Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable Available

Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable Available

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Windows Installer 3.1 is now available as a redistributable from the Microsoft Download Center. Among the changes are support for MSIs targeting x64 platforms, which I described in a previous blog entry; some fixes for source resolution problems; and opt-in behavior for flyweight patching, which would've been a major burden for the Customer Product-lifecycle Experience team (CPX; that's us). The problem is that flyweight patching - or optimized patching - causes certain standard and custom actions not associated with one of the tables below to not execute if only any of the tables below are changed. This is a problem for CPX for several reasons, among them fixing issues in the machine.config and security.config files that we don't want to replace entirely by adding them to the File table and CABs. Our custom actions that modify those files would not be executed if the only tables that were changed were from the list below.

  • AdminExecuteSequence
  • AdminUISequence
  • Condition
  • CustomAction
  • File
  • FileSFPCatalog
  • InstallExecuteSequence
  • InstallUISequence
  • Media
  • MoveFile
  • MsiAssembly
  • MsiDigitalCertificate
  • MsiDigitalSignature
  • MsiFileHash
  • MsiPatchHeaders
  • Patch
  • PatchPackage
  • Property
  • Registry
  • SFPCatalog
  • TypeLib
  • _Columns
  • _Storages
  • _Streams
  • _Tables
  • _TransformView
  • _Validation

Because Windows Installer is a runtime, any MSI packages that were authored for MSI 3.1 but use a lower schema version (like 200, to enable support on Windows 9x/Me like CPX must for .NET Framework patches) can be affected by this problem. For this reason, and for other fixes and features listed in KB893803, it is recommended that you upgrade your system to Windows Installer 3.1 if you meet the system requirements.

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  • I can't believe you work for Microsoft and that your blog came up as the second hit on google while searching for information on msp patches. Wow!
  • Well, if it isn't my buddy John! Don't you remember the all-out platform wars on Coover about Windows vs. linux vs. BSD? I was (almost always) in favor of Windows. I also see from http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/03/2211228&tid=90&tid=106 that another floor mate, Steve Langasek, is now maintaining debian branches. That was a great floor.

    You should actually find a lot more about MSP patches on my blog. I currently work for the developer division sustained engineering team and am working on producing a new patch-building system for Whidbey and related products. Patching certainly offers many more challenges, IMO, than product installs. It's just a problem finding time, mostly.
  • InstallSite is reporting that Microsoft has revoked MSI 3.1 and the links to the download are no longer available.
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