Windows Installer Development using the Wix Toolset

When distributing applications on the desktop these days an installer is pretty much expected from the end user. Luckily over the last decade the continued rise in open source and freeware projects has seen the number of easy to development with choices increase. NSIS and Inno Setup are examples of projects holding good reputations but recently we have been working with the Wix Toolset and must say we are impressed.

Wix Toolset is incredibly flexible, hosting a large range of extensions to allow different customisations of the installation process for the end user. Installers can be as basic or as complex as required. After its original release even Microsoft used Wix to build installers for products such as Office 2007 and SQL Server. We were able to quickly change art work on the installer we built as well as add checks to see whether any required prerequisites were already installed.

Wix is XML based and one can make use of it from the command line running the somewhat humorously named Candle.exe and Light.exe in order to create the final MSI file. For those more Microsoft inclined a Wix project can be added to a Visual Studio Solution for a more integrated approach without need to enter the command line.

Toffee Byte has worked on a range of software development projects, both desktop and mobile based. Bespoke software creation can save hundreds of man hours and with knowledge of toolkits such as Wix by developing a Windows installer for your software we can make its distribution throughout your organisation hassle free too.