View Full Version : InstallShield documentation lacking?

05-19-2006, 12:12 PM
How does InstallShield normally document changes in their product that will require their users to change their installations as well?
I have had to change a number of my installscript custom actions to use CustomActionData. I had no clue I had to do this until I encountered a problem.
And that's how I usually find out I have to make changes. But shouldn't there be a comprehensive document that says in detail "if you used to do that then you will have to do this now" instead of "you won't be able to do that anymore"

Case in point (from release notes):
The InstallScript MSI architecture has had a number of issues with security (COM/DCOM) and other areas that can cause some installations to fail for various reasons. The architecture has been improved dramatically for InstallShield 12 to resolve these issues and to make InstallScript MSI a more reliable project type. The improvements also help increase the reliability of Basic MSI projects that include InstallScript custom actions.

From the above excerpt, should I have known that I need to start using CustomActionData from now on? And when I did a search on how to use CustomActionData in InstallShield's help libraries it pointed me to the Windows Installer documentation.

Shouldn't there be some sort of comprehensive documentation that lists the changes users will have to make and how to do them in order to upgrade to a version of InstallShield that has made significant architectural changes.

Not that I don't mind performing searches in InstallShield's help library or the Windows Installer SDK help or in InstallShield's KB articles and having to reconcile information on all three. :D

05-19-2006, 01:17 PM

I'm currently writing a Knowledge Base article that will explain details about what changed as a result of the rearchitecture, and it will include information that will be helpful to users who are upgrading InstallShield 11.5 or earlier projects to InstallShield 12 (including that CustomActionData information that would have been helpful to you as soon as you upgraded to the beta version--sorry about that!). The section in the release notes that you quoted will have a hyperlink to the Knowledge Base article. The Known Issues KB article for InstallShield 12 will also have a link to the upgrade KB article.

The nice thing about having the information available in a Knowledge Base article instead of the help is that we can easily add more tips and details to the Knowledge Base article at any time after the InstallShield 12 release if users run into additional problems that we had not foreseen. If we had the information in the help, it is possible that it would be incomplete or outdated. Therefore, we chose to keep all of the details in the Knowledge Base article for now so that users don't have to check multiple locations and wonder which source has the most complete information. Eventually, the information in the Knowledge Base article will be added to the help. It's not a perfect solution, but we felt it would be best to handle it this way for the short term.

Thanks for sharing your concerns.

Debbie Landers
Macrovision Corporation