A major potential benefit of Windows 2000 deployments is the ability to distribute software using a combination of Group Policies and the Microsoft Installer Service (MSI). This method of software deployment enables the MSI service to install applications with an elevated privilege without those same privileges being extended to all users of a workstation.

Unfortunately, in the real world the advantages of MSI are often unused because few applications are shipped with MSI style installation applications. In many cases tools are available to repackage existing installation packages. Unfortunately this places the burden on each site to create its own private MSI package for its own internal use. This is because an MSI package includes the application binaries that are subject to license terms and copyright protection. As such, the results of most repackaging efforts are not normally legally redistributable to other sites.

This page is set up to allow institutions to share repackaging efforts without violating their license agreements or passing the application binaries to any third party.

Conversion Tool

Because MSI is a binary format, it is not easy to share and to perform version control. Therefore we use a freeware product msi2xml to convert our MSI's to XML. All the software on this site is in XML format. Using the same tool, we can convert the XML back to MSI.

Although the notes for the msi2xml tool indicate that is primary purposes are:

The tool also includes the ability to write the binary streams as external files and includes them by references in the XML file. By using this feature, and redistributing the XML files without the binary streams, the tool provides a useful mechanism to share repackaging efforts between sites without violating any license agreements.

List of Applications

XML format

HTML format

Note: In order to view the list of applications in XML format, make sure:

  1. You are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later.
  2. You have installed Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) 3.0 available from
  3. You're running MSXML in Replace mode. You can use xmlinst.exe to install MSXML 3.0 in Replace mode.

Contact Information:

Email us at with questions, comments, and suggestions.


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