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Installer for Web Applications?

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Posted 29 June 2001 - 13:03


I work for a company that develop various web-based applications using MS Active Server Pages, COM components and SQL Server Databases. We've developed several "out-of-the-box" products that we are distributing, but are having problems finding an easy-to-use install-software package that is tailored for this type of applications.

We've used InstallShield for Windows Installer Professional 2 so far, but find that the only automated help it has been able to provide is to copy the files from the CD to the target system.

We've had to develop Custom Actions that register COM Components in MTS/Com+ applications, set up Internet Information Server and run SQL scripts to set up the database ourselves; operations that comprise 90% of the installation in our case.

Does anyone know if there is a software package that is designed for installing applications of this type, or will we have to continue using expensive software for file-copying and building the rest ourselves?

I would appreciate any recommendations on this matter, as the prospect of continually developing install-routines in addition to developing updates for our product is rather daunting.

(Edited by Hobber at 2:06 pm on June 29, 2001)

Leigh Ravenhall

Leigh Ravenhall
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Posted 02 July 2001 - 00:10

My company develops products of a similar complexity, so far, the best that we have found is IPWI.  It has distinct limitations, however, so does every other installation product.

IPWI does more than just copy the files though.  Don't forget that brilliant dialog editor that is included.

You are correct in stating that 90% of the work in a complex installation must be done outside of IPWI.  This isn't entirely InstallShield's fault, as there are a number of limitations built into Microsoft's Installer service.  That said, it would be nice if IPWI contained some form of wizard to assist with things such as the creation of databases.

Just out of curiousity, how long does it take to build an installation for one of your products?

(Edited by Leigh Ravenhall at 5:50 pm on July 3, 2001)