EXE installers vs EXE runtime - Help!

When I'm running training courses there is quite often confusion over EXE files, and how you import different types of EXEs into ChangeBASE. One of my trainees recently suggested that I post a blog article explaining this stuff, so here goes.

What different types of EXE do we need to consider?

  1. Setup.exe type installers
  2. Runtime EXEs (as in the files you run when you launch an application)

ChangeBASE has been designed to handle assessing both apps which are installed via an EXE installer, and apps which are just an EXE (and probably some other files such as DLLs) which don't have an installer.

How do I assess an app which has a setup.exe type installer?

Simple. Just drag the EXE onto ChangeBASE. Right click the EXE in ChangeBASE and choose Repackaging Configuration. Configure as needed, and click Import. You Virtual Machine will be started and the EXE installer will be repackaged into an MSI. You can now assess this app.

How do I assess an app which is a runtime EXE (also known as "import folder as an application")?

The trick here is to go into the ChangeBASE options, General tab, and untick EXE as a file extension. By doing so you are telling ChangeBASE that any EXEs it discovers are NOT installers, but just "files".

Next you need to locate the parent folder of your EXE. This folder may well have other files in it like DLLs, INIs etc. Drag this parent folder onto ChangeBASE.

Now you must tell ChangeBASE that you want to treat this folder as a full application. Do to so right-click the item in ChangeBASE, Repackaging, Source Capture:

Now click Import, and the files in the folder will be added to an MSI which can be assessed as normal.