Hello Everyone,

This is my first post here and I am very new to creating MSI packages. We are looking at purchasing an MSI packaging solution. Due to my inexperience with creating packages we want a product that is somewhat easy to use but will also create reliable packages (not sure if easy and reliable should be used in the same sentence in regards to packaging).

I want to be very careful because the packages that were created by my predecessor have had serious problems that have prevented us deploying service packs in our environment. The product we used was Wininstall 8. This product allowed you to take snapshots before and after installation to create a package. This may be a good product but as you can understand I am very suspicious of this and would love to get some input.

Thanks in advance
Jason
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Hi, Jason. Welcome to teh wonderful world of packaging.

There are, essentially, two playes: Wise Package Studio (of various flavours/level/marketing stances) and InstallShield Admin Studio. BTW, Wise is now 'owned' by Altiris, in turn owned by Symantec. I've used both (as most experienced packagers have) and can tell you that the two are equally capable, each with their own....issues. I don't want this thread to become a series of flames between rival adherents: you can probably find huge long threads here about it if you want to. Both vendors have evaluation copies available for download so my advice would be to do just that: download the evals, find a nasty piece of software to re-package and see which one you're most comfortable with. I'd also download the Windows Installer SDK, as well as my "essentials" list:

- ProcMon, a process/file/registry monitor http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/processmonitor.mspx
- Beyond Compare, a file/folder comparison tool. Not free but only $30. http://www.scootersoftware.com/
- In Control v5, a snapshot tool (handy for when snapshotting with Wise/IS would be overkill). http://www.xpefiles.com/viewtopic.php?t=130
- Dependency Walker, a tool to show DLL/EXE dependencies, invaluable when DLLs etc fail registration.
- Microsoft Script Debugger, for debugging script-based Custom Action

Also, there is a lot of documentation to help you here, at http://www.installsite.org/ and at http://www.altiris.com

Lastly, there's this forum. Can I make a plea first, that you use the forum's search as well as the usual Internet tools to try and find your answers: someone has usually been there nefore you. :)
Answered 11/25/2007 by: VBScab
Red Belt

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VBscab,

Thanks for all the info. It is much appreciated. Like you mentioned I have run accross many flavors of Wise package studio. I even ran accross WISE package studio 3.2 on this site at http://www.appdeploy.com/reviews/sw_packagestudio_3.02.shtml
These products seem to have the same name but I am guessing that they are completely different because Symantec is offering version 7. What is the differnce of these products?
Answered 11/25/2007 by: jdflory
Senior Yellow Belt

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What is the differnce of these products?
These are the same but with a different product version.

I even ran accross WISE package studio 3.2 on this site
That is only an old review of the 3.2 version.
Answered 11/25/2007 by: AngelD
Red Belt

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Thanks everyone,

I think I will download a trial version of Wise from Symantec and hopefully the trial version is not completly limited in fuctionallity so that I can test all features.

I am sure I will have many more questions

Thanks again
Answered 11/25/2007 by: jdflory
Senior Yellow Belt

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I use MSI PACKAGE BUILDER what you want after the process is complete. Let me know what you think after you have looked at this product, I'm curious as to your feedback. If you have any questions, just ask me. by EMCO. This is a great, easy utility to use. I agree with you, I never liked the ones that take a snapshot of the registry before and after the app is installed. This package monitors the process during the install and records those changes, you can add or remove

http://www.emco.is/msi_package_builder/features.html
Chris
Answered 11/26/2007 by: chrismr
Senior Yellow Belt

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