ISWIX, LLC View Christopher Painter's profile on LinkedIn profile for Christopher Painter at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A trying day

I have a little favor to ask from each of you today. Wherever you are in the world, what ever your beliefs are, can you pray for my family?

I've been dealing with something silently for the last few months. It's been known only by a select few people online: On May 10th ( also my 9 year anniversary ) I found out that my wife has colon cancer.

She has completed pre-op chemo and radiation. Tomorrow she goes to the hospital to have the tumor removed and the colon resectioned. She'll be in the hospital for about 6 days and then in a few weeks we'll start months of additional chemo treatments.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CustomActionData for InstallScript 12 Only

lysemoose recently mentioned on InstallShield Community that he was trying to prepare for an upgrade to InstallShield 12 by refactoring his InstallScript custom actions to properly use the CustomActionData pattern.

The techniques described for use with InstallShield 12 are not compatible with previous versions of InstallShield. This is because previous versions use a DCOM/ROT singleton object to access the MSI handle from the client side msiexec not the server side msiexec that the custom action is running in.

For an example, populate the Property table with CustomActionData = Hello and try accessing it from an InstallScript deffered CA. You will see in your logfile the server side passing the CustomActionData to the custom action, but then you will see the original data from the property table appear in your MsiGetProperty.

If you replace the InstallScript with VBScript you will see the correct data since uses the correct MSI handle.

This is why InstallShield 12 is such a big deal in getting InstallScript to be truely MSI compliant.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More Fun with CoCreateObjectDotNet

Emetrue recently asked on InstallShield Community how to pass managed datatypes rather than primitive strings to managed code custom actions using CoCreateObjectDotNet. The trick is to exploit Interop to create a COM representation of the .Net object then pass it back to the managed code environment.

Try this:


function MyFunction(hMSI)

OBJECT colors;
OBJECT customaction;


set colors = CoCreateObject( "System.Collections.ArrayList");

colors.Add( "RED" );
colors.Add( "WHITE" );
colors.Add( "BLUE" );

set myObject = CoCreateObjectDotNet("C:\\customaction.dll", "customaction.MyClass" );
customaction.MyMethod( colors);



using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace customaction
public class MyClass
public void MyMethod( ArrayList colors )
foreach( string color in colors )
MessageBox.Show( color );

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Hard Core Setup Engineering In The News

It seems my thoughts on the new InstallScript redesign in IS12 have been noticed by the folks at Macrovision. The article was recently referenced in the Macrovision DevLetter. The folks at Macrovision were kind enough to describe me as an `Eminent Blogger`. While I appreciate the publicity, to quote Stefen Krueger.... `this may be slightly exaggerated`.

Judging by the looks of it, we have quite a few new visitors to the site! Please feel free to submit comments with alternative ideas and/or requests for topics to be discussed! While I do perform moderation, it's only for the occasional troll and spammer. Chances are that your comments will be approved.