I have an app using Sql server express/VB.net, installation & patches using Installshield 2007. As yet I have not designed any patches for my system and I was wondering firstly what basic way I should deal with updating a database scheme during an update of my software whilst retaining any data already input. Is there an industry standard way of doing this or a clever way or should I buy some third party software that applies database changes to an existing schema and build that in to my Installshield patch?

I am reletively inexperienced in the whole setup design and use a contractor but have never managed to get a coherrent answer that i understand with regard to schema changes and Installshield patches.

Any help would be extremely welcome.
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This really has nothing to do with packaging per-se. What you need to do is run a Custom Action which runs a SQL script against the database. Have your DBA create the script, ensuring that he/she signs it off as tested and operational. If you have no DBA, I'd make a copy of the d/b and test your own script against it. When you're 100% sure the script does what it's supposed to do, add it to your favoured SQL execution tool's command line. I guess, given that you're using SQL Server Express, that that would be OSQL.EXE. When you're happy with that, copy the command line to your Custom Action.
Answered 08/07/2008 by: VBScab
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