For our release in Summer '07, we decided to use the Microsoft Installer (MSI) rather than the old VW installer. After all, ObjectStudio runs under Windows only. So why carry all the overhead of a platform independent installer.
InstallShield 12 is our tool of choice. We have used older versions of InstallShield in the past, so we were pretty confident to write the new installer in no time.
Unfortunately it happened slightly different than we've planned.
The installation went just fine. We then spent several hours using the Project Assistant to define our Features and add the files into the right directories. After adding shortcuts, registry entries and environment variables, we thought to be ready for a build. The build ran through, but generated way more than 550 errors!
Some errors told us, that the EXE files did not include a manifest file and are not digitally signed. When we checked the files from the explorer, they were just fine.
The tool told is, some parameters in the SQLBrowser are not set. We don't even use the SQLBrowser, since we don't configure ODBC or install any kind of database.
The WindowsDirectory setting is still identical to the original MSI setting. (So?)
The registry keys we've defined should be handled through ClassIDTable or some other table. These settings have nothing to do with ClassID or any other generated ID.
All of a sudden, InstallShield just died and rendered the whole binary project file useless. 6 hours of work down the drain. Of course we saved early and often, but I did not make backup copies of every single step.
So we tried to work through the problems one by one. InstallShield itself is pretty slow. We've cut a lot of files, but still it takes about one minute to switch to a 'Files and Folder' view. If you double-click on an issues, InstallShield takes you to some obscure table and at least I found those references pretty cryptic.
At least the support seems to be up-to-date. We had a call today and they solved at least one problem. For another problem, we actually had to send in a test case. Mark then sent various email describing each individual problem category. Let's see, if they can help us too finalize the installer.
Quite frankly, I never thought we'd need more than a few hours to finish the installer. Now we're in our third week and no end in sight.
Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?