If you have been using InstallShield for some time and need a refresher on the latest versions of InstallShield, installation techniques and new target environments (OS, IE, etc.) then this course is for you. The further course provides you with a solid understanding of advanced techniques for customizing the appearance and behavior of your installation program.
The techniques used in this course involve Basic MSI projects in InstallShield, which use the Windows Installer service (MSI) for the installation's behavior and appearance. While the course does occasionally make use of InstallScript custom actions in Basic MSI projects, this course does not cover InstallScript MSI projects.
In this class you will learn how to:
Note: Experience with InstallScript projects provides a sound basis for the Installation domain, but this experience alone is not a sufficient basis for the Advanced MSI course. At least one of the prerequisites above should be met before enrolling in this course, regardless of the amount of InstallScript experience the student possesses.
Many sections of the course assume familiarity with at least one of the programming or scripting languages C/C++, InstallScript, C#, or VBScript.
The following course sections and topics will be covered in the class. If you have a specific area that you think will need extra attention, mention it to your instructor on the first day of class. The course is more hands-on and a lot of practical examples will be used.
The course begins with a brief review of Windows Installer and InstallShield concepts and terminology used throughout the week:
The primary job of your installation program is to transfer files to the user's system. In this section, you will learn about the different methods for adding files and folders to your installation project, including:
Before you can test your installation, you must build a set of disk images. In this section, you will learn how to use the InstallShield graphical tools and command-line tools for building release images for CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, a network location, or for the Web. In this section, you will learn about:
Windows Installer-based installations support several different installation modes. In this chapter, you will learn how to run an installation from Windows Explorer or from the command prompt, how to perform silent and limited-user interface installations, and how to pass information to the running installation from the command line. In this section, you will learn about:
In addition to installing files, most installation programs need to make global changes to the user's operating system. In this section, you will learn how to install configuration data, such as:
For most types of files, the installer's only responsibility is to transfer the files. However, some types of files require additional registration or configuration information to be written to the target system. In this section, you will learn how to install and configure the following types of files:
InstallShield provides methods for creating elements that can be used by multiple installation projects, and for combining multiple complete product installations. In this section, you will learn about:
Unlike traditional installations, Windows Installer installations do not use an explicit script, but instead perform actions arranged into your product's sequence tables. In this section, you will learn about:
Like standard Windows Installer actions, your installation's user interface is controlled by MSI tables and actions. In this section, you will learn about:
Windows Installer supports different types of updates and different techniques for packaging them for distribution. In this section, you will learn about:
Most of the system changes made by an installation program are handled by Windows Installer standard actions and tables: the files you install are handled by the File table and the InstallFiles action, registry data handled by the Registry table and the WriteRegistryValues action, and so forth. Because standard actions cannot handle every task an installation program needs to perform, Windows Installer supports custom actions. This section describes:
Going beyond the basics, this section describes advanced techniques for working with standard and custom MSI database tables at run time, along with a collection of finishing touches that improve the appearance of-and user confidence in-your installer.
The course material ends with discussions of additional tools and techniques you can use to improve your installation behavior, including:
At the end of class, you will work on a project that incorporates the main ideas of the course, such as:
InstallShield MicroConsulting provides assistance for specific, short-term needs like setup challenges or troubleshooting failed patches and updates. The service provides eight hours (over one business day) of dedicated consulting time on up to three installation topics, delivered remotely by our installation experts.