As we are getting close to a software release here at work, I was giving the task of updating the installers. Some of which had last been build with version 5.1 (by the looks of them). My other task was to make “One installer to install them all”. After trying an MSI Basic project for the first install (prior to the “One Installer for all” directive) and had some issues. I would point any people with issues to the people on the InstallShield community site which were very helpful and responsive.
I then changed to InstallScript based project, and it now all works. I have heard that only MSI based installers will work on Vista, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. The scary thing is how there are so many different ways to skin the cat (or hide install steps/actions) in InstallScript. Worst is that I feel confident reading a InstallScript project and understanding what it’s all doing. I feel the big target of “install guy” freshly paint on my back.
All this aside it feels good to have gotten mostly to the other side.
For testing the installers I have been using Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. This has been a dream, until this point my workstation had not really used both processors and all 2 gigs of RAM, but it’s nice to have two VPC’s running the installers and have the box still responsive. This is something I have gotten used to, and now my home PC is painful when compiling our larger projects. The IS team has it really switch on here, and they have the whole software install purchase workflow sorted really well. It makes requesting things a pleasure. But the best part is installing the “Network install CD” in and build new machines in VPC and the whole process is so well scripted. These guys rock.