Orca is Microsoft's database table editor for directly creating and editing Windows Installer (previously Microsoft Installer) packages and merge modules. You are most likely familiar with these installation packages as MSI files.
You may have noticed, though, that Orca would freeze when you dropped a row at times. This is because the version that comes with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SDK (and Vista Platform SDK as well, I believe) would crash if you deleted some rows from a transform, such as registry entries. The newer versions of Orca seem to fix this, beginning with the version from the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008. Last I checked, there's an even newer version - version 5.0 - included in the Windows 7 SDK.
Well, that's the answer to your crashing issue, but there are more questions that now arise:
- The Windows 7 SDK is huge. Where exactly can I find the Orca.exe program in it?
- How do I go about downloading just the portion of the SDK that contains Orca?
- Are there any good alternatives to using Orca to edit MSI tables directly?
Read on for the answers to these questions!