Upgrading from Tarma QuickInstall

InstallMate 9 is a completely rewritten successor to Tarma QuickInstall 2.x. Even though its overall purpose remains the same, version 9 has many more features and uses a different internal design than version 2 did. The following table summarizes the most important differences.

Item Tarma QuickInstall InstallMate 9
Basic functionality Installation and removal of folders, files, shortcuts Same, but with many new options
System editing Installation and removal of registry values, INI file values, and environment variables Same, but with many new options. In addition, service installation and removal is now directly supported.
Selective installation Limited to simple conditions Fully component-based; can be selected at installation time. A full complement of conditions is also supported.
Installer actions Limited custom actions; fixed built-in action sequences All action sequences can be fully edited; many new custom action types.
Installer user interface Limited to predefined Setup.exe stubs All user interface elements and dialogs can be fully edited without special tools. The entire user interface sequence can be redesigned (or removed) if desired.
Installer types Self-extracting or plain file Self-extracting. Parallel packages allow you to create multiple installer variations from the same project.
Multilingual installers US English only, per-language, or multilingual Default language only, per-language, or multilingual
Localization Readme and License texts can be localized; file installation can be made language-specific. The user interface localization is limited to the predefined language DLLs. Virtually any aspect of the installation package can be localized. Localization can be done piecemeal on an item-by-item and language-by-language basis. All user interface elements can be localized.
Project files Essentially ANSI-encoded .ini files. See details below. Unicode-encoded XML or QML files. See details below.

Project files

InstallMate can open projects created with Tarma QuickInstall 2, version 2.21 and later. When opening a Tarma QuickInstall 2 ("Tin2") project, the project contents are automatically converted to the InstallMate structure and conventions. The original Tin2 project is not modified; when you save a converted project, it is stored in a new InstallMate project file. Tarma QuickInstall 2 cannot handle InstallMate projects.

To support all new InstallMate features, the InstallMate project file format was completely redesigned. The new InstallMate format is based on XML 1.0 in Unicode encoding for ExpertInstall 3, Installer 5, and InstallMate 7; from InstallMate 9 onward, the project file format uses QML, a C-like markup syntax developed internally by Tarma Software Research.

If you used tools to modify the Tin2 project files outside of the InstallMate development environment, you will have to adapt them to handle the new format. The following table summarizes the most important differences between the Tin2 and the InstallMate formats.

Item QuickInstall 2 ExpertInstall 3, Installer 5, InstallMate 7 InstallMate 9
Project file extension .tin .tip, .im7 .im9
Project file encoding ANSI (using the default code page) Unicode (UTF-8 or UTF-16) Unicode (always UTF-8)
Project file format Derived from Windows .ini files XML 1.0 QML (internal Tarma markup format)
Localization Limited to the default code page Full Unicode 4 support, except for surrogates Full Unicode 6 support, except for surrogates
Editable? Yes, with any plain text editor or tool Only with Unicode-enabled text editors and tools Only with Unicode-enabled text editors and tools
Structure Mostly flat, with a few nesting levels Fully nested, follows XML 1.0 syntax rules Fully nested, follows QML syntax rules
Robustness Forgiving of minor errors Unforgiving; requires precise adherence to Unicode encoding and XML syntax rules Unforgiving; requires precise adherence to Unicode encoding and QML syntax rules

Automatic conversion of Tin2 projects

When you open a Tarma QuickInstall 2 project in InstallMate, the project contents are automatically converted to InstallMate conventions. After conversion to InstallMate conventions, you can rebuild your project. The resulting installer should be equivalent to the original Tin2 installer.

The table below shows where the Tarma QuickInstall 2 project pages went in InstallMate. Click on the Tarma QuickInstall 2 links for detailed conversion information, or on the InstallMate 9 links for information about the new project pages.

Subject Tarma QuickInstall 2 InstallMate 9
Project management TIN Assistant Project manager
Product information Project Product info
File and folder installation Project - Files Files and folders
Shortcut installation Project - Shortcuts Files and folders
Installer options Installation Installer options
Readme text Installation - Readme RichTexts
License agreement Installation - License RichTexts
Localization Installation - Languages Languages
Target system requirements Installation - Requirements Requirements
Installer customization Installation - Graphics Bitmaps
Advanced installer options Advanced Installer options
User interface
Registry editing Advanced - Registry Registry
INI file editing Advanced - INI Files INI files
Environment variables Advanced - Environment Environment Variables
Installer actions Advanced - Actions Actions
Symbolic variables Advanced - Variables Variables
Build process Build Project overview
Build log file Build - Log File n/a (log file is still written)