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Leverage automation with PACE Suite 5.3

This release is a huge step forward for your favourite packaging tool. We are extremely excited to introduce PACE Suite 5.3, equipped with features that will enable you to automate many packaging tasks, as well as ensure your packages are safer, cleaner and ready for deployment than ever before, and without that much time spent on reviews and fixing mistakes. The biggest news is our brand new tool Quality Approver that automates package quality control, all the way down to preparing a test report for your packages.

We’d like to take an opportunity to thank all our users that have been requesting new features – we strongly believe that the best roadmap is the one produced jointly with the users. In this release, we are adding one of the most requested features – a support of command line. Use your favourite scripts to automate repackaging – the only challenge left is to decide what to do with all the additonal free time you’ve just got!

Also, we considerably improved the way you exclude and import resources, so that it’s easier to have a cleaner capture in the first place and produce reliable packages.

There are many other things to explore, of course: from Merge Modules integration to new filters and more – take a look at everything that’s new below and please enjoy PACE Suite 5.3!

Meet the Quality Approver

Today we are adding a whole new tool to the family of PACE Suite apps. Quality Approver is a standalone solution that automates package quality, safety and deployment readiness checks.

automated package testing

Quality Approver tests MSI package and its apps for compliance with the Desktop App Certification Program, as well as MSIX/APPX package and its apps against the Microsoft Store requirements. Quality Approver supports automated package testing on multiple virtual machines, hosted on the VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V and Oracle VirtualBox hypervisors, but it can run the tests locally as well. Finally, it offers yet another smart, step-by-step Wizard that will guide you through the whole process.

Command line support

We are excited when our users request new features – we are keen on creating PACE Suite roadmap together! In PACE Suite 5.3, we added a feature that many users craved for – a command line support for MSI Generator. The use of command line options allows automating the capturing (repackaging) process. You can now easily write a short script for running the pre-install and post-install scans with MSI Generator, apply the default filters to the captured resources and generate the package.

Merge Modules integration

We have been improving the way you work with Merge Modules (MSM) for a couple of releases already. MSM are essential for a proper delivery of the shared code, files, resources, registry entries, and the setup logic to the installed applications, and beginning from PACE Suite 5.3, MSI Generator takes care of detection and integration of the appropriate Merge Modules into your repackaged installation.

merge modules

For your convenience, we included the most common and recent Merge Modules into MSI Generator. You can find them at C:\Program Files (x86)\PACE Suite\MSI Generator\Modules. With the first installation of PACE Suite, this pool of Merge Modules will be automatically added to the default MSI settings profile.

Enhanced exclusion

Windows operating system and Windows services produce a lot of system noise (log and cache files, registry entries, etc.) that could have a negative impact on the quality of generated package. In many cases, an MSI package with a captured system noise cannot be installed as it tries to write to the system-protected locations. In this release, we enhanced our pre-defined exclusion filters in MSI Generator to filter out this system noise more efficiently. This saves the reviewing time and increases the package quality. The new filters will be applied to the captured resources by default.

exclusions filters

Filters enhacement is not the only improvement we made to help you with creating cleaner packages. When you exclude a captured library file (DLL, OCX, etc.) with all its registry entries, the newly introduced intelligent mechanism in MSI Generator detects and displays registration (COM) information, which is directly or indirectly associated with the excluded file.

association detection

With this important association information handy, you can decide whether to exclude the linked items or leave them included.

Improved import

Excluding is crucial, but we haven’t forgotten about importing resources. PACE Suite 5.3 brings improvements to management of settings for importing files and registry into MSI packages.

enhanced import

In the new version of MSI Editor, you can import resources to a package with the following feature-component assignments:
  • Create new features and components according to the packaging best practices.
  • Create new components only and link them with the selected feature.
  • Use the existing component.

But wait, there’s more!

Explore all the other exciting new features we added in this release – from new filters, displaying resources you excluded, to support of Japanese and other non-latin characters! Check PACE Suite 5.3 Release Notes for the complete description of all the new stuff. Don’t forget to check our PACE Suite User Manual – your go-to guide to software packaging with PACE Suite.

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