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.NET Framework Integration

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 19:40

Awhile back, we incorporated the .NET Framework into our installation by doing the following. We downloaded the Dotnetfx.exe from Microsoft. I then executed this file then searched the target machine for the .msi and .cab files. After finding these, I copied them to my installation development machine and opened the .msi file via InstallShield (Windows Installer version). I simply trimmed the User Interface a bit ('turned off' the Welcome and SetupComplete dialogs) and compiled into one .msi file.

I then called this .msi file from source via a Custom Action in our main software installation. This seemed to work just fine as it appeared the .NET Framework installed flawlessly.

However, here's where my problem starts. Recently, we have attempted to install and control a service, which, the developer tells me, needs the .NET Framework. The problem is, the service will not start on the .NET Framework installed (via my modified install) with our product. If I remove the .NET Framework and install via the Dotnetfx.exe, our software installation detects the .NET Framework is installed and will not try to reinstall it via my modified .NET .msi from source. Then, the installed service will successfully be started by the installation (or manually).

I wondered if I 'screwed something up' by modifying the User Interface, so I tried the Dotnetfx.exe .msi and .cab file extraction again. I opened with InstallShield and simply compiled into one .msi without making any modifications. Same result!

What, if anything, am I breaking by attempting to create a new .msi from the Dotnetfx.exe?

Thanks in advance for any info.!


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Posted 22 April 2003 - 20:20

You cannot deploy the framework within an MSI. It has to be done before an MSI is run through the installer service. You will have to make your own bootstrapper in C++ to install the FW then launch the MSI after it is installed. This is where ISD is nice because it comes with a bootstrapper to take care of installing the FW and MSI installer service if needed.