Getting version information from Windows MSI installer

For a large orgnization, it’s common to push a software to clients for auto installation and update. Usually the process needs to know the version information of a software installation package (on Windows it is likely a MSI file) to compare to what has been installed on client machines.

Getting the version information is crucial for this process. For some MSI files, its file meta data contains the information which can be retrieved with the following PowerShell commands:

PS D:\Users\joeli\Downloads> Get-ItemProperty .\Wireshark-win64-3.4.3.exe|Format-List

    Directory: D:\Users\joeli\Downloads

Name           : Wireshark-win64-3.4.3.exe
Length         : 61482312
CreationTime   : 2/26/2021 9:39:53 PM
LastWriteTime  : 2/26/2021 9:41:42 PM
LastAccessTime : 2/26/2021 9:41:42 PM
Mode           : -a----
LinkType       :
Target         : {}
VersionInfo    : File:             D:\Users\joeli\Downloads\Wireshark-win64-3.4.3.exe
                 FileDescription:  Wireshark installer for 64-bit Windows
                 Product:          Wireshark
                 Debug:            False
                 Patched:          False
                 PreRelease:       False
                 PrivateBuild:     False
                 SpecialBuild:     False
                 Language:         English (United States)

PS D:\Users\joeli\Downloads> Get-Item .\Wireshark-win64-3.4.3.exe|Select-Object -ExpandProperty VersionInfo

ProductVersion   FileVersion      FileName
--------------   -----------      --------          D:\Users\joeli\Downloads\Wireshark-win64-3.4.3.exe

However, for some MSI files, the meta data doesn’t contain this information and the commands above will return nothing.

PS C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop> Get-Item .\JoeTest.msi|Select-Object -ExpandProperty VersionInfo

ProductVersion   FileVersion      FileName
--------------   -----------      --------

In this case, likely for those MSI files, the version information is stored in the MSI database. A small script is needed to open MSI database and query the version information:

param (
        [System.IO.FileInfo] $MSIPATH 
if (!(Test-Path $MSIPATH.FullName)) { 
    throw "File '{0}' does not exist" -f $MSIPATH.FullName 
try { 
    $WindowsInstaller = New-Object -com WindowsInstaller.Installer 
    $Database = $WindowsInstaller.GetType().InvokeMember("OpenDatabase", "InvokeMethod", $Null, $WindowsInstaller, @($MSIPATH.FullName, 0)) 
    $Query = "SELECT Value FROM Property WHERE Property = 'ProductVersion'" 
    $View = $database.GetType().InvokeMember("OpenView", "InvokeMethod", $Null, $Database, ($Query)) 
    $View.GetType().InvokeMember("Execute", "InvokeMethod", $Null, $View, $Null) | Out-Null 
    $Record = $View.GetType().InvokeMember( "Fetch", "InvokeMethod", $Null, $View, $Null ) 
    $Version = $Record.GetType().InvokeMember( "StringData", "GetProperty", $Null, $Record, 1 ) 
    return $Version 
} catch { 
    throw "Failed to get MSI file version: {0}." -f $_ 
PS C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop> .\get_msi_version.ps1 -MSIPATH .\JoeTest.msi

In the script above, the proerty value is hard coded with “ProductVersion”. Other information such as “ProductCode”, “ProductVersion”, “ProductName”, “Manufacturer”, “ProductLanguage” can also be retrieved.


Windows Installer Property Reference

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