Lately I’ve built a .net class library that supports COM as well. To make setup file I usually use Visual Studio’s Setup Project because I rarely do anything complicated during the installation ant Setup Project does the work fine for me.
This time the setup was a bit different, more complicated, because I needed to register my COM stuff during the installation. So I’ve built the setup file and tried the installation inside VMWare Workstation’s guest as I always do. COM objects were registered fine but type library (TLB) wasn’t registered at all when setup project is built on Vista/Visual Studio 2008. The later isn’t strictly required for running the code but it surely helps developers with strong typing support. There are several options to solve the issue ranging from building on XP to coding the post install/uninstall actions. Well, none of them looks very appealing to me thus I’ve decided to try the Advanced Installer from Caphyon this time.
I can say that creating a setup file for my .net application with Advanced Installer was a breeze – I had a working MSI setup in 10 minutes. The process consisted of importing the Visual Studio Setup Project (which I already had – I could start from scratch or by importing the library project) and adjusting few properties. Truth, mine wasn’t a complicated one but it surely solved type library registration with a click on the checkbox. It actually solved my problem in 10 minutes. Any other option would be either more annoying or it would take more time.
Advanced Installer is not just easy to use. It looks like a powerful and flexible authoring tool as well and certainly not limited to (simple) .net applications only.