Upgrade to Java Runtime 8 now



Finally after a long developer preview phase Oracle did made it’s Runtime Version 8 to the default download on java.com

This version is also available as Direct Package Download from Ontrex Software Package Atelier – more informations about our DPD service

Packaging Tools for OS X

Finding the best tool is sometimes very difficult. This is why i show you here my favorite packaging tools for OS X.


Iceberg is an Integrated Packaging Environment (IPE) that allows you to create packages or metapackages conforming to the Mac OS X specifications. It’s easy to use and offers a lot of settings.


Absolute Manage InstallEase Package Creation Utility

Absolute Manage InstallEase Package Creation Utility is used for creating snapshots. This tool can create an project file for Iceberg. I use it only for the creation of snapshots and uninstall packages.



XCode needs to be installed in order to create uninstall packages with the Absolute Manage InstallEase Package Creation Utility. This tool can also be used for package creation.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Microsoft’s Security Update – Impact on InstallShield and InstallShield for AdminStudio (KB2962872)

2014-07-14 09_37_06-Software Licensing, Installation and Application Packaging _ Flexera Software

Flexera has released an advisory which informs that InstallShield 2011-2014 may crash after the installation of KB2962872 (MS14-037) which was released last tuesday.

Currently the only way to restore functionality is to uninstall the microsoft patch or implementing the workaround in the following article:


Flexera is working with Microsoft to resolve the issue.

Feel free to contact Ontrex SPA if you need any further assistance in this matter.

Adobe Reader X and Adobe Reader XI can be virtualized and deployed by using App-V 5.0


Microsoft has just published a new knowledge basic article regarding virtualization of Adobe Reader X/XI with App-V 5.0.

More Information:



SPA Team

Do’s & Don’ts regarding Client Design


Customized Shortcut Locations

Why? People are getting used to certain pattern/schematics. Starting office right from Office Folder is the way they are also used at home. Going through some special fancy menu design (e.g Standard Applications/Office Application/Office 2010/) just wastes time and is sometimes very difficult to implement for some software installers (e.g Adobe CS5)

Quicklaunch Icons

Why? Because they are anyway obsolet for Windows 7. And they are stored Per-User, so youll have to implement CU Duplication Mechanism (ActiveSetup, Advertised Shortcut) just to deploy them.

(All Users) Desktop Icons

Why? 1. They cant be deleted by non administrativ users which leads to 2. May result in helpdesk calls for deleting a full blown desktop.

Change every application setting

Why? Keep it simple! Every configuration change leads to greater complexity which in turn increases the complexity for packaging the software. There are of course Exceptions: Server configurations & settings regarding the corporate identity (e.g default fonts, font size etc.)

Folder Redirection

Why? Redirecting folders may sound like a good idea. But why? There are many programs which have a problem with UNC Path. There are many older Java Application which simply wont work if you redirect the APPDATA Folder onto an UNC Path


Lockdown the user rights!

Why? Nowadays there is nearly no application which cannot be run without administrator rights. and even if they claim/need it there are several workarounds available: Shims, Selective permission changes (INSTALLDIR e.g), Manifest Tricks (AsInvoker)

BGInfo Background

Why? The first action of any helpdesk technician is to connect remotely to the users computer. A nice bginfo background instantly informs the user about any relevant fact, even last boot time or free hard disc space is immediately available.

Create an additional Data Partiton [Power Users, Notebook Users]

Why? Somestimes a local data directory comes in very handy. Many Power Users like to have some files temporary on his/her local computer before moving them to the network drive.

E.g extracting ZIp Files, local cache directories for power user applications. However instruct the users about the non-existing backup of this drive 🙂

General advise

Keep everything as default as possible: As you possibly can imagine a vendor can not test his application for all varieties of application configuration. The more you are staying at the base the more the program will react as the vendor has intended.




Wise Script requires a higher edition


The last version of Wise Script Editor has been released by Flexera Software in the year 2012.

It is a stand-alone installer called WiseScript Package Editor.msi and can be downloaded here.

In order to run the Wise Script Editor you must run AdminStudio for Symantec otherwise you will get the following message:

Running Wise Script Editor with AdminStudio from Flexera will return ‘This feature requires a higher edition of AdminStudio’.

WIS requires a higher version

AdminStudio for Symantec is not anymore available, it has been discontinued by Flexera Software and  replaced with AdminStudio 2013 from Flexera Software.

The Wise Script Editor  is not  part of AdminStudio 2013 from Flexera Software. If you have purchased AdminStudio for Symantec it’s possible to get the correct Wise Script Editor.

Simply use the Flexera Customer Support to submit a request for obtaining the Wise Script Editor.

AdminStudio 2013 R2 SP1

Flexera has released the first service pack for AdminStudio 2013 R2.

The updated SP1 installer (full version) can now be downloaded from the “Product and License Center”.



This is a bugfix release only. the full list of changes/fixes is available in the release notes.





Nullsoft Winamp shutdown

Download (2)


Nullsoft known as vendor in software packaging for its NSIS, a leading open source installation system, did announce to set the product Winamp end of life.

Winamp has been sold to AOL in 1999 and Nullsoft became a division in AOL.

The Winamp shutdown does not affect the NSIS software but it’s support forum.



Active Setup and Per-User/Per-Machine registry

The Windows Installer allows you to create a setup which will dynamically writes registry keys into either  HKCU or HKLM. This behaviour is then controlled by the “ALLUSERS” Property.

The Windows Installer Help describes this feature as follow:

 Constant  Hexadecimal  Decimal  Root key
 (none)  – 0x001  -1  If this is a per-user installation, the registry value is written under HKEY_CURRENT_USER.If this is a per-machine installation, the registry value is written under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Note that a per-machine installation is specified by setting the ALLUSERS property to 1.

We will now provide an example to illustrate this behaviour:



In this MSI I have chosen the “AppDataFolder” system property as Value  in order to check the resolved path. The path will be different for each user because its an per-user defined system property.

If you install this key with the ALLUSERS Property set to “1” the result will be as following:


The key will be installed into HKLM however the property will be resolved according to the current installing user.

If you install this application again with ALLUSER set to “2”  the result will look like this:


More details about this behaviour/feature can be obtained from the following MSDN Article:


Conclusion: The registry root parameter can be used to dynamically write the registry keys into HKCU or HKLM  based on the current installation context (Per-User <> Per-Machine)

But what happens if you have a per machine installation which contains an active setup mechanism?

Let’s have a deeper look into it:

We add all corresponding registry keys, features and components to the MSI  which are required  for a fully functional Active Setup.

Now let’s install the MSI under system account with ALLUSER=1 and check the example registry key.

The Result is:


Now log off and log on with a standard user account and check the key again and something unexpected happened. As you see the key changed to:


What happend?

The Property ALLUSERS sets the installation to a  machine installation and the Active Setup will be execute with the following option “/fu” (all required user-specific registry entries).

During the active setup the windows installer will repair the MSI in User Context and only user-specific registry keys will be rewritten (“/fu” parameter). All “-1” however are simply considered as “user based keys” even the ALLUSERS property is set to “1”. Because the repair works with elevated priviliges this HKLM key will now be rewritten using the current users [AppDataFolder] value.

Our conclusion

We will kindly advice you not to use “-1” in the root column of the Registry table in a windows installer database in conjunction with active setup. Also bear that in mind when you are adding activesetup to an existing vendor msi (Transform).


SPA Team

Gridmetric’s Application Virtualization Explorer 3.0 is out now! (with App-V 5.0 support)

We are very pleasured to notice the announcement of Gridmetric’s Application Virtualization Explorer 3.0 with App-V 5.0 Support.

As one of our favourite tool of choice for app-v editing and customization we were really looking forward to this release.

We will include this tool into our existing App-V 5.0 Workshop documents and hope to rocket speed also your App-v 5.0 package production!


You can find more information about the new release on gridmetrics blog!


SPA Team