No-Worry Software Builds
This product can get you through the most critical phase of software delivery.
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.