Hello!

You can almost find anything on the internet! But i cant find any good book ur tutorials for customizing MSI packages. I have found the documentation for every table on Microsoft but thats to hardcore to start there, i need to know the basics first.

Where is the "Mastering the windows installer" PDF document? :D

Any have some ideas where to start my journey? Here? :)

// Bartoooo
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Find the free download of Phil Wilson's The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer.
Answered 02/13/2012 by: VBScab
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Also get the book

The Official InstallShield for Windows Installer Developer's Guide-Bob Baker
Answered 02/13/2012 by: rajdera1
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Along with what was mentioned above, here is a good reference.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa370905(v=VS.85).aspx
Answered 02/13/2012 by: jmaclaurin
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Bartoo: Your post leads me to think you're new to packaging, so I'll flavor my comments with that in mind. If my assumption is in error, please accept my apologies in advance.

One thing I'd counsel is to not try to do too much too quickly, or you could find yourself in packaging hell. One thing I've seen happen to new packagers is that they get stuff out into production and it works fine for a while, and then something in the environment changes and things go "bonk" in a big way. If possible, I'd suggest working with someone who knows packaging and can help you avoid some common mistakes. I had the good fortune when I was new to packaging to run a packaging project. So I hired the best packagers I could find, and asked them to teach me what they could. At the end of the project, I was having them do the easy stuff (transforms, etc) while I took on the harder packages and then had them review my work and help me when I got stuck. All in all, that worked out very well for me. (And thanks to Jason, Mike, and Keith...)

Read, read, read the recommendations above, and then start small with the files and registry tables - download some tool (don't use ORCA if you're new to packaging) and start playing around. Become very familiar with packaging best practices and why they are best practices. Learn how to make a basic install, then learn how to add or change files and registry entries. Learn how to make a conditional install. Save custom actions for the end - you should be able to do the vast majority of work in the tables and only use CAs in unusual cases. And: learn what happens when you don't follow best practices.

Have fun! Packaging can be a blast, although it sometimes can be frustrating (like anything else...)
Answered 02/14/2012 by: Arminius
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Thanks a lot for the information!

VBSCAB: I could not find a free version of the book: Phil Wilson's The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer.

Rajdera1: I did find your though! :) http://pub.boisrobe.free.fr/The_official_InstallShield_for_Windows_Installer_Developers_Guide.pdf

jmaclaurin: Thanks! Great link!

Arminius: I work at a pretty midsize company where no one know anything about packaging so learn from an experienced person is not so easy, but now i have you guys! :)

The hardest thing for me is i think NOT to use vbscript, most of the time i can accomplish the most tasks usning a vbscript! I know its not a nice solution but it works and it does not take long to write.

But soon i will be the ultra mega super AppCreator of the world.... Or of my company anyway!! :D
Answered 02/15/2012 by: Bartoooo
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it does not take long to write *Good* VBScript should take you a long time to write, at first. Eventually, you end up with a function library which is robust, properly error-trapped, ya-di-da-di-da...I could not find a free version of the book: Phil Wilson's The Definitive Guide To Windows Installer. Search AppDeploy. Someone posted 2 links not so long ago.
Answered 02/15/2012 by: VBScab
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sounds good to me
will come back and leave further comments
Answered 02/18/2012 by: alijutt8
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Hello guys, im borrowing this thread a bit.
Im also looking to learn how to create, repack and deploy .msi's so any advice would be much appreciated!

What program do you recommend for a total beginner?
Answered 02/20/2012 by: RangoJones
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If you have the $$ to spend, you pretty much only have 1 choice, Admin Studio/Install Shield. Wise is no longer in production thanks to an agreement between Symantec and Flexera.
Answered 02/20/2012 by: jmaclaurin
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Those programs are very costy..
So everyone who are into package development first have to spend $1400 just to learn?
Answered 02/20/2012 by: RangoJones
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Or you could download a trial version of Installshield for your own training purposes.
Answered 02/21/2012 by: dunnpy
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