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OS/400 Edition
Volume 3, Number 10 -- March 11, 2003

InstallShield Ships New Version of Multiplatform Installation Utility

by Alex Woodie

InstallShield last week launched MultiPlatform 5.0, the latest edition of its cross-platform installation solution for OS/400, Windows, Unix, Linux, and Mac OS platforms. With this release, InstallShield introduces support for Mac OS X and for more flavors of Unix. InstallShield 5.0 also enables developers and vendors who use InstallShield to get their customers up and running more quickly than before, to distribute executables in more formats, and to customize installations according to InstallShield's customers' needs.

InstallShield MultiPlatform offers benefits to both users and developers. For software developers who write to more than one platform, InstallShield MultiPlatform eliminates the process of writing, testing, and maintaining installers that work on each platform's specialized packaging process, which saves time and money. For users, the InstallShield Wizard standardizes installation and provides a familiar graphical user interface and sequence of events, eliminating a potentially confusing manual installation using shells and command lines, and generally making the installation experience less painful.

InstallShield was originally developed about 10 years ago to guide the process of safely installing and removing programs on PCs running the Windows operating system. The product grew in popularity and soon began attracting the attention of enterprise system vendors, including Sun Microsystems and IBM. Big Blue began working with the Schaumberg, Illinois, company to build support for AIX and OS/400 into the installation utility, and in 1999 InstallShield announced support for the AS/400, with InstallShield for Java 2.5. (InstallShield for Java was renamed InstallShield MultiPlatform with the 4.5 release in the fall of 2001.) Today, over 250 million PCs are running InstallShield software and hundreds of developers and ISVs around the world are using it for OS/400 application deployment. Some of the ISVs who target OS/400 and use InstallShield include Attachmate, EMC, Geac, Hummingbird, Intentia International, J.D. Edwards, Lawson Software, SAP, and SSA Global Technologies.

In addition to Mac OS X and generic Unix support, InstallShield MultiPlatform 5.0 gives developers more customization options than they previously had. Support for Java Swing in Version 5.0 lets developers brand their installations with their own background images and company logos, instead of viewing the standard InstallShield colors and logos. Besides graphical interfaces developed with Swing, the product supports graphical interfaces developed with Abstract Window Toolkit, and also supports Wizards running in text-based console mode and silent mode.

The new version also includes several new features to help get installations up and running faster, including new actions that developers can use to adjust the total required disk space, to launch a Web browser, to search for files, and to install Windows shared files, the company says. It also is now possible to move, copy, or delete files or directories during installation.

InstallShield supports OS/400 V4R4, V4R5, and V5R1. OS/400 users must have a supported Java Virtual Machine, which are versions 1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3, or 1.4. Developers can purchase InstallShield MultiPlatform 5.0 for $2,499, which provides a single user license for one machine. Existing customers can upgrade to Version 5.0 for $1,149. For more information, go to

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InstallShield Ships New Version of Multiplatform Installation Utility

News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

Publisher and
Advertising Director:

Jenny Thomas

Advertising Sales Representative
Kim Reed

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