Best Method of deployment ?

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Best Method of deployment ?
Things has recently changed in terms of setup. What do you guys recommend? 
Robert Apostolico

Posts: 70
Joined: 2013-09-06

When I first started developing my Addin, Visual Studio Setup Installer was not available for VS2013.
Since then, it has become available.

In the meantime, I had played around with WiX installer, and Installshield Limited Edition.

I believe that means, there are now (3) free choices for building the installation.

Which one works best?
Which one allows (relatively easy) changes to setup dialogs, for images and logos.
Which one allow for the best User Experience in terms of automatic updates ( click Twice? )

Thank you in advance for your input!

You guys are great.
Posted 26 Jun, 2014 10:58:08 Top
Andrei Smolin

Add-in Express team

Posts: 18430
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello Robert,

You have to rule Installshield Limited Edition out: it doesn't support custom actions.

Visual Studio Installer (VDProj) and WiX: they are different interfaces to the features provided by the Windows Installer technology. You need to compare visual designers of VS Installer and pure XML of WiX.

I believe Visual Studio Installer is the best for creating a simple installer; that's what I think the "changes to setup dialogs, for images and logos" mean. However, if you run into a restriction of Visual Installer - say, they don't have a dialog of the type you need - and if bypassing this using a custom action is too complex for you or even impossible, then WiX is the best.

I believe our WiX Designer (see is the best solution: it provides the same visual designers the Visual Studio Installer provides; each visual designer generates the corresponding fragment of the WiX's XML. This means: you can use the visual side of the process up to some point and then switch to modifying the XML. This saves your time when creating simple things and allows you to use ALL features WiX provides when developing something more complex.

As to updates, then please see the table labelled "Deployment technologies. Detailed Comparison" in the manual.

Thank you!

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 27 Jun, 2014 03:40:56 Top