Saturday, September 11, 2004

Wrestling with the MSI setup editor in Visual Studio

Tim Anderson blogs about editing an MSI after it is built by Visual Studio .NET. There are various tips hidden in here about how to cope with duplicate assemblies being added to the MSI, marking a file so upgrades don't overwrite it, invoking the Custom Action editor, and MSI SQL.

For more detailed information related to editing an MSI after it is built, check my previous blog entry "MSI - Modifying the Installer Database at Runtime" and scroll down to Solution 1.

For more information as to how to launch a program after installation, see How do I use a custom action to launch an installed file at the end of the installation? from MSDN.

Tim also mentions as to why he stuck with using the Visual Studio MSI packager instead of a commercial editor. He gives 4 reasons, and I would add purity as a fifth. Regardless of the authoring tool he uses, his code will always work. Granted, pretty much any tool he uses will eliminate the need for his particular edits to the MSI, but the concept is still valid.

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