I am considering investing in PackageCleaner and adding it to my repackaging toolbox. I am interested in how many contributors to this forum are using it, and in their reviews.

Thanks to all who respond,

craig --<>.
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If you don't mind a somewhat bias opinion- I think it is great! I say bias because the application was my idea, and while I did not actually write the code for it- I have spent months dumping my brain into its database and testing packages with it. On top of that, any feedback or questions we get about items people are unsure of are investigated and the database is updated accordingly- so it becomes a more and more valuable tool all the time.
Answered 03/10/2004 by: bkelly
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Are there any plans to announce a subscription so that a user can keep the software up-to-date beyond the $400.00 and the first year of use?

craig --<>.
Answered 03/10/2004 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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Craig,

No, not at this time. Currently you get 60 days of program updates for free ($249), or you can choose to pay more for a full year of program updates at the same time ($399). Database updates are always free. Upgrade protection gets you any updates released (minor or major releases). There is no "upgrade" pricing in place, so the cheapest way to ensure you have the latest version of the program is to keep up with the annual upgrade support each year ($169). We may consider a longer-term upgrade protection option, but I have verified that there are no plans for it at this time.
Answered 03/10/2004 by: bkelly
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Ah. Okay. I mis-read the pricing information, so my question was probably confusing to you. I thought the database updates were limited to 60 days at the $249.00 price. Thank you for clearing that up.

craig --<>.
Answered 03/10/2004 by: craig16229
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I, too, am looking for reviews of Package Cleaner. I downloaded the demo but wasn't able to do much with it (you can only work with the single, small MSI that they provide).
It looks extremely promising, but I can't actually give it a test drive (except for around the showroom floor [8D] )
Anyone out there who has used the product?

tks
Answered 03/17/2004 by: catt_zanshin
Yellow Belt

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Hi all,

Just a note to mention that Danielle and I just finished a review of PackageCleaner for MCP Magazine which will be posted within about a month. As far as we're concerned, any shop that doesn't have an expert packager on site should have one or more copies of PackageCleaner. This is a great product for the price. In fact, in our article, we were looking for an Internet-based database that would provide tips and tricks on packaging for specific products. While there is something like that on AppDeploy, we found that with PackageCleaner on site, it was almost unnecessary because PC actually tells you what to include or remove from your package. But what's even better, is that it tells you why you should do it.

As far as we're concerned, novice and experienced packagers alike should own this tool! Great job, Bob!
Answered 03/17/2004 by: nruest
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Craig
I look at PackageCleaner like VMWare. I can't do with out it. The first time I used packagecleaner the Errors, warning, and information did not come into play. What happened was I looked down the file list and found that our in-house developers hard coded urls of systems that no longer existed. If it were not for packagecleaner I would have spent a considerable amount of time trying to find out what the problem was. Right then packagecleaner paid for itself. Since then I have found errors in software that I have packaged and errors in other vendors MSI's. The only bad thing about packagecleaner is the demo. It won't let you try it out on your MSI. You won't be disappointed. [:)][:)][:)]

Dan[&:]
Answered 03/18/2004 by: dtm11103
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nruest,

Can you post a note here when that MCP article is up on the web? I keep checking from time to time and am quite interested in seeing it.

thanks,
Answered 04/06/2004 by: catt_zanshin
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Is there an eval version available?
Answered 04/06/2004 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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MSIMaker,

I would not call it an evaluation version, but a "demonstration" version. The version that you can download at http://www.packagecleaner.com/download/ is locked so that you can only view the analysis of the sample .msi that is a part of the download.

craig --<>.
Answered 04/07/2004 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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Hi Catt-zanshin,

I just spoke with our editor and he tells me that the article should be online by mid-may. I will post a new message here when it does come up.
Nelson
Answered 04/07/2004 by: nruest
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Well I looked at the "demonstration" and it looks pretty good but I'm a bit disappointed that there is no eval version. I would like to eval it and prove its worth before getting my boss to shell the money for 7 copies. I need to prove/know it will add value.
Answered 04/08/2004 by: MSIMaker
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Dear MSIMaker,

My suggestion is that you buy a single copy at first. You can purchase the lowest cost version which I believe is about $250. You should be able to pay for this out of petty cash. If you see its worth, which I'm sure you will, you can then fork out the monies to purchase the other 6 copies you need.

How's that?
Nelson
Answered 04/08/2004 by: nruest
Senior Yellow Belt

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I wouldn't waste my money on something like package cleaner unless there was a money back guarantee. I went through the a long speel with one of the sales reps for packagecleaner, and he was no help, all he said was just buy it it works. I need more proof as i work for a school district and we are publicly funded therefore all funds must be approved. Like mentioned above it is very difficult to convince your boss to shell out hundreds of dollars on something you cannot even truthfully tell him will do the job. So instead i purchased a much better product with way more features, albeit for a much larger price but it was worth every penny. Installshield even allowed me to extend my eval to 60 days for adminstudio 5.5. It has great conflict resolution and error checking, maybe not as precise as packagecleaner but close enough. I think the "demo" version is probably costing them numerous lost sales, i told the sales rep that and he said nothing. I personally feel that is a big mistake and a potentially excellent product is going to suffer at the hands of its marketing team.
Answered 04/26/2004 by: cdupuis
Third Degree Green Belt

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i fully agree cdupuis,

it is a product I dont personally need however if there wasnt an expert packager onsite it would be an issue for sure.
Answered 04/26/2004 by: jmcfadyen
Fifth Degree Black Belt

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As a user of PackageCleaner, I feel obligated to throw my two cents in. First thing is that it does just what it says it does. I don’t know why the repackaging tools themselves have not taken the effort to include its features natively, but for an extra $250 I think it is well worth the money. I use AdminStudio Professional and do not consider myself a novice by any means. I may know the obvious stuff that should be left out of a package, but knowing all the WFP files and what files are distributed in merge modules (like MDAC) is not something I will be committing to memory any time soon. It has saved me from making a couple of careless mistakes as well.

As for the demonstration, I too wanted to clean a couple of my own packages before I purchased it. The sales guy I talked to offered to clean one of my packages for me and provide a report. Not ideal, but I took him up on it and the report did show a few problems (all but one I already knew about- just testing them!). After seeing my report, I somewhat understood their idea of a “demo msi” because some packages may have only couple of simple hits, or even none- while I have found others that have several similar hits and this really doesn’t show its true capabilities very well. Plus the report was not as verbose as the information provided in the applicaiton. Like I said, I’ve gone ahead and bought it and over a large number of packages (I have over 50) I have been made aware of all kinds of things- but I have not seen any one package that showed a wide range of problems like the demo. It would be nice if there were the demo package AND the ability to clean a few of your own! But it really doesn’t matter to me any more ;) - just felt like chiming in!

-mj
Answered 04/29/2004 by: mjoni
Senior Yellow Belt

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A1 MJ. I completely agree. This tool should be in the integrated packaging environments both Wise and InstallShield make, but for some reason it's not.

The money you spend on it is well worth it in returns for making clean packages.
N
Answered 04/29/2004 by: nruest
Senior Yellow Belt

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Thank you all for your comments because I'm pitching it to the boss and I'll point him at this URL and let him decide.

We have a few new starters in our team and I think it will benefit them greatly to have a tool to point out "problems".
Answered 05/04/2004 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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Just wondering what happened to that MCP magazine review. I've checked mcpmag.com and cannot find it there. Was it printed in the magazine but just not online?

Thanks! [:D]
Answered 06/15/2004 by: mjoni
Senior Yellow Belt

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mjoni,

The review is finally up:
http://www.mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?EditorialsID=420
Answered 07/01/2004 by: bkelly
Red Belt

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Good article Bob....now once everyone gets it we will be out of work and come and sleep on your couch :)
Answered 07/02/2004 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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