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NewsArchive
12-04-2001, 01:00 AM
Has anyone move from Wise to Installshield? Any comments as to why is much
appreciated. Any pitfalls, any challenges?

NewsArchive
12-04-2001, 01:00 AM
I'm wrestling with this right now. We moved from Wise Install Master 8
because of problems we had with its lack of support for VB projects
(including things like Crystal Reports, etc.). With a lot of messing around
we could get everything we needed but we had to do a huge amount of manual
work to manage differences between all of our supported platforms.
InstallShield promised to be "smarter".

So far it's been quite an adventure. Be ready for a fairly steep learning
curve when compared to Wise. Things that were easy to find and manipulate in
Wise are "hidden" in many different locations in IS and it's not uncommon to
have to use the "advanced" interfaces to hack variables and settings that
get out of sync with your actual project contents.

On the Plus side, there is a lot more power here; the scripting language,
and the ability to call routines written in VBA have tremendous potential.
On the other hand, you'll probably find you have to write script code for
things (like calling an external exe) that are just built-in functions in
Wise.

IS does have much better support for VB projects though; just point it at
the project and you'll find yourself very close to a fully working install
(much closer than you would be if you did the same thing with Wise). My
current nightmare has to do with MSDE; there is no built-in support for the
SQL 2000 version of this and no documentation of any kind on how to create
your own "merge module" in order to get MSDE2K installed. There's a fair
amount of traffic in this news group on that subject, and some excellent
suggestions from the community, but nothing you can just download from
Install Shield. Oh, also, there isn't any built-in support for Visual FoxPro
[which Wise has] so if you need to build installs for that [which I do],
you'll have to scratch around a bit to get the appropriate merge module for
the VFP6 runtime.

Bottom line; IS is going to be more of an investment to "master" than Wise
and it will be a frustrating transition. However, I think that long-term it
will provide greater flexibility and raw power than what Wise is capable of.

Ken

"Ray Cuadra" <ray.cuadra@globalknowledge.com> wrote in message
news:3c0d22f7$1@news.installshield.com...
> Has anyone move from Wise to Installshield? Any comments as to why is
much
> appreciated. Any pitfalls, any challenges?
>
>

NewsArchive
12-05-2001, 01:00 AM
Just some comments inline to this:

<CUT>
> On the Plus side, there is a lot more power here; the scripting language,
> and the ability to call routines written in VBA have tremendous potential.
> On the other hand, you'll probably find you have to write script code for
> things (like calling an external exe) that are just built-in functions in
> Wise.

Calling external exe's is a CA type that is also supported by IS (you DON'T
have to write script's for this), use the Custom Action Wizard and use
Launch an Executable to prepare all this..
Read MSI Help Libarary on CustomAction Table for more information

<CUT>
> My current nightmare has to do with MSDE; there is no built-in support for
the
> SQL 2000 version of this and no documentation of any kind on how to create
> your own "merge module" in order to get MSDE2K installed. There's a fair
> amount of traffic in this news group on that subject, and some excellent
> suggestions from the community, but nothing you can just download from
> Install Shield.
>
I'm not sure what you mean with MSDE2K installation problems... Does
Wise have something automatic with this now??? You have Merge modules
for MSDE2K on SQLServer 2000 or SQLServer 2000 SP 1 cd's (Use SP1
version because these works!) and the only thing you have to do to make this
work is to include them as their documentation says, and everything works.
If you want some special settings for these you can refer to
www.installsite.org -> MergeModules page it's described pretty good there
how to set these settings.


MY Bottom lines:
Wise is a really good tool to make easy installations fast, but as my
experience (it's beginning to be old) with Wise it didnt' gave me the
flexibility that IS did, so IS was a natural choice for me back then,
and will always be....

I like to compare Wise/IS question with the VB/C(++) question...
If you want to have something done fast, and you dosen't need all the
flexibility
IS/C(++) gives you use VB/Wise.
If you need a tool which can do thing more flexible you use IS/C(++).


Just my thoughts...

--Rune G

NewsArchive
12-05-2001, 01:00 AM
Rune,

Good comments. To follow-up...

> <CUT>
> > On the Plus side, there is a lot more power here; the scripting
language,
> > and the ability to call routines written in VBA have tremendous
potential.
> > On the other hand, you'll probably find you have to write script code
for
> > things (like calling an external exe) that are just built-in functions
in
> > Wise.
>
> Calling external exe's is a CA type that is also supported by IS (you
DON'T
> have to write script's for this), use the Custom Action Wizard and use
> Launch an Executable to prepare all this..
> Read MSI Help Libarary on CustomAction Table for more information

I had tried using the CA to launch the executable but it just wouldn't work
reliably (don't remember the specific crash error but suffice to say, no
joy). Maybe it's because I was calling it as nearly the last action in the
install, I don't know. What I ended up having to do was create a CA to call
a script routine to perform an "execute and wait" to the external program
and that's working great.

Having done the same thing in my Wise script, I can say that it was a lot
easier and more intuitive in Wise; you select "Execute Program" from the
list of actions (roughly equivalent to a list of CAs), provide the name of
the program, select the checkbox for "wait for program", and you're done
(and it worked the way I needed the first time).


> <CUT>
> > My current nightmare has to do with MSDE; there is no built-in support
for the
> > SQL 2000 version of this and no documentation of any kind on how to
create
> > your own "merge module" in order to get MSDE2K installed. There's a fair
> > amount of traffic in this news group on that subject, and some excellent
> > suggestions from the community, but nothing you can just download from
> > Install Shield.
> >
> I'm not sure what you mean with MSDE2K installation problems... Does
> Wise have something automatic with this now??? You have Merge modules
> for MSDE2K on SQLServer 2000 or SQLServer 2000 SP 1 cd's (Use SP1
> version because these works!) and the only thing you have to do to make
this
> work is to include them as their documentation says, and everything works.
> If you want some special settings for these you can refer to
> www.installsite.org -> MergeModules page it's described pretty good there
> how to set these settings.

No, as far as I know Wise doesn't have anything automatic for MSDE2K
(haven't seen it on any of the Wise 9 feature lists either). However, part
of my move to IS was to update to what I perceived as a more "complete" and
more "modern" tool set. I considered integrated support for MSDE2K to be a
reasonable expectation but it was just that; my own expectation.

I've been through every article I could find here in the group (and
installsite.org) and what I haven't been able find is a simple merge module
that I could just drop in the correct folder to add MSDE 2K to the list of
available merge modules in IS. I have found the dozen or so merge modules on
the SQL Server SP1 disk and even followed instructions given by one group
contributor to try and create my own MSDE2K.MSM file by adding the SP1 merge
modules to the dependency list of a IS merge module project (that compiled
ok but I get reference errors when I try to use it in another project). I
just don't think I should have to be doing back-flips through flaming hoops
to get such a common component to install.

The VB vs. C++ analogy is interesting but, well, that leads to "religious"
debate (especially as we move to .Net). I personally don't want to work in a
3GL to write installation systems, any more than I want to work in a 3GL to
write business applications. When I need to write device drivers or
high-performance components, then I turn to C/C++. I don't consider building
an install to be of that caliber and I really DO expect (there go those
expectations again) that the development tool designed to produce installs
will do so quickly and easily.

Oh well, there are no perfect solutions (I moved to IS, after all, because
of limitations in Wise).

Ken