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Updated InstallShield Coming to VS2012 and '13

by Jeff Martin on Aug 23, 2013 |

Many developers were disappointed that Visual Studio 2012 removed the Visual Studio Installer project template found in previous editions.  This popular project type provided developers with several options, including a traditional Windows installer, web installer, and a CAB project type in addition to InstallShield LE.  Starting with VS2012, the InstallShield option became the only one available and this will remain the case with VS2013. 

Microsoft has heard some degree of the criticism leveled against it regarding the switch to InstallShield, and Program Manager Tony Goodhew has revealed some improvements to InstallShield that will be available for both current VS2012 users and the upcoming VS2013. 

This new release of InstallShield LE will add the following features:

  • Support for installing x64 applications and services
  • Support for installing Windows Services
  • Support for distributing the VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) runtime
  • Support for relative paths in project files 

Speaking with a spokesperson for Flexera, InfoQ looked for some answers regarding this new version.  As the product is considered separate from Visual Studio, the first question is regarding support.

InfoQ:  What support options are available for users of InstallShield LE?

Flexera:  InstallShield Limited Edition includes support via a private community-driven forum.  Flexera Software’s Support team actively monitors and responds to questions in this forum to assist users with any issues that get raised.  Additional support and instruction are also available through our blogs, whitepapers, webinars, and extensive documentation.

InfoQ:  The download form for InstallShield LE asks for more than just name & email, is this information used for future marketing?

Flexera:  It is.  Those that register for access to InstallShield Limited Edition are temporarily added to our mail list and receive a limited number of communications regarding InstallShield resources, tips and tricks, edition upgrades, and promotions.  The information collected is not shared with any third parties and users can easily opt-out of these communications at any time.

InstallShield LE Beta is available for VS2012 and VS2013 now, and the production version is expected to be released when VS2013 hits RTM.  Developers looking for alternatives to InstallShield for their projects can consider the open source WiX Toolset.

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Installshield LE by nitroxn nitroxn

InstallShield LE is a useless trialware and a way to upsell the full versions. It is not practical for real development scenarios.

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