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What's Ahead for Flexera Software

This is a continuation of the interview I had with Blair Symes (marketing manager for Flexera Software) about InstallShield. In this part of the interview, I wanted to ask about what the company's product does for its customers now and what they expect to deliver.

Peter Vogel: What do you see InstallShield doing for your customers?
Blair Symes: We want to make it easy for developers to handle even the most complex installation requirements with minimum effort for desktop, web, server, and mobile applications. So automated tools and wizards and easy-to-use project views are important to keep installation authoring simple while cutting down development time. But we also include advanced features to give developers complete control of installation behavior as well as the look, feel, and functionality of installer dialog boxes. We also support the entire application lifecycle by making it easy to create updates and patches. That includes ensuring that the applications uninstall smoothly without aggravating end users.

P: Where is InstallShield going? Where do you want to take the product?
B: Many of our changes are driven by our customers changing software practices. Many software companies follow Agile Software Development best practices by building their installations from the beginning and continuously integrating them with their product builds. InstallShield Standalone Build licenses enable developers to follow Agile Software Development best practices by automating and integrating installation builds with their product builds.

Customers are also asking us for support for distributed development and deployment of installation packages. We currently provide tools like InstallShield Collaboration, Pre-requisites editor and MSI chaining to support this. But we're also looking to enhance and provide a more robust solution to support these needs and, in turn, provide a richer installation experience.

P: What do you see as the biggest change in the environment?
B: More and more software vendors providing their applications to customers as Microsoft App-V packages. It's a shift comparable to what happened with Windows Installer (MSI) ten years ago when the industry moved from script-based installs to MSI installs but this time the shift is to application virtualization. Software companies are having to provide their applications both virtual packages and traditional MSI packages. InstallShield makes that easy. When you build a traditional MSI project, InstallShield can simultaneously build it as an App-V package. It can also automatically convert your legacy MSIs to App-V packages. InstallShield handles all the conversion work, so there's no learning curve for developers new to application virtualization.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 11/30/2010

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