and launched variety of Home windows applications additionally, so software to create Home windows installer packages was at all times key. Every program would have a unique set of wants, comparable to scripts, DLLs, safety settings, and so forth., so one software that would deal with a posh set of necessities was crucial.
When you have the cash or want tons of assist, you’ll be able to at all times go along with InstallShield, the strong selection for a lot of firms utilizing Home windows. We at all times used InstallShield in our early days because it got here packaged with Visible Studio and Visible Foxpro.
Nevertheless, it isn’t the one good software program on the market for creating Home windows installers. On this article, I’m going to say a few different free and paid (although less expensive) utilities you’ll be able to check out in your group.
Nullsoft Scriptable Set up System (NSIS)
In the event you love open supply software program, you could need to take a look at the Nullsoft Scriptable Set up System (NSIS). NSIS is an expert system that you should utilize to create every little thing from quite simple to very advanced Home windows installers. It’s small, but has a big function set, which makes it appropriate for Web distribution.
As you’ll be able to inform by the title, NSIS is script-based, which lets you create logic as difficult as it’s essential deal with any state of affairs. Fortunately, for novices, it additionally features a bunch of plug-ins and pre-defined scripts to get you began.
Here’s a quick checklist of a few of my favourite options of this MSI package deal creator:
- Capability to create Home windows installers that may set up, uninstall, set system settings, extract recordsdata, and extra.
- NSIS has an overhead of solely 34KB! It’s by far the smallest Home windows installer in comparison with InstallShield and Sensible.
- One installer that’s appropriate with all main model of Home windows from Home windows 95 to Home windows 10.
- Three compression strategies (ZLib, BZip2, LZMA) to make sure the best compression on your installer packages.
- Script primarily based installer is healthier than different applications that simply generate a listing of recordsdata and registry keys. Utilizing the script language, you’ll be able to carry out many alternative set up duties like upgrades, model checks, system reboots, modification of surroundings variables, entry to Home windows API and extra.
- Create customized dialogs and interfaces to incorporate person enter, configuration choices, and even a customized wizard interface.
- Lengthen the capabilities of NSIS with plug-ins that may talk with the installer.
- Help for net set up and file patching throughout the Web.
This system helps a tons of different options together with installer self-verification utilizing checksum, checklist and tree for part choice, silent mode for automated installations, full code editor for writing scripts, and so forth.
Superior Installer additionally has a free model, but it surely additionally has a number of different variations that go up in value relying on how advanced your installer must be. It’s up to date fairly often and works extraordinarily properly.
In the event you’re searching for one thing extra skilled that additionally contains some choices for assist, then Superior Installer is an efficient selection. If you would like a function breakdown between the 5 completely different variations they’ve, then take a look at the hyperlink. The free model truly has loads of options and we have been ready to make use of that in our firm for a very long time as a result of our installers have been pretty easy.
One distinctive function to Superior Installer is Installer Analytics. It’s principally a set of instruments to see how customers set up, use and uninstall your purposes. You may simply see how massive your person base is, load a survey when a person uninstalls this system, and get details about the person’s system and geographic location. All of this on a glossy and fashionable net interface that you may take a look at your self.
It additionally permits you to simply repackage your purposes into the brand new AppX format, which is required for the Common Home windows Platform. It doesn’t require any code modifications they usually have a free AppX converter software. These are simply among the distinctive options, however Superior Installer just about covers all of the bases. Try the full checklist of options right here for every version.
Inno Setup is a sophisticated Home windows installer that’s utterly free and that has been round since 1997. It’s received a ton of options and works nice for small companies with reasonably advanced necessities.
Here’s a checklist of among the greatest options of Inno Setup:
- Helps all variations of Home windows from Home windows 2000 as much as Home windows 10
- Helps set up of 64-bit purposes on 64-bit Home windows
- Helps the creation of a single EXE file for simple file distribution
- Customizable setup sorts and full assist for utility uninstalls
- Creation of shortcuts, registry entries and INI recordsdata
- Helps silent installs and Pascal scripting engine for extra superior installs
- Third get together extensions that improve the options of Inno setup
General, this can be a actually good possibility because it’s utterly free and really simple to make use of. It’s not going to have the ability to do what InstallShield and even Superior Installer can do, but it surely covers just about all the fundamentals.
The WIX Toolset is a free set of instruments for creating Home windows installers that works with Visible Studio 2012 or greater. I point out it final as a result of it requires the largest studying curve. You may create some very advanced installers with it, however you’ll be coding fairly a bit and utilizing a command line usually.
WIX Toolset is predicated on the XML authoring mannequin. In the event you don’t have Visible Studio, you should utilize the Wix instruments or MSBuild. It helps constructing MSI, MSP, MSM, and MST installer recordsdata. It additionally helps a lot of Home windows Installer options.
So these are among the higher identified and steady applications you should utilize to create Home windows installers. I’m positive there are a lot of others on the market, so be at liberty to tell us which one you utilize within the feedback. Get pleasure from!