Install Time™ Help - Build Settings

Build Settings allow the installation developer to customize the type of installation media to create.

What is in this section

  • Overview
  • Build Output
  • Code Signing
  • Cabs
  • Output Directory
  • Prompting
  • Volume Labels


Build options give the installation develper control over how they desire to distribute their installation. Install Time™ allows for and installation to be created and distributed using the most common distribution methods, including; cabs inside or outside as well as wrapping the MSI into a single executable file. Executables and external cabs can be code signed for additional security. Typical distribution methods include web deployment, CD or DVD deployment and enterprise software delivery systems.

Which option is best for the application depends on the distribution system and the desired level of security. In most cases an enterprise will select the single file MSI for ease of maintenance and trust their internal security measures to protect the applications from being tampered with. ISVs or Independent software vendors who distribute primarily over the internet typically opt for a single file exe wrapper that allow them to code sign their binaries for additional security. The decision of whether to have cabs inside or outside of the MSI highly depends on network utilizations. If an application is feature rich, however typical scenerios do not install the full feature set, an installation created with a cab per feature may be desired to save on download time and network bandwidth.

Build Output

Build Output include creation of a stand alone MSI, compiling an MSI into a wrapper executable or using an executable to call an external MSI.

Select "Windows Installer File (.msi)" from the build output drop down to create this type of output.

Single File EXE:
Select "Single-file executable (.exe)" from the build output dropdown to create an executable wrapper that includes the MSI inside the executable.
  • Bootstrap Executable Icon: Choose an icon for the executable.
  • Password: Enter a password. The user installing the application is prompted to enter the password to initiate the installation. This password is the same for all users. You can protect only .EXEs with a password.

EXE with external MSI:
Select "Executable with External MSI" from the build output dropdown to create an MSI and executable that will launch the MSI. The .EXE itself is small, because it doesn't contain any runtimes or the .MSI file. This is the preferred option if you place the installation on a CD, because the .MSI does not need to be extracted to the hard drive for installation.
  • Bootstrap Executable Icon: Choose an icon for the executable.
  • Password: Enter a password. The user installing the application is prompted to enter the password to initiate the installation. This password is the same for all users. You can protect only .EXEs with a password.

Code Signing

Supply a command-line with options in order to digitally signs the installation. Apon execution, the installation exe or external cabs signature is verified. By default, the command line for signtool.exe is provided, however any commandline certificate tool can be used.


Package authors can reduce the size of their installation packages by compressing the source files and including them in cabinet files. The source file image can be compressed, uncompressed, or a mixture of both types.
CAB per Component:
Creates a cab for every component in the installation.
CAB per Feature. This is the most common approach to cab managment.
Fast Compression - Most common setting
Single Cab - Typically used with simple or small number of file applications.
External Cabs - Typically used with distributable media such as a DVD or USB Drive creating a slighly faster installation process.

• The maximum number of rows for the Component table is 65536.
• If your Windows Installer package contains more than 32767 files, you must change the schema of the database to increase the limit of the following columns: the Sequence column of the File table, the LastSequence column of the Media table, and the Sequence column of the Patch table. Transforms and patches cannot be created between two packages with different column types
• There is a maximum limit of 1600 components per feature using Windows NT/Windows 2000 and a maximum limit of 800 components per feature using Windows 95 and Windows 98. There will be a ICE47 validation warning if your package is above this limit
• For each disk or CAB file one row must be added to the Media table. Windows Installer packages are limited to a maximum of 80 Media table entries when installed using Windows Installer prior to version 2.0. The restriction of 80 Media table entries was removed with Windows Installer version 2.0
• The only compressed file type supported natively by Windows Installer is the Cabinet (CAB) format. The following limits apply to this file format.
  • No one file in a CAB can exceed 2GB
  • Maximum size of all files in one folder (compressed) 2GB
  • Maximum size of a CAB file (compressed) 2GB
  • Maximum number of files in a single CAB 64K

You can avoid these limits by splitting your setup into multiple CABs, possibly up to 64K * 2GB, or by placing your application files on the distribution disk uncompressed

Output Directory

The output directory is where the MSI will be generated on compile. If no path/file is specified, the output directory will default to the same location as the sfi project file.


The Prompt message displayed to the end user when the next CD or DVD is required to complete the installation. For example: "Savage Fly Widgets: Disk [1]", where [1] is the placeholder for the disk title.

Volume Labels

The message displayed by the message box is created from a built-in template string in the Error table. This is Error 1302 and the template string is: "Please insert the disk: [2]", and the [2] represents a placeholder for the DiskPrompt property Displays to the end user.

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