As the result of the monitoring file system, registry and other changes the MSI Package Builder project is created and filled with those changes. If the monitoring was performed via Repackage Installation wizard, all the preparation steps are performed automatically, so this chapter is interesting only to those users who are using advanced changes monitoring through the capturing abilities of MSI Package Builder.
The Prepare button from the Links group on the Project Ribbon page should be used to prepare the selected projects.
After monitoring for changes is completed, the files created and modified during the monitoring process are not available in the projects structure. The projects containing those files are marked with a red arrow overlay (), which means they are unprepared. All external files should be copied to the project structure before creating a deployment package. This is performed using the Prepare button from the Links group on the Project Ribbon page, when the project is selected.
As soon as the preparing operation is completed, you can see if it has actually succeeded by taking a look at the overlay arrow icon. If the arrow is green (), than the whole projects has been prepared successfully, and if it is yellow (), than there have been problems during the preparation process. In most cases, this means that some files were missing when the preparation was executed. Detailed information on errors is available in the Log view.
The Missing Links drop-down button from the Links group on the Project Ribbon page allows you to choose the method for resolving the problems with missing files in the selected projects. You can either remove those files, or try to check if they became available.
If the file was not accessible during the preparation process, thus not copied to the project storage, it is marked as missing. For the easier identification of the missing links a broken chain overlay icon () is displayed in the left top corner of the items in the File System view. The problems with missing links should be resolved before creating a deployment package. There are two possible scenarios of solving the missing links problem: repair and remove.
Before choosing a resolution mode, you should analyze the problems. If the missing files are temporary or not required to be created by the installer during a deployment of a generated package, they can be painlessly removed. Otherwise, you should provide access to those files and repair the missing links. You should use the Missing Links drop-down button from the Links group on the Project Ribbon page to resolve problems with missing links.
The Roll All button from the System Folders group on the Project Ribbon page should be used to replace all system folders with their definitions in the selected projects.
The Unroll All button from the System Folders group on the Project Ribbon page allows you to expand the system folder definitions to their absolute local paths in the selected projects.
For a deployment package to be installed correctly on different operating systems with different environment configurations, it is required to replace all paths that represent the system folders (such as My Documents) with a special system folder object. This object will be expanded to the full path on the destination PC during the package deployment. You can perform this step for all folders in a project at once, using the Roll All button from the System Folders group on the Project Ribbon page.
After performing those steps, the packages are fully prepared to be used for creating a deployment package.