Visual Patch 3.7 Frequently Asked Questions

thumbnail-faqVisual Patch simplifies your product management and makes it easy to manage your software releases. There is no easier way to make professional quality, full-history patches for your software and other electronic content. Unlike other products, Visual Patch combines sophisticated binary patching with the flexibility offered by full-history patches. These patches can update any older version to the latest release with a single executable patch file.

Here are some answers to common questions about Visual Patch…

Who needs Visual Patch?

Anyone who needs to create compact and secure software patches needs Visual Patch. This includes software developers, network administrators and IT managers, among others. Regardless of the type of data being distributed – executables, documents, databases, videos, etc. – Visual Patch can figure out what files have changed, the exact changes within each file and how to update any previous version to the current version.

How easy is it to learn?

Visual Patch’s point-and-click design takes the difficulty out of building even the most sophisticated full-history patches. With the same ease of use and interface style that has made Setup Factory famous, Visual Patch makes it easier to get from “no patch” to “patch” than ever before.

How does Visual Patch affect my bottom line?

Distributing smaller files is good for both you and your customers. Visual Patch will help you save money on bandwidth, server hardware and network congestion. Your customers and clients will benefit from faster downloads, a reliable and easy to use patching process and increased satisfaction with your product and company.

Does Visual Patch support binary patching?

Yes. Visual Patch features state-of-the-art binary differencing and compression algorithms. Combined with a powerful full-history patching engine, Visual Patch offers a unique approach unequaled by any other product, making it an excellent addition to the toolbox of any software developer or IT manager.

Does Visual Patch support full history patching?

Yes. Visual Patch gives you full control over which versions of your software can be patched with a single executable. Unlike some other products, Visual Patch’s full-history patching ability can update any version of your software to the latest release. This makes patches created with Visual Patch easier to apply and friendlier to use than those created with less sophisticated patch builders.

Can I password protect my patches?

Yes. Visual Patch includes a number of features designed to help you manage access to your software. Asking for a password or serial number is no problem. Additionally, Visual Patch automatically restricts use of your patch files through the use of binary differencing, key files and sophisticated message digests calculations.

Will my patch work on all Windows platforms?

Visual Patch builds patches with 100% support for all popular Windows platforms. This includes Windows 95, 98, ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1.

What languages can my patch appear in?

Visual Patch gives you everything you need to support your customers and clients around the world. Patches created with Visual Patch 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!

Why not just use Setup Factory to build a new installer?

When preparing a new release, you will certainly want to use Setup Factory to build an installer for new customers; however, you can save money and ensure the security of your updates by using patch files. Patch files are smaller as they only distribute the files that have changed and – more importantly – they are absolutely useless to anyone who doesn’t already have a valid version of your software installed.

What’s the difference between an Installer builder and a Patch builder?

Installer builders (such as Indigo Rose’s Setup Factory) have a different purpose than patch builders (like Visual Patch). A software installer is used to setup and configure a full software application on a computer system. Once it’s installed and working, the installation program’s job is done. In a perfect and unchanging world, that would be the end of the story. However, we all know that change is a constant. Software and data need to be updated periodically (bug fixes, features etc), but such changes seldom require the complete overhaul of a program. You need a method that synchronizes the data “in-the-field” with your current release.

Visual Patch greatly simplifies product maintenance by taking care of this for you. Whenever you have a new version ready, Visual Patch figures out what files need to be added, changed or replaced to bring any older version of your software up to date.

Visual Patch saves you time by making the design process as easy as possible. Visual Patch is also incredibly accurate; by automating much of the decision process, it eliminates opportunities for human error compared to developing patches “by hand” with other methods. Additionally, with the addition of binary differencing, Visual Patch can actually determine the areas of difference within a file and only distribute those particular changes – something that is impossible to do without sophisticated algorithms.

Will my patch be Internet ready?

Yes. Visual Patch generates a compact, single-file, self-executing patch that is easy to distribute, and easy for your users to use. It’s perfect for distribution using web, email, LAN, TrueUpdate, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. It’s also Authenticode-ready, so you can digitally sign your patches.

What other tools do I need to use Visual Patch?

None. As a standalone product, Visual Patch can be used by anyone. It doesn’t matter what installation product you use or even whether you use one at all. If you need to get newer versions of files out to users, Visual Patch will do it. However, as part of a complete solution for software deployment, you will find that Visual Patch integrates quite nicely with tools like Setup Factory and TrueUpdate.

What kinds of files can Visual Patch update?

Visual Patch will work with any kind of files. You could even use it to update a few slides in a presentation, or individual files in a library of help documents used by your sales team. With a flexible tool like Visual Patch, the possibilities are endless.

Can I customize the runtime interface?

Yes. Visual Patch lets you easily drop in new wizard dialogs using the built-in Screen Manager and Gallery. Altering the display sequence is as simple as clicking on up and down arrows. You can edit text messages, use custom graphics and set conditional display options. A variety of screen types are available, from basic text displays, to check boxes, text input, radio buttons and more.

Can I create patches that target multiple operating systems?

Yes. You can attach conditions to any part of the patch to make them specific to the version of Windows that the user is running. For instance, your patch might install some new files only on Windows XP, or it might check different Registry locations for values if the user is running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Can I distribute my patch on CD-ROM / DVD-ROM? Email? Web?

Yes. Visual Patch creates standalone, single-file executable patches that you can distribute using virtually any type of media you like.

Can Visual Patch handle advanced patching needs?

Absolutely. With Visual Patch, you aren’t limited to just replacing old files with new ones. We’ve also included many advanced features – you can query the Registry, modify INI files, perform file searches, interact with web scripts, explore folders, delete and rename files, and more.

How does Visual Patch benefit the software developer?

The easier it is for your users to update your software, the more likely it is that your users will be using the latest version. As a result, your technical support team will have fewer legacy issues to deal with. The easier it is for you to release updates, the more often you can release them. You won’t have to hold back releases until you have made enough changes to justify the effort required to prepare updates using traditional update methods.

How does Visual Patch impact technical support?

Timely software patches allow your users to benefit quickly from any new features and bug fixes you develop. Ensuring that users benefit from all the bug fixes you’ve released reduces the incidence of support calls. Keeping users up to date makes it easier to support them when incidents occur.

How will Visual Patch impact our customers and clients?

Today’s users are savvy; they demand responsiveness from software companies and they want tools that meet their needs and make them more productive. In order to maintain customer loyalty and maximize the user’s experience with your software, you need to make patching your software as easy as possible. Making it easy for users to patch your software shows that you’re committed to supporting it.

How does Visual Patch benefit the network administrator?

Keeping a corporate, educational or government network up-to-date with the latest security patches, applications updates and operating system fixes is a time consuming ordeal. Without tools like Visual Patch, the task is virtually impossible. Used in conjunction with Indigo Rose’s TrueUpdate, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively roll out whatever software patches you need to throughout your organization. The TrueUpdate client software can analyze the computer system, decide what is currently installed and then take action to download and install the patches you’ve made with Visual Patch to bring that system up-to-date. It’s fast, easy and automatic.

I’m not a software developer…do I still need Visual Patch?

Absolutely! You don’t need to be a software developer to benefit from Visual Patch. You can use Visual Patch to update product catalogs, databases, price lists, help files, quarterly reports, training videos or whatever else you want.

System Requirements

In order to build patches, a developer requires:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, Windows 8.1
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1024×768 display resolution
  • 5 GB free hard drive space

In order to run the patches, an end user requires:

  • Windows 95/98/ME/NT4(SP6)/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1
  • 500 MB RAM
  • 800×600 display resolution
  • 1 GB free hard drive space