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Using key files


3 replies to this topic

Rebecca

Rebecca
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Posted 16 February 2002 - 01:55

I posted to installshield's site but, having not had a response yet, decided to try here.

It looks like shared files can no longer be grouped together under one file group and collectively marked as Shared. I must separate each shared file out into a separate component and mark it as a key file - is this true? So if I have 50 files marked as shared in my current install, I must now create 50 new components with 1 shared file each?

Also, I was watching the discussion group a few weeks ago and noticed a problem some users were having with key files and maintenance mode. If any key file is missing, Maintenance Mode is kicked off. However, what if a file *other* than the key file gets deleted? Does Maintenance Mode never come up in this case?

Thanks,
Rebecca


Stefan Krueger

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 09:46

A general MSI design rule is that there should be only one DLL, EXE, OCX, etc. in a component, so you should create separate compoents anyway. The exception are data files (bitmaps and the like) that can be groouped together in one component.

Auto repair only checks the key file (or key registry entry) of a component to see if it's damaged and needs to be repaired. Other resources (files, registry entries, shortcuts, ...) in the component are not checked. The concept of key files enables you to balance security and speed (if all files would be checked this could take long time). So you decide which files are essential and should be chekced (key files) and which not. Note that if the key file is missingh, the whole component will be reinstalled, so if any additional files are missing, they will also be restored.


Rebecca

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Posted 18 February 2002 - 10:41

Thank you...so to clarify, some data files may be grouped together and marked as shared?  The reason why this concerns me, is that we have several different installs for slightly different products - some of which share the same custom font maps.  These can number over 50.  While I can do it, it is more time costly to separate each font into it's own component.

Rebecca


Stefan Krueger

Stefan Krueger

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Posted 18 February 2002 - 19:26

The shared flag only matters if the same files may be installed by non-MSI setups. It instructs Windows Installer to use the old fashioned way of reference counting shared file sin the registry. I think this only works for certain file types (DLL, OCX), not sure about fonts.
If these files will always be installed using Windows Installer, then the shared file handling will be based on the component GUID, so if you always have the same files in the same component that should work. (You may want to create a merge module if you want to use this component in more than one project)