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Level 6

Which InstallShield 2009 book to get?

I am looking into purchasing one of the Installshield 2009 books to help with the creation of installations. I see there are two and I am not sure what I pick up.

The two types of installs I normally create are Basic MSI or Web Projects. I'm not exactly sure what the difference between a Basic MSI project and an InstallScript MSI Project is, since I use Custom Actions and Installscripts in my other projects.

I was looking at the books and notice there is "Learning MSI Projects Using InstallShield 2009" and "Learning InstallScript Projects Using InstallShield 2009", which would be the better book to purchase?

Does anyone know if the MSI Projects book contains any Installscript information?
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Level 4 Flexeran
Level 4 Flexeran

Good question. With the evolution of install technologies, the InstallShield product offering can be confusing. However, let me see if I can't simplify this for you. I'm going to go into some detail before answering your question so bear with me. In fact, before I answer your question I think you'll know the answer.

There are essentially three distinct project types that you can create with InstallShield:

InstallScript project
InstallScript Windows Installer (.msi) project
Windows Installer (.msi) project (with or without InstallScript custom actions)

The InstallScript project is the old-school InstallScript engine, compiled code, etc. I believe that's fairly obvious.

Where the confusion comes into play is that you can create a Windows Installer project using InstallScript custom actions. And you can create a InstallScript Windows Installer project. Even though they sound similar, they are vastly different.

The InstallScript Windows Installer (.msi) project is an InstallScript event-based wrapper around the Windows Installer database. The install developer codes in an InstallScript environment--populating the InstallScript events. When the project builds, a .msi database and InstallShield bootstrapping executable is produced. The focus of the install developer is coding InstallScript not necessarily aware of the 'conversion' into a .msi package. This project type exists to help InstallScript coders create Windows Installer packages. Over time, most transition over to 'pure' or Basic Windows Installer projects.

Most folks today create a Basic Windows Installer project. They may or may not create InstallScript custom actions. An InstallScript custom action behaves the same as any other custom action. The install developer directly interacts with Windows Installer functionality.

From your posting, I see that you're using that latter. You would do well with the "Learning MSI Projects Using InstallShield 2009". However, this book does not contain any information on InstallScript. My suggestion would be to purchase this book and rely on the on-line help for InstallScript. When I teach the InstallScript class, I stress this invaluable resource. You can find the InstallScript reference by using Help-->Help Topics. In the list of displayed help links you'll find InstallScript Resource. That will solve your InstallScript coding questions.

Hope that was helpful. Best wishes in your efforts.
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