Text Archive Files
The Windows Installer database tables can be exported to ASCII text files by using MsiDatabaseExport or the Export method of the Database object. The information in these text archive files can then be imported back into a Windows Installer database using MsiDatabaseImport or the Import method of the Database object.
Tools such as msidb.exe are capable of exporting and importing text archive files. See Export Files and Import Files for Windows Installer Scripting Examples that can export and import text archive files from a database.
Note Text archive files are not intended as a means to edit the installation database. You should use a Windows Installer table editing tool, such as Orca or a third-party tool, to create and modify an installation package.
Text archive files can be used for the following purposes.
- Text archive files can be used with version control systems.
- To remove wasted storage space and reduce the final size of .msi files. See Reducing the Size of an .msi File.
To add localization information to an installation database. For more information, see Code Page Handling of Imported and Exported Tables.
- To determine the code page of a database. See Determining an Installation Database's Code Page.
- To set the code page of a database. See Setting the code page of a database.
To increase the limit of a database column. Export the table using MsiDatabaseExport, edit the exported .idt file, and then import the table using MsiDatabaseImport. Authors cannot change the column data types, nullability, or localization attributes of any columns in standard tables. See also Authoring a Large Package.
The following pages describe text archive pages and their formats.