Reviews

Briefing: InstallShield 10.5

InstallShield 10.5
Macrovision
Schaumburg, Illinois
(847) 466-4000
www.installshield.com

You may recall that InstallShield was acquired by Macrovision a bit earlier this year. That hasn't stopped the InstallShield engineers from working on a new version, of course, and today they're releasing version 10.5 of their InstallShield Premier Edition (as well as the other editions in the product line). I haven't had a chance to test the new version yet, but I did chat with the folks at Macrovision about the new features.

The first of the new features shows just a glimpse of how InstallShield is integrating with the rest of Macrovision's offerings. With just a couple of mouse clicks you can build a Trialware installer for your product, so that it can be installed with the right to use for a limited time period, after which it expires. This uses some of Macrovision's existing technology, which they say is proof against the most common attempts to circumvent such technology (such as rolling the clock back or doing the install in a virtual machine).

Another significant advance here is the introduction of assemblies to the product. These are not .NET assemblies, but an InstallShield technology designed to make it possible to dynamically reuse components across multiple installers. These modular components are versioned, and can be shared between multiple installed products without anything breaking on uninstall. Organizations shipping suites will appreciate the flexibility that assemblies give to build multiple different product editions with little overhead. A new scheme of local and network repositories lets you reuse and share elements from your installations as well.

Other new features include support for deploying MySQL databases (similar to the existing support for SQL Server), a visual tool for specifying changes to XML files on the target machine, and support for the latest Microsoft installer technology (MSI 3.0). Trial downloads should show up on the InstallShield Web site shortly. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the new features in action.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.

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