View Full Version : InstallShield Strikes Again

Dan Crosby
05-25-2005, 10:16 AM
InstallShield never gets any better does it? Just more complicated.

I can't determine from the help files how to make proper use of the 'SQL Scripts' option. It would appear to be capable of doing what I want, but the help does not contain a clear, step-by-step, description of all the things required to make it work. The "Configuring SQL Support" section doesn't actually contain any useful information for an SQL novice like me.

Unfortunately, this is just what I've come to expect from IS (having been a user from 5.5). Everytime I have to use it, I get the same feeling of dread... the mind-numbing tedium of trying to figure out how the product works by trial-and-error, by trawling through newsgroups, by blindly trying stuff and crossing my fingers...

How IS have come to be market leaders is beyond me, but it is for that very reason I'm stuck using a product that rarely 'does what is says on the tin'...

I don't believe any company can really have a business plan that includes 'Let's make our product so confusing and esoteric that users will be forced to paid for training in order to use it'


06-01-2005, 02:35 PM
I can empathize with what you are saying.
Every new release of InstallShield we get seems to have
lots of cool new features, but doesn't fix the problems found in the last release.

Installshield products seem to be good for creating feature-rich, bloatware installs, but not simple, trustworthy, bulletproof installs.

Dan Crosby
06-02-2005, 04:50 AM
It even effects the rest of our development - because we avoid like the plague doing anything that will require us to modify our installs...

Daniel K
06-02-2005, 10:08 AM
I've also used Installshield since version 5.5 and couldn't agree more. Unfortunately new features sell a product better and make more money than bug fixes and good documentation...

Dan Crosby
06-02-2005, 10:18 AM
But even when you upgrade to get new features, they don't work. Or are very difficult to decipher.

And don't get me started on the help files.... :confused: I don't need a code example of a function when all the parameters are explained, but I could use a good example of how to use the SQL Scripts feature...

(which I figured out, as always, by reading through the pain of other users on this forum!)

Daniel K
06-03-2005, 05:55 AM
Funnily enough I just changed the setup language in a couple of setups, in one setup it worked like a charm, in the other it wont build, first I got a -4371 error apparently generated by warnings in my installscript (nothing serious, just functions i'd prototyped and not called). Thinking it was odd that it should throw up an error because of some warning, i read the related document in the KB and commented out everything causing a problem. Now it refuses to build for NO REASON AT ALL. Literally - it throws up an error with no description and no error code. Thank you very much... it's a typical scenario though with installshield not working correctly outside of the most basic projects; I'd contact technical support - but they don't knwo the product from a bar of soap and seem to exist primarily to fob you off until you work out your own solution. I can tell I have a very frustrating day ahead of me already...

Dan Crosby
06-03-2005, 06:27 AM
Technical Support I mean. We did a couple of versions ago, Gold Premier Super-Duper support too - never again! Most of the support staff seem as if they have just started working for IS that morning, it's obvious they never used the application in a practical situation and just as obvious they work from a box of set responses and panic when you know more about the product than they do.

We got told to 'Reinstall InstallShield' so many times it wasn't funny (WTF - any idea how long that takes??). In the end, using newsgroups and trial-and-error, we fixed our problems on our own and were telling the Tech Support guys how to do it.

There are some people at IS that do know their stuff, and are very helpful, but trying to get hold of them..... Chandima Rajakaruna helped me a lot with MSDE 2000, but that could be because I was BETAering their object for them :rolleyes:

Dan Crosby
06-03-2005, 06:28 AM
...lets all have a good whinge about IS

Daniel K
06-03-2005, 06:43 AM
LOL - yup, it's good to blow off a bit of steam now and again.

My company did pay for the support (they don't provide free support that I know of), but I wont be recommending that they do it again ...

I found my build problem occurred in 3 separate setups all containing InstallScript CA's when I changed the language settings. Managed to solve it with my usual trick of backing up the project and removing every merge module/custom action one by one until it worked. Oddly it seems that I can make any of the problem projects build by deleteing literally any installscript CA in the project and recreating it!?! Very odd.

06-03-2005, 12:10 PM
Reading this thread might be the most fun I've ever had on this forum :D

06-13-2005, 05:38 PM
been trying to get update to work , but this seems hopless . After that i needed SQL script install to work . Ddid it work with any of you ? can any one give any help on this ?
What do i need to do to make the script works ?


Dan Crosby
06-14-2005, 04:04 AM
I've never tried 'Update' so I can't speak to that, but the SQL stuff was reasonably straightforward.

Mind you, it wasn't 'automatic' as the help system seemed to imply - perhaps because I was upgrading an old project.

Overall, it (getting the SQL script to work) was more difficult than it needed to be, mostly because the 'Help' isn't very helpful.

04-25-2006, 10:40 PM
I dread every time I have to work with this product. It's just one big hassle.

I have yet to see simple, concise, documentation on how this all works. Like an "InstallShield for Dummies" that walks through the entire process and how everything works and ties together.

04-28-2006, 07:28 PM

I used to feel the same way. But something positive came out. Installshield gurus are worth the buck. Let's get this ball rolling in the market.

It is very difficult to learn to use this product and to keep up with its neverending 180 degree shifts with each version.

I've decided to specialize in this product. Why? It has market like you've said and it is difficult to use. This reminds me of auto repair shops in the late 80's and during the 90's, cars were so complicated and intricate that their owners got rich!

It's our turn now.