For years we have used an older version of Wise Studio and have created single executables and various MSI packages with the Snapshot method. Well we have upgraded to Wise Studio Professional 8 as of this last year and are wondering what is the best method for Application Pacakging?

Should we continue with the Snapshot technology and create MSI based pacakges? Should we try to learn Install Editor and make MSI packages without using Snapshot Technology? Is there a way to use both? Has anyone had any luck using the new Application Watch feature? Is perhaps the Smart Monitor the new way to go? Any input appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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I don't think the editor is meant to replace any snapshot technique. Unless it's some simple application with a few kown files and registry settings the Editor will do fine. As applications get bigger and use more and more files, dll's, registry keys, ini files, odbc, services, etc... it gets more complicated to get all of it in a MSI without using a snapshot method. However, since snapshots are rarely perfect you'll need an editor to for the tuning of your snapshot. And to quote Symantec:
"Windows Installer Editor is an installation development system for creating and editing Windows Installer packages. It is a complete and user-friendly front end for generating Windows Installer database files, which are executed by the Windows Installer engine. With Windows Installer Editor, you can create installations that are compliant with Microsoft's Windows 2000 logo program."

"Use Windows Installer Editor to edit and refine installations that you've converted from legacy installations, or that you've recreated with Setup Capture or Application Watch."



As for the difference between Application Watch and Setup Capture, I have no clue. Symantec says:
ApplicationWatch monitors your computer as you execute an application or run an installation and determines which .DLL, .OCX, and .EXE files were accessed. It then adds these files to a new installation. You can use this tool for informational purposes or to facilitate the creation of a new installation.

So the way I see it:
When repackaging a legacy installer into MSI, Setup Capture will do just fine, as it has always done.

And Application Watch, does exactly the same thing, but might be fun to use if you're tired of the name Setup Capture and additionally might be used when you've lost the installer source of an application and want to reproduce an installer from an application already installed? I can't imagine I'll ever use this....
Answered 05/06/2010 by: Rheuvel
Brown Belt

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And Application Watch, does exactly the same thing, but might be fun to use if you're tired of the name Setup Capture and additionally might be used when you've lost the installer source of an application and want to reproduce an installer from an application already installed? I can't imagine I'll ever use this....

I remember application watch, or something with a different name maybe but covering the same ground, being a part of Wise for quite some time (last I used it was early 2007). I have pretty much never used it. Basically what it does I think is monitor system calls made during an installation or execution, to give you a list of files and other resources used. I could imagine using it if i keep missing something in a capture time after time, but my first reflex would still be to use ProcMon or an extra (first run) capture.


PJ
Answered 05/06/2010 by: pjgeutjens
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Yeah, it sounds a lot like Setup Capture (smart monitoring??) except that it doesn't look for new files/registry/things but includes practically anything it touches during monitoring. So, more garbage in a snapshot, especially when used to monitor an installation?
Answered 05/06/2010 by: Rheuvel
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Yeah, it sounds a lot like Setup Capture (smart monitoring??) except that it doesn't look for new files/registry/things but includes practically anything it touches during monitoring. So, more garbage in a snapshot, especially when used to monitor an installation?

Smart Monitor, that's what it was. And as for more garbage. I think you'll agree that one of the key skills for a packager is learning to correctly clean up your snapshots. So basically it means more work in exchange for perhaps the odd regkey/file captured that you would otherwise spend abit more time on...

I'll pass tyvm [:)]
Answered 05/06/2010 by: pjgeutjens
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Thanks for the Feedback guys! Looks like we will continue to use the Snapshot method for legacy applicaitons. Maybe try and use the Install editor to modify existing/native MSI installers to say Zip up all extra files and such.
Answered 05/06/2010 by: Ascott860
Senior Yellow Belt

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