Bulletproof Installs - A Developer's Guide to Install Programs for Windows

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9780137980918: Bulletproof Installs - A Developer's Guide to Install Programs for Windows

Walks you step by step through building Windowsbased installation software that works first time, every time, using InstallShield5, the industrystandard development, environment for Windows installers. Paper. CD-ROM included. DLC: Install programs (Computer programs).

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Review:

Creating effective install programs is all too often an afterthought in many software projects. This book shows how easy it is to take advantage of the features of InstallShield (the leading installation toolkit from InstallShield Software). The first part of Bulletproof Installs looks at the powerful capabilities of InstallShield 5.1. (A demo of the product is included in the accompanying CD-ROM.) InstallShield can automate every aspect of even complex installations, including "add-on" Microsoft technologies such as DirectX (for games), Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), ActiveX Data Object (ADO), Remote Data Objects (RDO), and object linking and embedding database (OLE-DB). The author shows you how to use the built-in wizards to create basic--and powerful--install programs.

The book goes further, too, with full coverage of InstallShield's very powerful InstallScript programming script language, which supports extensive data types and flow-control statements and several hundred APIs. Other valuable chapters look at operating system issues for installation (and uninstallation), such as the Windows 95 and NT 4 System Registry conventions and other conventions of a "correct" install. The book closes with a how-to on extending and customizing installation scripts. --Richard Dragan

From the Inside Flap:


Preface

This book has been a long time coming. It originally was written for InstallShield 3.0, however, I was just wrapping up when the release date of InstallShield 5.0 was announced. It didn't make much sense to release the book until it had been updated. By the time the book had been re-written, which was a serious undertaking given the vast differences between the two products, InstallShield 5.1 was rumored to come about. And once again, it was back into the trenches. Finally, IÕve caught up.

Writing a book to support a software product is not an easy task. Especially when it's done while on the road. I've spent much of the last year and a half traveling around the world performing InstallShield training and consulting. Much of this book comes from those experiences. I truly enjoy writing install programs and passing on what I've learned to others. It's my deepest hope that this book will in some way be useful to you.

No one book could possibly teach you all that you need to know about install development. As I've told all of my classes, there are three books that all install developers must own; These are pre-requisite readings.
First and foremost, get and read a copy of Code Complete by Steve McConnell (ISBN 1-55615-484-4). This is a Microsoft Press book and is widely available. It discusses all the need-to-know stuff about programming without focusing on a specific language. Not only is it applicable to InstallScript, but to any other development language. Next is The Windows Interface Guidelines for Software Design. This is another Microsoft Press book (ISBN 1-55615-679-0). While this book is available on the MSDN CD-ROM, you must obtain a hardcopy. It is produced in high-resolution color with heavy stock paper. This book is sure to be a constant resource as you write install programs for Windows 95 and NT. Finally, read Alan Cooper's book on user interface design. This is an easy and entertaining read. His book is published by IDG and is entitled About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design (ISBN 1-56884-322-4). These references should help fill in any gaps this book may leave behind.

Writing a book about install programming couldn't be done without providing some sample code. I made the decision to use InstallShield for a number of reasons. The best being that it is the biggest player in the install development market. The InstallShield development environment is used in the vast majority of shipping software. Since it is the most prevalent, it means that the majority of readers will be familiar with the product. It's also the most extensible. For the install projects that I have worked on in the last five years, this has been my reason for using InstallShield. It's a powerful tool with lots of flexibility. And like all others it takes time and patience to learn. If you're not using InstallShield, you may still find this book worthwhile. Many of the concepts that are covered aren't specific to InstallShield but to the Windows operating systems.

Acknowledgments
While this book was written by me, its contributors were many and far more than can be listed here. Foremost were the students that attended the InstallShield Corporation and The Orange Brain Company InstallShield training classes I taught. It was through your patience, understanding, and diligence that this book came about. The class room environment was ideal for clarifying the concepts that made their way into this book. Your comments were insightful and your questions astute. Thanks to all students past and present.

This book could not have been written without the help and guidance of the good folks at InstallShield. InstallShield is truly a remarkable company and I predict it will continue to grow in this highly competitive software industry. Along those lines, I would like to extend a special thanks to Howard Berg for keeping me busy and productive all over the globe. To David Washburn thanks for the conversation, company, and coffee. It's always my good fortune to travel with you. May we soon join forces again. To Michael Byrne a special thanks for overseeing the companion CD-ROM project. It's an honor to have it accompany this book. Most importantly, thanks to Viresh Bhatia for his wisdom and insight. This book sprang out of an idea that he passed on to me over two years ago. What a long trip this has been.

The people at Prentice-Hall have been very good to me. I would like to thank two people in particular: Stephen Solomon and Joanne Anzalone. Stephen had the vision that a book such as this was sorely needed. His guidance and suggestions made it all possible. Thanks for taking the chance. Joanne formed and created what you hold in your hands. Her experience and talent more than compensated for my first time venture into the world of "serious" writing.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the people that have helped me in my career. To the people at Intel: Steve Bindewald, Peter Auseklis, and Marcia Petty. To the people at Microsoft: Rob Short, David Robinson, Ted Kummert, John Parchem, Luis Reyes, John Cooper, Lluis Abello, Jane Howell, and Bob Fries. To the people at Fidelity Investments: Rob Cannata, Roy Dixit, Partho Ghosh, and Chris Parsons. To my friends where ever they may roam: Chris Card, Greg Smith, Chris Rowley, John Trustman, Rich Brennan, and Sam Mahaney. You have all shaped my life and this book wouldn't exist without your help. I don't keep in contact nearly enough, but I think of you often.

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