View Full Version : Import component list from an XML file.

Hani Atassi
12-15-2004, 10:27 AM
Is there a way to import the component list with the files assosiated with them from an external XML file?

Or can we export the list to an XML file from InstallShield.?!

I generate my file list in an XML file automaticlly after each build. I would like to use the same list instead of maintaing another structure in InstallShield..


Christopher Painter
12-15-2004, 10:46 AM
Robmens blog has some thoughts about doing this to dynamically build WiX XML templates from external data sources.

Basically your going to have to use automation to map data from your XML schema to Installshields project structure.

If can be done, and although I am a proponent of Continuous Integration, I'm not quite convinced it's worth the effort at this point.

Hani Atassi
12-15-2004, 11:27 AM
Thanks for the reply.. Yeah I thought it should be done through automation, but I was looking if there is already something out there or in installshield that would do the same thing...

Christopher Painter
12-15-2004, 11:34 AM
If you havn't already checked out Wix and Robmen go to


If you were to walk the halls of Microsoft and even some other shops like Volt ( checkout monster.com and read the job descriptions for Installer types from Volt ) you will find that their are indeed groups out there that are using automation to do things like translate an excel sheet into an XML document and then use WiX to build the project.

Frankly, I don't agree. While I don't think you should blindly use a product like InstallShield without understanding the underlying MSI design, I also don't think it's very practical to be building XML fragments in notepad. A RAD tool like InstallShield certainly brings alot to the table in terms of developer productivity.

But then again what do I know? I'm just a seasoned software engineer, not some young Slashdot.org zealot screaming about XML, Open Source and death to RIAA.

Hani Atassi
12-15-2004, 05:31 PM
I just found out something.. You can actually, save the project of InstallShield 10.5 as XML.. So I can actually, edit the project file using my tool to update the files as needed.

The XML in the project file looks like a dump of MSI databases.


Christopher Painter
12-15-2004, 07:18 PM
Correct, IS maps the MSI table schema to XML schema pretty much 1:1. Wix on the other hand maps the schema in an entirely different manner.