Since April 2005 all of our CD software builds have been based on the Installshield / Windows MSI installer. Prior to this we had used the InstallShield 16 bit Windows installer but in line with other developers we moved over to this more modern system. It has proved extremely reliable in operation.
Our web downloads have since mid-October 2006 also been MSI based.
Basic Windows MSI Installer Process:
Whenever a new installation is attempted the installer checks whether an existing installation of the product is present on the machine. If there is one then (assuming the new version is later), the previous version is un-installed (i.e. files deleted) and replaced with the later version. In doing so any user database and other files remain unchanged.
If the installation is of the same version as already found on the machine then the user is invited to Modify / Repair / Delete the installation (Repair is always the correct option to choose).
Accidental installation of an older version over a newer may be prevented by the installer - there are technical reasons why in certain instanced it might not. All CD's have both a date and version number marked on them and the opening screen of each application details the version number. Should such an older version be accidentally installed then, as in all other instances, the end-user data files etc will remain unchanged.
For many years all our software products have installed themselves into either a default folder or a folder specified by the end-user. This continues with the latest builds, with the names of the default installation folders being unchanged:
PALLETMANAGER : C:\PMNT ; CARGOMANAGER: C:\CARGONT; SLIPSHEET MANAGER: C:\SLIPSHEET . Whilst these do NOT conform to current Microsoft standards those installing can continue to choose to install into folders according to local practice. All application files and user files are located in the installation folder or, in some instances, sub-folders of the installation folder.
Both past releases and the latest releases are also constructed so that end-user files (application databases, data files, default values etc) are never over-written when (say) a new release is installed 'over the top' (i.e. into the same folder) as an earlier release.
Thus installations of the new Windows Installer (MSI) based files into a folder containing files installed using previous methods will retain end-user files.
However, users should be aware of certain differences between the previous install procedure and the newer MSI approach:
The change over to the new installation procedure will, we believe, not be of concern to any users as we have continued to follow the installation 'rules' used by the previous installation process.
Gower Optimal Algorithms Ltd, Swansea, U.K.
Page last updated 14th November 2006.