The cost of maintaining software applications is often more expensive than the cost of original development. This makes creating effective, reliable upgrades an important task. Being able to distribute robust upgrades for an application depends on how the original installation package was structured and distributed. This help topic will provide a basic foundation for creating robust upgrade packages.
Windows Installer provides different methods for implementing three different upgrade types: small update, minor upgrade, and major upgrade. Upgrades can be packaged as either a full installation or a patch. A patch is simply another mechanism for implementing a type of upgrade. With a patch, however, you deliver to your customers only the bits required to change an installed file into a new file, unlike a full release.
When working with InstallScript installations, you can update an application with either a full release package or differential release. Various considerations such as file size and the presence of files from any previous release must be considered in determining the best upgrade method.
If you used a version of InstallShield Professional earlier than 6.0 to create media for an InstallScript project, the media cannot be updated.
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