We believe it is important to provide Visual Studio developers a no-cost setup tooling solution to deploy applications to the various platforms you target. In Visual Studio 2010 we partnered with Flexera Software to included InstallShield Limited Edition, a free version of Flexera’s installation development solution, with Visual Studio. InstallShield Limited Edition added capabilities not found in Visual Studio Setup Projects, such as TFS and MSBuild integration, support for creating new web sites and ISO 19770-2 Tagging support.
When we deprecated the Visual Studio Setup Project in Visual Studio 2012, many customers shared feedback through the UserVoice site regarding additional features they’d like to see added to InstallShield Limited Edition based on their previous experiences with Visual Studio Setup Projects. These scenarios tended to coalesce around these areas:
- Installing x64 applications and services
- Installing Windows Services
- Distributing the VSTO runtime
- Using Relative Paths within project files
- Improvements when migrating installation projects and custom actions to InstallShield Limited Edition
While designing Visual Studio 2013 we reviewed the feedback developers shared with the Flexera Software team and looked for ways to improve the InstallShield Limited Edition extension for Visual Studio to align with the needs you have expressed. For this new release, Flexera Software will add several new features in InstallShield Limited Edition including:
- Support for installing x64 applications and services
- Support for installing Windows Services
- Support for distributing the VSTO runtime
- Support for relative paths in project files
Migrating installation projects and custom actions
Some customers have reported issues during project conversion particularly when converting setup projects that included custom actions. Our joint goal is to ensure that all Visual Studio Setup Projects migrate seamlessly to InstallShield Limited Edition so your work and investment can move forward. This includes projects with custom actions and they should migrate appropriately. We are working closely with Flexera Software to understand why projects and custom actions fail to migrate so we’d like those of you who have migration failures to submit a detailed bug on the failure using the Visual Studio Connect site. Look for updates on this issue as we learn more.
Beta available for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview
The changes above will be available not only for Visual Studio 2013 users but also for existing Visual Studio 2012 customers. You can get the Beta release for InstallShield Limited Edition by going to:
Please try out this new version and tell us what you think!