Posted by: kurtsh | December 17, 2010

RELEASE: MSI Explorer – Inspection Tool for .MSI installation packages

Sateesh Arveti, a Support Engineer for our Developer products in Microsoft India, produced a rather nice little tool similar to the 2005 MSI extraction tool, “Less MSIerables” from http://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/File-Editors/Less-MSIerables.shtml.  It’s a bit more comprehensive however in that it doesn’t just do file extraction but also allows property modification so you can do things like redirect the install directory path, etc.

[Taken from the original post at http://blogs.technet.com/b/sateesh-arveti/archive/2010/11/21/msi-explorer.aspx]

Most of us are quite familiar in creating MSI or Setup for our applications. By using a MSI, we can make sure all dependencies for running the application will be placed properly. MSI is the best option available on Windows OS for packaging and distributing our application. For .NET developers, Visual Studio presents lot of features in creating setup and deployment projects for our application. But, there are no built-in tools in Visual Studio to look into the MSI contents. And that too, to make a small change in MSI, it requires rebuilding the entire Setup Project. So, I think it’s better to design an application that will analyze the MSI and give the details of it along with capability of updating it without rebuilding.

Features present in this application:

  • It allows us to look into the contents of the MSI.
  • It allows us to export the contents of the MSI.
  • It allows us to update commonly changing properties without rebuilding it.
  • Easy to use UI.
  • Now, Updating an MSI is quite simple.

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