This material is primarily for developers who want to write tools that create new installer packages and who need detailed information about the installer's relational database. Complete installer packages are adopted by application developers as an efficient means to manage the installation of their applications. Knowledge of the installation database is also useful to application developers and administrators who want to modify existing installer packages and installation processes using custom actions. For general information on Windows Installer and component management technology, see About Windows Installer.
The installer database contains all the necessary information for the installation of an application. Therefore developers of tools for the creation of install packages and developers creating install packages without using such tools need to understand the installer database. The major areas of functionality of the installer database are presented in the following topics: