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Having universal installer for Outlook Addin RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, 

    I have created a Managed code Outlook addin (created in VB.NET using Visual Studio 2010). 

    The addin is shimmed along with a ManagedAggregator (there is a x64 shim and x86 shim). 

    This leads me to a problem...I have to make 2 separate Windows Installer files (.msi files). 

    I want to avoid creating 2 separate .msi files because this confuses my customers....most of them do not know the difference between x86 MSI and x64 MSI. 

    So in many instances my customers download the x64 version and it doesn't work..they email me and complain I have to give them the link to the x64 MSI download. 

    Can anyone help me make a universal installer somehow? I've been looking for resources and I can't seem to find anything concrete. In one post I saw someone mention a merge module...but the poster also stated that I would need 2 MSIs files. 

    I've seen other software do the same thing but I just don't understand how. 

    Any help on this would be appreciated. 

    Thank you.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 9:11 PM

All replies

  • Hello Rahul,

    Merge modules don't make any sense there. Why do you need to create two installers???

    There is no need to create two separate installers. Instead, you can create a custom action where you can detect Outlook bitness and use appropriate shim for registering the add-in in the windows registry, so the right shim will be used by Outlook when loading. See Walkthrough: Creating a Custom Action for more information. 


    [custom.development]

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:03 AM
  • Hello Eugene, I understand why I do not need a merge module. However I am confused on how exactly to register the appropriate shim? 

    I do know how to write custom action installers, I'm just lost on the other bit. Can you shed some more light? Maybe like a more thorough explanation? 

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:25 PM
  • Hello Rahul,

    We have an enterprise platform, WorkStreams, that among a lot of other functionality includes dynamically installing/auto-updating/configuring COM Add-in functionality for all versions of Windows and Outlook (x86 and x64) from a single install that is accessible via one msi or just a web link. An example of use of it is the Outlook Add-in for Absio.com. 

    If you are interested in discussing how you could potentially expose your functionality this way feel free to contact me through CyGenTech.com.

    Best regards, 
    Carson

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:24 PM
  • Rahul,

    You just need to detect the Outlook bitness programmatically from custom actions of your installer and register appropriate shim in the windows registry. See Registry Entries for VSTO Add-ins for more information. 

    Also you may consider using Add-in Express toolset which allows to generate installers (MSI, ClickOnce, ClickTwice) in few clicks. I bielive CyGenTech uses their toolset. Carson, please correct me if I am wrong.


    [custom.development]

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:31 PM
  • While we have leveraged ADX for various things, it could not produce the installation/configuration capabilities we required, so we have built our own.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:41 PM
  • Carson,

    What capabilities are you talking about? May be you are simply not aware of them?


    [custom.development]

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:48 PM
  • Yes, but the author of the question would need to know how to detect Outlook bitness in a reliable way. This is the difficult part.
    Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:09 AM
  • It's proving to be difficult for Outlook 2016. I have a launch condition that works 90 percent of the time. However, for Outlook 2016, it detects it incorrectly. 
    Sunday, May 22, 2016 9:25 PM
  • Hi Rahul Kishore,

    you have mentioned that you have a launch condition that mostly work correctly but it's not working for outlook 2016.

    is it specifically not working for only outllok2016 or it is not working for any of outlook version?

    can you show us your launch condition.

    Regards

    Deepak


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    Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Rahul Kishore,

    please visit the link below to get the information regarding how to get bitness of application.

    Programmatically get whether Outlook is 32bit or 64bit

    Regards

    Deepak


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    Tuesday, May 31, 2016 9:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Deepak, this doesn't work for Outlook 2016. 

    Also, the question was regarding whether or not I can create a universal installer. 

    • Edited by Rahul Kishore Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:19 PM Had to inform that I unmarked it as a answer
    Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:18 PM