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Making a Merge Module - Where's the manual?

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 13:41

I have a number of project components that are required for a VB6 application install set created with Visual Studio Installer.

These are currently the MS Wrapper .EXE files from their website.

MSAGENT.EXE } MS Agent core components
MSTTSL.EXE } MS Text to speech engine
GENIE.EXE } agent characters


Jet40SP8_9xNT.exe } JET 4.0 with SP8 for NT & Win9x
Windows2000-KB829558-x86-ENU.exe } JET 4.0 with SP8 for 2000
WindowsXP-KB829558-x86-ENU.exe } JET 4.0 with SP8 for XP

The JET installs are OS version dependant.

So, how do I pop these critters into one, or more MSM files to package with my install set?

I have Orca, since it was needed to set the Crystal 9 "Activation Key" and set the "ALLUSERS" property to "2" or the resulting .MSI crashes.

Anybody with a manual, help file or step-by-step guide on how to do this?

Stefan Krueger

Stefan Krueger


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Posted 19 January 2004 - 14:45

Basically oyu would create a merge module that includes nothing but a custom action which calls the respective package. You add entries to the ModuleInstallExecute sequence to call this custom action. Note that this is often not a very good solution, and may not work at all in some cases, in particular for the Windows hotfixes.
Another approach would eb a setup.exe launcher that first would install the prerequisites and then launch your .msi


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Posted 19 January 2004 - 17:04

I'd love to do this, but the documentation on the subject is pretty thin.

Is there a "building with Orca" guide anywhere on the web that caters for people who have never used it before?

I searched Microsoft.com using the keyword "ModuleInstallExecute" and got zero results. Same result with the Knowledge Base.

Microsoft give us the Visual Studio Installer, but nothing else to work with. Orca is a bit low-level. And I only discovered that by accident.

A little white paper, for instance, on how to take a .EXE wrapper, using the info from the .INF file, and convert it into an .MSM module, would be nice.

I am going to have to write a front-end on top of our autoplay application to load the pre-requesites. What a pain.

Do you know why Microsoft don't make .MSM files for their own products?