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MSM vs. MSI : what should I choose ?

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 10:32


I have to package many applications for a company's workstation. This workstation must be able to evolve later.

Some of the applications I have to repackage use well-known programs, such as MDAC. My first thought was to include these programs as merge modules.

But what will I have to do if, in a few months or years, I want to update my MDAC version ? I suppose I will have to make a major update of every application that use the MDAC merge module... Shouldn't I make a MSI package for MDAC and make the existence of a MDAC version a prerequisite for my applications ? Thus, if I want to upgrade MDAC, I will only have to make an upgrade for my MDAC MSI...

I am wrong ? Any help or comment would be appreciated...

Robo Scripter

Robo Scripter
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Posted 18 November 2003 - 18:41

Difficult to answer such a broad question, but I'll give it a shot.

The purpose of merge modules as we all know is to support commonly used code across multiple application. They are also often times used by software installation developers as modularized components.

The first thing I would address in your case is support to the greatest common denominator. This begs a close look at the platform that being utilized by the business. Beginning with the release of Windows 2000 Microsoft has made ancillary support applications such as MDAC and DAO a part of the OS.

It would behoove you to never include any OS level module internal of user application delivery scripts, as OS updates and Hot Fixes will eventually affect them.

I focus my choice on this rule.

Kind Regards,

Robert W. Haynie
Software Integration Consultant
+1 (713) 805-4830
Be the stone that sharpens the leading edge.