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Estimation of windows installer projects

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:47

I need details on how to go about estimating the time needed to develop an installer for a product. Considering that i use installshield, custom actions are written in c++, are there any readily available tools that can be of use?

For the custom actions, lines of code can be one of the inputs to determine. Are there any such metrics for ism files? Any inputs on these lines would be great.

I did not know where to post this question, so put in this forum sad.gif.


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Posted 23 January 2007 - 11:01

Look at the MSI Complexity rating application, that investigates an existing MSI and gives a value indicating its complexity. It's located on http://www.installsi...en/msi/tips.htm
Indeed it works the other way around (given an MSI it gives an indication how much time it took to build it), but you can use that as a starting point.

If you do find something better, please tell us about it?

Edited by Zweitze, 23 January 2007 - 11:03.


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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:57

It is really impossible to answer this without more information. There are many things that can complicate the task of creating an installer. The most common sources of problems:

* Support for multiple OS versions with associated testing and implementation of conditions to control which versions of files are installed to what OS.

* Localization support (support for different language)

* Amount of advanced features used
- service installs
- GAC installs
- INI file updates
- GUI complexity
- SQL server scripts to run
- COM / COM+ files to install
- Etc...

Plus many other features such as environment variable updates, service control (start stop pause), precompiling .NET assemblies, IIS installs etc...

You have to make a requirement specification to state in detail what needs to be done in the setup, then write a test plan for QA to help you test that everything works - yes, including uninstall! Also remember features such as advertisement installs, administrative installs, running without admin rights, self repair, etc... etc...
-Stein Åsmul