Visual Studio Installer

Introduction

The new Windows Installer is a new technology from Microsoft, allowing you to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by providing an efficient way to install, maintain and remove applications. By now, you will probably have noticed setup programs using the .msi extension, which uses this technology. In essence, this file is a compiled databaese that stores the setup information, dialogs to use and the compressed binary files to be installed. When opened, the Windows Installer automatically reads the file, and initialises the setup program. Because Windows Installer provides common functions, such as copying, registering, or almost anything else needed, individual setup programs using the Windows Installer can be much smaller. However, it does require the Windows Installer to be already installed on the machine. This is already installed on Windows 2000 and Windows ME, and is available for Windows 95, 98 and NT via a service pack or download from the Microsoft site.

Office 2000 is one example of a program that uses the new Windows Installer technology, and provides several very useful features standard to Windows Installer including on-demand feature installation, application self-repair and installation rollback capabilities.

In this article, I will show you how to use the Visual Studio Installer, a free program from Microsoft for creating simple Windows Installer installations.

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About the author

James Crowley

James Crowley United Kingdom

James first started this website when learning Visual Basic back in 1999 whilst studying his GCSEs. The site grew steadily over the years while being run as a hobby - to a regular monthly audien...

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