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I built a VS Installer project in Visual Studio 2008. I see in VS 2010 they have InstallShield LE available as an alternative. I used InstallShield long ago as part of Borland Delphi, but haven't really looked at the latest version. I am time constrained and don't want to spend a lot of time digging into it if it's not worth it. Can anyone provide the pros and cons of using it vs. the VS Installer tool? I don't want want to have re-make my installer unless there's a really compelling reason to do so.

Thanks, Michael

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Another reason to try InstallShield LE: VS 2012 no longer supports VS installer projects. –  reinierpost May 7 '13 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

Stick with VS Installer...

If you're doing everything you need using the VS installer right now, and don't need anything new, there's no need to switch. InstallShield is typically a little more flexible in the things you can do when installing your application, but for 90-95% of all projects, VS installer is sufficient. If you're on a short deadline, I say stick with what you know.

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The primary issue with the default Visual Studio installer is that it has NOT been updated to deal well with changes in application and assembly registration in Windows 7 (or really even Windows Vista). We ran into a TON of problems with upgrading to newer versions of our application, a lot around permissions (because of administrative permission requirements when installed into the Program Files folder), all kinds of stuff.

My recommendation is to try to dual-stream your development for a little bit, maintaining your existing installer project in what you have working, but get on the migration to InstallShield LE. I do NOT particularly care for InstallShield (I don't particularly care for writing installers :), so I'm not carrying water for it, but the installer and MSIs we're creating now work MUCH MUCH better in Windows 7. The development process is kind of a hassle in InstallShield, but the end result is worth it.

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