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IsWIX project/solution templates are not created


IsWiX v3.0.15106.1.
WiX Toolset v4.0.2926.0

Add New Project:
  • IsWiX Bootstrapper Solution
  • IsWix Solution
  • IsWix Merge Module Project
The result is creation of empty folders:
  • .vs
  • InstallerBootstrapper
  • InstallerMM
  • InstallerSetup
  • Installer.sln
    where 'Installer' is the project name.
No errors, no warnings...

Should I try with older WiX Toolset? I could not find anything about of the IsWiX requirements or dependency.
Closed Aug 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM by chrpai


chrpai wrote Aug 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM

Please see the first paragraph at:
IsWiX is meant to be used with Visual Studio 2008-2015 and WiX 3.0-3.9. Currently, in Visual Studio 2012 and 2013, there is an "IsWiX Solution" multi project template that will create a setup and merge module project. The merge module project is automatically added as a reference to the setup project. The setup project is configured for versioning, major upgrades, .NET 4.0 requirement and easy configuration of the UI story including the insertion of a custom dialog. Additional merge modules and features can then be added using the "IsWiX Merge Module" project template. These project templates will be available in Visual Studio 2015 as soon as the underlying Windows Installer XML product supports VS 2015.
Currently WiX v3.10 is a private build / release candidate and very close to being made official. IsWiX works with v3.10 on Visual Studio 2015.

WiX v4.0 is still in private build status and not a public release. The WiX team is making this a breaking release with all sorts of changes to the language, compiler and related tools. It is not anticipated that IsWiX (and many other tools and existing installer source solutions) will work with WiX v4.0. I will evaluate the situation as v4.0 gets closer to completion. I may have to make new updated designers or a whole new tool. Personaly I expect that I will stay on WiX v3.xx releases for a very long time and possibly never switch to v4.0. Only time will say for sure.

wrote Aug 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM

JPollack wrote Aug 23, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Thank you for taking time and getting back to me. Sorry about missing THAT part of the documendation :p

After installing WiX Toolset v3.9 I was able to generate the IsWix templates succesfully. I was not happy with the naming conventions of the three projects as it did not match with my solution naming convention.

The renaming is a real hazzle to get it all back together. I wish that IsWix would find and make things more automatically. As I see it WiX is pain to use (deep learning curve) and IsWiX should fix it. Right now both are giving me the pain ;)

Maybe I could help you to change it? I could write a separate recommendation of improvements with wish items. What kind of documendation do you think IsWix is missing?

chrpai wrote Aug 23, 2015 at 5:33 PM

Sadly IsWiX has very little documentation. I just never got around to it. IsWiX started as a tool for authoring merge modules. The project templates came later. Maybe this blog article and video will show you how it works. The templates are simple and opinionated but actually do work really well.

I spin these up at my day job all the time. I use the pattern in TFS:

$/TeamProject/ProjectName/main/other (metaphore)

I set the CI build to monitor main/source. This allows me to place "other" artifacts on the branch but not part of the build. I then branch "main' to something like /dev/alpha /dev/bravo or /maint/v1 /maint/v2 as needed.

Once the initial structure is set up you can create more merge modules (MM) and/or installers depending on how many MSI's you want to generate and how many features / subfeatures you need.

I'm always available for a complimentary 1:1 screensharing / conference call to discuss details if you'd like to know more.

chrpai wrote Aug 23, 2015 at 5:35 PM

PS- It should be noted that at my day job I maintain another installer that is additional project templates unique to our enterprise standards. So it's very possible to create your own set that ride on top of WiX and IsWiX without having to worry about other people's opinions or beign required to share it with them.