Quick Review: InstallShield Developer
Installation program adds new features in latest release, including InstallScript.
InstallShield's latest release of their Windows application deployment
product is an impressive combination of past successes and new
technologies. Notable here is the support for their own InstallScript
scripting language within Windows Installer setup files. This makes it
easy for users of previous versions to move to the latest Windows
Installer technology (version 2.0 is fully supported) without a huge
investment in rewriting custom scripts. The product also offers
support for both 64-bit and hybrid 32/64-bit installations, Internet
deployment support, and excellent integration of help directly into
the InstallShield user interface. Other key features include an
excellent dialog editor, full support for globalization, and wizards
that will get you started on building a new setup amazingly quickly.
Overall, InstallShield Developer provides an excellent mix of
features. I'm particularly impressed by their attention to the
learning curve involved in building professional setup programs.
Windows Installer technology is far from simple, but you don't have to
understand it at all to deploy your product with the Windows
Installer; just let InstallShield do all the work. When you get a
little more adventurous, you can experiment with tools such as the
dialog editor or the drag-and-drop Registry editor. The truly hardcore
developer has full access to all the internals of the setup through
tools like the script editor or the direct editor view of the
underlying Installer tables.
If you're developing applications for the commercial market, this
product will do a great job of carrying you through the critical
deployment phase of the project.
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.