Windows Installer
 
Unrestricted access to Windows Installer functionality!
 
Open Source
 
Open source!
 

<xml/>

 
Plain XML based source scripts!
 
Free
 
Free, no strings attached!
 
Build Automation
 
Command-line interface for automated application build process!
 
Community
 
Thriving community support!
Why WiX?
What are the advantages of WiX toolset?

Advantages of Using WiX Toolset

Even though there are quite a few commercial easy to use developer tools to build Windows Installer packages, these developer-oriented tools are not generally a good fit for an automated build process, especially one that may be called upon to determine which software to include in a setup based on other factors (such as recent check-ins, changed filenames, and so on).

The WiX toolset brings the following advantages over other popular Windows Installer developer tools:

  • WiX offers unrestricted access to Windows Installer functionality.
  • It leverages XML-based source files, which can easily be edited in any text editor and are easily version controlled.
  • The command-line interface allows WiX to be integrated into any automated application build process or continuous integration environment.
  • There is no need to get expensive licenses for special tools. WiX toolset is free.

Using WiX also allows software vendors to hand the installation development off to each project team and that eliminates the need for fully dedicated installations developers. If each developer is responsible for his/her component then the developer can update the related WiX elements (such as file, registry, class, progid, etc.) very easily. This is the recommended practice for software development teams and it is a great way to improve the whole setup process and the package quality.

Microsoft Office, SQL Server, BizTalk, Virtual PC, and Instant Messenger are listed as products which are packaged using the WiX toolset. This evidence proves an important point – that WiX can help you do anything your setup needs require!

WiX is a great toolset and one you definitely want to get familiar with. The faster you push installation tasks down to the developer level, the better install experience you will have for your applications.

WiX toolset requires .NET Framework, but the windows installer packages created with the toolset do not have any requirements on the target Windows platform.