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I second the motion for InnoSetup!
I would recommend it over any of the other tools because it is a lot easier to use.
I've used InstallShield, InsallShieldLE, and the old (VStudio 2008 and before) built-in package creator (whatever that thing was) and InnoSetup is consistently the best, easiest and most reliable.
You can learn it quickly and it consistently works.
However, the one issue is that InnoSetup cannot generate an MSI.
Sometimes that is a problem.
InnoSetup has all of these advantages and you can write custom install steps (in Pascal, but still, it's doable). In addition, there are multiple ways to interact with the file, from plain-old-text editor to the Inno editor, to a wizard & something with property panes and all that if you're not a coder.
I found WIX to be a major PITA to set up an install and slow as hell when running the install. InnoSetup was easy, fast to install, free, etc, etc, <insert all="" praises="" here=""> (: If you can move away from WIX, I highly suggest InnoSetup
InnoSetup was easy, fast to install, free, etc, etc,
Maybe that is true.
However we do not use an UI to build installers, it's part of an automated process that is controlled by other "scripts". The advantage of such a process is that one can consistently inject/replace publication information into various components (exe, dll, msi ...) of the final product (like version number, file version, copy right, URLs, target market, configuration, etc ...) and had the generating "scripts" under version control ... The WIX's xml files are intermediate targets, it's eassier for us to produce ...
=== edit ===
OK, innoSetup is also script based. In fact I used Pascal for quite a while in the early days. I will have a closer look at it later
Look, if WIX does all that you want and makes you happy, then cool. I'm just saying that I spent a lot of time in "installer space" (because it was part of my primary job function at two places of work, so that's work over >5 years, with a gap in the middle) and WIX and InstallShield were a mission where InnoSetup wasn't.
InnoSetup also has tooling which targets a few different user groups, from text manipulation masters to competent programmers to people who just want to click their way through making an installer. Which is great, because sometimes I'm all three (:
And it's free.
And the resultant installers are fast and have the compression that you choose, so can be quite small.
Just give it a go, and if it doesn't deliver ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm still happy to choose it whenever I want an installer system.
Installed the VS 2019 preview and noticed it has a 'built in' installer project type (Setup Project) - just poking at it now as your post reminded me of it.
Had played with WIX VS plugin and was intending to use that (for what is a pretty simple install) but must say I get a little confused by some of the WIX dialog specifications/properties. This new thing might be worth a look.
[EDIT] My bad - old news - and judging by the font on the dialogs this goes back a ways in some form or another. dang. [/EDIT]
Installed the VS 2019 preview and noticed it has a 'built in' installer project type (Setup Project)
Didn't it always? I'm pretty sure that a setup maker was in VS as far back as VS3 or VS4 -- but it didn't work as well as inno setup, so I stopped using it, and never looked for it again (so maybe they took it out and have put it back).
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!