Frequenlty asked questions

To view the latest FAQs you can visit our public website at http://www.agensoft.com/faq.html.

 

1. General Questions:

1.1 What is the main idea of building update modules?

1.2 What's the advantage of buying a Commercial or a Corporate License? What is your licensing policy?

1.3 Can I get the software on disk or CD media?

1.4 Will I get 'SPAM' if I give you my e-mail address?

1.5 Can I order via fax machine or phone?

1.6 Can I purchase with a check?

1.7 What are your product IDs at RegSoft, RegNow or ShareIt?

1.8 How long does it take to get my registration code after I purchase a product online?

1.9 Do I have to license each patch file created...?

1.10 What is the policy on updates...how much do they cost?

1.11 How does PatchFactory can help prevent software piracy?

1.12 Which development environments can I use with PatchFactory?

1.13 Does the PatchFactory client-side patch program require any third-party libraries to run?

1.14 What are the advantages for distributing patches?

1.15 What are the limitations of the evaluation version of PatchFactory v3?

1.16 What is the difference between patching and incremental updating?

1.17 ERROR#1: Limitation of evaluation version: the number of files/folders in the difference can not exceed 100.


2. Technical Questions:

2.1 I am trying to compare two files which changed a bit. I used ASPack (or other compression utility) to reduce the file size. When I create the patch - its size is larger, which is not really what I wanted.

2.2 How can I provide backup copy of old files on the end-user's machine to prevent their loss at patch applying?

2.3 I need to update a database with things like adding columns or so. Does your software could help me to patch the database using sql or it can replace old files...?

2.4 How to create an update module that can run silently (i.e. no user intervention, pop-up windows, etc..) ...?

2.5 How can I localize PatchFactory client dialogs into my language?

2.6 I'm trying to build a patch for a Gigabyte-sized file. Can your product handle files of this size? Any ideas on time per Gb and processor utilization?

2.7 Error applying df-file with EDF_OLD_MD5_ERROR code. What is wrong?

2.8 How can I customize the Update Installation wizard images?

2.9 How can I Register a DLL/OCX library? I need to somehow register dll's after they are installed?

2.10 How can I write to the system Registry?

2.11 How can I run an executable or open another file after update is finished?

2.12 How can I specify the minimum user privilege required to run the update?

 

 

1. General Questions:

1.1 What is the main idea of building update modules?

1.2 What's the advantage of buying a Commercial or a Corporate License? What is your licensing policy?

1.3 Can I get the software on disk or CD media?

1.4 Will I get 'SPAM' if I give you my e-mail address?

1.5 Can I order via fax machine or phone?

1.6 Can I purchase with a check?

1.7 What are your product IDs at RegSoft, RegNow or ShareIt?

1.8 How long does it take to get my registration code after I purchase a product online?

1.9 Do I have to license each patch file created...?

1.10 What is the policy on updates...how much do they cost?

1.11 How does PatchFactory can help prevent software piracy?

1.12 Which development environments can I use with PatchFactory?

1.13 Does the PatchFactory client-side patch program require any third-party libraries to run?

1.14 What are the advantages for distributing patches?

1.15 What are the limitations of the evaluation version of PatchFactory v3?

1.16 What is the difference between patching and incremental updating?

1.17 ERROR#1: Limitation of evaluation version: the number of files/folders in the difference can not exceed 100.

 

2. Technical Questions:

2.1 I am trying to compare two files which changed a bit. I used ASPack (or other compression utility) to reduce the file size. When I create the patch - its size is larger, which is not really what I wanted.

2.2 How can I provide backup copy of old files on the end-user's machine to prevent their loss at patch applying?

2.3 I need to update a database with things like adding columns or so. Does your software could help me to patch the database using sql or it can replace old files...?

2.4 How to create an update module that can run silently (i.e. no user intervention, pop-up windows, etc..) ...?

2.5 How can I localize PatchFactory client dialogs into my language?

2.6 I'm trying to build a patch for a Gigabyte-sized file. Can your product handle files of this size? Any ideas on time per Gb and processor utilization?

2.7 Error applying df-file with EDF_OLD_MD5_ERROR code. What is wrong?

2.8 How can I customize the Update Installation wizard images?

2.9 How can I Register a DLL/OCX library? I need to somehow register dll's after they are installed?

2.10 How can I write to the system Registry?

2.11 How can I run an executable or open another file after update is finished?

2.12 How can I specify the minimum user privilege required to run the update?

 

1. General Questions:


1.1 What is the main idea of building update modules?

The main idea of building patches is that patch file represents only information concerning changes made to an old version software product files relatively to a new version software product files. And if these changes are not significant relatively to total size of new version files than such delivering of update module (patch file/patch module) can become more effective method of update delivering.

Software has its bugs. These bugs are often discovered after the official release of the product. You are getting bug reports from your users. It's terrible that you spent your money to create fancy box, to record CD-ROM's and to distribute your software and several days after they appear. So, you should use "patch" which just contains description of changes you have made to your product since the official (or just previous) release. What's more, the difference between previous and current version to keep the patches as small as possible.


1.2 What's the advantage of buying a Commercial or a Corporate License? What is your licensing policy?

· Discounted Personal License is offered as a service to the industry, primarily for single person companies with little revenue (such as shareware authors). The software is licensed to the name of the individual purchasing the license.
· Standard Commercial License is intended for small companies. The software is licensed to the name of the company purchasing the license. Maximum number of employees using the software is limited to 5. It also entitles an organization to receive high-priority support (with guaranteed answer within 2 business days) via email. If you would like to obtain more extended services or more employees to use the software - consider buying the Corporate license.
· Premium Corporate License is intended for large companies and corporates with many employees. The software is licensed to the name of the company purchasing the license. And besides this type of license entitles an organization to receive one copy of the distribution software and to duplicate the software for any number of people or workstations within the corporation. It also entitles an organization to receive high-priority support (with guaranteed answer within 1 business day) via email and free major version upgrades during lifetime of the product.

All licenses include the royalty-free distribution of the PatchFactory Client for an unlimited number of applications, free minor version updates with special 50% discount for major upgrades and priority technical support via email.


1.3 Can I get the software on disk or CD media?

You can include CD with installation file if you order PatchFactory software at ShareIt!. It is shipped via Air Mail, within 2 business weeks. CD-ROM is free if buying a Commercial or a Corporate license, and 9.95$ value for Personal license. At the subscription time in the future, if you lose your copy of the software due to a hard drive failure you can download the latest trial version from our site. If for any reason your registration code becomes invalid or lost - just send an e-mail to Sales Support with details of your previous registration. You will receive a new code via e-mail at no charge as soon as we validate your old registration data.


1.4 Will I get 'SPAM' if I give you my e-mail address?

No. We never, ever give out customer information or e-mail addresses in any manner.


1.5 Can I order via fax machine or phone?

Our sales agency now offers both a Toll-Free Voice Registration Service and a Fax Registration Service for buying PatchFactory Software. To order software using the Toll-Free Voice Registration Service, please check links within online secure order forms after selecting an appropriate license at our Order page. You must have PatchFactory Product ID ready.


1.6 Can I purchase with a check?

Our sales agency gladly accepts payment by check or money order. However, please allow adequate time for the funds to be processed by our bank. For information about where to send your check or money order, please check links within online secure order forms after selecting an appropriate license at our Order page. You must have PatchFactory Product ID ready.


1.7 What are your product IDs at RegSoft and ShareIt?

Please, visit our online FAQs page at our public website www.agensoft.com/faq.html














 

 

1. General Questions:

 

1.1 What is the main idea of building update modules?

The main idea of building patches is that patch file represents only information concerning changes made to an old version software product files relatively to a new version software product files. And if these changes are not significant relatively to total size of new version files than such delivering of update module (patch file/patch module) can become more effective method of update delivering.

Software has its bugs. These bugs are often discovered after the official release of the product. You are getting bug reports from your users. It's terrible that you spent your money to create fancy box, to record CD-ROM's and to distribute your software and several days after they appear. So, you should use "patch" which just contains description of changes you have made to your product since the official (or just previous) release. What's more, the difference between previous and current version to keep the patches as small as possible.

 

1.2 What's the advantage of buying a Commercial or a Corporate License? What is your licensing policy?

the discounted Personal License is offered as a service to the industry, primarily for single person companies with little revenue (such as shareware authors). The software is licensed to the name of the individual purchasing the license.
the standard Commercial License is intended for small companies. The software is licensed to the name of the company purchasing the license. Maximum number of employees using the software is limited to 5. It also entitles an organization to receive high-priority support (with guaranteed answer within 2 business days) via email. If you would like to obtain more extended services or more employees to use the software - consider buying the Corporate license.
the premium Corporate License is intended for large companies and corporates with many employees. The software is licensed to the name of the company purchasing the license. And besides this type of license entitles an organization to receive one copy of the distribution software and to duplicate the software for any number of people or workstations within the corporation. It also entitles an organization to receive high-priority support (with guaranteed answer within 1 business day) via email and free major version upgrades during lifetime of the product.

 

All licenses include the royalty-free distribution of the PatchFactory Client for an unlimited number of applications, free minor version updates with special 50% discount for major upgrades and priority technical support via email.

 

1.3 Can I get the software on disk or CD media?

You can include CD with installation file if you order PatchFactory software at ShareIt!. It is shipped via Air Mail, within 2 business weeks. CD-ROM is free if buying a Commercial or a Corporate license, and 9.95$ value for Personal license. At the subscription time in the future, if you lose your copy of the software due to a hard drive failure you can download the latest trial version from our site. If for any reason your registration code becomes invalid or lost - just send an e-mail to Sales Support with details of your previous registration. You will receive a new code via e-mail at no charge as soon as we validate your old registration data.

 

1.4 Will I get 'SPAM' if I give you my e-mail address?

No. We never, ever give out customer information or e-mail addresses in any manner.

 

1.5 Can I order via fax machine or phone?

Our sales agency now offers both a Toll-Free Voice Registration Service and a Fax Registration Service for buying PatchFactory Software. To order software using the Toll-Free Voice Registration Service, please check links within online secure order forms after selecting an appropriate license at our Order page. You must have PatchFactory Product ID ready.

 

1.6 Can I purchase with a check?

Our sales agency gladly accepts payment by check or money order. However, please allow adequate time for the funds to be processed by our bank. For information about where to send your check or money order, please check links within online secure order forms after selecting an appropriate license at our Order page. You must have PatchFactory Product ID ready.

 

1.7 What are your product IDs at RegSoft and ShareIt?

Please, visit our online FAQs page at our public website www.agensoft.com/faq.html

 

1.8 How long does it take to get my registration code after I purchase a product online?

After our sales agency receive your online credit card order, it may take up to several hours to authorize your transaction. As soon as your charge is authorized, you will receive an authorization e-mail with your Tracking ID# as well as instructions on how to obtain the full registered version the product you ordered. It is important that the customer check his or her e-mail to obtain the charge authorization and instructions. In the unlikely event that your credit card is declined, you will receive an e-mail stating the reason. If you do not receive any e-mail within 48 hours - there may be a problem with your order. In that case, kindly contact us by e-mail at sales@agensoft.com with your name, Tracking ID# and the approximate date and time of your order to obtain the status of your order.

 

1.9 Do I have to license each patch file created...?

To use PatchFactory software and to create as many patches as you wish you have to buy only one license (if you are planning PatchFactory to be used by more than one user on one computer of the local network (if applicable) than you should order the corresponding number of licenses).

And furthermore you may distribute created patch packages to as many users as you want.

 

1.10 What is the policy on updates...how much do they cost?

All minor updates are free as of this writing (subject to change). Minor updates are those where the software version number to the right of the decimal change (minor updates usually slightly differs from each other), but the digit to the left of the decimal stays the same. For example, updates from 3.0 to 3.1 are free, however, 2.x to 4.0 will be on a cost basis.

Additionally, if a new major version does get issued, it is offered to our current customers at a discounted rate (50% discount) - it means that to register PatchFactory major version update you will have to pay only 50% of its total price for each license to be renewed (for instance, $50 USD for one license renewal if the price is $100) to renew your registration.

To renew your registration of PatchFactory software just send an email message with your previous registration information to sales@agensoft.com using your email client or using our online email-form to get the instructions of how to renew your registration. As soon as we are notified that your order has been processed, a new registration key will be sent to you via email to unlock your copy of PatchFactory software.

 

1.11 How does PatchFactory can help prevent software piracy?

PatchFactory helps to prevent the illegal distribution of your software, by requiring that the software be properly installed at the time of the update. The patching process demands that the original files be installed before they can be modified. Files that have been tampered with will not be changed, and the update will fail.

Pirated versions of your software, that have files modified in them, will not be updated.

 

1.12 Which development environments can I use with PatchFactory?

PatchFactory is a stand-alone application that does not require the use of a separate development environment.

Consequently, you may use PatchFactory to provide updates for any type of Windows-based application, regardless of which programming language was used to develop it.

 

1.13 Does the PatchFactory client-side patch program require any third-party libraries to run?

The PatchFactory Client-side patch program is entirely self-contained: it does not use any 3rd party libraries, and only requires libraries which are part of the base operating system.

With PatchFactory, you have the assurance that customers with different hardware and software configurations will always be able to update your software.

 

1.14 What are the advantages for distributing patches?

Distributing the changes as the "patch" has several significant advantages over distributing new version of the product. First, you don't have to make new CD-ROM's (or multiple floppy disks) and new boxes.

The patches are usually small and easy to distribute on single floppy or over the Internet. Due to the differential nature of the patches, you can also distribute your patches freely (from your web page for example), because it is impossible to install patch without previous (bought and registered) version of product.

 

1.15 What are the limitations of the evaluation version of PatchFactory v3?

Evaluation version of PatchFactory has the following limitations:

30-day trial period, during which you can evaluate PatchFactory for free. When this period expires you must either purchase our software or stop using it and remove it from your computer.
number of files, contained in either old or new version images for which you can build a difference is limited to 100 (one hundred).

 

1.16 What is the difference between patching and incremental updating?

Incremental update contains all the files which have been changed between two versions.

Update modules made with PatchFactory consists only of the changes from within each individual file with the help of byte-level differencing technology used by our patching engine, resulting in a significantly smaller update size.

 

1.17 ERROR#1: Limitation of evaluation version: the number of files/folders in the difference can not exceed 100.

Evaluation version of PatchFactory which is available for download from our public web-site contains a functional limitation, and namely the number of files, contained in either old or new version images for which you can build a difference is limited to 100 (one hundred).
To request for a fully-functional demo, please use our online email-form to contact us (guarantees that your email will reach our Support Team). Do not forget to fill in all necessary fields. Only requests from our online email form are taken into consideration! We request your apologies for any inconvenience.

 

2. Technical Questions:

 

2.1 I am trying to compare two files which changed a bit. I used ASPack (or other compression utility) to reduce the file size. When I create the patch - its size is larger, which is not really what I wanted.

The basis of the comparing algorithm is the ability to find concurrence in compared files at a level of octet-byte subsequences.

Use of packing utilities to lower the file size most often leads to that the result archive files lose the similarity at the byte-level. Such behavior is peculiar for most of lossless compression algorithms.

In this case the most appropriate solution to achieve effective comparing results is not to use aspack (or other compression utility) at all.

Here are some recommendations to reduce the size of output patch file in this case:

Try to reduce files size by moving unchanged parts of the program (viz. their invariability from version to version or their insignificant changes) to dll-modules.
Do not apply Exe-compression utilities to deflate executable files (if there is no extreme necessity).

But nevertheless PatchFactory considers all these features of EXE and DLL files and provides optimal patch building in these cases.

 

2.2 How can I provide backup copy of old files on the end-user's machine to prevent their loss at patch applying?

PatchFactory v3 provides such feature as Rollback / Uninstall of the update module. To provide Uninstall capability you should set "Uninstallable" property to Yes for your Patch module. If set to Yes, the backup copy of all replaced/modified files (for which backup is allowed) is saved and a record is added into Add/Remove programs list.

If you don't want a dialog window offering to select whether to perform backup copy or not to be shown to your end-user - set property "Show Backup page" to No.

 

2.3 I need to update a database with things like adding columns or so. Does your software could help me to patch the database using sql or it can replace old files...?

PatchFactory does not deal with any specific data structures, it operates with files and directories.

Databases or files of other formats can be updated only as binary files (warning: database update can be implemented only if it is not changed on the end-user's machine).

 

2.4 How to create an update module that can run silently (i.e. no user intervention, pop-up windows, etc..) ...?

By default the Update Installation is done in a wizard mode (i.e. user's interaction during installation is required) but nevertheless the capability to run installation in a silent mode is provided for. To do a silent install you can use the following optional command line parameters of the update module.

/SILENT, /VERYSILENT

Instructs Installation to be silent or very silent. When Installation is SILENT the wizard is not displayed but the installation progress window is. When Installation is VERYSILENT this installation progress window is also not displayed.

These parameters can be useful to system administrators, and to other programs calling the Update Installation program.

 

2.5 How can I localize PatchFactory client dialogs into my language?

To localize patch module dialogs to your language please, carefully read the Localization Instructions.

You can get a considerable discount! Please, do not send your language file prior to contacting us (required) via email or via an appropriate Support Forum, as a new version with exactly this language support can be already under development.

 

2.6 I'm trying to build a patch for a Gigabyte-sized file. Can your product handle files of this size? Any ideas on time per Gb and processor utilization?

The speed and quality of the comparing depends on the similarity of files to be compared. Please, have a look at the parameters description of the console program dfbuild.exe (see dfbuild.txt or dfbuild.exe /?) and tuning recommendations prior to perform the comparing of such big files.

 

Additional recommendations:

Try to perform comparing directly using console program dfbuild.exe in order to choose optimal comparing parameters.
Perform comparing with options "-1 -mem=10" set. If the obtained results do not satisfy your requirements - try executing without additional parameters (i.e. with parameters set by default).
Add these files to version images as links.

dfbuild program has a set of parameters which provides control under speed & quality of the comparing algorithm performance.

 

Here are brief tuning recommendations for setting of these parameters which can be helpful in some applications:

If you are processing large files (~500Mb and more) first try to use 'dfbuild' with parameters providing the maximum speed:

dfbuild -1 -mem=1 <old_file> <new_file>

If the result is not acceptable (df-file size is too big) try to increase the amount of system memory utilized using '-mem' parameter. And only after exhausting its potentialities try to change the 'comparing method' parameter.
However the size of the result patch-file and the speed of its building depends not only on the parameters set of the comparing algorithm but also on the nature and the similarity ratio of particular files to be compared.

 

2.7 Error applying df-file with EDF_OLD_MD5_ERROR code. What is wrong?

In this case there was a mismatch of MD5 checksum for an old (updated) file, which is stored on the end-user's machine and MD5 checksum calculated during patch building (i.e. the expected one), i.e. these files were different by content.

If this occurrence is expected and normal (i.e. if this file on the end-user's machine can be changed), then you should set the option "Update method" to the value "Don't allow update by diff" in the UPDATED (OLD) version.

You can also set option "Patch method" within the NEW version unequal to "Auto" value (the particular value should be selected according to your specific requirements).

Otherwise if this file is not expected to be changed on the end-user's machine then you should look for the reason of its modification by yourself.

 

2.8 How can I customize the Update Installation wizard images?

There are two methods available which you can use to customize the Update Installation wizard images:

1. Replace the original wizard images in "<PatchFactory Installation Folder>\Scripts\" folder, where

Setup.bmp - vertical installer image

SetupSmall - right-top small installer image.

2. Modify the "default.iss" patch applying script-file, located in "<PatchFactory Installation Folder>\Scripts\" folder.

- find the lines

WizardImageFile=${SCRIPT_PATH}Setup.bmp and WizardSmallImageFile=${SCRIPT_PATH}SetupSmall.bmp

and replace "${SCRIPT_PATH}Setup.bmp" and "${SCRIPT_PATH}SetupSmall.bmp" with the full (or relative to the Scripts folder) path to your installer images.

 

2.9 How can I Register a DLL/OCX library? I need to somehow register dll's after they are installed.

To register/unregister a DLL/OCX library, you can add several lines to the end of the 'default.iss' script-file according to the example listed below.

'default.iss' script-file is located in the "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Scripts" folder.

#----------------------------------#

function GetMyAppPath(new_comp_id: String): String;

 begin

   Result := GetPathForComp(NewVer,new_comp_id);

 end; 

[Run]

;; Register app.dll, stored in the Component with "MyComponent1" ID

  Filename: "{sys}\regsvr32.exe"; Parameters: """{code:GetMyAppPath|MyComponent1}\app.dll"""; Flags: nowait skipifdoesntexist; StatusMsg: "Registering Components..."

;; Unregister app.dll, stored in the Component with "MyComponent1" ID

  Filename: "{sys}\regsvr32.exe"; Parameters: "/u ""{code:GetMyAppPath|MyComponent1}\app.dll"""; Flags: nowait skipifdoesntexist; StatusMsg: "Unregistering Components..."

#----------------------------------#

Replace "MyComponent1" with the ID of the component specified in the "Component ID" property of your version component (not its Name but ID) where app.dll is located.

 

For more information, please read Inno Setup manual - section "How to use: Setup Script Sections -> [Run] section".

Inno Setup manual location : "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Inno\ISetup.hlp"

 

2.10 How can I write to the system Registry?

To add a record to the system Registry, you can add several lines to the end of the 'default.iss' script-file according to the example listed below.

'default.iss' script-file is located in the "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Scripts" folder.

#----------------------------------#

[Registry]

  Root: HKCU; Subkey: "Software\My Company\My Program"; ValueType: string; ValueName: "InstallPath"; ValueData: "{app}"

#----------------------------------#

For more information, please read Inno Setup manual - section "How to use: Setup Script Sections -> [Registry] section".

Inno Setup manual location : "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Inno\ISetup.hlp"

 

2.11 How can I run an executable or open another file after update is finished?

To run an executable, you can add several lines to the end of the 'default.iss' script-file according to the example listed below.

'default.iss' script-file is located in the "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Scripts" folder.

#----------------------------------#

function GetMyAppPath(new_comp_id: String): String;

  begin

  Result := GetPathForComp(NewVer,new_comp_id);

end; 

[Run]

  Filename: """{code:GetMyAppPath|MyComponent1}\app.exe"""; Flags: nowait skipifdoesntexist

#----------------------------------#

Replace "MyComponent1" with the ID of the component specified in the "Component ID" property of your version component (not its Name but ID) where app.exe is located.

To open a file which is not a directly executable file (an .exe or .com file) add the "shellexec" flag. (Flags: nowait skipifdoesntexist shellexec) This flag is required if Filename is not a directly executable file (an .exe or .com file). When this flag is set, Filename can be a folder or any registered file type -- including .hlp, .doc, and so on. The file will be opened with the application associated with the file type on the user's system, the same way it would be if the user double-clicked the file in Explorer. 

By default, when the shellexec flag is used it will not wait until the spawned process terminates. If you need that, you must add the flag waituntilterminated. Note that it cannot and will not wait if a new process isn't spawned -- for example, if Filename specifies a folder.

 

For more information, please read Inno Setup manual - section "How to use: Setup Script Sections -> [Run] section".

Inno Setup manual location : "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Inno\ISetup.hlp"

 

2.12 How can I specify the minimum user privilege required to run the update?

To check if the user is logged on as administrator and not run the patch if they are not, please add the following line inside the [Setup] section

of the 'default.iss' script-file.

'default.iss' script-file is located in the "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Scripts" folder.

Please find the following line

;PrivilegesRequired

inside 'default.iss' file and replace it with the desired value according to the example listed below.

 

PrivilegesRequired=admin

Valid values: none, poweruser, admin

Default value: none

Description:

This directive specifies the minimum user privileges required to run the update. When set to poweruser or admin, Setup will give an error

message at startup (e.g. "You must be logged in as an administrator when installing this program") if the user doesn't have at least Power User

or administrative privileges, respectively. This only applies to Windows NT platforms.

 

For more information, please read Inno Setup manual - section "How to use: Setup Script Sections -> [Setup] section".

Inno Setup manual location : "<PatchFactory3 Installation Folder>\Inno\ISetup.hlp"

 


If any question is not covered here, ask us: support@agensoft.com regarding technical issues (such as bug reports, feature suggestions, etc.)

and at sales@agensoft.com regarding sales issues (ordering problems, partnership suggestions, etc.)

You can also use our online email-form (preferably) to contact us.

We'll get in touch with you as soon as possible (usually within two business days).

* Do not forget to provide us with necessary technical information (Windows version, Detailed description of your problem,

and your registration information, if you are a registered user).

 

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