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Endpoint Management Community Blog

Q & A for Newbies in Application Repackaging -Part 1

Created: 27 Oct 2009 • 3 comments
B_Raj's picture
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My intention by publishing this post is to help the newbies to understand the basics about packaging and repackaging technologies.And ofcurse for those who prepare for interviews !! :-)

 1.What is Application Packaging?

Simply Application packaging means,the process of Creation of an Installation Program for a Software. Or we can say it as creation of a setup file. Setup.exe is an installation file, a program that puts all of the files and registry keys in the right places so that everything works correctly.

  2.What is Application Repackaging?

The process of creating a customized installation using an already packaged installation is termed as Re-packaging.

The setup routine can sometimes be very complex and open to user error especially when thousands of repeat installations are required in a corporate environment. In such environments reliability and repeatability are crucial.

Re-packaging is designed to support company standards and distribution methods. It supports very rapid and accurate way to do large scale deployments.

 3.Why Repackaging is required and what are the problems in Legacy Installation?

o Repackaging provides Customized Installation

o Repackaging helps to Reduce Support Costs

o Repackaging helps to implement all windows installer fetueres likeSelf Repair,Source Resiliency etc.

o Supports Unattended Install

o Saved Time and Effort Through Automated Installs

o Provides Application and Operating System Stability

Where as the legacy installation has mainly the following demerits;

o High Support Costs

o Fragile Installs and Uninstalls

o Difficult and labor Intensive to deploy

4.What are the steps of Repackaging?

o Receive the packaging requirement from the requestor.(It can be via email or project lifecycle mamangement tools etc.)

o Review packaging requirements with the Requestor

o Technically Review the request (Tech Review)

o Repackage the application with customized standards.

o Test the package.

o Document the package details.

o Upload for UAT (User Acceptance test)

o Release the package to end users(Live users)

5.What are the commonly used third party tools for repackaging application?

 Wise Package Studio

AdminStudio InstallShield

Prism Pack

E-Wrap Novadigm

Unity Installer

 6.Name some Deployment tools?

o Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS)

o Radia

o Tivoli

o CA Desktop and server Management.

 7.Why do we need to use Repackager tools?

 In a traditional environment, Repackagers are used to customize an installation. For Windows Installer environments, repackagers such as InstallShield Repackager ,Wise setup capture etc.. are used to convert traditional setups to Windows Installer packages.

8.Why  a “Clean” System is important for Repackaging?

A clean system, which usually consists of the operating system only, is important when repackaging because you want to capture all additions and changes made by the installation. If you do not use a clean system, it is entirely possible that a previous installation may have placed files on your system that are also part of the installation you are repackaging. In that case, the installation may not install those files, and therefore Repackager never captures those files for the repackaged setup.

9.How Do I Repackage a Windows Installer Setup?

Microsoft recommends that Windows Installer setups not be repackaged. Instead, create transforms for the customisations.

10.How Can I Speed Up Repackaging?

Repackaging can be a time consuming process, because the way Repackager determinesthe changes made by an installation requires both an initial analysis and a final analysis. The difference between these constitutes the changes made by the installation. But there are ways to speed up repackaging. First, if you know what directories are modified by the installation, you can limit both initial and final analysis to those directories only. Also, you can set up a detailed exclusion list for files, INI files, and registry entries, instructing what Repackager should ignore during both analysis phases.


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MSI-WPS's picture

Hi where can i find the material for the installshield Adminstudio.

Can you please help me out. i dont have time. i have to prepare a lot.

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B_Raj's picture


Use the below link to get Documentation on Adminstudio

The vendor name for Adminstudio is again changed recently.
The product is known as Flexera Software Adminstudio now.

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GoRedSox's picture

I've enjoyed reading the q/a on installers and want to point out that several SYMC product teams are successfully using our InstallShield (Windows) and InstallAnywhere (Unix, Linux, etc.) products.

Instead of anyone experiencing frustration leveraging our packaging solutions, please allow me to offer access to one of our talented Senior Sales Engineers to ensure you get the most out of our solutions while experiencing minimal frustration and delay. I know you've a great support contract, and perhaps speaking with a field engineer would be further value-add.

When it comes to Win7 migration and building packaging strategies for virtual VM target environments (e.g VMware ESXi, MS AppV, or Citrix Zen) our AdminStudio is winning industry acclaim for reducing the cost, complexity and time to market for next-gen installer techniques.


Barry Wetmore
Flexera Software

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