Friday, September 24, 2010

Visual Studio Setup & Deployment Projects declared dead & retired. VS2010 will be the last…

InstallSite Blog - Microsoft will retire Visual Studio Installer

“Since the release of Visual Studio 2010 users can get a limited edition of InstallShield free of charge. I just came across an announcement from Microsoft which has been posted two months ago. Candy Chiang, Program Manager Visual Studio Deployment, announces that in future versions the Setup & Deployment project type - also known as Visual Studio Installer - will be retired in favor of InstallShield Limited Edition. The announcement was posted in Microsoft's MSDN forum for ClickOnce and Setup & Deployment Projects:


Windows Developer Center - ClickOnce and Setup & Deployment Projects

Retirement of Visual Studio Installer Projects from future versions of Visual Studio

Candy ChiangMSFTThursday, July 15, 2010 8:07 PM

In Visual Studio 2010, we have partnered with Flexera, makers of InstallShield, to create InstallShield Limited Edition 2010 just for Visual Studio 2010 customers. The InstallShield Limited Edition 2010 offers comparable functionality to the Visual Studio Installer projects. In addition, you can build your deployment projects using Team Foundation Server and MSBuild. For more information, see

With InstallShield available, the Visual Studio Installer project types will not be available in future versions of Visual Studio. [GD: Emphasis added] To preserve existing customer investments in Visual Studio Installer projects, Microsoft will continue to support the Visual Studio Installer projects feature that shipped with Visual Studio 2010 and below as per our product life-cycle strategy. For more information, see Expanded Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy for Business & Development Products.


I hadn’t seen this… 

It kind of bugs me that there’s not going be an in-house Setup solution from Microsoft in the VS box (cough… when they DO have an in-house solution in WiX…cough). Am I not perfectly happy with the current Visual Studio Setup and Deployment projects, but for a very quick and dirty MSI it works just fine. Just seems weird that Microsoft is not going to provide a setup solution. What good is building an awesome app if we can’t deploy it? And forcing us to rely on a third-party product smells bad. I LIKE that there’s options, but being forced to use it is something else…

Are they doing this because in 2012/13/14 they don’t see a need to build MSI’s at all anymore and so feel it’s okay to delegate this to a third party?


Related Past Post XRef:
Free InstallShield Limited Edition 2010 coming to help our VS2010 Windows Installer and TFS/automated building woes


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more about the bad smell in foisting a 3rd vendor solution on us. And that it's a "Limited Edition" is concerning to me.

In order to feel more comfortable with this sort of announcement, I'd like to know that there is feature parity and nothing lost from the previous setup projects supported my Microsoft.

I'd always considered looking more into Wix. Now, I think it may become part of necessary due diligence.

Lastly, I dislike that there is no direct way to comment on the announcement itself. Perhaps I'm overly harsh, but there is a smell there as well.

Jaans said...

Not good... not good at all.

What bugs me is there probably isn't anything agreed with the 3rd party to ensure that it will always be available for future versions of VS 20XX or at least the next versions.

Microsoft really dropped the ball with Crystal Reports (especially since it was bought from Business Objects by SAP). When VS2010 hit RTM, there was no Crystal Reports ready (still isn't) for VS2010 users. You couldn't use the previous version of Crystal Reports for .NET either.

This was a big stuff up that shot themselves in the foot because many companies rely/relied on Crystal Reports as part of their solutions and I know of at least half a dozen that had to wait and still are on VS2008 until they either get the product right and ready, or until they've migrated to another vendor's product.

Bottom line, a 3rd party tool that integrates and releases with VS, must have a contract behind them to ensure the tool has a future and that it's RTM when VS goes RTM.

My 2 cents
- Jaans

Anonymous said...

I was using Inno Setup until I started developing with Visual Studio a year ago. I liked it then, and might well go back to it.

Akhil Gupta said...


How do we use it?

First of all, we have to select the ‘Other Project Types’ option from the New Project. Then, we get some options:

1)Setup Project: Creates a Windows Installer project to which files can be added. This project type is the most general of all.

2)Web Setup Project: The deployment tools in Visual Studio .NET also support deployment to a Web server. Using deployment to install files on a Web server provides an advantage over simply copying files, in that deployment handles any issues with registration and configuration automatically.

3)Merge Module Project: Most commonly, merge modules are used for files that are installed to a common location (such as the System folders) and/or shared by multiple applications. For example, many ActiveX and .NET controls that are sold by third-party tool vendors come with their own merge modules so that the developer can simply merge the installation logic of the control into their setup without worrying about having to manually specify the file’s information and setup logic.

4)Setup Wizard: Creates a Windows Installer project with the aid of a wizard.

5)Cab Project: The CAB project is a Setup and Deployment project, which is used to create a .cab file containing a set of files in a compressed archive. This .cab file is used to package ActiveX controls that can be downloaded from a Web server. The CAB project reduces the size of a distribution package. Using CAB project, developers can implement Authenticode signing and specify the display name, version, level of compression, and location of dependent files.

You can have a look at the Video Tutorial @

to see that how do we use Setup And Deployment Wizard.

Anonymous said...

Read thousands complaints here: