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Chapter 13. Customizing Contribute's Hel... > Deploying Customizations to Users

Deploying Customizations to Users

In the race to get customized versions of Contribute to your user base, the last leg—deployment—used to be the most difficult to accomplish. In previous versions of Contribute, there was no straightforward path to provide custom installations; the best that could be hoped for was a two-stage operation in which the standard Contribute installer was executed, and then a custom installer added personalized files on top of the default deployment.

With Contribute 3, the final step in the journey to customization is a relative walk in the park. Starting with this version, Contribute uses the Microsoft Windows Installer technology, also known as MSI. An MSI file contains the files to install and the installation instructions. Although there are tools available for creating an MSI file from scratch, with Contribute you don't have to do that. As long as you have an original MSI file—which is included in the CD-ROM release of Contribute—and your own custom files, your users can install personalized versions of the software.


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