The WiX toolset was Microsoft's first Open Source project released back in April, 2004. Being first meant we were guinea pigs for a number of new legal and business processes. By 2009 Microsoft had learned a lot about these processes and created the Outercurve Foundation to encapsulate them. Today the WiX toolset finally moves from Microsoft to join Outercurve. Why now? What changes? Let's see if I can answer those questions.
Since the creation of the Outercurve Foundation, people occasionally asked why the WiX toolset didn't move. There wasn't a really great answer beyond, "We didn't really need to." The original processes in Microsoft were supporting our needs well enough. Well enough until the end of last year when the legal team supporting us said, "It's been fun guys but we don't really want to manage the WiX toolset assignment agreements any longer."
That meant it was time to move to Outercurve. Of course, it is never that simple when you have legal processes involved. So the process took time. I'm just happy we got this done before WiX v3.6 was complete and WiX v3.7 available.
Right now, the WiX toolset's copyright changes. The header on top of all the licensed source files and the logo message displayed by the command-line tools will now say "Copyright Outercurve Foundation" instead of "Copyright Microsoft Corporation". There is also a new email address to request an assignment requests agreement (send email to email@example.com to get started).
"I am very happy to announce the WiX toolset has been contributed to the Outercurve Foundation. The project has been a special case in Microsoft for a long time. WiX was the first open source project begun at Microsoft. We began as an internal ‘community project’ in 1999 and released WiX as the first true open source project from Microsoft in 2004.
The WiX toolset creates Windows Installer packages (.MSI, .MSM, .MSP, etc.) from XML source code. The toolset integrates seamlessly into typical developer processes via command-line tools and Visual Studio integration. The project also extends the Windows Installer to support install applications on IIS, SQL, and other Microsoft platforms. The primary goal of the project is to promote best practices for creating installation packages on Windows.
Since the 2004 release, the WiX toolset has become recognized as one of the best ways to create installation packages for Windows. Today there are 10,000+ downloads every month. WiX is one of few open source projects shipping with multibillion-dollar software. It’s used in Microsoft Office, SQL Server, Visual Studio and many others inside and outside of Microsoft. Developers are our implementers. The project has an active user mailing list with thousands of participants.
It's great to see continued life and support for WiX. With VS2012 RTM coming to MSDN today (August 15, 2012), I believe there is going to a renewed interest is deployment/setup projects (since you know the VS Deployment Project type has been dropped from VS2012, right?)....
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Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset has released as Open Source on SourceForge.net