I suggest you ...

Bring back the basic setup and deployment project type Visual Studio Installer.

You really need to bring back the basic Setup and Deployment project name Visual Studio Installer. It was a clean, simple, and effective installer for home grown applications that were to be deployed internally. I downloaded and used InstallShield LE and it's too complicated and overblown to build simple effective install/uninstall capabilities. Why did you remove it to begin with? We have to support desktop applications for the foreseeable future.

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Jeff shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We have just released an extension which delivers the Visual Studio Installer projects functionality present in Visual Studio 2010 for Visual Studio 2013.

To find out more please read Visual Studio Installer Projects Extension

Tony Goodhew, Program Manager, VS Pro

We have more information on the next version of InstallShield Limited Edition that will be included in Visual Studio 2013.

What’s new in Visual Studio 2013 and InstallShield Limited Edition

We’d like to thank you all for your comments on this UserVoice entry. We have been discussing the comments on InstallShield Limited Edition (ISLE) raised here with Flexera and we are currently working with them to address the top issues. At this stage we have no plans to include the former Visual Studio Setup Projects in future product versions but we will continue to work with Flexera and the community to ensure Visual Studio customers’ setup needs will be met with no-cost tooling that supports a broad range of scenarios.

Tony Goodhew, Program Manager, VS Pro.


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  • Daz Kuffs commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. Installshield is so complicated, flaky and unreliable. It consistently throws error messages but gives no clue on how to fix them. I daren't trust my projects to it. So many bad decisions with this version. This is the first time I have ever uninstalled Visual Studio and reverted to using the prior version.

  • Alex Mitchell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Absolutely. InstallShield LE is not an acceptable replacement for the deployment feature in VS2010.

  • Philippe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well, for me it does not matters the change if it was easy to switch and no functionality was missed. But the reality is that for an existing solution, it gave me an internal error when I add InstallShield Limited Edition porject to my existing solution.

    Then I tried thinks like removing other project to see if there were a conflict somewhere but I never got it to work in that existing solution. Then as it worked for an empty solution, then I create a new empty solution, move the file to be asibling of my existing solution and then import project one by one into the solution and testing it it still works.

    As soon as I have added a C++ project compiled in mixed-mode, I got an error telling me to select between AMD64 and Intel64 a feature that is not available in that edition. I have found by searching on the web how to disable that merge module for those mixed-mode project...

    After a few hours, I haven't yet completed the setup project...

    And at some point Visual Studio has crashed and when reopening that solution it always crash until I rename the folder containing the setup project so it won't get automatically loaded. Then I was able to reload it.

    By the way, this is yet another place where C++ support is not adequate as we should be able to do setup that works even if a project is in mixed mode.

    And there should be minimal support for both 32 bits and 64 bits setup in the included version. At least, if should be possible to do a setup that install a 64 bit mixed-mode application without buying additional software or doing obsure manual change to files by hand.

  • Adamcogan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I believe going forward, Microsoft want you to use the Microsoft Store

    If you still need to make .msi then there are 2 popular free approaches
    - WiX
    - innosetup (3rd party)


  • che commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well, it's not so much the features as the fact that we have a huge install base already using VS Setup and to change course in the middle of our product's lifespan would be very problematic. both for our users and for our developers. I understand that MS may not have the resources to continue to improve the Setup Projects but at least leave us the option of using them as they exist today.

  • Jamie Clayton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Got to say that the move to InstallShield really worries me as we might all get stuck with one vendor.
    Of all the options, WiX seems the best option. If only Microsoft would invest resources into the project to help out those who are doing it in there spare time. If they plan to do that post VS 11 release and push it via Nuget, I would be happy, but no chance I'm going down a path that forces me into a single vendor again and at the mercy of their software upgrade extort strategy.
    I would have thought MS would have learnt from "Crystal Reports" in the past and how many developers just got burnt with that constant upgrade cycle.
    The main concern I have for Wix is that its a 2-8 learning cycle (according to other accounts). That's prohibative investment IMHO, so MS is putting further pressure on the Software Development community with this decision.

  • Varun Gupta - MSFT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you for your feedback, have you tried using InstallShield Limited Edition that came with Visual Studio 2010? I would love to hear your feedback.

  • Varun Gupta - MSFT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Have you tried InstallShield Limited Edition which comes for free with VS 2010? Which features do you miss as compared to Setup projects?

  • che commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is huge for us! We have a ton of setup projects we've created over the years and I don't want to migrate them all to a third-party solution. If anything I would ask that VS2012 include the latest msi bootstrappers for SQLServer2012, Compact, etc.

  • Simon Kavanagh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Completely agree with jalf. Please kill the entire MSI platform.
    The metro way of deploying apps via the Store and even the side-loading option for Enterprise customers is much simpler and much, much preferable.

    Please make this available for Desktop apps too!

  • jalf commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To be honest, as long as Microsoft is incapable of building a sane installer, they might *just as well* kill off setup projects. They were horrible in each and every way. Of course, so are the third-party alternatives. And to be fair, the entire MSI platform is fundamentally broken as well. Really, "bring back Setup Projects" is kind of self-defeating. "Give us back your broken technology so we don't have to use third-party broken technology". Couldn't we be a bit more ambitious, and go "give us a sane way to install our applications" instead?

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