Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Features in InstallShield 2014

InstallShield 2014 was just released a few weeks ago and includes a host of new features.

Some of the major improvements in this new release include the following:

  • Support for SQL Server 2014.
  • The ability to run the RemoveFiles action directly through the Files and Folders view.  Previously, this always had to be done through the MSI Direct Table Editor.
  • The ability to run Managed Actions in the Advanced Suite installations.
  • There is a new installation package type called a Multi-Tier installation.
  • The ability to launch a VM and directly copy the installation package into the targeted VM.  This is especially useful if you frequently use tools such as VMWare Workstation to test out your installations.
  • You can now deploy Web Deploy packages directly through InstallShield.

You can read the full Release Notes here:

Unfortunately, there are several features which have still not been improved in this latest release of InstallShield:

  • No improved support for PowerShell Custom Actions.  You still cannot pass parameters to a PowerShell Custom Action.
  • No additional Themes for User Interface design.
  • No additional capabilities for customizing the installation and deployment to IIS using the IIS deployment tooling within the IDE.  For example, there is still no built-in dialog to be able to select a website for targeting to deploy your installation.

If your company is already using InstallShield, this new version is definitely a welcome improvement over prior versions. 

However, if you are evaluating a new installation and packaging tool for your organization and considering InstallShield 2014, I would definitely consider Advanced Installer as a better and cheaper alternative.  Advanced Installer offers a much, much FASTER release cycle (think updates and new features nearly EVERY MONTH vs. EVERY YEAR  In addition, it offers many of the features currently missing in InstallShield and many, many more.  You can check out Advanced Installer here:

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