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How can I create Custom Actions in Managed Languages, like C# ?

Natively, Windows Installer supports custom actions in form of a DLL, an executable, VBScript or JScript. DLL here means a "real" DLL that exports callable functions, typically written in C++. You cannot create such a DLL in Visual Basic.

Technically it is possible to use assemblies as custom actions (although not natively) but in the past this has been discouraged by many experts for the following reasons:

Please also read the following article on Aaron Stebner's blog: Don't use managed code to write your custom actions! If you still want to write a custom action in C#, you can find some instructions in this blog enty: WiX: Managed Custom Actions

As of May 2008 there's a new development in the the long debate about custom actions. As part of the Windows Installer XML (WiX) project the Deployment Tools Foundation (DTF) have been published, a framework for .NET custom actions. It is still in beta and can also be used for MSI authoring tools other than WiX. You can find more information here:

Some Information in this article was taken from posts by Phil Wilson and Rob Mensching on the wix-users mailing list.



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