Product Review - EMCO MSI Package Builder - Convert EXE to MSI

Deploying applications remotely on user computer over network without client interaction seems tough for IT professionals. However, with powerful technologies and newly invented software, anyone working in the large to mid size businesses can now install applications at user machine and have full control over it.

Installing applications on client computers and devices over network are packaged in a way that allows professionals to perform no more geeky things and no intervention needed at the part of end users. Such installations is known as silent installation and packages that support silent installations is called Windows Installer (.msi) packages, only possible in Windows environments. Since popular software manufacturers deliver only traditional setup files (.exe) format which requires manual procedures and user interaction that brings new challenges for companies that wants to automate the whole deployment process.  To make this possible, tools were needed which can take .exe files and package them into .msi files, convert EXE to MSI.

About EMCO MSI Package Builder
There are bunch of utilities were already available in the market that supports virtual installations of software/applications out of which, EMCO MSI package builder is the best of its kind and inspires me to write about it here.

It has unique capabilities and many things to offer such as application compatibility testing, application format conversion suitable for application virtualization, easily migrated with system management platform etc.

You can download and install it using the link mentioned above, follow same steps as you do while installing any other Windows program. Once the program is installed on your master computer, you can immediately start deploying applications to user computer.

       

This tool incorporates Live Monitoring technology to keep track of all the file system and registry changes associated with the process of manually installing applications using its own .exe file and lets you tweak changes as per applications or services required.
EMCO MSI package builder offers easy to use wizard that lets you easily create MSI packages. You can create or convert any traditional setup file to MSI packages in two easy ways:  By manually creating a project and configuring the MSI package using its inbuilt visual editor, or use Live Monitoring technology that automatically generates MSI package for you.

Prerequisite:
  • System with administrative rights, running almost any latest copy of Windows.
  • .NET Framework 2.0 or latest.
Creating MSI packages through EMCO MSI package builder is pretty straightforward. As soon as you start the application, project wizard will automatically pops out. This is quite fast and handful to automate MSI packaging using Live Monitoring.

You can start converting any traditional setup files into MSI packages using this wizard. From the figure above, you’ll see the details about how to proceed further. As of now, click ‘Next’ to customize program capabilities.

        

You’ll need to select ‘Create MSI’ option by clicking on the radio button to simply create MSI package of any executable setup file. 

        

‘Monitor Installation’ option will automate the whole process and without asking that enough.


A warning message will appear and ask you to close any or all the background applications. You’ll also need to disable installed Antivirus applications as it could interfere with the packaging process.

         

On the next screen, you’ll have to define the path of your targeted application setup file. You can choose to name this project under a ‘Specify a name of the new project’ field.


Next screen constitutes bunch of options and fields to customize various aspects of how the application is packaged.

           

At last, few more options will presented with an option to finish MSI package creation process. The application will automatically launch installation process for the targeted application as soon as you click on ‘Finish’ button.

         

Once the setup file is converted into .msi package file, you can copy and paste them into any machine over network and perform a silent installation. The whole process seems so easier, isn’t it?

Overall Rating

4.8 Out of 5 | Our Excellent award


Final Thoughts
EMCO MSI Package builder comes in three version: Starter, Professional and Enterprise edition. You’ll get fully featured software to explore it out for 30 days at no cost after which, choose your preferred version to purchase as your budget allows.

You can deploy as many applications of different categories as you want. If at times, you run into difficulties, you can check out the help manual inbuilt with software installations (look into the ‘Help’ section of the software). However, the company has its own dedicated guide and other help resources (video guide too) here:

Free utilities were also available for same if you’re running very low or have only handful PC’s to install packages remotely. Though, EMCO MSI Package builder would be best for organizations having hundreds or even thousands of PC’s.


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