In September of 2008 I was happy to announce a a free repackaging tool called AppDeploy Repackager. It was a fairly simple, freeware product (no INI support, MSM support– just a simple snapshot and build tool) but it was well received. It created not only an MSI file as output but also an XML based “recipe file” for sharing. This recipe file contained only pointers and no personally identifiable information, but could be used to build a setup on a machine where the application was installed with no repackaging or cleanup required. Funding dried up before I could realize the vision of a platform to promote sharing but there was a forum for sharing the files on AppDeploy that saw limited use.
It took about 4 months and 18k to build as a helpful tool that would increase awareness of AppDeploy and it’s owner KACE. I wanted to build it because there were no freeware repackager tools available and I thought the sharing concept would be well received by the AppDeploy community who were already sharing written out instructions on building packages for deployment.
The announcement of AppDeploy Repackager included the following description…
The AppDeploy Repackager the only free tool dedicated to repackaging. While competitive products like Wise Package Studio (Altiris), Admin Studio (Acresso, formerly Macrovision/InstallShield) and MSI Studio (ScriptLogic) provide a full GUI environment for authoring setups, the AppDeploy Repackager is focused on the simple task of repackaging. These other tools can be very expensive and complex—the very opposite of AppDeploy Repackager.
AppDeploy Repackager is the only tool that produces a sharable project file that can be leveraged by the community. All others include registry data that may contain personally identifiable information and even license information, which make sharing of work impossible.
The AppDeploy Repackager introduces a free, easy-to-use snapshot tool for the creation of Windows Installer (MSI) setup packages. The AppDeploy Repackager is designed as a tool for administrators who need to migrate legacy application setups to the preferred Windows Installer format. Even better, it does this utilizing an open and sharable project file format so that users can contribute to and benefit from the collective efforts of the active AppDeploy community.
The AppDeploy Repackager offers:
A simple wizard based interface that walks you through the process of migrating legacy installations to Windows Installer format
A shareable file format lets you share your packages and leverage those shared by your peers
An exclusion list which includes a description field for flagging items that do not belong in packages
The ability to run from network share to better keep your reference computer free of unnecessary changes;
A freeware solution available to KBOX users and the AppDeploy community