ActivePatch Features

ActivePatch provides a comprehensive solution for the generation and application of product updates and upgrades. The following are some of the key features of ActivePatch:

Support for all file types.

Patches are generated by analyzing the original and updated file at the byte level, and will work on all file types including text files, binary data files and executable programs.

Optimal patch file generation.

The patch generation algorithm is adaptive, selecting the optimal method for creating the patch based on the contents of the file and the extent of the changes between the original and updated versions of the file. The developer has the option to generate smaller patches at the expense of speed and memory usage, or minimize memory usage during patch generation at the expense of the patch size.

Fast patch file application.

The patch application algorithm is designed for speed and minimal memory and CPU utilization on the target platform.

Update multiple files and directories.

Create patch archives which can be used to update multiple files at once. Directories can be recursively scanned, producing a list of files that have been added, deleted and modified from the original distribution.

Safe error recovery.

A patch is only applied when it has been determined that all updated files have been patched successfully and have passed all validation checks. The patch application process calculates and verifies CRC checksums for each file, compares file version information and validates any AuthentiCode digital signatures present in object modules. File deletions may be sent to the Windows recycle bin for easy recovery by the user.

Automatic file backup and logging.

Backup copies of the files modified during the patching process can be created, allowing the patch to be rolled back if needed. Activity during the patch application process is automatically logged in a human-readable text format.

Support for file attributes and permissions.

After the patch process has completed, the file's timestamp, attributes and permissions are updated to match the new version of the file. The developer can choose to ignore these values if required.

Support for shared files.

A file can be marked as shared and if it is currently in use, it will be replaced after the next system reboot. If a shared file is added or removed from the system, the file's reference count in the registry will be updated accordingly.

Support for ActiveX components.

When a self-registering ActiveX component is updated, it can be automatically registered after the patching process has completed.