Many of us need to create a self-extracting archive from time to time, so we can distribute files across the internet or from a DVD/CD.
The most obvious choice would be something like WinZip Self-Extractor or Stuffit Deluxe, tools that enable you to select some files and then archive them in to a self-contained executable file.
However, these self-contained executable files allow for very limited flexibility. Yes, you can password protect your archive and you have a limited choice over where the files end up on the user's computer.
The problem is that this self-contained executable certainly isn't a replacement for a regularly installed archive, which will enable users to select where they want to install their files, the files they want to install and much more.
Inno Setup is a free professional-level installer application that will enable you to wrap up files within a Windows installer that is familiar to the end user.
This installation routine is ideal for the programmer who wants to distribute their application to end-users and needs their installer to be highly customisable.
You can add the usual Registry entries, which may be required to locate files associated with your software. Better still, with full source code available, you're able to make amendments to the installer code to suit your requirements.