MSI: The Template Summary

By Rory Monaghan


I have never thought of doing a blurb about the Template Summary in an MSI before but I have, for the second time in recent years encountered packagers using setting this in an inconsistent and suspect manner. For the sake of this discussion, I’m going to go ahead and talk in terms of Installshield since Wise is going bye, bye. So the Template Summary is a double edged sword. It can dictate what architect a package can be built (using the .ism project file) and also what architecture and language the package can install and be supported on. If for example you set the following:


And then you try to built the release to get your MSI on a 64-bit machine, you’ll likely get the following error:


Now, you can change the setting. Replace the Intel with Intel64 and re-build. It should build the package without error. Now what I already stated was that this Template Summary can also dictate what machine this application can install on. If you set this package to Intel64;1033 and then attempt to install on a 32-bit machine you will likely get an error stating the application cannot be installed on this architecture.  If you build a package on a 64-bit machine and you want the app to be able to install on any machine with any language settings, I suggest setting the Template Summary to ;0 after the package is built and then save with this setting.

A list of possible settings includes:

x64;1033 (64-bit system with English)
Intel;1033 (An Intel system with English)
Intel64;1033 (Intel 64-bit system with English)
;1033  (Any machine with English)
Intel ;1033,2046 (Any Intel machine with English or Japanese)
Intel64;1033,2046  (Any Intel 64-bit machine with English or Japanese)
Intel;0 (Any Intel System with any language)

So like I said, setting to ;0 ensures your package is neutral. While you can delimit and include many different languages, you cannot do the same with the architecture e.g. you can’t set Intel,Intel64.

Updating with a further comment: If you wish for your application to be a 64-bit application, you can of course set x64, as you do not wish for this app to install on any machine other than 64-bit systems.

Happy Packaging!


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