Superfreak3
Level 11

Patch Sequencing Questions...

Hi all,

I have a few questions regarding patch sequencing through the Patch Design view in InstallShield. Currently what I am doing is creating patches by adding all previous releases of a particular version of our software under Previous Setups. For example I might have Initial, P1, P2 listed for targets of P3 or the latest Patch. I've found that adding these Previous Setups is something to be cautious of as they need to be listed or first added in a certain or some files don't update as expected.

In this scenariou, they need to be listed in or added in P2, P1, Initial order. The first release of the product needs to be added last. I've also found that it seems at times that I have to delete the Previous Setups added and re-add them in the same order before the patch will actually work as expected.

I'm wondering if I can side step this issue by using the Patch Sequence tab in the Patch Settings Pane (Common, Identification, Dig. Sign., Sequence, and Advanced tabs). The way I read into using this option is that the patches listed here must be added in the entered order. Does that mean, in my scenario, that if someone has the Initial release of our software installed, they must first install P1 and P2 before installing P3.

Our small update patches are cumulative in that the latest will have all previous fixes included so that if someone is on the Initial release, they currently have to simply install P3 to get the latest and all previous fixes. There is no need to install P1 and P2 first. Would I loose this functionality if I use the Sequence tab?
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weakness
Level 6

InstallShield auto created patch sequences are really mysterious.
( I don't know how to contorl that value. )

Anyway, small update which is supposed to upgrade multiple target is not recommended.

Small Updates Should Usually Target a Single Baseline
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/heaths/archive/2007/03/30/small-updates-should-usually-target-a-single-basel...

Do you really need to use small upgrade patching?
If you use minor upgrade, you can use MinorUpdateTargetRTM.

Cumulative Service Packs with MinorUpdateTargetRTM
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/heaths/archive/2006/06/14/cumulative-service-packs-with-minorupdatetargetrtm...

By using this setting,you can avoid an annoying patch sequence problem.
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Superfreak3
Level 11

Ah, for right now, yes, small updates are the way we have to go. This is due to an update utility we have that checks installer versions on a Server and workstation. We could actually change the installer version for a Minor Upgrade, but that will throw the versions on the Server and workstations out of sync. Functionally it shouldn't be a problem, but Support wishes I do not change the installer versions for patches.

Hopefully, we will be moving away from our update utility and have end users distribute the packages using any means they wish. Then I can move to more conventional methods.

I never know about the shortcomings of small updates to multiple targets, so I will definitely read up on that. -- Thanks!!
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Superfreak3
Level 11

Can anyone explain InstallShield's default patch sequencing to me. Is it how Previous Setups are added to the current patch?

As I've said, I'm having trouble with sequencing several small updates. When I ran my latest patch against the initial release of this version, some files were not overwritten properly. So, I read in the user manual to remove the check from Use InstallShield patch sequencing on the Sequenc tab of patch settings. I also did not enter anything in the family control. This would mean there is no sequence. I would think that the patch should then update any previous version.

When I tested this against previous full builds of the product (accompanied the patch to our download portal for new users/instances) all seemed good. Our March Hotfix applied to all full builds - Initial, that which shipped alongside the December HF, January HF, and February HF.

Now, when I run the March HF patch against the Initial + December Hotfix patch problems arise again -- files not overwritten/placed properly. I noticed when the patch is being applied with no user interface that, in this instance, "HF Dec 2012" is displayed on the progress bar. In the above successful scenarios "HF Mar 2012" is displayed during processing. Also, the product still appears as Dec HF, but the Dec and Mar patches are listed in applied updates.

I always thought that when a patch is applied to a base product, that is basically like installing the base + update (patch) files full installer. But I guess not.

In the past, I've been able to wrestle with the sequencing in the InstallShield patch ui, but for this one, it looks like I'm stuck. I need a workaround for this patch to make it work like the three previous and I'm not having too much luck trying things. 😮
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Superfreak3
Level 11

For this months hotfix, I just can't get it to work properly to update all possible configurations.

I may have to switch this one to a Minor Upgrade from the current Small Update type. This brings up some questions.

Is the Sequencing control on the Sequence tab of the patch settings (becomes enabled when use InstallShield defalut sequencing is unchecked) used solely for Small Updates? Are Minor Upgrades handled by adding an Upgrade item to the Upgrade table in conjunction with the "Minor Upgrade to Target RTM Version" attribute on the patch settings Advanced tab?
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Superfreak3
Level 11

I think I found a workaround for near future patches. I just have to ensure that, after adding the previous targets in design view that they are sequenced properly in the ISTargetImage table before building the patch. In there it would be sequenced like this...

Initial Order 1
P1 Full Order 2
P2 Full Order 3.

I'll still look further into the issue with Small Updates with numerous targets being a no-no.
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