I remember why I hate InstallShield

I’m back to getting the Installer ready for our pending release. In fact I’m the critical path at the moment. Yet I’m having convulsions with how the Install process works.

For so long I’ve wanted to use WiX to build MSI installers, and thus have been spending vast time reading how to do the more trickier tasks (more than xcopy) and yet I find not all is perfect in MSI land either. Surprise!

As far as my product goes, WiX/MSI will solve my problems. I love the declarative nature, thus giving you powerful roll-back functionality, but from the correct management of prerequisite it seems woefully shortcoming.

Where-as my InstallShield install-script installer, feels dirty as it’s so procedural, and thus I have to hand roll all the un-install, minor/major upgrade paths by hand, but can do what I like when I please.

But the real issues with InstallShield is that is crashes my machine when I’m not even using it! via it’s stupid agent.exe program, that goes 100% CPU (dual core machine so not a complete killer) and makes explorer run like a dog. And this service they are trying to sell as a value add-on, yet it ruins my development machine, hmm no thanks.

Or maybe it’s the licensing. I have both IS 12 and the newer IS 2008, but have chosen to stick with 12 as 2008 has a Vista like phone home silliness. I want to have it installed on our build machine, so all production builds are done in a clean location, and can be run by anybody from the dev team, but once a year have it on my machine also, while I’m tweaking the project. Yet that’s not going to work with the newer version.

So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.


Matt 2008-01-18 14:12:02

Perhaps we can persuade our cube neighbours to do things differently? Not sure persuade is the right word… we’re “merging” with them, but there’s more of us, so I call that an invasion - bwah ha ha! >:)

Simeon 2008-01-18 14:17:41

Almost a hostile take over? But will it really turn out to be a AOL/Time Warner?

Conor 2008-01-18 12:23:11

I remember why I installed IS on a virtual machine, and not my dev box…

Simeon 2008-01-18 13:42:18

Yes, but, no but… <mumbles>good idea</mumbles>.