by January 1, 2000 0 comments

InstallShield Professional 2000

Setup program creation utility.
Rs 44,000
Features: Dependency manager to track your project files; Function wizard for coding functions correctly;
Media Wizard for creating disk images.
Pros: Contains lots of wizards that’re easy guides to creating setup programs.
Cons: None.

Source: MicroGraphics
E-5/30, Krishan Nagar
New Delhi 110051. 
Tel: 11-2249648, 2462423 
Fax: 2231663 

“The InstallShield Wizard will guide you through rest of the installation process.” You’ve probably lost count of the number of times you’ve seen this message. So many software programs use InstallShield for setup that many people believe that it’s a part of the Windows operating system–though it’s a totally independent package. 

In the DOS days, installing a program wasn’t too difficult. It was usually enough to create a new directory for a program, copy all the files from the distribution disk, and you were ready to go. Today, however, software developers for Windows applications need to perform several tasks before their program will run–copying files to application directories and Windows directories, registry entries, registering DLLs, etc. Not only is this cumbersome, but any mistakes mean that either the application or Windows or both will crash. InstallShield Professional 2000 makes it easy to create an installation program that’ll take care of all the tasks without the associated risks. 

Let’s get started
The Project Wizard in InstallShield Professional 2000 helps you create an installation program quickly. If your application is developed in Visual Basic, a special wizard automatically takes care of the dependent files, and the creation process becomes even quicker. For other development platforms, a Dependency Manager helps you keep track of all the files you need to include with your installation. To figure out which files are needed, the Dependency Manager launches the target program and keeps a log of all files that are opened.

Apart from these, there’s a whole bunch of additional wizards–the Function Wizard that helps you code functions correctly, the Media Wizard that creates images for distribution disks, etc. 

Start the Project Wizard from the opening screen and fill in the required information, then select the user interface options and the other options that you want to give to the user, Custom Install for example. Finally, select the languages and operating systems for which you want to deploy your application (including Windows 2000) and the wizard does the rest. 

A few steps to an installation 
Having created the basic framework, click on the File Groups tab and list the files with the target directories that are needed. You can use the Dependency Manager here to help you. The last step is to decide what media—floppies or CDs—you’ll use to distribute your application. You can even create an installation for distribution through the Internet. The Media Wizard will create disk images in a specified directory and these images can simply be copied on to distribution disks. 

There are lots of options for adding bells and whistles (sounds, pictures, or video clips) to your installation and for influencing its behavior on the user’s computer. InstallShield has a strong scripting language that gives you total control over your installation program. 

You could, of course, create the entire installation without using the wizards. But even if you’re a whiz with the InstallShield scripting language (the package includes a huge Language Reference book), it’s better to let the wizards create the framework of your installation and then fine-tune it.

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