Basics of MSI Custom Actions

MSI supports a variety of custom actions and InstallShield can assist you in working with those actions.

Types include:

  • Launching executables
  • Calling DLL or script functions
  • Setting property-table properties and directory-table properties
  • Error actions

There are two steps involved for each custom action you want to use:

  1. Define the action: specify what the action does (launch an executable, call a DLL function, set a property, and so forth) and its other behavior (whether to test the return value, and so forth)
  2. Schedule the action: specify where the action runs relative to other actions, which installation phase (immediate execution, deferred execution, and so forth) the action uses, and under what conditions the action runs

As a best practice, use a custom action only when a standard action does not perform a desired task. Custom actions are not automatically removed when your application is uninstalled or rolled back.

Also, for each custom action that performs system changes, you should create corresponding uninstall and rollback actions.

To learn more, the white paper, Types of MSI Custom Actions, offers a detailed look at this important topic. What tips can you add?

 

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