Application (.zap) Files

Published: 06th April 2011
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You can also deploy software using the Software Installation extension by using an sy0-201 security application file. Application files are text files that contain instructions about how to publish an application, taken from an existing setup program (Setup.exe or Install.exe). Application files use the .zap extension. Use .zap files when you can't justify developing a native Windows Installer package or repackaging the application to create a repackaged Windows Installer package. A .zap file does not support the features of Windows Installer. When you deploy an application by using a .zap file, the application is installed by using its original Setup.exe or Install.exe program. The software can only be published and users can only select it by using Add Or Remove Programs in Control Panel. It is recommended that you use .msi files to deploy software with Group Policy whenever possible.

Customizing Windows Installer Packages You can customize Windows Installer packages by using modifications, also called transforms. The Windows Installer package format provides for customization by allowing you to "transform" the original package using authoring and repackaging tools. Some applications also provide wizards or templates that permit a user to create modifications.

For example, Microsoft Office XP supplies a Customization Wizard that builds modifications. Using the Office XP Customization Wizard, you can create a modification that allows you to manage the configuration of comptia security certification that is deployed to users. A modification might be designed to accommodate Microsoft Word as a key feature, installing it during the first installation. Less popular features, such as revision support or document translators, could install on first usage, and other features, such as clip art, might not install at all. You might have another modification that provides all of the features of Word and does not install Microsoft PowerPoint. In addition, you can make modifications to customize the installation of a Windows Installer package at the time of assignment or publication. The exact mix of which features to install and when to install them varies based on the audience for the application and how they use the software. You can use the following file types to modify an existing Windows Installer package:

Transform (.mst) files These files provide a means for customizing the installation of an application.

Patch (.msp) files These files are used to update an existing .msi file for software patches, service packs, and some software update files, including bug fixes.

An .msp file provides instructions about applying the updated files and registry keys in the software patch, service pack, or software update.

For more information on creating .zap files, see Microsoft Knowledge Base CCNA certification article 231747 titled "HOW TO: Publish non-MSI Programs with .zap Files," available from http://

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