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InstallShield Tools

Continuing my exploration of Flexera Software InstallShield, it would be irresponsible of me not to mention some of the additional tools that come with the InstallShield package. While InstallShield doesn't have all of the tools that, for instance, Wise provides there is some overlap.

You can read my reviews of InstallShield and Wise Package Studio here.

InstallShield includes two tools that you can use from the Installation Designer to support those installation packages that need more than the Wizards that Visual Studio provides. There's a dynamic scanner that analyzes an application as it runs and determines what DLLs it actually uses. This helps ensure that you include all the necessary components in your installation package (and specify all the appropriate dependencies among those components). There's also a static scanner that, analyzes the files in your project (EXEs, DLLs, OCXs) to find the dependencies embedded in them and adds those dependencies to your installation package.

Not integrated into the Installation Designer are a number of tools for analyzing MSI files (Windows installation packages). An MSI Diff tool compares two MSIs and highlights differences, answering the question, "What are the real differences between these two versions of our product?" Two other tools support modifying a few of the attributes on some of the standard dialog boxes that InstallShield uses.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 11/21/2010

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