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Windows Installer Chat Log

This is a log of the chat as it happended. It is not an official transcript. Some time after the chat Microsoft usually posts an official transcript that is edited for clarity and amended to address questions that couldn't be answered during the chat.

WWW Official Chat Transcripts

Windows Installer 3.0 Chat

Description:
You ask - we answer. In the September Windows Installer chat, experts from the Windows Installer team at Microsoft will sit down at their keyboards and answer your questions about the new Windows Installer 3.0. Fire up your browser and join this chat to learn about all the great serviceability improvements we have made in the latest release of the Windows Installer!
Type:
Microsoft Chat (60 minutes)
Date:
Thursday, September 23

MSDN Chat Experts

This is the content of the upper window, where Microsoft experts answer the questions.

Moderator_Andy : Welcome to today's chat. Our topic is Windows Installer 3.0. Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome.

     Moderator_Andy : The Lower Room is where guests can enter questions for our hosts today. We will read them and select questions to answer. The questions and answers will be posted in the Upper Room.

     Moderator_Andy : Please feel free to begin posting your questions in the room below. Please begin your questions with a Q: this will help us quickly identify the questions.

     Moderator_Andy : We will make an effort to answer as many questions as he can. There may be times when a question may be asked that we do not have an immediate answer for or cannot get to.

     Moderator_Andy : To properly display URLs and allow private whispers from hosts and other guests, please take a moment to click on Chat Options located in the left column and uncheck “Do not display messages with URLs” and check "allow whispers".

     Moderator_Andy : Remember to add a Q: in front of your questions for easy identification

     Moderator_Andy : I'll now have the hosts introduce themselves.

     KenWong_MSFT : Hi my name is Ken and I am a tester on the Windows Installer Team.

     asharma_MSFT : Hello! I'm Ashish, a tester on the Windows Installer team.

     asharma_MSFT : .

     Hem_MSFT : Hi, I am Hemchander. I am developer at the Windows Installer team.

     Chris_MSFT : Howdy! My name is Chris Gouge. I was a senior developer on the MSI team until just recently and am filling in for the lovely and talented Carolyn today.

     Tyler_MS : My name is Tyler Robinson. I am the Program Manager for the Windows Installer here at Microsoft. I look forward to talking with you today.

     OmSharma_MSFT : Hi - I am Om from the Windows Installer Program Management team

     Moderator_Andy : And I'm Andy Q, Communities producer

     OmSharma_MSFT : Q: stern67 : Q: Can I get Windows Installer 3.0 without SP2 for Win XP?

     OmSharma_MSFT : A: Windows Installer v3.0 has been released with XPSP2. The redistributable release for Win2k/SP3, Win2k/SP4, WinXP, WinXP/SP1 and Windows Server2003 is under development.

     OmSharma_MSFT : .

     Tyler_MS : Additionally, the Windows Installer 3.0 SDK is available as part of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 SDK at http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/platformsdk/sdkupdate/

     Tyler_MS : Q: when will the MSI 3 redistributable be released?

     Tyler_MS : A: We do not yet have a release date for the Windows Installer 3.0 redistributable.

     Tyler_MS : Q: any approximate release time frame? Is it a matter of days, weeks, months...?

     Tyler_MS : A: We are working hard on the redistributable, but we do not have a timeframe to communicate at this point.

     Hem_MSFT : Q: Are there any plans for a MSI authoring tool (other than Orca) from MS? something similar to Wise?

     Hem_MSFT : A: Visual Studio helps you build MSI packages. WIX (Windows Installer XML) toolset is an open source toolset useful in authoring MSI packages. It is...

     Hem_MSFT : ...widely used within Microsoft. Here's where you will find information about it: http://sourceforge.net/projects/wix.

     Hem_MSFT : .

     asharma_MSFT : Q: Is there a mechanism to disable the installer from interacting with COM calls? Even temporarily?

     asharma_MSFT : A: No. But you can avoid this by using Registry table to register COM components.

     asharma_MSFT : .

     Moderator_Andy : For those new to the chat - Our topic is Windows Installer 3.0. We're about halfway in-keep those questions coming!

     Chris_MSFT : Q: Generally Windows installer applications will not allow a second installation of the same application. If you want to test a new release while keeping an old on you have to go to a different machine. Is this something that the user has any control

     Chris_MSFT : over?

     Chris_MSFT : A: It depends on what you mean by "new release" if this is a new release with a different ProductCode, then you should be able to install it alongside your existing release from the MSI point of view (how well the app itself handles this depends on your

     Chris_MSFT : implementation of the product.) If this is a minor release that you are packaging as a new MSI file rather than as an MSP (MSPs are recommended for smaller updates) then you would not be able to install alongside the current software, you would need

     Chris_MSFT : to upgrade the existing instance using the recache-reinstall flags as described in the documentation. This is what your customers would need to do as well, so it is a good thing to test. For clean installs in this case, you would need to go to another

     Chris_MSFT : machine.

     Chris_MSFT : .

     Hem_MSFT : Q: The ExtractPatchXMLData function is new in the 3.0 version. How can I get the same information about a patch (Target version, Updated version,..) with Windows Installer 2.0

     Hem_MSFT : A: MsiExtractPatchXMLData API is available only on Windows Installer 3.0. If you need this information then you need to install Windows Installer 3.0. However, this information is already inside the MSP's summary information stream. Y=ou can view most...

     Hem_MSFT : ...of this information using Orca 3.0 as well.

     Hem_MSFT : .

     Chris_MSFT : Q: Will Orca 3.0 work on MSI 2.0?

     Chris_MSFT : A: Yes, but some functionality will be disabled. 3.0 style patches may not be viewable in the "patch viewing" mode, etc.

     Chris_MSFT : .

     KenWong_MSFT : Q: Many Microsoft and other vendor applications leave around boat loads of registry keys, folders, files and short cuts. Does version 3.0 offer anything that helps make an uninstall look like the application was never there?

     KenWong_MSFT : A: Given that the install is Windows Insatller based, a component could be orphaned during uninstall if for example it is marked as permanent or shared between products. It really depends on the authoring of the package.

     KenWong_MSFT : .

     Moderator_Andy : Thanks all for joining and thanks to our experts!

     Hem_MSFT : Q: Will the Intel x64 require different Template Summary Property than AMD64?  Meaning if we want pure 64bit package, will will need a compleltely different package for Intel x64, AMD64 and Itanium 64?

     Hem_MSFT : A: That is feature work for Windows Installer 3.1. Windows Installer 3.1 will be part of Server 2003 SP1 release.

     Hem_MSFT : .

     Moderator_Andy : You can find this transcript soon at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats/recent.asp

     Tyler_MS : I wanted to let everyone know of our upcoming Windows Installer chats. October's chat will be on October 12 at 11:00 AM and the topic will be "Using the Driver Install Frameworks with the Windows Installer" so if you are interested in installation...

     Tyler_MS : ...of drivers using the Windows Installer, this chat is for you. November's chat will be on November 9 and the topic will be "Using WiX to author your Windows Installer packages" so if you have heard about WiX or are using WiX, this chat is for you.

     Tyler_MS : We look forward to seeing you all at future Windows Installer chats.

MSDN Chat Participants

This is the content of the the chat participants can ask questions and post comments. This part is usually not included in the official transcript.

stern67 : Q: Can I get Windows Installer 3.0 without SP2 for Win XP?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : stern67: The redistributable package is not yet available. As soon as it is: yes

     Nicholas : hello all

     ScottD : Q: When is MSI updated to 3.0 on a machine ?  With SP2 for XP ?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : hello all!

     Tyler_MS : Greetings, Stefan!

     PhilWilson : Hi Stefan, and Chris the stand-in!

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Hi Phil

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Hi Tyler

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Hi everyone

     Nicholas : Q: does anyone know why Server 2003 wont format a SCSI hard drive during installation process?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Q: when will the MSI 3 redistributable be released?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Nicholas: wrong chat topic, please try the newsgroups

     Nicholas : ndos..im sorry

     Adrian : Q: Is there a mechanism to disable the installer from interacting with COM calls? Even temporarily?

     Youseful : Quiet up top eh?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Q: any approximate release time frame? Is it a matter of days, weeks, months...?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Adrian: you could try to use the Registry table instead of the Class table

     Adrian : Stefan -- Yeah but then I'd never get the benefits of self-repair.  And I'd have to know in advance which classes will cause problems...

     ashwin : Q: Are there any plans for a MSI authoring tool (other than Orca) from MS? something similar to Wise?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Adrian: but I thought you _wanted_ to get rid of self-repair

     Adrian : Nope.  I want self-repair but I don't want self-repair to trigger during a custom action invocation.

     Adrian : Trying to do this will lead to deadlock (a bad one too).

     Bill : Q:Generally Windows installer applications will not allow a second installation of the same application. If you want to test a new release while keeping an old on you have to go to a different machine. Is this something that the user has any control overd

     StefanKrueger_MVP : don't know of a way to disable it temporarily

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Bill: you could change the ProductCode or use multi-instance-transforms

     StefanKrueger_MVP : multi-instance transforms require XP SP1 or Win 2003

     StefanKrueger_MVP : I would prefer using a virtual machine for testing (MS Virtual PC which is included with MSDN or VMware Workstation)

     Adrian : The only way I know of is to blow away the InprocServer32 value from the CLSID I want to use in the custom action then put it back again after I'm done.  Ugly but it works.  I'd like a better way... Anybody at MS?

     PhilWilson : The intersting q is what causes a self-repair during the install.

     Adrian : Thanks for the response Ashish.  Not really what I wanted to hear...

     Adrian : Phil -- Well tis easy.  The real problem is that since the product is advertised all CLSIDs are in the registry with InprocServer32 values containing those lovely Binary Triples (Feature/Component/Product).

     Adrian : During the second invocation, Product is already installed and component is not.  Invoking said CLSID will trigger second instance of install of Product (deadlock because first is in a custom action waiting for COM call to return).

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Adrian: could you try to trigger the repair of the OCM object from your UI sequence, asynchroneously? To avoid the deadlock in execute sequence

     stern67 : Q: The ExtractPatchXMLData function is new in the 3.0 version. How can I get the same information about a patch (Target version, Updated version,..) with Windows Installer 2.0 ?

     Adrian : Ah.. UI sequence would be good but if the whole product is advertised, then simply triggering a shortcut will be /QB without UI.

     Adrian : Besides for me the problem occured when actually trying to install the exact component that is referenced by the CLSID.

     Chris_MSFT : Adrian, what type of custom action? If its deferred, could you move it later in the InstallExecute sequence? It sounds like you need to move it past the point where the component is fully installed. Placing it deferred right before InstallFinalize might h

     Adrian : Actually I wanted to pass my thanks on the Windows Installer team for 3.0.  The whole Source Management Api has been great.  Many customers of mine have already been thankful for it.

     Bill : Q: Many Microsoft and other vendor applications leave around boat loads of registry keys, folders, files and short cuts. Does version 3.0 offer anything that helps make an uninstall look like the application was never there?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Q: Will Orca 3.0 work on MSI 2.0?

     Adrian : Chris -- The ca installs a Network Provider.  It requires sys level privileges and in fact I don't call the CLSID direct another MS api calls back into that CLSID.  Your suggestion works because it would come after the PublishXXX actions right?

     Adrian : My problem was that I needed this CA to happen before InstallServices.  I didn't think that PublishXX stuff should really come before that.

     Bill : Q: Does version 3.0 offer any type of product registration and activation service that can be used to install the same image as a 30 day trial or limited number of runs vs a full installation or is that still left to the developer?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : Bill: no, this is something you would have to do in yuor application (check whether the 30 days or over). There are third party tools that can do this

     Skarly : hi

     Skarly : hello!

     StefanKrueger_MVP : hi

     Skarly : how are you?

     StefanKrueger_MVP : fine

     StefanKrueger_MVP : do you have a question related to Windows Installer (MSI)?

     Skarly : how old are you?

     Skarly : no

     StefanKrueger_MVP : this is a technical chat session and our topic is Windows Installer 3.0

     Adrian : Q: Will the Intel x64 require different Template Summary Property than AMD64?  Meaning if we want pure 64bit package, will will need a compleltely different package for Intel x64, AMD64 and Itanium 64?

 

 

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