Patch vs. QuickPatch Project

InstallShield 2013

Project: This information applies to the following project types:

Basic MSI
InstallScript MSI
QuickPatch

To update a product without distributing a complete, updated installation package, you can create a Windows Installer patch package (.msp). InstallShield provides two different patch creation alternatives serving different scenarios: one method uses the Patch Design view, and the other uses the QuickPatch project type. Find the appropriate solution for your product by reading about both alternatives below.

Note: Major upgrades are typically not packaged as patches. Therefore, the table below assumes that the patch created through the Patch Design view is for a minor upgrade or a small update. QuickPatch projects produce QuickPatch packages that serve as minor upgrades.

Patch vs. QuickPatch Project

Requirement for the Patch

Use a Patch?

Use a QuickPatch?

Note

Ability to apply many cumulative patches that update a base package

Yes

Yes, if you are using QuickPatch streamlining

If you are not using QuickPatch streamlining, you cannot patch more than 15 times. For more details, see Specifying Whether to Streamline the QuickPatch Package.

Add a new subfeature

Yes

No

 

Add a new component to a new subfeature

Yes

No

 

Add a new component to an existing feature

Yes, if the version of Windows Installer is 2.0 or later

No

Windows Installer 1.x requires new components in an upgrade package to be placed in new features for minor upgrades and small updates; it also requires special command-line handling.

Add, modify, or remove a file

Yes

Yes

A new target destination cannot be used for a new file in a QuickPatch; only destinations that were previously defined in the original installation can be used for new files. This limitation does not exist for patches that are created through the Patch Design view.

Add, modify, or delete registry data

Yes

Yes

All new registry data being added with a QuickPatch must be associated with a feature that already exists in the original installation.

Add, modify, or delete a shortcut

Yes

No

 

Add, modify, or delete custom actions

Yes

Can only delete custom actions that were included in the original base installation.

 

Add or remove a redistributable

Yes

No

 

Add, modify, or remove ODBC resources

Yes

No

 

Edit an .ini file

Yes

No

 

Edit an .xml file

Yes

No

 

Configure server settings such as IIS Web sites, component services, and SQL scripts

Yes

No

 

Digitally sign files (such as your application’s executable files) in the patch package

Yes

Not automatically

For QuickPatch projects, you must manually sign the individual files and then add them to your project.

Using the Patch Design View

The Patch Design view provides an integrated, visual method for creating patches and selecting the proper settings associated with each patch configuration you create. You can create multiple patch configurations in the Patch Design view. Each patch configuration contains the settings and data required to build a patch.

In most cases, you will begin patch creation in the Patch Design view. If you are looking for a simple patching solution, you can create a QuickPatch project.

Using the QuickPatch Project

The Create New QuickPatch Wizard, which is launched when you create a QuickPatch project, is targeted at installation authors who want to ship small updates to their users. It provides a simpler alternative to patch creation in the Patch Design view.

Although customization is limited when you create a patch by using a QuickPatch project, it produces the same deliverable types as the Patch Design view: .msp and .exe files.

See Also