Installation Glossary

The definitive list of installation terms

installCore prepared this glossary of industry terminology to help software developers, publishers and advertisers understand and optimize the software installation process.

Diving into Installation

Brush up on your software installation terminology to help you manage your campaign to success.

These definitions are specific to the installation industry. Their application may be slightly different in other industries.

A/B Testing

Running campaigns separately or in parallel to compare the performance of various installation elements.

Ad Server

A technology that stores a catalog of advertisements, and places them according to a variety of usage data. In any given page impression or installation flow, an ad server culls through hundreds or thousands of possible ads from its database and chooses how to place them based on the behavior of the user. This entire process occurs within a few milliseconds.


The person or group who puts advertisements of their software in the installation of another digital product.


The data or business intelligence that helps guide an installation campaign.

Business Intelligence (BI)

The process of turning data into accessible, actionable information. In the context of installation, some premium installation platforms offer BI in the form of graphs and analytics to help advertisers and publishers guide their campaigns.

Installation Analytics


A phrase or button that compels a user to complete a task. Typically in installation this refers to how an advertiser encourages the user to download an additional piece of software.

Churn Rate

The frequency at which users uninstall a piece of software. Churn rate is a measurement of user retention.

Commercial Off-the-Shelf Installer

The default installation solution that comes with an operating system.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A series of servers distributed over a wide area to facilitate communication and transference of data. Having a globally distributed CDN significantly improves download times, and minimizes the chances of disruptions.


The person or group who creates the software.


The process of identifying new users for a piece of software and ensuring that the product arrives on their device safely.


The initial download that carries the capabilities to complete the full download. An installer footprint is usually much smaller than the actual software in terms of memory.

Freemium Software

A monetization technique that gives users the basic options of a software for free, but requires a payment to unlock the ‘premium’ features.

In-software Purchases

Another method of monetizing software, users can buy additional features and upgrades to enhance the software experience. Can be used in conjunction with installation platforms to earn additional revenues. It's important to note here that the installation platform's role typically ends once the software arrives to its end-user.

Installation Platform

An installation platform is an ecosystem that provides software delivery, distribution, and monetization. It is a technology that helps software vendors connect with users.

software installation platform


A cyber crime that involves injecting harmful code into a seemingly normal display advertisements. When users click on these 'bad ads', the nasty script is executed on the user's browser, opening the door for an array of malicious invasions.


Software that abuses computer resources with no added benefit for the user.


The process of generating revenue from a product. In this context publishers and developers monetize their software by allowing advertisers to make offers during the installation of their products. The success of a piece of software is largely dependent on how well it can earn money from users without disturbing the user experience.

Opt-In Offer

A software advertisement that requires an action from a user before it can be downloaded.

Opt-Out Offer

A software advertisement that the user will accept by default unless they actively refuse the offer.


The process of updating and revising the installation interface to best serve the user. For advertisers this means clarifying the language in the offer, making an appealing image, or adjusting the Call-To-Action. Any optimization process is best served with precise A/B testing.

Pay Per Installation (PPI)

A common monetization format for software installation. When a user downloads additional software advertised during the installation, the publisher gets paid.

Pay Per Engagement (PPE)

A wider format of monetization in software installation than PPI. Publishers get paid when a user makes additional downloads, clicks through to the advertised software’s website, or some other previously agreed upon definition of ‘engagement’. To help you remember, PPE includes PPI, but PPI does not necessarily include PPE.

Program Files

A location in the Windows operating system that contains the files for installed software.


The host of the product being downloaded. Publishers can be software developers who are monetizing with advertisements during the download. Or, ‘publisher’ can also refer to large download portals.


An acronym for "Potentially Unwanted Program". Although essentially subjective, most agree that  various types of spyware, malware, and trojans fit into this category of software. These programs take advantage of a computer's resources, without giving any or minimal value to the user.

Registry Keys

A light-weight text file that contains configuration information for Windows programs.

Software Registration

The process of validating a legal purchase or acquisition of a piece of software. The user must agree to the legal terms created by the software publisher in a End User Licence Agreement (EULA) statement. Users often must also provide some basic identification information.

Successful Download

A piece of software that arrives to the user fully intact, without being compromised along the download path. The user does not need to do any additional updates to begin using the application.

Take Rate

The percentage of users who decide to accept an offer for additional software during a download. Take rate is an important measurement for understanding the success of an advertisement in an installation campaign.


Refers to the process of narrowing down an audience and reaching specific user segments. For example, if Company A makes puzzle-game software, than they want to target their advertisements to puzzle-game enthusiasts.

Tracking Pixel

A link or a piece of code used when running an installation campaign that helps the publisher and advertiser keep track of analytics like lead generation and take rate.

User Experience (UX)

Refers to how a user interacts with a digital display. In an installation, UX may refer to the ease with which a user follows instructions, understands information, or completes tasks.

User Interface (UI)

The visual component of usability. During an installation the colors, fonts, and images can have a drastic impact on the success rate of installation, and take rate of additional software.

Value of a Single Free User

The value of a single free user is calculated like so: average upgrades per installation x $ profit for each upgrade. For a more detailed explanation, see the chapter on PPI.

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