A minor upgrade is an update that makes changes to many resources. None of the changes can require changing the ProductCode. An update requires a major upgrade to change the ProductCode. A minor upgrade can be used to add new features and components but cannot reorganize the feature-component tree. Minor upgrades provide product differentiation without actually defining a different product. A typical minor upgrade includes all fixes in previous small updates combined into a patch. A minor upgrade is also commonly referred to as a service pack (SP) update. For more information about which updates do not require changing the ProductCode see Changing the Product Code.
A minor upgrade changes the ProductVersion property. Changing the product version of the application means that the different updates have an order. For example, if a patch existed to update v 9.0 to v 9.1, and another patch existed to patch v 9.1 to v 9.2, the installer can enforce the correct order by checking the product version before applying the patch. This also prevents the v 9.1 to v 9.2 patch from being applied to v 9.0. For patches, this ordering is enforced through the product version–validation bits set in the transforms included in the patch package.
A minor upgrade and a small update differ in that a minor upgrade changes the package code and product version. See Small Updates for guidelines on the kinds of updates that can be handled by a small update or minor upgrade. Minor upgrades are shipped as a full product installation package or as a patch package. However, a minor upgrade cannot use a different volume label for the new version.
For information on how to apply a minor upgrade, see the following topics:
- Applying Small Updates by Patching the Local Installation of the Product
- Applying Small Updates by Reinstalling the Product
- Applying Small Updates by Patching an Administrative Image