InstallShield Tips and Techniques

May 24, 2016

InstallShield Training Course

Filed under: Reference Materials — shieldmaster @ 11:00 pm

Recently we were asked to deliver some online training on InstallShield to some relatively new InstallShield developers.  Actually these were developers who were tasked to develop an installation program using InstallShield – which happens quite a bit due to turnover, etc..

We have considerable experience in developing applications in InstallShield – numbering in the hundreds, so it was easy to create an outline for these new students.  It was taught one-on-one using GoToMeeting, and the training was recorded which allowed the student to review any/all of the material later.  Flexible enough it was given in 4 hour increments – once per day to allow for meeting business requirements.

Here is the course outline that we gave.  If you are interested contact Mike Hodge at 770.309.6581 – or email at

InstallShield training:

  • Session 1 – 4.0 hours
    • General overview of 3 InstallShield projects
    • Detailed review of InstallShield Development environment (IDE)
    • Review of File Organization
      • Defining Features
      • Working with features and components
      • Static file linking
      • Dynamic file linking
      • Working with destination folders
      • Best Practice Fundamentals
      • “Key” Resource Usage
      • GUID Usage
      • Creating shortcuts
  • Understanding User Interface and Execution Sequence


  • Session 2 – 4.0 hours

This session focusing understanding and manipulating the Dialogs

  • How MSI determines dialog order and conditions
  • Working with control events
  • Working with control conditions
  • Required dialog boxes
  • Altering dialog sequence
  • Creating new dialog boxes


  • Session 3 – 4.0 hours

This session will focus on making System changes to the user’s Operating System, such as configuring user data:

  • Registry data
  • Importing .REG files
  • Altering via fixed values
  • Altering via MSI Property values
  • Altering via Custom Actions
  • INI files
  • XML files
  • Environment variables
  • File associations


Then we focus on handling special files

  • MSI Properties
  • Microsoft Redistributables
  • NT Windows services
  • Fonts
  • .NET Assemblies
  • Create IIS Websites
  • Setup Prerequisites


  • Session 4 – 4.0 hours

This section will present an overview of the usage of InstallShield proprietary InstallScript language.

  • Log entries to MSI Log
  • Access (Ready/Write Registry values)
  • Query Operating System State
  • Configure application data


In this section, you will learn how to run an installation from Windows Explorer or from the command prompt, how to perform silent and limited-user interface installations and how to pass information to the running installation from the command line:

  • Running an installation
  • Maintenance and uninstallation
  • Using msiexec.exe
  • Silent and reduced-UI installations
  • Passing properties from the command line


Finally, we discuss how Windows Installer supports different types of updates and different techniques for packaging them for distribution. In this section, you will learn about:

  • Types of updates
  • Understanding a minor upgrade
  • Understanding a major upgrades
  • Upgrade testing issues
  • General patch overview
  • InstallShield Update Service



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