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MSI Installer Errors – The End of an Error (a)

Greg Lambert
March 10, 2023
2 minutes

Going back to the early days of Windows Installer, packaging (or scripting as it was called then) was based on simple scripts. Sometimes Visual Basic scripts, often batch or command files. Moving from simple scripting approaches (for those who remember Sysdiff (now called windiff) to a database- based approach was a big jump.

We had to learn about databases. 

Identifying potential conflicts, installation collisions or complex MSI Installer database internal reference errors – was a rapidly growing, complex field in it’s own right. One of the biggest challenges in learning about databases and how they applied to Windows Installer were package issues raised as Internal Consistency Evaluators (ICE) – these were MSI checks which then raised subsequent warnings or errors depending on the severity of the issue. There were over a hundred different types of these ICE checks and some packages raised literally thousands of issues. All of which had to be resolved before the application could be successfully installed, updated, and uninstalled. This was both time consuming and tedious (and very expensive as highly trained consultants were required).

So, at Readiness we decided to just NOT do ICE errors. For MSI Installer packagers it was a real problem, a complete pain, for other a real expense and a waste of time. Ha! Done – not doing ICE issues. So easy.

Wait, what?

Readiness built their own packaging engine. An MSI installer application packaging engine that generates MSI Installer with NO ERRORS.

That’s right. Given the installation, capture and MSI file creation process we have perfect, intimate knowledge of what the install requires. Why generate a package with errors?

Readiness generated MSI installer packages DO NOT contain any ICE errors. Period.

They never will because our internal validation process (full automated) simply will not allow to the package to proceed to automated testing. There are other approaches. You can suppress the errors – this is the path to darkness. Or you can employ people or advanced (expensive) tools to fix the Windows Installer errors.

Or, when you choose Readiness – you can choose to avoid the problems, and time and cost of resolving issues and errors that simply should not have been there in the first place.

The choice is yours.

Greg Lambert

CEO, Product Evangelist
Greg Lambert is the CEO and product evangelist for Application Readiness Inc. Greg is a co-founder of ChangeBASE and has considerable experience with application packaging technology and its deployment.

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