Install Expert for Palm OS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerryAbacus Wrist PDA Install Expert mobile installer

Install Expert /for mobile applications/
Package and deploy Palm OS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry mobile applications  with ease

Current release: 4.3 (See revision history)
Requirements: Windows ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista
Known issues: See record
See below
Supported devices: No limit
Required products: None
See below    
Related titles: N/A
Delivery: Electronic (instant download)

Registered users



Install Expert 4.3 comes in just two variants: Trial (Lite, Public) and Full (Professional).

The Trial version is free for download, evaluation and non-commercial use. It carries all the features of the full version, except it can only build installations in English.

It also displays the Install Expert's logo during installations and finally, it displays a registration reminder during builds.

The biggest limitation of the Trial version is that it is not granted a free license for commercial use. If you have a product that you are distributing commercially then you must purchase Install Expert.

The below table shows a quick breakdown of the major Install Expert features and their differences in the two versions:



Trial Full
Average learning time until building first installation <10 min. <10 min.
BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Palm OS application deployment Yes Yes

Ability to target device's media card (through host file system for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry and through custom installation conduit for Palm OS)

Yes Yes
Palm OS: Installation to multiple HotSync accounts Yes Yes
Palm OS: Conduit installation and registration 1 Yes Yes
Impose EULA acceptance before installation (developer selectable) Yes Yes
Component installation Yes Yes
Desktop files installation (if present) Yes Yes
Customizable executable icon, background and splash graphics Yes Yes
Uninstallation 2 Yes Yes
Command line execution (great for build automation) Yes Yes
Commercial use allowed No Yes
Technical support No Yes
Language interface extensions English only English
Extendable with language interface modules No Yes
Price $0.00 $199.00

1) Standard DLL and COM conduits supported as per Palm CDK definition; registration automatically performed upon installation. Palm COM Hotsync suite used, developers can update to the latest DLLs versions from Palm should a new release of the CDK appears.

2) Uninstall supported for the desktop portion of the installation only; InstallExpert adds uninstall entry in the Microsoft's Add/Remove programs list in Control Panel. No uninstaller provided for the device files.

Using command-line builds

One of the least advertised, but most useful Install Expert features is the ability to make builds from the command line.

For the past few years, we at BEIKS have been using this feature to build the vast majority of dictionary packages for Palm, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices. Indeed, if for every product you need to make a trial and a full build, then a branded build for various distributors, then a build for every target platform, then eventually a build for every target language...phew, it's a lot!
Did we mention the version changes?

If you have already been through the hell of releasing a second build in similar conditions you must already be looking for means to automate the process. And rightfully so!

While Install Expert does not currently include sample projects using automation, it is itself fully capable of becoming part of the automation chain - a feature, as mentioned earlier, which is heavily used and tested within BEIKS.


Java conduits

Install Expert does not currently support Java based conduits and we are not sure we want to support them in near future.

There are various pros and cons of using any tool, of course, and we do not tell you to cross Java for conduits (although that is what we have chosen to do). However, Install Expert is designed and targeted towards compact and optimized solutions, the Zen of the Palm computing platform. If you are to redistribute the whole JVM for a conduit that can be implemented in under 100 kB executable, then you probably don't care about the size of your installation anyway and might as well use the heavy artillery of installers, like Install Shield or Wise.

We would be sorry to lose a customer, but we also believe that tools should be used according to their design capabilities. As of version 4, Install Expert definitely does not provide good and meaningful ways to install Java-based applications.


Read the CDK!

Although InstallExpert is meant to save you time and efforts, it is not meant to replace the knowledge of how conduits fit in a Palm OS based solutions.

Reading and understanding the Conduit Development Kit is crucial to the success of your solution. Everything, from selecting unique database creator, to choosing the type of conduit (DLL or EXE, COM or simple API) to understanding the need and proper usage of the redistributable COM suite DLLs - all this plays the central role in implementing the best possible application that will sell well. InstallExpert should be just another tool in your arsenal, but the ability to use it is your power and responsibility.