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VB/VBA Developer's Guide to the Windows Installer [Paperback]

Mike Gunderloy
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 12 2000 Developer's Handbook
An intermediate to advanced guide to building a trouble-free Windows installation package for a Visual Basic application. Zeros in on critical topics such as customizing installations for specific situations, validating installer databases, creating patches and upgrades, and using the Installer API. Softcover.

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From Amazon

For those old enough to remember pre-Windows times, the whole idea of writing an application to install an application seems bizarrely recursive. Nevertheless, Windows apps such as the 1-GB Microsoft Office suite need installers.

Windows-application installation has been a problem for years, and Microsoft's new installer is supposed to address and overcome existing installation problems. The new installer supports an installation database (in part to fix problems the Registry failed to solve), rollback support, application maintenance, advertisement (which makes features look installed but only actually installs them if the user asks for them), better administrative control over installation, and--best of all--a cure for DLL hell.

Naturally, VB/VBA Developer's Guide to the Windows Installer starts by installing the new installation SDK. Then it gets more complex. The new installer is supposed to cope with Windows 95, 98, NT 4, 2000, and the dozen or so major versions of these--which vary considerably under the surface. These adjustments are all controlled from the installer database, which is incompatible with all other Microsoft databases.

Using the new installer isn't trivial. Indeed, you'll reach page 200 before you'll feel you've learned enough to consider creating an installation routine--and then it's only by modifying an existing one. What comes across most in this book is the Byzantine complexity of Microsoft's new installer. If you're a Windows developer, however, you probably have little choice but to gain at least a basic understanding of the system--and this book does the job. --Steve Patient, Amazon.co.uk


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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars A mistake Oct. 8 2002
By A Customer
I don't know why the title of this book is VB/VBA Developer's Guide to the Windows Installer. There are few VB/VBA Example code. The online help is more usefull than this book. Really this book is a mistake.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I wasted the money July 12 2002
What more do I have to say, I learned more by working through the Microsoft Windows installer SDK than I did from this book.
I wasted my time and money on it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This is almost an exact copy of online manual! Nov. 15 2001
By Y. YE
I really didn't learn much from reading this book. This book is piled with tables, lists, etc, which one can easily find in the Windows Installer online manual.
A really good book should explain Windows Installer in a top-down fashion and illustrate the points using some examples. I know that MSI is a tedious and detail oriented architecture and it might not be easy to devise simple yet illustrative examples but those are the best help a developer will want. I hope that somebody can take up this task.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I didn't buy this book Oct. 31 2001
This book was unable to help me resolve any of my windows installer issues.
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