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Mother
08-31-2004, 07:15 AM
Hi all,

I am looking at purchasing InstallShield X Express, but after evaluating the software, I have very serious doubts about it.

Currently I use Visual Basic 6.0 SP6, and I have been able to create installers that work great with InstallShield Express 3.5 (yes, I know, it's old, but works nice for me).

I tried to create an installer with X (completely new project, not an import) on a project I had already packaged with Express 3.5 and got working fine, and the results were rather deflating...

- After doing a static and dynamic scan for dependencies, some ActiveX libraries (DataDynamics ActiveBar, and a couple of custom OCXs I've written) had been unregistered from the Windows registry, and required re-registration and re-installation in some cases.

- After installing the resulting package, which went OK, I tried to uninstall, only to find that every time I tried to launch the Visual Basic IDE, the MSI installer came up asking for the location of the installer. I found a couple of entries in the Windows App log, with IDs 1001 and 1004, relating to some of the libraries involved.

- The only way to cure the problem was to scan the registry and remove all references to the .msi, which clearly is not acceptable to a client.

Is this a commonplace behaviour, and can it be fixed? I am willing to accept that radical changes in X compared to 3.5 have made me make mistakes in the process, but I simply followed the Assistant, and **** resulted. The project is VERY simple, it has no database support, etc. just the exe and a few OCXs.

Any suggestions kindly appreciated, best regards,

Mike

Mike Marino
09-09-2004, 06:53 PM
Express X does not register or unregister anything during scanning. I am not sure why just scanning an application would cause any differences to the systems registry.

If you installed your application you built with Express on your build machine, that would modify registry data, but simply scanning should not.

If after installing an application you are getting other applications to kick into MSI repair mode, the best way to figure out what the problem is, is to look at the Even viewer. It will tell you exactly what application's component caused repair mode to start.

You may try marking your OCX's as "Self Register" instead of COM Extraction. That may solve some of the problems.

Hope this helps.

Mother
09-10-2004, 04:12 AM
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your suggestions, I have already started investigating into those lines, but what I still fail to understand is why after uninstalling the application, the msi and registry pointers to it are left on the target machine. This may sound like it's not a problem, but to me an uninstall feature means completely removing all traces of the software. If there were shared libraries they may have to stay, but that's no excuse for leaving behind software that starts auto-triggering when running certain applications.

I can confirm that the msi launched for no reason, as all libraries that were causing it to fire were present and registered, so I still don't understand why it was doing it.

The bottom line is that unless I can trust the software, I cannot start to use to deploy end-user apps, as the last thing I want is added support burden because of installation / uninstallation problems. With Express 3.5 I had zero problems or complaints regarding program installation.

I'll give it one more shot with self-registering, but I don't hold much hope.

Thanks again for your help, regards,

Mike

Mike Marino
09-10-2004, 11:04 AM
Which MSI and Registry pointers are being left behind. Maybe I can shed some light or look to see what the underlying problem is.

Thanks.