Go to main entry page of Dennis Bareis' Site (lots of free software, commented links and information) MSIDIFF (v08.233) - Decompiles Windows Installer Databases (MSI, MSM etc) Go to main entry page of Dennis Bareis' Site (lots of free software, commented links and information)
Microsoft awarded me an MVP in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (windows Installer) area.

MSIDIFF is freeware to compare or disassemble Windows Installer databases (a "MSI to TEXT" utility). The output can also be understood by my MAKEMSI tool (it is an easy way to produce MAKEMSI scripts).

While MSIDIFF is a command line based tool, the installer creates shell extensions so that the decompile operations can also be invoked by right clicking on a file in Explorer:

The following is some sample output of a compare between two databases (where the only change was the insertion of a new property "ABCDEFG"):

    #include "OpenMsi.MMH"
    <$Msi 'out\Tweek.mm\Msi\After.msi' Template='out\Tweek.mm\Msi\Before.msi'>
        <$Table "Property">
           #(
               <$Row
                   Property="ABCDEFG"
                      Value="C:\"
               >
           #)
       <$/Table>
    <$/Msi>
    

As you can see from the above "difference output", it is in a format which is very easy to read (unlike that of other tools I have seen, for example the "WiDiffDb.vbs" tool from the Windows Installer SDK).

A common use for this tool is to automate changes you wish to apply over and over again to MSIs produced by other tools. To do this you start by first manually making (and testing) the proposed changes using a table editing tool similar to the free "ORCA" tool and then using MSIDIFF to generate the code to perform these changes. The generated output (typically with minor changes) is then executed via my free MAKEMSI tool (you may have made it more generic so parameters are passed into it).

You can also use my PPWIZARD tool to post process the output if you wish, there is an example in the documentation which includes the contents of the "InstallUISequence" table in a HTML document.

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DOWNLOAD MSIDIFF v08.233

Download MSIDIFF (207,870 bytes) from here.

The installer installs documentation which is also available online.



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Friday July 11 2014 at 7:16pm
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