Migrating InstallShield Multiplatform Projects to InstallAnywhere White Paper


In order to ease the transition between products for our customers, we’ve added Project Manifest functionality to the InstallShield MultiPlatform and InstallAnywhere products. You can download the Project Manifest plug-in from the Flexera Software Support Site at http://www.flexerasoftware.com/support/index.shtml

This document outlines a typical use case for migrating ISMP project information and functionality to an InstallAnywhere project. This plug-in is designed to export as much ISMP functionality as possible to an InstallAnywhere project. However, this tool has some limitations. Flexera Software has provided support for the ISMP services layer as well as certain utilities with InstallAnywhere to facilitate the migration of projects from InstallShield MultiPlatform to InstallAnywhere. Due to the fact that InstallShield MultiPlatform permitted extensive customization, including the creation of custom Java beans, it is not possible to provide tooling that will guarantee an automated migration of projects from ISMP to IA. This document also highlights the differences between the two products in regards to project settings and explains what functionality is and is not migrated.

This document begins with a table that displays features common to both products as well as caveats. Some best practices are listed that should be considered before exporting your project with the Manifest plug-in. The next section, The Migration Process walks through the export process of a sample InstallShield MultiPlatform project as well as the import process in InstallAnywhere. Finally in the Additional Considerations section, the process of converting custom code and dialogs is explained.

In general the major steps of converting your project are as follows:

  • Install the plug-in for InstallShield MultiPlatform 11.5 SP1.
  • Use the Project Manifest tool to export your project.
  • Import the project manifest into InstallAnywhere.
  • Migrate your custom beans to the InstallAnywhere CustomAction class type.
  • Add the required dialogs to your project.

InstallShield MultiPlatform and InstallAnywhere Differences

Since you are porting from one product to another, there are some caveats to consider. Not all of the functionality you have in your ISMP project is migrated to the Project Manifest. None of your custom code is migrated to the Project Manifest. The table explains which functionality is migrated and which is not

Project Info (name, version) Project Info Project Info
Uninstaller Information* Not Supported Not Supported
Update Service Information Update Service Information Update Service Information
Product Info Product Info Product Info
Language Support Language Support Language Support
Platform Support Platform Support Platform Support
Features Features Features
Components Components (Converted to DIMs DIM References/Components and File actions
Assemblies Assemblies (as child manifest DIM References added to the Install task
Product Actions* except: Product Actions (add to DIM files Product Actions (located in DIM References)
Ascii File Update Ascii File Update Ascii File Update
Environment Variable Update Environment Variable Update Environment Variable Update
Create Folder Create Folder Create Folder
Windows Registry Update Windows Registry Update Windows Registry Update
Wizard Actions* Not Supported Not Supported
Custom Actions* Not Supported Not Supported
Dialogs* Not Supported Not Supported
Build Variables Build Variables Source Paths
Runtime Variables Runtime Variables Magic Folder Variables
Installer Launchers* Not Supported Not Supported
Product Launcher Product Launcher LaunchAnywhere
Short Cuts ShortCuts Shortcut
JVM Resolution* Not Supported Not Supported
Custom Beans* Not Supported Not Supported

* Not exported to Project Manifest

Migration Best Practices

Since there are differences between the two products, consider the following points before attempting to migrate your project.

  • Always create backup copies of your projects before creating a manifest.
  • Only Universal, 5.x, and Condenser project types support the Project Manifest plug-in.
  • In order to migrate a Suite, you must create a Project Manifest for each of the child projects.

The Migration Process

Creating a Project Manifest in ISMP

In order to create a Project Manifest from an InstallShield MultiPlatform project, you must download and install the Project Manifest plug-in. If you do not see an entry for “Create Project Manifest” in the Tools menu, you have not downloaded the plug-in. Download it from the Flexera Software support site mentioned in the Introduction. Once the plug-in is installed, you can create the manifest by following the steps below.

  1. Open an existing ISMP project or create a new Universal Installer Project.
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Create Project Manifest.
  3. Specify a path for the Project Manifest file when prompted.
  4. Click OK. Progress regarding the creation of the manifest file is shown in the Output window at the bottom of the IDE.