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Level 6

Automation Interface - Your Opinion??

We have one product, I have been the sole "install guy" for the last 12 years.
Our installation process is not much different than it was 10 years ago. We are looking for ways to improve it and make any changes from developers show up faster in the installed product. Currently if a developer creates a new file, a work item is sent to me and I add the file. This can be a delay of hrs. to a week or more if I'm out. So:

We are looking at using the automation interface so a developer can add a file to the install project by adding information to a automation interface script. Is this a viable option?

Our initial thought was to create a blank install and include all the features, components, files, shortcuts etc. thru the automation interface. The more I look into this the more I feel that it is impractical. Your thoughts?

Also, we have given up on the Windows Installer and are using an Installscript project.
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Level 5

sbrown wrote:
Also, we have given up on the Windows Installer and are using an Installscript project.

Yeah, the jury is still out in our group, too. I still prefer it, mostly because I like to be able to use vbscript for install code, but it does have its drawbacks.

Regarding being able to dynamically add files to your project, I was not aware that the AI allowed for such a thing, but building projects using it has been quirky for us. We couldn't use 2011's AI to build the projects because it simply wouldn't build. I installed the StandAlone Build product and it builds the project via AI, but I haven't gotten around to putting that into production yet. Bottom line: I'm not quite ready to put my eggs in that basket given that we have a lot of existing code surrounding the command line build.

I've said before that some will disagree with me, but I still think a situation like you're in demands components that use Dynamic File Links to determine which files are included. Adding a dedicated component for every file is just a maintenance nightmare in the real world. With that, you can set up Path Variable to point to your pickup folder, update that value each time you run your build script, and it just plain works. I explained it in a lot more detail in this post.
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