Do you know any generic tool that can be used to check custom software-hardware prerequisites on a local machine? I mean, I'd like to have a tool which I can easily configure to check if the machine has, say .NET version this and this, and if SQL server 2005 is installed, and if IIS 6 or later is installed etc. then send it to somebody and he would start the tool and immediately know if a machine meets all defined conditions.
I imagine endless plugin possibilities for such tool: checking for python, java, ruby, php, all components, app servers, database servers, etc. It could do basic checks (e.g. only find if say Python 2.5 is installed) or more advanced (if installed - check if it's configured in this and this way). It could then check for hardware prerequisites like CPU, memory, hard drives, etc.
I'm saying 'tool' but this could be some low-level C or C++ library with documented methods. It would be possible to build higher-level tools around it, use it in the installation wizards etc etc. Is there anything like this out there? Would be nice and saved a lot of effort sometimes.
I'm not quite sure it is what you need, but you might want to take a look at NSIS (it's an installer framework).
There is a number of plugins and scripts already written for it that check for such prerequisites, and even offer a way to install those with your application.