We did lot of window form destop and window service deployments, but these projects are removed in visual studio 2012. How should we do this now? and what is the purpose of removing these templates?
I've been using install shield in the past, they are license nightmare. I just don't want to go back there again.
You need to go the WiX route or choose a commercial installer of your choice.
It's unfortunate, but the installer space is not a great place in the upgrade story.
UPDATE: Please vote on this issue on User Voice
You need to go the WiX route or choose a commercial installer of your choice.
It's unfortunate, but the installer space is not a great place in the upgrade story.
UPDATE: Please vote on this issue on User Voice
Thank you, Relying on other tools are always come with cost or bad technologies, We didn't know this anoying. the setup projects are always part of visual studio from the early day. today they are droping one bit of Visual studio, maybe the next version would be no more visual studio. Lession learned.
What a stupid decision! Why not leave it at least as it was in VS2010? The Visual Studio team's focus seems to be in making the UI more ugly and removing features in each version...
I'm really disappointed from what's coming from MS recently, Windows 8 on the desktop is a mess and VS2012 doesn't have any advantage over VS2010. Even .Net 4.5 is unusable because it's not supported on XP...
I'm adding my disappointment and amazement at this decision too. There is an unfortunate gap left here. InstallShield LE doesn't support installation of windows services. I've just recommended to one of my clients that we ditch plans to move onto VS2012 and revert to VS2010.
I'm aware that I can roll my own merge module in WiX to wrap up the services and then install that using WiX or InstallSheild LE.... but honestly - why should I have to do this? I had a perfectly functioning installer project - very nice point & click set up no convoluted configuration, just an 'install this service under this name' type affair.
VS2012 Pro is retailing at £3500 & you can't install a windows service created with it.... that's poor, really poor.
Paul Dowman, CRM Developer
- Proposed as answer by Arestotle Thapa Sunday, September 16, 2012 9:16 PM
Visual Studio has always been a complete Developer Tool; from planning to coding to testing to deployment. Now in 2012, it is incomplete. It only now stops at testing. Hmm, it is a big surprise!! I really don't know whose idea this was.
The best things in life are free, but the most valuable ones are costly...use opportunities well for there are others like you who deserves them, but don't have them...
There is an interesting ecosystem of questions and speculations this brings rise to. Are they doing this because they want developers moving into WinRT development? That has its own deployment story separate from Windows Installer technologies. If so, that means the consumerization of the platform (Windows 8, tiles, etc) is pushing forward. That is interesting as we look not at thier consumer offering but rather the server space. Tools. Windows services. Web Applications. Web services. Scheduled tasks. Enterprise platforms. These things all need installation and I don't picture the Windows 8/Metro/Modern UI/Live Tiles/WinRT model being the natural way SysAdmins would like to interact with their servers. Touch is not high on their priority list. If you're a server product developer, you can probably justify Install Shield (paid, not LE). If you're enterprise IT for a small-to-mid size organization, you're probably looking at WiX. WiX scares me because I'm trying to picture what will happen to it if Rob Mensching were ever to be hit by a bus. I'd like to see WiX pulled into VS for that reason.
Matt Poland - Manager of Application Development
I spent a few days getting wix install projects up and running - quite a painful exercise. I have uploaded the full working solutions to dropbox at:
1) You need to create your own GUIDs where indicated in the files, read the wix docs for the GUIDs required for your application.
2) The project wont build as you need to include your own dependancies (i.e. dlls required by the application)
3) I have not created a bootstrapper application yet (that checks for .net installs etc), when I get the energy and time I will tackle the wix documentation again and upload.
4) You need to download and install wix to get this to work.
5) The project was part of a greater solution so the references will not be valid but demonstrate how to include the output of other projects into the install.
6) You will see a whole lot of variables being used like this: $(var.ReferencedProject.TargetPath) - this is how you get the output of referenced projects into your install
7) I did not create a compressed install as we need to modify some files at each client and so we do this when we deploy, this can be easily changed using the Compressed attribute on the package
8) I modifed the UI sequence but you may need to use a standard UI sequence - be aware of this and read the wix docs, they are quite clear on this issue.
9) I was not able to get the add/remove icon working on the service install even though I followed the same procedure as for the windows install?? I was not able to modify the UI sequence for the service install??
My first reaction when I discovered this was not good.
I discovered the problem with a Java bigot looking over my shoulder. He found it quite hilarious that the first thing VS 2012 did when I opened an existing project was show me several projects that had been deprecated. His first move was to start spouting the promise of open systems. Some of our components can be easily converted to Java and he started beating that drum again.
I was worried because free versions of InstallShield in the past were little more than useless teasers. However, it seems that MicrosoSoft managed to get some concessions for this shameless promotion.
So far the new version linked to 2012 seems to be useful for our purposes. Conversion seems to be going at the rate of one per hour. We'll be deploying upgrades to customers soon and we'll have to do a mini beta on the new installation. In all this decision will cost us a couple of man weeks between conversion testing, beta and support calls.
- Edited by TomHFromObjExInc Tuesday, October 02, 2012 9:26 PM
Minimal functionality installers can still be created for individual projects under the publish section of the project properties. Through various options, you can create desktop shortcuts, add file associations, have the application check for updates automatically, and a few other worthwhile things. Ancillary files, such as license agreements, can be included by adding them to your project as content. These installers seem to work OK for service applications, too.
The user interface for the installer is not customizable, and you cannot create one installer for an entire solution, but at least it is something that is better than pursuing the InstallShield route. The Visual Studio installer project was always a bit limited in its capabilites and flexibility, but at least it could be coerced into doing almost the right things most of the time.
I kind of wish Microsoft would spend a little less time reimagining the UI in favor of spending more time maintaining and improving existing features.
- Proposed as answer by Frank Sandersen Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:31 AM
I am shocked that Microsoft would dump such a useful feature, with no input from the developers who buy and use Visual Studio.
We have native C++ setup projects that we have been using and upgrading through multiple Visual Studio versions. Now we have to either buy Installshield, with expensive licenses and expensive maintenance, or depend on Wix, a somewhat unstable open-source solution that cost us many hours of developer time to replace a one-click process with digging through hundreds of lines of XML. I thought when products were upgrade they got easier to use, not more painful and time-consuming.
If the software applications that I develop followed Microsoft's installer path, we would be out of business very quickly.
A very bad and very customer-unfriendly decision by Microsoft to terminate support for setup projects
- Edited by TommyVee Monday, October 08, 2012 7:23 PM
My solution: I develop in VS2012 and leave installed VS2010 to generate the setup.
Haven't discovered anything better.
Fabian Fernandez / .NET Senior Developer @ eLace / Montevideo, Uruguay.
- Edited by Fabian Fernandez Bargas Saturday, October 13, 2012 4:01 PM
I understand your feeling , I got VS2012 premium with MSDN subscription and I can't install a windows service created with it too !!!
After Reading all these comments, there is no words left to me.. So now all I want is to scream loud and clear:
a little bit more: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
I find it interesting that so many of you are shocked to see this functionality be removed, while from day one of the Visual Studio 2010 release, Microsoft has had the following warning up on the Setup Project documentation page:
Future versions of Visual Studio will not include the Visual Studio Installer project templates. To preserve existing customer investments in Visual Studio Installer projects, Microsoft will continue to support the Visual Studio Installer projects that shipped with Visual Studio 2010 per the product life-cycle strategy. For more information, seeExpanded Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy for Business & Development Products.
The removal of this feature, as such, isn't something that comes out of the blue. It has been announced in 2009 and even in the Visual Studio 2008 timeframe there has been a lot of talk about the fact that this technology was being retired.
WIX is a mature technology for writing simple and advanced setup projects, but it does come with a steep learning curve. It is free and it is very well supported and is one of the officially supported installer technologies.
There are a lot of 3rd party systems out there (some, like Nullsoft installer are even free) that have provided much better support for building installers than the Visual Studio Setup projects ever have.
Some reasons behind this: Visual Studio Setup projects already had a large number of issues and were officially unsupported on TFS Team Build, since these project types relied too much on Visual Studio internals and were never properly ported (or portable) to the new XML/MsBuild based project files. Integration with Source control has always been troublesome as well. There have been a couple of hotfixes to reduce the most problematic issues, but that is it.
Instead of developing a new MsBuild based setup project, Microsoft has opted to support WIX and relies on partners such as InstallShield to provide alternatives for it.
My blog: blog.jessehouwing.nl
- Proposed as answer by LANDesk SteckDEV Tuesday, December 11, 2012 8:25 PM
This decision to remove support for setup projects is very, very wrong. We installed Visual Studio 2012 and were just SHOCKED and very irritated! We have Windows Services that are part of our offering that need to be installed. As noted InstallShield LE is very weak and does not support this. Forcing us towards an expensive and paid option on InstallShield is really not acceptable.
That we cannot put together a simple deployment to get a project that we build in VS 2012 is just downright stupidity on behalf of the Visual Studio team.
Microsoft needs to present a solution to resolve this promptly. I suspect many developers will be staying behind and continuing with VS 2010 until such time as this has a solution.
Very disappointing! Shame on you Microsoft.
- Edited by JFMDeveloper Monday, November 12, 2012 7:55 PM
Not everyone can follow all of the changes. It also isn't surprising that this would be removed so much as it is unacceptable and unfortunate that no viable alternative replaces the deployment projects natively or simply in VS 2012. There is no reasonable WiX template and fishing through a bunch of XML is not an appropriate answer. Paying for InstallShield or some other 3rd party isn't either. VS 2012 no longer supports deploying certain projects that it is designed to build and that is really lame.
If MS is going to support WiX, then they need and easy to use migration pathway and an easy to use add-in to VS 2012 that will actual make it viable without so much time and training to make it work.
If there is an "even free" solution that is viable, why isn't it in a nice little integration NuGet package?
To expect a decent migration option from old solutions is not unfair of developers.
- Edited by JFMDeveloper Monday, November 12, 2012 8:12 PM
There are template projects on the Visual Studio gallery. One for Windows Services. Other installer/deployment types are handled through Msdeploy.
I understand the frustration for some, but also the reality fro the other side. Wix is much more advanced than the old style projects. But if Microsoft would add a full gui around it, it would compete directly with their partner solutions, which it won't want to.
I'm hoping for more and better tutorials and templates for Wix, and I'm sure they'll be forthcoming.
Nobody is forcing you to move to Visual Studio 2012. You can even use Visual Studio 2010 to just build the installer should you wish to. If you want full support for Team Build, integration in MsBuild and more advanced features, you can upgrade to Wix incrementally.
It's not that there are no alternatives. But they are not as simple to use and learn as the old setup projects; or they cost money. What they gave you is a more advanced installer which can ultimately do a lot more and better than the old installer system ever could.
My blog: blog.jessehouwing.nl
What a shame... For me this is unacceptable!!!!
It's clear that Microsoft made a partnership with "Flexera Software". They are probably making a lot of money with this obligation to use InstallShield to install and deploy projects.
Now the "less worse" scenario is to rewrite code using this piece of crap InstallShield LE or WIX.
Why did you do that Microsoft? Why!? You could promote this InstallShield LE (even knowing that everyone would ignore it because it sucks) and leave the msi installer alone as it was!
I'm really pissed off with this!
Come on, I am not sure why would Microsoft remove the installler base projects and not provide an convertion to Wix and something else that allow to easly create installer base project to install windows services deployment.
Please MS bring those projects back ASAP.
Thanks for this post, this saved me time because I'm not going to bother with InstallShield LE if there are going to Windows Service installation issues. I'm going straight to WiX.
Perhaps soon I will be able to buy an install project for my service from myself via the Windows Store and Microsoft will take 20% of the payment to myself.
OH MY WAND. How absolutely STUPID.
So far, my VS2012 experiecne has been as such:
1) The installer HANGED, and I had to spend hours unistalling-reinstalling, cleaning up temp files and folders, till finally it got installed.
2) The colors are HORIFFIC. Fortunately I was able to load my color schemes from a VS2010 export, but the icons, menus, and base GUI are still crap.
3) Old VS2010 projects can not be compiled in VS2012 that had a setup-project. And now we can not use VS2012 pretty much at all as the majority of our apps require a setup/MSI to deploy to our server(s). I shudder to think what will happen when I load a web-app that uses publish.
I remember the travesty with VS2010 when the help system was lost, and Microsoft put out literally THE NAME of the people and their decisions they made and why to not have it. The bottom line of that post was that Microsoft lost the licensing/code/legal-grounds-battle to deploy the same help systems. So, I forgave Microsoft. If this new TRAVESTY is from the same legal-grounds-battle, then please tell us to keep us informed.
Just an AWEFUL shame for the BEST-OF-THE-BEST development tool to go down a degrading path of attrition and deteriation.
I see that one of the options listed on the forum for creating a setup package is to create the setup package in 2010 but still create the project in 2012. We have a MVC 4 project developed in 2012 and would like to build the setup package with 2010. Obviously we cant add our 2012 project to vs 2010 solution to take advantage of the Add\Project Output functionality. What other options do we have? will we have to add every folder and file manually?
Hey everyone, there is a Visual Studio UserVoice suggestion regarding this and currently has more than 3000 votes:
Fabian Fernandez / Senior .NET Developer, Architect, Advisor & Coordinator / Montevideo, Uruguay.
- Edited by Fabian Fernandez Bargas Wednesday, March 13, 2013 4:12 PM
I am growing very frustrated at MS decision making that imperiously decides what is good for developers. I saw the following comment:
"Nobody is forcing you to move to Visual Studio 2012."
Ahhh, now I feel much better??? Feel the scorn in that statement and the disregard for customers. Off course that statement is a lie. MS has always been about the business of forcing change to promote it's operating systems and coding environments. It's been great for their business in the past.
Yes, now I must seek another way to install a Windows Service. Development time has just increased now that I have to add that to my work, too. I discover this unfortunate development after I have just completed installing VS 2012, finally, without error. I don't have to go to the registry again to correct a botched installation entry. I don't have to go to a folder and add more rights to a trusted installer. I don'e have to repair for a sixth time the entire installation. Yayyy!!! As I said, I'm feeling much better now???
- Edited by Arnold Smith Monday, March 18, 2013 12:31 AM
The resolution to move the setup project from Visual Studio 2012 is not the good one! why microsoft decide to give another works to developer by learning new features and just drop down the experience that they have! i'm thinking about about the migration from Visual studio 2010 to vs 2012 but now i don't know!
The best way is to keep old features and just add another one in new version! writing solution in two IDE i think that it's not helpfull!
Just keeping the VS main idea: Design, develop test and deploy! how we will do without the setup Template?
It's quite a while since I posted up my first comment on this thread - much like the general consensus, I was, and still am, disappointed to see this loss of functionality. However - life moves on and I really need some of the functionality in 2012, and I really need installers... So something has to give.
I had a few goes at getting WiX to work for me over the past few months - I was hoping for a quick fix that didn't really involve any effort..... that didn't work out too well.
I had a long train journey last week, so I took the opportunity to spend a bit of time working out the WiX installer process. And I have to hold my hand up and say in a classic "RTFM" moment, I discovered a .chm file called "WiX Documentation" that is installed as part of the WiX toolset download. (http://wixtoolset.org/) It's a really really useful document!!
Much to my embarrassment - after reading through "Working in Visual Studio >> Create a simple set up" - I had a WiX installer up and running in about 10 minutes. It really was simple.
Now - it's true that this was a simple windows app, however within a couple of hours I'd also got it working for windows services. See http://www.chrissurfleet.co.uk/post/2011/08/04/Creating-windows-service-installer-with-Visual-Studio-and-WiX.aspx and http://makastraining.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/creating-wix-setup-for-windows-servicec.html
Installing windows services (or the lack thereof) was probably my major bug bear with the removal of the setup project templates. However the answer is out there... use WiX, work through the tutorials.
I still agree - it's a pain to have to do this, but I feel that I've learnt something & have become a better developer for it. WiX has so much more functionality available to it. I now have an installer process which is waaay more complete than the one I originally had in VS2010, the WiX installer project fits in neatly to my automated build process (no more install VS2010 on the build server), and with a bit more work I should be able to run an automated deployment right out of the nightly build, and then run some tests against it. WiX has actually opened up a lot of doors for me.
Paul Dowman, CRM Developer
InstallShield Limited Edition can develop installations for Installer Class services.
InstallShield Professional and Premier support more advanced controls when installing services.
The bigger picture here is not really the installer or lack there of , microsoft has spent billions on the cloud and when you need to install something get it from the cloud, apple layout the framework go to itunes or istore and buy well its the same concept go to the microsoft retailers in the cloud and set it up no need for a harddrive cause it will all be from the cloud no need for an installer cause the cloud installs it for you on your profile.. all proprietary property of the cloud owners.. no more little guy.. if the little guy wants to make it well they have to go through the cloud owners..it cuts almost a billion jobs and technical expertise out of the way.. and profits all for them.. its 10 - 15 years out. I'm not mad at them hey $10.00 A Month Per Tera.. Not A Bad Plan...
Don't Worry In About 5 Years You Will Have Forgotten About The Installer and other Misc. Things and turn toward the cloud development, cause that what pays adapt or die.
- Edited by rahji04 Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:58 PM
I don't know of many business user make use of cloud. Cloud? is it there to stay? yes, the cloud word also mean in someone control and someone revenue.
I'm only familiar with business application world, we are only trust what is true for us. let says, if internet provider goes down, we still need to function and we still need a new version of application that is accommodating new requirements.
I think you get the idea, we need to run both ways.
This is insane, why not just make both installers available and no longer upgrade the 2010 version. Taking deployment away is like building a car, leaving the steering wheel off and when people complain saying well the steering wheel was never that good so we don't include it! How do you drive & steer the stupid car!!! Ohh lots of people sell steering wheels, buy theirs.
Can't you see the negative market pressure you have created!!! I am very sad I campaigned for us to upgrade to VS 2012 :-(
If you have not bought VS 2012 yet, I advise you don't !!!
Please boycott Visual Studio :-( till they fix this.
Jesus christ, my head is about to explode! Somebody please wake me up from this nightmare! I just returned from 5-week vacation and now I feel I need a new one.
It has been a pain in the ass to get used to the new, minimal contrast almost-2-color UI. Gimme a break, I have 16,777,216 colors on my monitor and you end up using ~4 of them? I thought that it would be moronic enough, but no...
My task today was to create setup project for an application which we decided to write with VS2012. The setup project was intended to be run by our integration server, which happily builds all of our projects from source to .msi's. We have invested lots of hours customizing our build server, which relies on visual studio for building setup projects. Now we have to invest literally thousands of dollars for InstallShield professional and lots of time to integrate it with our build server?
It seems that at the moment we have no other choice than dumping VS2012 and going on with VS2010. Thank you Microsoft for nice upgrade, money well spent.
Hmm, 3rd-party toy pardon software?
Not all would like use 3rd-party software, not all would like use InstallShield (Limited Edition) to activate or Wix or similar. Many users would like use the template of VS 2012.
I think, if 3rd-party then AdvancedInstaller instead of InstallShield.
I don't like IS, AI is better.
- Edited by Matt the Grunig Thursday, August 15, 2013 1:02 PM
Our organization is a loyal Microsoft shop, but we're not sold on VS 2012 due to the installer debacle.
The cloud has some promise, but many, many organizations today want to control their software and not publish it to some cloud store, where they are bound by some other company's rules.
For commercial software, I can see the could being the future. For enterprise software, the time for cloud-centric computing is a long, long way off. It just ties a company too tightly to a vendor.
For now, the best hope for VS 2012 is to retain 2010 for setup projects and continue business as usual. Heck, I still MUST use VS 2008 to develop SSRS projects because 2010 does not support them (another stupid Microsoft trick!) At least I can probably retire VS 2008 if and when we get VS 2012.
Most of the security features of my programs are based on set-up installers actions....
How can I afford not to have it (Set Up projects) in VS2012!!!
I am sure, MS must have some logic for it..... but I don't see any logic not to care people/organizations who have already invested so much time/money in Set-up projects.....
Returning back to VS 2010....
It is pretty easy to predict the bigger picture here... MS wants us to move in the direction of everything being installed from their store. They make a buck and everyone is happy. I guess the forgot that a very large portion of their developers develop for small businesses. The program that I work on is used by only 2 customers. We rollout updates several times a week.
I refuse to develop for Apple because they want to control the universe. Android is attractive as there is so much developer cooperation. Visual studio is a much more stable platform as compared to Eclipse though.
I think us windows users just need to do our own collaboration to maintain the services that MS is too greedy to provide for us.
I do predict that if they continue down this path that they will continue to lose market share to Apple and Android. The business users are still the MS bread and butter, but if they are the same as their competition and their operating system is such a cpu hog then we may as well move on to other platforms.