December, 07, 2018
PACE Suite 5.0 introduces Package Designer, which enables you to edit MSI packages even if you lack advanced packaging knowledge. Our helpful and intelligent wizards do the hard work for you – read on to learn what else is new in PACE Suite 5.0!~
Please welcome PACE Suite 5.0 – our major release, which crowns our massive undertaking of 2018 – full and complete re-engineering (not a mere redesign!) of editing packages in MSI Editor.
We introduce Package Designer – easy and comprehensive UI, rich with highlighting, validation rules, smart wizards and more, that makes editing MSI packages tremendously easier. Even if you lack advanced packaging knowledge, MSI Editor will do the heavy lifting and help you create high-quality working packages. Many of the features buried deep in the tables are now brought to light with the help of Package Designer (though fear not – Tables Editor is still there for those of you who like to do things old-fashioned way).
PACE Suite 5.0 elevates MSI authoring to the next level of modern, user-friendly application packaging. We dare you to find an alternative to this unique combination of functionality and usability – it’s better to spend time enjoying this new release.
Easier navigation in MSI Editor
To make the navigation through package resources easier, we grouped the existing views under new Package Designer tab. Package Designer extends the beloved user experience from the Files and Registry tabs to other tabs, such as Shortcuts, Features-Components, and Properties
This tab has the following groups: (1) Package resources group that displays content of the package, installed to the target system; and the (2) Package configuration group that defines package structure and settings. More views will be added in the next releases.
New Shortcuts tab
Enjoy a user-friendly tree list view on the Shortcuts tab and find all LNK and URL shortcuts from both “Shortcut” and “IniFile” tables. This view makes it easier to see all shortcuts of all folders – just click Expand all to see everything that is in your package.
In the tree list, you can immediately see shortcut type, advertisement option, and its target. All added, modified, or removed resources are highlighted with colours, and you can quickly undo any of your changes.
The Shortcuts tab has a vast amount of validation rules so you can fix errors before testing or saving your package. The number of validation errors is calculated and displayed in the status bar below the tree list, so you will not miss any errors.
The rich details of each shortcut are displayed in the Details pane – just click Show details to see them. You will find all available shortcut details such as icon, name, folder, shortcut type, target and others.
You can edit shortcut’s details, create new ones, move shortcuts to a designated location – all in a couple of clicks! Please refer to the Release Notes for more details.
New Features and components tab
Akin to the Shortcuts tab, Features and components tab displays features, components and resources, linked with the components.
In the tree list, you can immediately see feature options, empty and non-empty components, component key path, conditions, presence of the 64-bit attribute, resources, linked with the components. Again, handy highlighting, ability to revert your changes, and validation rules helps you create high-quality packages.
Use the Details Pane to review the rich details of each resource. For instance, for features, you can review title, identifier, description, folder and attributes such as Initial installation state, installation type, display and advertise options. For components, you can review its name, GUID, conditions, folder, key path, attributes and relationship between the features. For linked resources, you can review their content showcased in tables.
You can also edit all above-mentioned details for each resource in their respective Property windows.
New Properties tab
We have not forgotten about package properties. The new Properties tab gathers properties from different places of a package and displays them in one location. This view displays initial property values and their further modifications by other tables. Properties are read from the Property, AppSearch, CustomAction, and UI tables such as CheckBox, ComboBox, Control, etc.
The property filters allow to control what properties will be displayed. Also, you can add new properties and modify existing ones via the Edit window.
New Summary Information tab
We listened to our users’ requests and redesigned the way Summary Information is displayed. It allows you to easily find necessary values, and the description of added values explains the meaning of that value.
Key improvement here is managing Summary Information of the applied transform (MST) file.
As usual, lots of validation rules help you ensure your package is of the highest quality. For instance, if a package contains 64-bit components, and the 32-bit compatible platform is selected, you will get the validation error that allows you to fix this issue before saving the package.
That is definitely not all! You can find detailed description of the new features in PACE Suite 5.0 Release Notes. Don’t forget to check our PACE Suite User Manual – your go-to guide to software packaging with PACE Suite.