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Validating Packages in ORCA

Created: 24 Jan 2008 • Updated: 24 Jan 2008 | 3 comments
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TilakGovind's picture
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ORCA provides a graphical interface to the package validation functionality available as part of the MSI SDK and in several third-party tools.

Dive in to learn how to put this functionality to work for you.

Validation can flag many common problems in MSI packages by analyzing package data for invalid cells or combinations of cells that are not consistent.

Validation is performed by one or more Internal Consistency Evaluators (ICE)s, that are organized into CUB files. Several standard validators and CUB files are provided as part of the Platform SDK. ORCA can also use custom validators and CUB files.

Choosing a CUB File

You can select a CUB file for use during the validation run in three ways:

  1. Select a CUB file from the drop-down list.
    • The list contains all CUB files registered on the system for use in validation.
  2. Type a full path to the CUB file in the edit control.
  3. Click the "Browse" button and locate a CUB file.

The default value for validation can be changed by choosing Options... from the Tools menu and changing the Default ICE File value on the Validation tab.

Selecting ICEs to Run

You can limit the set of ICE validators that run from a particular CUB file by changing the value in the ICEs to Run field of the validation dialog.

The set of validators to run can be specified in two ways:

  1. Specifying no value selects the default set of ICEs from the CUB file.
    • A set of individual ICEs can be selected by specifying the ICE names, separated by a colon character (':'). The set of ICEs available depends on the CUB file selected.
  2. The default value for this field can be changed by choosing Options... from the Tools menu and changing the ICEs to Run value on the Validation tab.

Running Validation

To run validation, click the Go button. ORCA executes the specified validators in the selected CUB file, validating the current database, including any changes to the database that have not been saved.

Filtering Information Messages

To not place information messages from the validators in the list of results, uncheck the Show "INFO" Messages option. This option can be toggled while validation is running, in which case, it affects messages generated from that time on but not messages that have already been generated.

Warning and information messages can be filtered by default by selecting the appropriate options in the Tools\Options configuration dialog box on the Validation tab.

Placing Results on the Clipboard

To copy the results of a validation run to the clipboard for pasting in another application, click the Copy Results button.

Using the Validation Pane

When the validation dialog box is closed, all warnings and errors in the validation window are copied to the validation pane at the bottom of the ORCA window. To show or hide the validation pane, choose Validation Pane from the View menu. Hiding the validation pane does not erase the contents.

To jump to the location of an error, select the error by clicking on it or using the arrow keys in the window to move to the desired error. The table list and table view immediately jump to the exact location of the error that was reported by the validator.

If a table or row that contains an error is deleted, any validation errors associated with that row are deleted from the validation pane.

The data in the validation pane is replaced each time the database is validated.

Examining Table and Cell Errors

To examine the errors associated with a specific cell, right-click on the cell and choose Errors.... The error information associated with the cell appears in a small dialog. If more than one error is associated with the cell, you can click the Previous and Next buttons to switch between the different errors.

To examine the errors associated with a table but not a specific cell, right-click on the table name in the table list and choose Errors.... The error information associated with the table appears in a small dialog. If more than one error is associated with the table you can click the Previous and Next buttons to switch between the different errors.

The information presented in the Errors dialog box is the same information available in the validation pane.

If a table does not exist in the database but contains a validation warning or error (such warnings and errors usually indicate that the table or a value within the table is required but not present), a Shadow Table appears in the table list. This table is used to provide access to the validation errors or warnings associated with the table, but does not indicate the presence of the table in the database. When a shadow table is selected, the table view pane that normally displays the contents of the table does not contain any table information and indicates that the table does not exist in the database.

If there are no errors associated with the cell or table, the Errors... option is disabled.

Cancelling Validation

To cancel the validation, press the Cancel button. No additional validators run and a cancel request is sent to the currently running validator. Some ICE validators acknowledge the cancel request and stop immediately. Other validators run to completion before accepting the cancel request.

Comments 3 CommentsJump to latest comment

arjain's picture

apart form ORCA another good tool for testing ICEs is Microsoft msival2.

~ SQA Manual - Crafting tomorrow

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R-Vijay's picture

Hi Tilak,

Hope even this article comes in handy for all who look in for MSI validation.


Microsoft MVP [Setup-Deploy]

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WiseUser's picture

There are few free database-centric msi editor’s like orca which eases the following tasks

• Multi-file editing using tabs
• Easy navigation
• Change highlighting
• Easy validation

InstEd :
Camwood appeditor :

Altiris Certified Professional

Altiris Certified Professional

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