View Full Version : Decision guidance

11-09-2005, 07:57 AM
I'm still quite new to installations. At the end of july, two rather large installation projects were transfered to me, both are pure InstallScript project. Three more were to be completely created by me. Since I didn't know any better (up to then I've only created some simple IS Express 3.5 installations, which did nothing more than copy files from installation medium to disk), I created these as pure InstallScript projects also.

But now I wonder, what would be the benefits of using a mixed InstallScript/MSI project instead of a pure InstallScript project?

Could you give some general advantages/disadvantages for one type over the other or general guidelines how you decide which project type to use (I know, the software to be installed and its requirements are probably a major factor too, but I think there are some general guidelines.).

Any answers are deeply appreciated!

Christopher Painter
11-09-2005, 09:17 AM
The learning curve on MSI is steeper then InstallScript. That said, after 6 years of doing InstallScript projects I've been doing MSI projects for the last 3 years and I like MSI better.

Determining Which Installation Type Is Right For You (http://helpnet.installshield.com/Robo/BIN/Robo.dll?mgr=agm&tpc=%2Frobo%2Fprojects%2Finstallshield11helplib%2FProjectTypes.htm&wnd=InstallShieldLivingHelp%7CMain&agt=wsm&ctxid=search%2Fgsearch.asp)

Now the following is going to be quite biased and short. For a longer discussion read the link above:

If your installations require very complex GUI requirements then you need to go with an InstallScript project.

If your installation can make do with a basic GUI ( MSI will let you customize the GUI but it won't be nearly as exotic as what can be done with an external UI handler ) then I really reccomend a Basic MSI project.

I seriously discourage the use InstallScript MSI projects but others disagree. I believe that while this project type does bring the best of both InstallScript and Basic MSI projects, it also brings the worse. Basic MSI can still do InstallScript custom actions, you don't need to do an InstallScript MSI project for that.

If your installations will ever be used by systems administrators for enterprise wide pushing, I really, really, really reccomend Basic MSI. Otherwise the odds are they will just have to hire some guy ( like me ) to repackage your 'legacy' InstallScript project into MSI format.

11-10-2005, 04:00 AM
Thank you very much!