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Daniel Doubrovkine

aka dB., CTO at artsy.net, fun at playplay.io, NYC

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In writing new MSI installers, you must think about upgrade. I always recommend major upgrade – uninstall and reinstall is much cleaner. In that case the Installed vs. NOT Installed properties get confusing very quickly, so we came up with some shortcuts that make life easier.

We include the following file in every installer, as is.

<?include Runtime.wxi?>

Runtime.wxi follows.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Include xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/wix/2006/wi">

  <!--
   FirstInstall: when product is installed for the first time
   Upgrading: when we run upgrade for the installed product
   RemovingForUpgrade: when upgrade removes previous installation
   Uninstalling: when product is being completely unistalled
   Maintenance: configuration maintenance
  -->

  <CustomAction Id="SetFirstInstall" Property="FirstInstall" Value="true" />
  <CustomAction Id="SetUpgrading" Property="Upgrading" Value="true" />
  <CustomAction Id="SetRemovingForUpgrade" Property="RemovingForUpgrade" Value="true" />
  <CustomAction Id="SetUninstalling" Property="Uninstalling" Value="true" />
  <CustomAction Id="SetMaintenance" Property="Maintenance" Value="true" />

  <InstallExecuteSequence>
    <Custom Action="SetFirstInstall" After="FindRelatedProducts">
      NOT Installed AND NOT OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED AND NOT NEWERVERSION_INSTALLED
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetUpgrading" After="SetFirstInstall">
      OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED AND NOT (REMOVE="ALL")
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetUninstalling" After="SetUpgrading">
      Installed AND (REMOVE="ALL") AND NOT (OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED OR UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE)
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetMaintenance" After="SetUninstalling">
      Installed AND NOT Upgrading AND NOT Uninstalling AND NOT UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetRemovingForUpgrade" After="RemoveExistingProducts">
      (REMOVE="ALL") AND UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE
    </Custom>
  </InstallExecuteSequence>
  <InstallUISequence>
    <Custom Action="SetFirstInstall" After="FindRelatedProducts">
      Not Installed AND NOT OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED AND NOT NEWERVERSION_INSTALLED
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetUpgrading" After="SetFirstInstall">
      OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED AND NOT (REMOVE="ALL")
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetUninstalling" After="SetUpgrading">
      Installed AND (REMOVE="ALL") AND NOT (OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED OR UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE)
    </Custom>
    <Custom Action="SetMaintenance" After="SetUninstalling">
      Installed AND NOT Upgrading AND NOT Uninstalling AND NOT UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE
    </Custom>
  </InstallUISequence>
</Include>

Don’t forget to define the OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED and NEWERVERSION_INSTALLED properties in the Upgrade table.

<Upgrade Id="$(var.UpgradeCode)">
  <UpgradeVersion Property="OLDERVERSION_BEINGUPGRADED" Minimum="0.0.0" Maximum="$(var.ProductVersion)" IncludeMaximum="no" />
  <UpgradeVersion Property="NEWERVERSION_INSTALLED" OnlyDetect="yes" Minimum="$(var.ProductVersion)" IncludeMinimum="no" />
</Upgrade>

And change the install sequence for major upgrade.

<InstallExecuteSequence>
  <FindRelatedProducts Before="AppSearch" />
  <AppSearch Before="LaunchConditions" />
  <RemoveExistingProducts After="InstallInitialize" />
</InstallExecuteSequence>
<InstallUISequence>
  <FindRelatedProducts Before="AppSearch" />
  <AppSearch Before="LaunchConditions" />
</InstallUISequence>

Initially we had to deal with a legacy InstallShield installer and these properties were more complicated. Read this post instead if that’s what you’re trying to do.