Jump to content



Photo

Advantage of web-based installers?

web installers

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 grayscale

grayscale

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 13-February 11

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:23

Basically, I'm just interested as to why some of the applications (i.e. Flash, Chrome, SkyDrive, etc.) are providing web-based installers by default. Is there any advantage over providing the full installer for the user to download?

(Correct me if I'm wrong on the use of the term "web-based installer" :p)


#2 TPreston

TPreston

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 18-July 12
  • Location: Ireland
  • OS: Windows Embedded Standard 8 & Server 2012/08 Datacenter
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:28

So they can display aids while you are downloading

#3 +Nik L

Nik L

    Where's my pants?

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 14-January 03

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:28

If you mean "a small exe that then downloads the whole app to install" I think it's just a case of maintenance and deployment.

#4 StevenJ

StevenJ

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 07-August 12

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:31

There is no benefit to the end user. For the provider, maybe it stops the user from leeching from the server with multiple connections.

#5 +Xenosion

Xenosion

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 04-September 07
  • Location: Palm Beach, FL

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:38

So they can display aids while you are downloading

Surely you mean ads. But no still.

If you mean "a small exe that then downloads the whole app to install" I think it's just a case of maintenance and deployment.

Exactly what I was thinking.

#6 giantpotato

giantpotato

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 27-January 04
  • Location: Montreal, Canada

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:39

Those are web-based applications that are frequently updated. If you download the full installer there's a chance you will not have the latest version of the application if you run it again at a later date. If you're running an outdated version you are vulnerable to exploits. If you have a web-based installer you always have the latest version when you install.

#7 +LogicalApex

LogicalApex

    Software Engineer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 8
  • Joined: 14-August 02
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:51

Those are web-based applications that are frequently updated. If you download the full installer there's a chance you will not have the latest version of the application if you run it again at a later date. If you're running an outdated version you are vulnerable to exploits. If you have a web-based installer you always have the latest version when you install.


Sounds good, but makes no sense at all.

Flash isn't updated on a minute by minute basis and doesn't need a "web" installer. Not to mention, whatever update mechanism the software uses should aid the user in staying updated anyway since there is always the risk of being outdated (unless you run the "web" installer every few moments...).

I haven't confirmed this, but I'm sure the trend to "Web Based" installers really is about leveraging BitTorrent, or proprietary derivatives of it, to lower the bandwidth costs of the company supplying the installer. As any benefits to end users is so small it is almost zilch.

#8 UXGaurav

UXGaurav

    Tried Classic Shell? It has 15 million+ downloads & growing

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 18-October 05
  • Location: Windows
  • OS: Windows

Posted 24 September 2012 - 13:53

So they can discontinue/pull it any time they want. :p

#9 plasmarox

plasmarox

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 04-January 09
  • Location: Cambridge, UK

Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:02

It makes things easier for the end user. The small exe detects what system the user is running (x86, x64 for example) so that the user doesn't have to know anything. Just download and run.

#10 Eric

Eric

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 02-August 06
  • Location: Greenville, SC

Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:09

Web-based installers don't have to be recreated for every update. They pull the latest installation data from the company's servers. They also don't have to bundle dependencies that may already be on the target PC, thus cutting down on transfer time and file sizes.

#11 MFH

MFH

    RAII fanatic

  • Joined: 24-June 10

Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:10

It makes things easier for the end user. The small exe detects what system the user is running (x86, x64 for example) so that the user doesn't have to know anything. Just download and run.

That's not really a problem with proper installers (looking at MSI...). Personally I despise web-installers as it means that I'll have to download the actual installer files multiple times when I'm installing a program on several of my PCs...

#12 firey

firey

    F͎̗͉͎͈͑͡ȉ͎̣̐́ṙ͖̺͕͙̓̌è̤̞͉̟̲͇̍̍̾̓ͥͅy͓̍̎̌̏̒

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 30-October 05
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Phone: Android (4.1.2)

Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:14

As mentioned above, it provides a way to have an always up-to-date install. Simply dump an exe on the server and the web-installer will pick it up and download it. No need for a full release, no need for large installs (to account for multiple setups), and you can ensure all users are getting the same thing.

#13 Haggis

Haggis

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 9
  • Joined: 13-June 07
  • Location: Near Stirling, Scotland
  • OS: Debian 7
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE (i9305)

Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:22

That's not really a problem with proper installers (looking at MSI...). Personally I despise web-installers as it means that I'll have to download the actual installer files multiple times when I'm installing a program on several of my PCs...


most file for example Chrome you can get an offline installer aswell

#14 Guth

Guth

    Alba Gu Bráth

  • Joined: 30-December 05
  • Location: Scotland
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Phone: iPhone 5

Posted 27 September 2012 - 18:41

Forgive me, I haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to put this out there.

I have not came across many web-based installers so far. (the ones where you download a small EXE and run that, which then downloads and installs the software)

The ones I have seen almost always are full of spyware/ad-ware crap. I always thought these were just a way of masking what you are actually downloading behind what you think you are getting. Some of the really bad ones make you download and install an "installer" first, before you can even download your required software.
I've come to hate these "web based installers" and I always avoid them now.

Perhaps I've just had bad experiences but almost every single one has came along with some ad-ware. Some didnt even give me the software it was supposed to.

#15 Ryoken

Ryoken

    The Other Other White Meat

  • Joined: 10-September 09
  • Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
  • OS: Windows 7 x64, MacOS
  • Phone: iPhone 4S, Nexus 7, iPad Mini

Posted 28 September 2012 - 00:39

Forgive me, I haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to put this out there.

I have not came across many web-based installers so far. (the ones where you download a small EXE and run that, which then downloads and installs the software)

The ones I have seen almost always are full of spyware/ad-ware crap. I always thought these were just a way of masking what you are actually downloading behind what you think you are getting. Some of the really bad ones make you download and install an "installer" first, before you can even download your required software.
I've come to hate these "web based installers" and I always avoid them now.

Perhaps I've just had bad experiences but almost every single one has came along with some ad-ware. Some didnt even give me the software it was supposed to.

You've had bad experiences..

Web Installes are no more affected by crap/spyware than normal ones lol.

As was said above, it has the advantage of them not having to remake the installer for every update, just change the data at the location [ also if you save the installer, you will always install the latest version, even months apart.. ].. Also many are used with applications that may have additional dependencies, the small exe can see what your system has, and not bother downloading those parts you don't need.

Lastly, and this deals with large ones, the larger the file, the greater the chance that a problem will happen on transfer.. In many cases downloading a large file and your net gets interrupted or something, you need to start over.. a web installer doesn't care, and can just discard bad data and redownload that part, or continue where it left off if you got dc'd for a few sec/min/hrs..



Click here to login or here to register to remove this ad, it's free!