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What is an ism file?

I was given a build script which calls InstallShield with an ism file. InstallShield fails because it cannot find some items that are hard-coded in the ism file. Can someone point me to documentation on reading & understanding an ism file soI can determine how to fix the file? Thank you.
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Re: What is an ism file?

The ISM (MSI spelled backwards) is the primary source code file of your project. It is configurable to be stored in Binary mode (essentially an MSI database; rename it to .MSI and edit it in Orca to see ) or XML mode. In XML mode the tables are translated to DTD format (no XSD schema).

InstallShield has a concept called Path Variables that when used properly prevents hard coded paths. If you are completely new to InstallShield and just need to get something to build that was handed of to you, I am available for consulting.
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