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November 03, 2010

InstallTalk: Windows 7 Application Compatibility

It looks like after 7 years InstallShield is finally joining the blogosphere.  Maureen Polte kicks off a new blog series called "InstallTalk" with an article dealing with Windows 7 application compatibility. It's an interesting article that addresses "what a software installation developer can do to help".  
Here's a quick list of the pain areas she lists:

  1. Legacy Help Files
  2. Windows Resource File and Registry Issues
  3. UAC File Header Issues
  4. Custom Action Security Issues
  5. Legacy Control Panel Applet Security Issues
 What I find interesting is that 3 of the 5 issues aren't really installer problems, they are development problems.  Over the last 15 years I've served in a variety of roles including Tier-4 Enterprise Engineering, Application Development, Build Engineering and Installation Engineering.   I've seen the industry from a variety of angles with a number of companies and in general I'd say that Maureen is correct in pointing out that operations folks often encounter pain caused by ISV's.   But I don't point the finger at install developers.  The problem comes when development organizations do a poor job of understanding the platform they are developing for and fail to take integration concerns into account from the moment they create their designs.  Of course the highly complex nature of the Windows platform and related technology stacks doesn't help any of this.

One of these days this message will get back to developers.  Until then I'll keep making the best possible installs and offering practical integration tips wherever I can.

1 comment:

Christopher Painter said...

My fault for not making InstallTalk a link. I've fixed that.

I'm also adding them to my daily rounds list over to the right. As long as they post on a regular basis they will stay up near the top of the list.