Introduction to Visual Patch 2.0
Visual Patch 2.0 is a fast and efficient system for creating software patches. This unique solution features state-of-the-art binary differencing and compression algorithms, combined with a powerful full-history patching engine. Visual Patch makes an excellent addition to the toolbox of any software developer or IT manager.
In Visual Patch 2.0, we've improved the development environment to streamline your workflow and have introduced unprecedented flexibility with a brand-new scripting engine and action library. We've also added a customizable screen manager, project themes (skins), action plugins, MD5 security, and many other powerful and timesaving features.
You'll find that Visual Patch 2.0 simplifies software version management. It turns the otherwise complicated task of managing point-releases into a fast and automated process. There is no easier way to make professional-quality, full-history binary patches for your software and other electronic content.
What is Visual Patch?
It doesn't matter what kind of electronic content you're distributing. Whether it's application software, databases, spreadsheets, video, audio or any other data, the likelihood is that it will change over time. That's why you need Visual Patch.
Visual Patch makes it easy to create professional, rock-solid software patches. As you release new software (documents, data, etc.), simply drag-and-drop the files into Visual Patch and it will automatically track and package the differences for you.
Using a sophisticated combination of binary differencing, data compression and MD5 fingerprinting, Visual Patch is able to create compact full-history software patches that outperform any comparable tool on a value and feature-by-feature basis.
Visual Patch is an integral part of a complete and effective approach to software lifecycle management. Software developers, network administrators and IT departments all require a professional tool for building software patches. As such, Visual Patch integrates seamlessly with other Indigo Rose products like Setup Factory 7.0 (software installation) and TrueUpdate 2.0 (automated updating/patch delivery) to provide a complete solution for all aspects of software delivery.
What's New in Visual Patch 2.0?
Visual Patch 2.0 features an unbeatable development environment that puts you in control of your files. Each point release gets its own version tab - then you simply drag and drop your files and folders onto the project window and you're ready to build. Visual Patch is smart enough to maintain your folder structure, automatically query version resource information, determine what has been added, changed or deleted and ensures 100% data integrity with reliable MD5 hashing and CRC-32 checksums.
Sophisticated Binary Patching Algorithm
Visual Patch 2.0 now features a cutting-edge binary differencing engine. By way of a sophisticated byte-granular analysis of your file data, Visual Patch 2.0 is able to extract only the "delta" between one file version and the next. Rather than having to distribute a full copy of changed files, Visual Patch 2.0 will only package up the parts that have changed. The result is a significant reduction in patch sizes, more security, reduced transmission time and lower bandwidth costs.
Project Wizard Quick-Start
Spend five minutes with Visual Patch's easy to use Project Wizard and come away with a complete and ready to build project. You'll be walked through each option so you can get your project started as quickly as possible. The new wizard helps you to add versions, associate your files, configure the user interface, and much more.
Customizable Wizard Dialogs
Visual Patch 2.0 is considerably more customizable than before. Included are over twenty different screen templates - easily adjustable to fit your particular needs - that handle just about any task your project requires. There's everything from check boxes, radio buttons and edit fields to popular screens like license agreements, folder selection and many more. The Screen Manager allows you to add and remove screens at will and adjust the sequence with a simple drag-and-drop motion. Each screen features a real-time preview so you can see the result of your changes as you work.
Powerful Scripting Engine
Visual Patch 2.0 now includes the same scripting engine as Setup Factory 7.0, TrueUpdate 2.0 and AutoPlay Media Studio 5.0. Based on the popular "Lua" language, this all-new and incredibly powerful free-form scripting engine gives you unprecedented control over your software patching system. This easy to use language features everything from "for, repeat and while" loops, to "if/else" conditions, functions, variables and associative arrays. Paired with the built-in action library, full mathematical evaluation and Boolean expressions, there is simply nothing you can't achieve. We've also built in an "Action Wizard" and "Quick Scripts" feature so you can get right up to speed creating powerful projects to handle even the most demanding tasks.
Extensive Action Library
Visual Patch 2.0 includes a built-in library of more than 250 powerful, yet easy to use actions. There are high-level actions to handle everything from text file editing to system registry changes. You can execute programs, call DLL functions, query drive information, manipulate strings, copy files, enumerate processes, start and stop services, interact with web scripts, display dialog boxes and much more. Whatever you need your software patch to do, Visual Patch 2.0 can make it happen!
Easy to Use Action Wizard
You don't have to be a wizard to create powerful patching systems with Visual Patch 2.0. We've built the wizard into the software! Simply choose the action you want from a categorized list (complete with on-screen interactive help), fill in the requested information fields and the wizard does the rest. You don't have to know anything about scripting or programming - just fill in the blanks, and you're done! Making changes is just as easy. Click on the line you want to change and press the "edit" button to go back to the original form. It's really that easy!
Professional Script Editor
If you've outgrown the Action Wizard interface or simply want to get the most out of the Visual Patch 2.0 scripting engine, we've got you covered. The Visual Patch 2.0 action editor features all of the professional features you'd expect. There's color syntax highlighting, code completion, function highlighting, as-you-type action prototypes, Ctrl+Space function listings and even context-sensitive help. If you're used to programming in Microsoft? Visual Basic, Microsoft? Visual C++ or any other modern development language, you'll be right at home.
Once you've got your project ready to go, the Publishing Wizard will help you package it up into a compact single-file executable. Compare our tiny ~500 KB runtime overhead to the competition and see for yourself - patches created with Visual Patch 2.0 are smaller and faster than ever before. What's more, the single-file patch executable is perfect for distribution by web, email, LAN, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.
Themes, Skins and Backgrounds
Choose from dozens of pre-made themes (skins) for your screens or even make your own. It's as easy as viewing a live dialog preview and picking your favorite style. You can configure everything from fonts (face, color, size, style) and banner images to body/background graphics, control colors (buttons, check boxes, radio buttons) and more. If you like, you can even customize the desktop background with gradients, images, color washes, headlines and footer text with 3D effects.
Fully Automatic Patches
Visual Patch 2.0 supports the creation of both fully-interactive "wizard based" patches or completely automatic "silent" patches. Silent patches operate without displaying user interface dialogs, prompts and other messages, making them perfect for use in corporate networks and managed infrastructures. New options let you enable silent operation via a command line switch, or even configure the patch to always run in unattended mode. Visual Patch 2.0 patches automatically return command line status codes and are ready for use in automatic deployment processes and corporate patch management consoles.
Visual Patch 2.0 includes a variety of features designed to help you manage access to your software, including the ability to ask for a serial number or password. Visual Patch 2.0 automatically restricts use of your patch files through the use of binary differencing, key files and sophisticated message digests calculations.
Expandable with Action Plugins
Visual Patch 2.0 can be easily expanded with Action Plugins. These add on modules can extend the product in infinitely powerful ways, such as adding support for databases, XML, data encryption and FTP file transfers. Tight integration with the design environment, including IntelliSense style code completion and syntax highlighting, makes Plugins just as easy to use as built-in actions. Plugins are available through Indigo Rose as well as third-party developers thanks to Indigo Rose's freely available plug-in development kit.
International Language Support
Visual Patch 2.0 gives you everything you need to support your customers and clients around the world. Patches created with Visual Patch 2.0 can automatically determine the language of the client operating system and adjust the display of screens and messages appropriately. Whether you need to support English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or any other language recognized by Windows, simply provide the text and Visual Patch takes care of the rest!
Built-in Spelling Checker
Now it's easier than ever to make sure that typos don't creep into your projects. Just about anywhere you can type, you can perform a spell check to ensure error-free text. Dictionaries are available for over a dozen languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Croatian, Czech, Polish and Slovenian.
Reports and Logs
Keeping track of the essential details of your patch project is now just a couple of clicks away. With improved HTML-based project reports (featuring CSS formatting) and text-based install-time log files, you'll have an accurate record of everything you need. New options let you control the level of detail being logged, including options for recording errors and script execution details.
Visual Patch 2.0 fits seamlessly into your automated build processes. Software development teams and network managers will appreciate features such as build constants and pre/post build processes. You'll find that Visual Patch 2.0 projects integrate right into your daily builds.
Works with Windows 95 and Up
Patches created with Visual Patch 2.0 work just fine on every Windows operating system from Windows 95 to XP and beyond. Compare that to competitive tools and you're sure to be surprised at their requirements. If you need to support legacy systems, your choice is clear!