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May 17, 2007

Setup Factory for Windows Installer

I noticed over on Stefan's blog that there is another WiX UI player on the scene. I was curious so I downloaded it. Indigo Software requests that comments about the product be confined to their beta forum, and I will attempt to respect their wishes, so all I'll say right now is go check it out. I have and while it's not feature complete yet, I like what I see so far. My first 30 minutes with it have been a *MUCH* better experience then my first 30 minutes with WiXAware.

Check it out here.

I like the XML schema/compiler aspects of WiX a lot. But I've always thought that the developer tools were just absolutely horrible. I learned ANSI C using vi, cc and make on Solaris 10 years ago and I can tell you that is not the way I code today. Visual Studio 2005 has come a LONG way since those days.

Regardless, I'm finding WiX hard to ignore these days not so much because WiX has improved, but because I'm starting to get the feeling that the Windows Installer team simply will never update the core windows installer service but will instead rely on WiX to implement them in the CustomActions dll. You certainly get this impression reading the various Microsoftie blogs.

Perhaps if a few tools like this would come along and provide a really good development story it will become time for me to take the plunge.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Macrovision has been working on anything...

3 comments:

Luis Cardenas said...

I have an application in VB6 but I'm using a .NET wrapper. The problem is due to complications emerged with the wrapper The only tool that I have to create an installer is VB 2005 setup project. I've tried to create an installer with InstallShield X,XII but I can't get my application installed correctly. The wrapper never works.

Any Ideas. ?

Christopher Painter said...

I'm not sure what you mean by a .NET wrapper. Do you mean you have a .NET program and you call the VB6 through a primary interop assembly or do you just mean that you created an installer for your VB6 program using a Visual Studio Deployment Project?

You probably are just having COM registration and/or external dependency problems where something isn't getting detected, authored and installed correctly.

Without seeing your actual files, it's hard for me to say exactly what's wrong.

Luis Cardenas said...

Thanks a lot for your reply.

My primary app is a VB6 MMC Console, but I use a component for encryption which is built in VB .NET 2005. So in order to my VB6 app to use .NET functions I use a wrapper (a .TLB file and a .DLL file). This is so far complicated.

I used the following article:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa719107(VS.71).aspx

I am trying to create an InstallShield based installer, but the .NET component doesn't work. The only way I could make an installer for my app was using a Installation Project in VS2005 which loads all references, creates and .MSI file and installs my only VB6 app magically (Even when my app is VB6 app, and uses a .NET component).

Maybe I'm not using the terms correctly. What I need is to build an InstallShield based Installer, because I want to package several programs (most of them writen in VB .NET) in one only Installer. InstallShielld, installs everything fine except my VB6 proyect.

Thanks for your patience.

If you want me to. I can send you the component. I would require an email address.