Script Packaging Step-by-Step: Version Information

We examine Version Information in this post as we continue our series about the SAPIEN Script Packager settings.

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File Properties

Version Information is stored in the resources of an executable file. A user can right-click on a file, select Properties, and view what this particular application is for and who created it:

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Packager – Version Information

Among all the fields describing the application, there are two version numbers. The File Version and the Product Version are important indicators to distinguish subsequent builds of your application.

We highly recommend checking the Auto-increment file version box to increment your file and product version numbers each time you package your application and an executable file. A version number can have three or four parts, which are usually referred to as:

<major version>.<minor version>.<build number>.<revision>

The auto-increment option will increment the build number up to 99, then flip the minor version one number up and reset the build number to 0. Of course, you can manually intervene at any point, even with this option checked. The revision part of the version number can be omitted if you like; it is generally for internal use and is not all that relevant.

Product Version – Relation to Windows Installer

Incrementing the product version is essential if you are building an MSI for your application.

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You can later connect the product version information of your application to the version of your Windows Installer build. Doing so will automatically import the product version number of your application’s main executable and use it as the product version number for your MSI file.

Why is this so important? It sounds like it’s just some bookkeeping, right? When your product version number increases, a new product GUID for your MSI file is generated, distinguishing it from a previous build. This enables Windows Installer to see that this is a new version of your product. If you do not increase the product version, Windows Installer will see it as something already installed and will not run the MSI to update your application.

This is also why the revision part of your version is mainly irrelevant—the Microsoft Windows installer only evaluates the first three parts of a version number. So if you only increase the revision part in the subsequent installer build, it has no effect. We explore this in more detail when we get to the MSI builder settings in another blog series.

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