MAKEMSI quickly and reliably creates MSI files in a non-programmatic way
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\->Windows Installer FAQ (the basics)->Properties

Windows Installer Basics: Properties

Properties are used by Windows Installer to supply information to you about all sorts of things about the computer, operating system and user, for example "system folder properties" describe per-user and per-machine directory locations. They are similar to "variables" in a program in that they hold information which may vary, see the "Formatted Strings" section for how they can be used.

Properties are stored in the "Property" table and may also be initialized by Windows Installer processing or specified on the command line. Their value can be "tested" in conditions and can be written to ini files, registry etc.

Some MAKEMSI commands that set properties are:

Windows Installer also creates properties for all directory keys listed in the "Directory" table.

Types of Properties

There are three types of properties (identified by the case of the characters in its name):

  1. Mixed Case
    A mixed case property such as "MsiHiddenProperties" is reserved by Windows Installer.

    It is recommended that you should not set or update variables of this type! Although from what I can see Microsoft don't follow this standard in their example "uisample.msi"!

  2. ALL UPPER CASE
    Properties of this type (such as "INSTALLDIR" or "MY_DATA_BASE") are called "public properties" and can be overriden on the command line.

    You may wish to read the "Not All PUBLIC Properties are Supported by MSIEXEC.EXE" section.

  3. all lower case
    Properties with all lower case letters such as "my_data_base" are called "private properties" and can't be modified via the command line and so are "protected".

More Information / Examples

See the "sample properties" section for some specific examples that were captured during an install.

Some property related pages are:

Links to Property Related Resources


Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.Please email me any feedback, additional information or corrections.
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Sunday February 28 2016 at 3:45pm
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Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.