AppDeploy: Reviews: Software: Application Integration Suite v2.0

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Application Integration Suite 2.0
Note: As of version 3.0 this product is now known as Wise Package Studio

Wise Package Studio at AppDeploy.com 

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Overview: Application Integration Suite allows for the repackaging of applications into Windows Installer (MSI) packages and features a conflict checker to identify and resolve conflicts between packages prior to deployment.
Cost: Call for pricing (800) 554-8565
Operating System: Windows 9x, NT4, Windows 2000 and ME
System Requirements: Pentium II 233 or higher (350mhz+ recommended), 64mb RAM (128 recommended), 65mb HD space on boot drive, 120mb on installation drive. SVGA 800x600 (1024x768 recommended). WindowsŽ 2000, 98, 95, NT 4.0, Me (Millennium Edition), or greater. Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2, or higher. Windows Installer-based installations require the Windows Installer to be present on the destination computer.

After taking a good look at the Application Integration Suite, you will wonder why something like this did not come along sooner. Administrators are often forced to use development tools geared toward programmers in order to create a reliable customized Windows Installer package. For most administrators the goal is the creation of a relatively simple, consistent and silent application installation that can be performed remotely without breaking the other applications previously deployed. Conversely, developers have the issue of presenting various options, dialogs and work to offer a reliable, user-friendly and configurable setup for their applications. Many times these differing goals result in this installation work being done twice- the developer provides an installation routine geared to meet the needs of everyone, and it then becomes the administrator’s job to essentially strip all of this away in order to generate a simple, silent installation customized to the needs of their specific organization. Repackaging the application for deployment accomplishes this task.  To allow for the best of both worlds, Windows Installer installations are preferred by most administrators. The problem is that there are still a relatively small number of applications being shipped using Windows Installer (MSI) installations. It is becoming more and more routine for organizations wishing to take advantage of  the new MSI technology to not only repackage new applications for deployment, but migrate their old packages as well. Application Integration Suite provides an excellent solution by offering a repackaging tool that creates Windows Installer packages with an integrated conflict checking utility and a customizable process checklist. 

The suite contains two primary integrated utilities: the Package Manager and ConflictManager. The ConflictManager is available optionally in addition to the Package Manager, which itself is made up of several tools (listed below.) During installation you have the choice of installing the Package Manager locally or on a server where it may be executed over a network. Package Manager is designed not to make changes to your workstation that would cause interference with the repackaging process when installed locally. ConflictManager requires MDAC and Crystal Reports, which may adversely effect your repackaging process if installed locally- both the Package Manager and ConflictManager may be installed to a server during setup where they may be executed over the network to ensure this is not an issue. During the installation you may choose to specify an existing SQL server to connect to, or you may create a Microsoft Access database instead, for use by the ConflictManager.

A checklist is used to walk administrators through a defined set of actions that may or may not have a “run” button alongside it to launch an associated tool. This view is referred to as the project’s “Workbench”.


You can add or remove any steps you wish to include and an optional utility may be associated with each item. An accompanying page of information about each task is presented for each (not shown in the graphic above.) The sample project included gives you an excellent starting point to work from. You can add your own custom tools to the impressive list of those included, but you probably won’t need much more than these:

  • Windows Installer Editor [see image]

  • WiseScript Editor

  • SetupCapture Configuration

  • SetupCapture MSI

  • SetupCapture WiseScript

  • OS Snapshot

  • Application Watch – MSI

  • Application Watch – WiseScript

  • InstallTailor

  • Patch Wizard

  • Windows 2000 Verification Wizard

  • Import SMS / WiseScript

  • WinINSTALL Import Wizard

  • Distribution Wizard – MSI

  • Distribution Wizard – WiseScript

  • ConflictManager

The references here to WiseScript are for legacy packages using Wise Installer or the fully compatible SMS Installer. If this list of tools impresses you, it should. The SetupCapture Configuration tool is a wizard to help you establish the default capture settings such as if you want to capture deleted files, hardware registry entries, and deleted registry keys. This helps you establish consistency across packages in what is captured in a package for your organization. SetupCapture not only performs the task of repackaging your installation, but generates documentation which can be exported to HTML or CSV format. OS Snapshot captures your operating system so that it may be imported into the ConflictManager. InstallTailor is a tool that you may use to create transform (MST) files for your Windows Installer packages. The WinINSTALL Import Wizard will migrate any WinINSTALL package (.NAI) that you may have into a WiseScript package. It cannot import compiled executables directly; you have to convert the installation into a text file before importing. However, SMS and Wise packages may be imported directly from their compiled executables, but because the Windows Installer does differ from WiseScript actions items such as shortcut creation, graphic and billboard displays will not be translated. The Distribution Wizard can be used to facilitate the placement of packages for use on your network and is not actually used to deploy the package to target workstations. Options here include placing the package or complied executable to a network share or FTP location. 

The ConflictManager is used to detect and resolve conflicts between DLL, OCX and registry entries before applications are deployed. You may use the built-in rules for resolving common conflicts or customize them to meet your own organization’s standards. When conflicts are identified you can use the ConflictManager’s Resolve Wizard to resolve those not handled by your established rules.


Application Integration suite gives you an outstanding arsenal against what may have been seen as an impossible task- a way to move to a full Windows Installer library of packages for all of your current and future applications. A one hundred percent MSI package implementation offers you the ability to use the features of IntelliMirror for application deployment as well as a means for replacing missing and corrupt files at runtime. The ability to establish and easily follow a consistent process using the same rules to handle conflicts prior to deployment gives you your best chance at success in implementing Windows Installer packages in your environment today.

Discuss package creation issues with others in our package creation message forum.

Bob Kelly 

Note: Application Integration Suite is now known as Wise Package Studio



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