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Articles from the InstallShield Newsletter

The following articles written by Stefan Krueger were published in previous issues of the InstallShield Newsletter, published by InstallShield Software Corporation. Click here to read the current issue

 

Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0

Microsoft has released version 2.0 of the Windows Installer runtime files and the Windows Installer SDK. Besides support for Windows XP and 64 bit applications, this version includes bug fixes and introduces useful operating system properties, e.g. to detect whether setup is running on NT Workstation or Server, or an XP Professional or Home Edition. It also significantly simplifies updates by eliminating the need for complicated ADDLOCAL and REINSTALL constructs, and no longer requires a reboot after installing the runtime files. The good news is that you can benefit from these improvements in your existing projects. Some modifications in your authoring tool may be required to install the new runtime files. As a result of the improvements and fixes in MSI 2.0 you may find that your setups and patches behave differently than they used to or even fail. Even if you don't include MSI 2.0 in your own setup, the new version may already be present on the target machine, so you should at least include MSI 2.0 in your testing scenario.
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Written by Stefan Krueger

GERMAN Dieser Artikel in deutsch

Installation Phases and In-Script Execution Options for Custom Actions in Windows Installer

When creating a custom action in InstallShield Professional - Windows Installer Edition you have several in-script execution options to choose from:

This article explains what these options mean and how they affect in which phase your custom action is executed at installation run time. It also helps you to insert the custom action in the correct location in the user interface or execute sequence, in order to avoid error messages like "Cannot write script record. Transaction not started."
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Written by Stefan Krueger

GERMAN Dieser Artikel in deutsch

Detecting Internet Explorer and Other Applications with Windows Installer

Often applications require that a certain version of Microsoft Internet Explorer or some other third party software be installed on the target system. For instance, HTML Help requires Internet Explorer 3.0. This article explains how to search for Internet Explorer 5.5 or above and abort setup with an error message if it is not found. The same technique can be used to search for other applications.
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Written by Stefan Krueger

Custom Setup Options in Windows Installer

Most Windows Installer based setups offer you to perform a Custom setup type, where you are presented a tree view of all features. Attached to each feature is a drop down menu with options as shown in the screen shot below:

Feature options

It's not very obvious how Windows Installer decides which choices will be displayed, what their effect is in your setup at runtime, how they relate to the settings in the feature and component properties of your project, and what you can do to remove undesired options. This article tries to shed some light on all these secrets. It is mainly based on observations and experiments, since I didn't find most of this documented in the Windows Installer SDK.
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Written by Stefan Krueger

Component, package, product and upgrade codes in Windows Installer

You can seen these alphanumeric strings in curly braces - also known as GUIDs - in many places in InstallShield Professional - Windows Installer Edition. This article describes the purposes of these component IDs, package codes, product codes and upgrade codes. It gives guidelines when you should change these codes and when not. And it explains why you can't use human readable strings in these places. (This article was originally published in the December 2000 issue of the InstallShield Newsletter.)
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Written by Stefan Krueger

Customizing InstallShield 6 Dialogs

InstallShield Professional - Standard Edition has an open architecture that allows you to customize existing dialogs or to create your own wizard dialogs from scratch. But there are also ways to tweak and improve your setup's user interface with less effort. This article lists various methods to customize dialogs and shows some tricks and tweaks. (This article was originally published in the January 2001 issue of the InstallShield Newsletter.)
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Written by Stefan Krueger

How to Identify Windows 2000 and Windows Me in a Setup Program

With the release of Microsoft's latest operating system versions some developers are unsure how these can be detected and distinguished from each other. This is a problem especially if the setup authoring tool they are using is too old to have built in support for these new operating systems. This article describes how to determine whether a computer is running Windows 95 or 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4 or Windows 2000. Instructions are given for InstallShield Professional versions 5.x and 6.x and Windows Installer. (This article has been updated since it was published in the November 2000 issue of the InstallShield Newsletter.)
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Written by Stefan Krueger

 

 

 

 

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