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well hello in this video I want to give you an overview of the Wix designer a new product from add an Express that allows you to use visual designers to create set up projects for your desktop and web applications the best way to understand the feature set of the Wix designer is to create a wick setup project for this simple application and walk you through each of the visual designers the first thing to do to get started is to add a Wix setup project to your solution and the way I'm going to do this is just right click on my solution and I'll choose add new project and this should prompt my add new project dialog which I'll go to the windows installer XML node and choose setup project and I'll just say simple setup project to go along with my simple application and say ok and now here we have the simple setup this is a Wix project and one of the first things we're going to need to do and we'll need to do this just the way the framework works is I'm going to set an attribute here of embed cab and I'm going to set it to yes and what this will do is create a single cab file when I compile the project this is just something you're going to need to be aware of and do now after having done that I want you to look over here at the solution Explorer and we'll see when I have the wick setup project selected it's the active selection you'll see that I have these icons here for file system editor the registry editor the file types editor the user interface editor the custom actions editor and the launch conditions editor all buttons if you're used to or accustomed to visual studio projects these are designers that you should know and love and will enable you to create a wick setup project in a manner that's familiar to you so let's get started and let's start by editing the file system now we as I just showed you we have these buttons here but I also want to point out that I can right-click the project and do view Wix editors and I have these buttons available to me here too so we'll start with the file system editor when it opens up you'll see that I have both the application folder and the Program Files folder and I'll need to delete this and start with the application folder and here I'll say add and I want to do my project output for my simple application I'll choose its primary output and say okay and then I want to select the application folder and go over to the properties window and change its default location or actually specify it since it's blank and what I want to do is use some tokens and I'll say Program Files folder manufacturer and product name and this will install it Program Files my manufacturer name and then the product name on the users file system now also this is a per machine install if I wanted to do a per user instead of using this folder here the Program Files folder I would use the local app data folder something else to notice here is the target directory value for the property property this is the target directory that's used in the UI dialog boxes that the user specifies the default location obviously here we're setting the default location but the user can overwrite it and set the target directory to something else it's important to note because you can grab this value and use it in silent administrations or automated admin type installations so just suffice it to say it's important to msi insoles now let's go ahead and add just a few more files that I have that I want to use in this demo like an icon license file there we go another thing I want to do is I'll go back to my primary output and I'm going to create a shortcut for it and I'll change the name simple application and then I will right-click on the file system on target machine node and I will choose the users program menu and I'll move this shortcut there so that now this will show up actually if I wanted to I could do a folder and say simple application and move my shortcut there so as you see with the file system it's real easy to one to find your primary output and where you want to install it on the user system to add files that will be part of the deployment package and then also set up some shortcuts and other things that you might want to do if you take a look at the add special folder it has all the special folders that you are accustomed to seeing if you're familiar with Visual Studio setup projects so let's close the file system editor and let's move on to the registry editor I'll move over here to the solution Explorer and we'll click the next icon which is the registry editor icon and so as you see in the registry editor we have all the nodes available in the registry hive and here what I want to do is take advantage of the H key current user node and I'll add a new key we'll call it simple application this way I have a node for my app and within this I'll just right click again and I'll say new string value and here we'll say simple application URL and we'll just specify something in the property values just a URL that might be appropriate for my sample application and that's all there is you have wide flexibility here in the registry editor to set the keys needed for your application so now let's move on to the file types editor which is the third button here in the solution explorer with the file types editor you can define file types that your application your target application like in this case this simple application that we want to set up in Windows a file type that will trigger my application if a user were to open it to double-click it say in the file explorer so what we'll do is we'll go to the file types editor and right click on the file types on target machine node and say add file type I'll then need to select or navigate within the file system on the target machine and choose the application folder and choose my primary output from simple application now I have a new dot type number one I'll change this to say a DX file because what I want to do is specify if we look over in the properties window instead of my ext as the extension I want to specify a DX as my extension and what this will do is trigger anytime the user opens a a DX file in the file system you the windows explorer' it will trigger the simple application Exe file and pass the filename as an argument and the way we take advantage of that is to go to the action so the open action and we move to the arguments property and we'll specify that we want to grab argument 1 from this action and so what this will do is pass the actual file name from windows and it all happens for us automatically we don't have to worry about it and that the verb is open now we also can add additional actions so I'll add one here we'll call it edit and really the only difference is we now can specify different arguments and so here I'll just say edit and have that token there of percent 1 and then I'll change the verb to be edit and there you go just like that you've got two actions that will trigger your application within Windows Explorer all right so moving on let's go to the user interface editor and as you see with the user interface editor we have both install and admin install modes you can setup screens differently for the two or set them up the same or even ignore one here we're just going to work on the install and not worry about the administrative install just know that you can do the same thing and that they are two different types of install and you need to configure them appropriately according to your needs so what we're going to do is right click on the start node and say add dialogue and I want to add a license agreement we'll add that there and then I'll click on the License Agreement we'll see that we have a two or three properties here to that I'm really interested in one is the banner bitmap and I want to change it and I'll browse and I'm going to go to again looking in my application folder which if you notice when I was in the file system editor I added this file and I will select the license banner BMP file and then also will click the drop-down and choose browse and I'll go to my folder that I've already have it ready and I have a licensed RTF file although it's a little Miss named and say open and there now I both my bitmap in my license file and the bitmap will take the place of the default bitmap that shows as the banner on that screen and then of course the license file will populate the language that's in the EULA or e ul a display of that screen so I also have others that I could add I could say add dialogue I could choose and put a progress dialog here things that a user might expect but just know that you have all of these different options and they're completely configurable according to your needs next up is the custom actions editor the custom actions editor allows you to take different actions in different phases of the installation from install commit rollback and uninstall and here what we want to do is we'll add a custom action and really what we want to do is the custom action is to install the primary output from our simple application now you can also create custom actions as part of your program part of your solution and then include them in various places in here in fact if you are familiar with the add an Express for dotnet and Office framework then you also know that in our setup programs we have something called the ADX registered that we use in various places from install and roll back uninstall etc so same idea for you you can create custom actions and install them in any of these node to take actions at the appropriate times based off of course your business needs now last up is our launch conditions editor you can think of launch conditions as kind of a checklist things that need to be in place in order for your installation to move forward so the way that we do this is first we'll search the target machine for something fun so let's just say we've got a file search we'll add a file search and we'll say search we'll just call it search for file and then here I'll just leave this as a you know file name text just as the default but then let's say we've got this application is actually dependent on another application it's a complimentary app and that if the primary app doesn't exist then this application will not install so instead of using system folder let's go back to using the Program Files folder so the same folder that we set up earlier on the application application folder here we are going to utilize over here and we're going to look for this file name here and then if it exists we'll say that it exists I'll take off this one and that's the property that if found will say file exists then we'll come over here to the launch conditions and say add launch condition will take condition number one is the name that's fine and then we'll set the condition to file exists so if file exists which if you remember over here that's what we set the property to so if we end up with this and that search then we know great we're ready to keep going if not we can display our own custom error message in this case we'll say primary application is not installed on this system so it's a nice way to do some checking to make sure that you have what you need for your app before you allow the user to install it in this quick demo I showed you the Wix designer and the six visual designers that it provides you that allow you to quickly and easily set up a project with Wix for your dotnet solutions I encourage you to download this and give it a try as I think you're going to like .

Video Discription

See how to create WiX setup projects using a set of familiar Visual Studio designers provided by the the Designer for WiX Toolset to configure the File System, Registry, setup user interface, etc:

 

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