[VDProj->WiX] Missing merge modules in converted Setup project

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[VDProj->WiX] Missing merge modules in converted Setup project
Merge modules do not appear in converted Setup project 
John Stevenson-Hoare




Posts: 8
Joined: 2018-10-19
I have the following configuration:
- Visual Studio 2017 Professional build 15.8.7
- WiX Toolset Visual Studio Extension 0.9.21.62588
- VDProj to WiX Converter - 1.9.134
- WiX Toolset 3.11.1
- Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects extension 0.8.8

My solution contains a setup project which builds successfully at VS 2017 15.8.5 but no longer at the latest revision - this is a bug reported by many users which has been reported to Microsoft. Rather than wait for a fix we chose to migrate our installers to use the WiX Toolset and selected the VDProj to WiX Converter to assist in this process.

I will state upfront that that we have limited experience in WiX and hoped that the converter would buy us the time to learn after getting our product re-built for shipment.

The setup project incorporates the output of a dozen merge modules as well as a handful of other files. I have managed to convert all of the merge modules, and all but one builds. I will post another topic about this issue.

My issue is that the conversion of the setup project generates the following error when building the wixproj project:

"error CNDL0014: The Directory/@Id attribute's value, '.Binaries', is not a legal identifier. Identifiers may contain ASCII characters A-Z, a-z, digits, underscores (_), or periods (.). Every identifier must begin with either a letter or an underscore."

This error is reported a dozen times and so my assumption is that this is once for each merge module.

Looking in the wxs file I see the following (repeated 12 times):

<!-- The '' project output. -->
<Directory Id='.Binaries' />

I tried the conversion using my original setup project and again after each referenced vdproj merge module with the primary output of each of the wixproj merge module with the same result.

Any help in understanding what I can to do to remedy this would be gratefully received.

If this means knife and forking references to the merge modules in to the wxs file then any pointers would be great too!
Posted 19 Oct, 2018 08:36:21 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17840
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello John,

In our experience, WiX doesn't handle correctly modules created using VDProj. You should convert every module to WiX, exclude them from the main setup project, convert it, and re-add the modules to the converted setup project.

Does this work for you?

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 23 Oct, 2018 02:41:18 Top
John Stevenson-Hoare




Posts: 8
Joined: 2018-10-19
Thanks for your reply.

I am not sure what you mean by 're-add the modules to the converted setup project' but to get it to build I replaced the broken <Directory Id='.Binaries' /> lines with <Merge Id='xyz' .../> statements and added <MergeRef Id='xyz'/> statements to the children of the <Feature> element. Maybe this is what you meant?

I am disappointed that the VDProj to WiX tool could not do this for me. Your own advertising states 'VDProj to WiX - covered at 100%' which is why we bought the tool - as stated we have very little experience with WiX.
Posted 23 Oct, 2018 03:14:56 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17840
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello John,

Could you please send us a project with which the issue is reproducible? You can find the support email address in {Add-in Express installation folder}\readme.txt; please make sure your email contains a link to this topic.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 25 Oct, 2018 00:23:28 Top
John Stevenson-Hoare




Posts: 8
Joined: 2018-10-19
Please check your inbox. I have sent a sample Visual Studio 2017 solution that demonstrates the issue with some details of what I did to create it.
Posted 25 Oct, 2018 04:47:17 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17840
Joined: 2006-05-11
Thank you. I've received the archive and passed it through to our developers. I'll send you a note once I have any news from them.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 25 Oct, 2018 06:57:11 Top
Andrei Smolin


Add-in Express team


Posts: 17840
Joined: 2006-05-11
Hello John,

A merge module added as a project output isn't supported in the current version. A workaround would be to delete such project outputs and add the resulting MSM files instead.

Regards from Belarus (GMT+3),

Andrei Smolin
Add-in Express Team Leader
Posted 25 Oct, 2018 09:54:56 Top
John Stevenson-Hoare




Posts: 8
Joined: 2018-10-19
Using my uploaded sample files...

...this does not explain why the converted merge module project does not include the class library (.dll) in the merge module (.msm) File table even after I manually edited the MergeModule_wix/Module.wxs to prepend the ClassLibrary project name to the Directory/@Id value.
Posted 25 Oct, 2018 10:56:50 Top
Sergey Grischenko


Add-in Express team


Posts: 7233
Joined: 2004-07-05
Hello John,

Do you get any errors/warnings after the merge module is converted? Please check it in the Error List pane of Visual Studio.
Posted 26 Oct, 2018 06:48:26 Top
John Stevenson-Hoare




Posts: 8
Joined: 2018-10-19
I get the following warning (but only if the error list is showing Build + Intellisense errors):

Warning Could not find the project reference. Project GUID: {E49AE032-DD94-445A-9D09-3BFC1BC179BD}. MergeModule VDProj to WiX Converter 0
Posted 26 Oct, 2018 07:38:41 Top