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InstallShield Pro Development: Automated Build Process

Note regarding InstallShield 6: Unless otherwise stated the tips and tricks on this page have been written for InstallShield 5, and not all of them will work with InstallShield 6. Some may even damage your project files, so remember to make backups first.

This page summarizes tools and tips that help you compile and build your setup in an unattended process. Most of them have have already been mentioned in other sections but are listed here also to provide convenient access.

Change Project GUID in IS6

The project GUID is stored in the .ipr file. If you want to build several configurations from one project, and want each to have a unique GUID, you can use these tools to modify the GUID in the .ipr file.

Command Line Executable

This program generates a new GUID and puts it into the .ipr file.

Updated: now supports IS 6.3 projects. Source code included.

ZIP   Written by Michael Presutti
File size: 22.675 bytes   Last update: 2002-02-04

Perl Script to Set GUID

This perl script inserts the specified GUID into the .ipr file. To generate GUIDs use guidgen.exe from the Platform SDK.

ZIP   Written by Carl Shimer
File size: 418 bytes   Last update: 2000-01-24

Create and Update File Groups

Note: These tools have been created for InstallShield 5.0 and 5.1. They have not been tested with later versions. IS 5.5 comes with dynamic file group linking features built-in, so these tools may be obsolete and may damage IS5.5 FGL files.

Here is a stand-alone FGL processor. What it does is to process a data file to create the FGLs that InstallShield uses. This allows you to specify groups of files, pick up new directory contents, and use UNC names - without having to manually drag and drop into IS5. It makes script maintenance easier. Just rerun FGLupadte, open the script and make the media.
Note that this is a 32 bit EXE compiled from an AWK script. No shell, interpreter or other tools required!

ZIP (108.675 Bytes)   Provided by Burton M. Strauss III

Here is another file group tool that may be of interest for you. It is a bit more "Windows style" than the above, so it may feel more familiar for some of us.

PFTW UpdateFileGroups.exe (680.882 Bytes)    Provided by Bjørn Sundby

The first FGL tool that appeared on InstallSite is still available. However, it requires some sort of Shell and awk tool (like MKS).

ZIP (1.388 Bytes)   Provided by Jimmy Choi

Read also Bill Foust's article on Using Realtive Paths in File Groups.

Set IncludeInBuild Flag for Components

Do you need to build different "flavors" of your setup, for instance Debug and Release or Update and Full? InstallShield has a useful feature for this kind of task: the "Include in Build" flag for components. But until today, you had to set these flags manually in the IDE. Now here is a tool that can set the Include in Build flag from command line. It is easy to use, and a sample build.bat file is included in the package. Also included is the Visual C source code.

Update: Added support for InstallShield 6

ZIP (26.360 Bytes)    Written by Elihu Rozen, updated by Richard Pointon
File size: 27.483 bytes   Last update: 3001-04-03

Set Language for a Media Build

You can select which of the languages included in your setup will actually be used for a media build.

Update: Added support for InstallShield 5.5

ZIP (17.9981 Bytes)    Provided by Elihu Rozen

Command Line Compiler and Media Builder

Creating a setup project always requires the IDE. But after you once compiled your script and built your media, you can maintain your project from the command line. InstallShield Software Corporation has released the software and documentation that is required for command line compiles and builds. It is included in InstallShield Professional version 5.1 and above.

In version 5.5 the Media Builder even has an automation interface. The COM server is in MediaBuild20.dll (located in <COMMONFILES>\InstallShield\MediaBuild). It is not officially documented or supported, but for someone familiar with typical programmable object model the type library for the MediaBuild object model should be self documenting. The type library is embedded in the MediaBuild20.dll and you can view it in VB object browser, for example.

Edit CAB Files

If you want to update a file in a CAB after the media build is completed, you have to use the InstallShield CAB Tool (InstallShield doesn't use the standard Microsoft CAB file format).

You can use this tool to list the contents of a CAB file, and add or delete files inside the CAB. The tool runs from command line, and uses an INI file to list components. The CAB Tool is part of InstallShield 5.5 and not available as separate download.




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