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Learn About Windows Installer for Windows 7

written by: Senadheera Jayakody•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 9/30/2010

Windows Installer for Windows 7 is the newest member of Windows Installer family with so many new improvements. It might be interesting to know what it has to offer.

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    Windows 7 Comes With Windows Installer 5.0 Windows Installer for Windows 7 is the latest version of the Windows Installer which was previously known as Microsoft Installer. This is useful software for new Microsoft operating systems that can be utilized for installing, maintaining and removing of software. The new edition is called Windows Installer 5.0 but so far it isn't available to download from Microsoft official website like other older versions. But it is available for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

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    Windows Installer 4.5

    In June 2008, Microsoft released Windows Installer 4.5 on the Microsoft Download Center for XP SP2+, Server 2003 SP1+, Vista, and Server 2008 platforms. It is the predecessor of Windows Installer version 5.0. You can download Windows Installer 4.5 from Microsoft download center.

    Windows Installer 4.5 had included several new features than its previous version. Those included Multiple Package Transaction, Embedded UI Handler, Embedded Chainer, custom action execution on update uninstall, etc. The latest version has more improved features that have been released with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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    Windows Installer 5.0

    Download Windows Installer 4.5 at Microsoft Download Center In this edition, a Windows Installer package is capable of securing new accounts, Windows Services, files, folders, and registry keys. Version 4.5 of Windows Installer does not perform well with a range of items present in the newer version including a few standard actions, column data types, properties, Installer Functions, database tables, Controls, Internal Consistency Evaluators, ControlEvents, etc.

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    What's New in Windows Installer 5.0?

    There are several new features in this Windows Installer for Windows 7. Some of them don’t even support its previous version as mentioned earlier.

    MsiConfigureServices Action

    In Standard Actions a new action has been added called "MsiConfigureServices Action" and it doesn’t support older versions including version 4.5. This action configures a service for the system.

    Installer Functions

    There are several additions to installer functions in new version named as MsiEnumComponentsEx, MsiEnumClientsEx, and MsiGetComponentPathEx. Each of these has specific functions such as enumerating installed components.

    Column Data Types

    Column Data Types has a new feature called FormattedSDDLText which doesn't support older versions. Its function is to assisting to secure a selected object.


    Global variables that are used by Windows Installer during an installation are called Properties. There are additions called MSIFASTINSTALL and MSIINSTALLPERUSER in the newer edition.

    Database Tables

    New tables have been added for database tables. MsiServiceConfig Table which configures a service that has installed or being installed by the current package and this is a new addition in the latest Windows Installer for Windows 7 operating system.


    In ControlEvents two new types of ControlEvents has been added. MsiPrint ControlEvent enables a user to print the content of that control. Typical use of MsiLaunchApp ControlEvent is enabling to run a file at the end of an installation for a user


    Hyperlink Control is the newly added type of control in Windows Installer for Windows 7 that displays a HTML link to an address. This has the capability of opening default browser for the computer.

    Internal Consistency Evaluators - ICEs and Automation Interface

    Also we can see some significant changes in the Windows Installer 5.0 than the previous edition.