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MichaelHlavinka
11-02-2005, 12:01 PM
Will InstallShield ever fix and improve their synchronization between original and minor upgrades with regard to dynamic file linking and other issues?

Here are some of the problems that I'm aware of:
1) The component GUID's between initial and minor updates are never properly synchronized unless you choose a file in the component to serve as a keypath. This is not required by MSI and I want to use the folder as the keypath which is indicated by a NULL keypath for the component. When you do this, you get different GUIDs for the updates than the original component--a direct violation of what is allowed to occur in a minor upgrade where the product code does not change. Again, please don't tell me to use a file as a keypath. I have reasons why I don't want to do this, and the only reason I would need to is because IS synchronization is broken! I manually fix it all the time using Orca.

2) InstallShield sometimes fails to synchronize short file names generated by IS between the original and minor upgrade. This failure is caught when creating patches using PATCHWIZ.DLL and logged as a warning. You have to manually synchronize these failures as well.

3) I believe InstallShield really needs more than one Original MSI file for synchronization. It needs a list of MSI files for situations where you create more than a single minor upgrade. For the second and subsequent minor upgrades, synchronization inconsistencies in component GUID's, file names, registry items, etc. can occur if components or new files are added in minor upgrades that are not present in the original MSI. IS knows nothing about the other MSI files where these changes may have occurred. Obviously, items can also be removed in minor upgrades. Since Windows Installer 2.0, all of these have been legal within the MSI framework for a minor upgrade and IS still does not properly account for these.

In my opinion, one of the most lacking areas of IS (I'm using version 11) is the ability to generate minor upgrades that are reliable and do not require significant manual editing of the MSI file. I've seen no improvements in this area over the past several releases.

Will someone from IS comment on these issues? Do other competing products do a better job of this? If so, I likely will change because I've yet to see a new feature in a recent release that would benefit me. If I could get this problem solved, I would change my mind.

andres
02-15-2006, 06:58 AM
I know this thread is old but i want to say thanks to MichaelHlavinka for reporting this bug, really help to understand the problem
more info:
http://community.macrovision.com/showthread.php?t=141045&highlight=dynamic+file+linking+minor+update

MichaelHlavinka
02-21-2006, 02:22 PM
I've reported it but no one is listening. I guarantee if you're using dynamic file linking with IS and performing minor upgrades, you are encountering this problem if you use a folder as the keypath (again, legitimate wrt MSI). You may not realize it on an install, the failure occurs on uninstall where files are left on the system. I guess no one tests uninstalls.

BTW this is still not fixed in IS 11.5. I'm still waiting.... I wonder if I'll live long enough to see this terrible problem resolved. I'm also waiting for a SIMPLE acknowledgement of this problem from IS. I guess if I can't get at least that, how do I expect to get the problem fixed?