Wix Installer - I'm impressed

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Crunchy Cat, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    So I made my first Wix installer project recently and I have to say that the technology is pretty good. It's was easy, straight forward, and you can integrate both managed and unmanaged code as custom actions. Some of the things I was able to do pretty easily were:

    * Install Win32/.NET services.
    * Deploy support files.
    * Create custom user interfaces.
    * Use conditional component installation.
    * Make different Debug/Release deployment models.
    * Install certificates (authorities, personal .pfx with passwords, etc.).
    * Configure IIS application pools and applications.

    All that and Wix integrates directly with MS Dev Studio so you get intellisense and all the normal build functionality of VS. The downside is that Wix builds .msi's exclusively so you cannot have a company logo on the .msi file itself nor can you chain installers (but there is a solution in the works for the installer chaining limitation).

    Overall I do give Wix an "A+". It kicks InstallShields butt by a longshot (I've never once made / worked on an InstallShield project that wasn't horrifically painful).

    One thing I would like to do with Wix is integrate a WPF UI. I realize this imposes an automatic .NET requirement and I'm ok with that. I am *hoping* someone with more Wix experience could point me in the right direction (you can assume I know WPF, and any managed / unmanaged language VS supports).
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