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The Definitive Guide to Windows Installer / Edition 1

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When a company builds and ships software, the installation process is often the first opportunity for a customer to view the the product and the company—and the installation experience can make or break a lasting impression. So this book is ideal for companies and developers who want to impress their clientele.

This book covers every aspect of using the Windows Installer, the underlying installer technology in Windows. A valuable tool for you software developers, this book helps ensure thorough and reliable installation for your customers. Most other books for software developers end too abruptly and omit critical information, like how to create the necessary installation software. But The Definitive Guide to Windows Installer picks up where the other books trail off.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590592977
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 4/29/2004
  • Series: The Expert's Voice in Net Series
  • Edition description: 1st Corrected ed. 2004. Corr. 3rd printing 2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 0.68 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 7.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Wilson graduated from the University of Aston in Birmingham, U.K. with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, but he preferred computers to test tubes and eventually worked for 15 years on developing operating systems for Burroughs and Unisys mainframes. Phil started programming for Windows in the early 1990s and has developed in MFC, ATL COM, Visual Basic, and C#. He has been involved in installation design and technology for about eight years, and he became a Microsoft "Most Valuable Professional" for Windows Installer in 2003. To get away from computers, he plays and records guitar, and enjoys camping in the California desert.
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Table of Contents

About the author
Ch. 1 Installations past, present, and future 1
Ch. 2 Building an MSI file : visual studio and orca 13
Ch. 3 COM in the Windows installer world 31
Ch. 4 Searches and conditions 49
Ch. 5 Sequences of events and custom actions 67
Ch. 6 How do you fix it? 111
Ch. 7 ASP.NET setups 129
Ch. 8 Installing .NET assemblies 141
Ch. 9 Installation design 169
Ch. 10 Windows services 185
Ch. 11 The GAC and updating assemblies 201
Ch. 12 Updates using patches 213
Ch. 13 Installation environments 227
Ch. 14 How-tos, tips, and gotchas 241
Ch. 15 Exploring the installer APIs 265
Ch. 16 Tools and futures 277
Index 283
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2004

    Very elegant new approach

    Many developers who write applications for a Microsoft operating system know all too well of installation hazards. The possibility of introducing DLLs that are incompatible with existing DLLs, for example. Plus lots more things that could fail. Wilson starts off his book with a listing of what could traditionally go wrong in an installation. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this was a wretched state of affairs. You typically had programming expertise in your particular field. But there should have been no a priori reason why this expertise should have to stretch to the installation process. Right? Wilson gives an alternative. He details how you can use Windows Installer to install and uninstall your application. The process is still nontrivial, mind you. Which is why we have a book of this length. But it shows how, if you fit your application within WI's strictures, then the entire install is now much easier and safer. Perhaps the single best advantage is that WI makes your install a transaction. Either it all works, or the install will fail and your system will be unaffected. Atomic. We have rollback ability. Those of you familiar with SQL and transaction processing will recognise this. Wilson shows that WI is in fact based on SQL tables and relational processing. Some people at Microsoft made a nice design! By undergirding the installation with SQL tables. It lets WI have an inner coherent structure, into which third party applications can fit, in a disciplined way. Plus, it allows the panoply of SQL queries. At the right level, it is an elegant approach.

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