Windows Installers

Has anyone got a recommendation for a Windows installer?

Using VS2015 to write a small test programme for one of my systems I need to send the end client an installer that will install all dependencies for this as well as the software. The software is not for sale and just for testing of the NETMF system I’ve developed for him. In fact, it it useless outside of the test setup.

I already tried to send the EXE but it crashes with an exception that indicates something is missing but we can’t figure out what it is.

I ended using inno setup - bit of a learning curve but it did want I want just put binaries on to the machine, none of this msi bollocks.
One thing if you use zip (my favourite) make sure the user clicks the properties to remove the alternate file stream entries for internet download otherwise weird things can happen.
btw visual studio has release a update for the missing setup project [url]Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Installer Projects - Visual Studio Marketplace

Install Forge is simple and easy to use for small projects : [url][/url]

I am using ClickOnce Installer and it works great. The only thing that I can’t manage is the installation directory.

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Microsoft abandoned their installer in favor of Wix Toolset. [url][/url]. I don’t like it since it has no UI!

You might want to try depends (not the undergarmet :slight_smile: ) to walk the dependency tree and see where the issue is. Most likely it is the standard libs.

You can find depends here:
If you don’t already have it on your system.

Apparently WiX has a quick and dirty setup that takes just a few lines.

Any reason not to use the Microsoft “Release Management for Visual Studio 2015” tool?


Or is it overkill?

@ mtylerjr - Does that tool create the installer .msi file?

@ mtylerjr - I think that requires you to be using TFS. A tool much like it is Octopus Deploy, which does not require TFS.


What about the standard Microsoft visual studio one?

[url]Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Installer Projects - Visual Studio Marketplace

Or the install shield “limited edition” (see same link)

edit: Oh… I see people are not happy with the install shield limited edition - at least they weren’t in 2013.

I guess Wix is the answer

I like using Caphyon’s Advanced Installer for deploying Windows programs. In my opinion, it’s a good balance between intuitive simplicity and configurability.


It’s important to note that there’s a MASSIVE difference between something like InstallShield, WiX, and Advanced Installer and things like Visual Studio Release Management and Octopus Deploy.

The former are tools for building installers. The latter are tools for orchestrating deployments of software to various systems.