This document describes the process of packaging and delivering a software product so that it can be installed on a user’s computer. The two major methods of delivering software are manual installs and managed installs.

A manual install is the preferred delivery solution because it offers the simplest install experience for small or compact products, such as a single application package. For example, to install an application, a user may drag the application package from a CD onto a folder of their choosing.

For more complex products, managed installs let you define every aspect of the install experience, including making sure the target computer meets specific requirements. Managed installs are generally used with products comprising several components to tailor the installation of each component depending on its kind. A managed install uses installer packages that define an install experience. When users open such packages, the Installer application guides them through the installation process and copies the product files to the appropriate locations on their file system.

Network administrators can use a type of managed install, a remote install, to install a product on several networked computers using Remote Desktop. No user interaction occurs in this type of install.

This document is meant to provide software delivery guidelines to product developers, product packagers, and network administrators.

Organization of This Document

This document contains the following chapters and appendixes:

See Also