There are some popular tools used to package Mac OS-X Applications. Some of them below with their Pro's and Con's.
PackageMaker tool is Apple's utility for creating packages. It is available as part of the Xcode Tools, and also included with the Server Admin Tools. It can create every package format supported by Apple:
· old-style bundle packages,
· new-style flat packages,
· distribution packages, and hybrid packages that work on multiple OS versions.
1. PackageMaker is a supported Apple tool and is free.
2. Many of the other tools rely on PackageMaker for at least some of their functionality.
3. It allows you to make remote installation using Apple Remote Desktop(1.1 or later).
4. Set file permissions and add custom scripts.
1. It freezes up when we take snapshot for huge applications or while creating .pkg for them.
2. There is no uninstall solution provided by Apple's PackageMaker.
InstallEase is an another package creation utility created by Absolute Manage (formerly LANrev) which is freely available.
1. Ease of use
2. It can create "uninstall" packages.
3. Creation of packages from filesystem snapshots.
4. Automated snapshots - before / after
5. Manual package creation
6. Install to the current user directory for files and applications that you want only available to a specific user.
7. Install files into every home directory of all users on the target machines.
8. Set file permissions.
9. Exclusion filters.
10. Output to multiple formats at a single instance
o Apple Installer (.pkg)
o Uninstaller package for Apple Installer (.pkg)
o Iceberg project (.packproj)
o Disk image with added files and folders (.dmg)
1. Installer packages created with InstallEase can be installed on
Mac OS X 10.5 and above. If you need to install on earlier versions of
Mac OS X, use a version of InstallEase earlier than 2.0 to create the package.
2. No option to add custom scripts.
Composer is a paid utility from JAMF Software. Part of the Casper Suite of OS X client management tools, Composer is also available separately. Casper Composer creates packages based on filesystem snapshots. When used with the Casper suite, it can create installation packages with extra abilities such as installing default preferences into users' home directories.
1. Easy to use. Good documentation.
2. Creation of packages from file system, new snapshot method and new and modified Snapshot method where it captures files even if it is modified.
3. Possible to build OS packages
4. Composer allows us to create a package source from the software that is pre- installed on the computer based on package manifests.
5. Composer allows us to capture settings configured on the computer, such as Dashboard, Display, and Global Preference settings.
6. Composer allows us to make modifications to an existing package or convert between the PKG and DMG package formats.
7. Set file permissions and add custom scripts.
1. It's not free.
2. It does not create Uninstall packages.
3. Takes lot of time to capture changes, when using snapshot method.
Check My Blog for more details - http://app2pack.blogspot.com/