I just started at a job with an GPO deployment environment. The tool provided for me is installshield 6. I'm trying to learn more about custom actions in an msi since i previously never had a need for it (we used wisescripts instead.) I ordered a book on it from amazon, but it will be 3 weeks until I get it.

My questions revolve around running an exe from a custom action:

- I gather that I can run an executable from a custom action. Would it be possible in theory to build an install that installs all files plus a wisescript to alter system settings, and then run that wisescipt? (wisescript would be an exe)

- Is this sequence of events correct? Add an .exe to the files in an msi, create a custom action to run it, place the custom action in the appropriate sequence?
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You can indeed run an exe from a custom action. The executable may be installed by your MSI (type 18), it may already exist on the system (type 50), or it may be embedded in the binary table stream (type 2).

This all depends on the type of custom action that you use - see the following link:


The book you've ordered may be a good one, but the best reference will always be the SDK.


As for modifying "system settings", try to use the MSI tables where possible - custom actions should only be used as a last resort. Having said this, you often come across "vendor" MSI files with whole application setups embedded in the binary stream!
Answered 03/04/2005 by: WiseUser
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Excellent info. And that link is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I didn't think a resource on that existed online.

Answered 03/04/2005 by: Bladerun
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