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Alex Hildyard
In the last article we looked at a simple way to configure MSI-based applications for different environments by swapping in an appropriate configuration file at install time. I explained however that we could improve on this with a little more work. What we'll now do is change our solution so that the individual configuration items are read directly ......

In part 1 we looked at the structure of a WiX setup project, and created a simple installer. We looked at the staging paradigm which gave us complete flexibility in the way we harvested files and packaged them into a deployment structure. We also looked at heat.exe, which we used to harvest files dynamically, and we concluded by wiring everything up ......

MSI is one of those technologies that has stood the test of time, and WiX is an increasingly popular way of creating these installer databases. There’s a perception that WiX is convoluted, complex and difficult to debug. Actually WiX really isn’t that daunting; you just need to understand that WiX has its own way of doing things, and there are some ......

In MSBuild we define properties within a PropertyGroup and reference them with the $() notation. In WiX we have variables with a similar syntax, but which do not natively map to MSBuild properties. When working with WiX installer projects within Visual Studio however you will often want to change a WiX variable into an MSBuild property and vice versa. ......

As background: the TransformXml MSBuild task is typically invoked in a custom build step to mark up a web.config file with per-environment configuration; its flexible directives offer highly granular control over the insertion, removal, substitution and transformation of existing configuration hierarchies. For those using the TransformXML task (typically ......

We all have our little bugbears, and something that has given me particular pause over the years is the place of Agility in the software development life cycle. While I have seen it used successfully on both small and Enterprise-level projects, I have also seen many instances in which long-standing technical debt has also originated under its watch. ......

A little while back I was trying to add some automated Unit tests to a Continuous build/deployment solution, and doing so brought me up against a structural issue in the way the solution had been designed. A full solution build produced a set of output folders, one for each project. Some of these projects additionally contained test assemblies; some ......

I do a lot of application and server configuration, and have tended to view the complexity of this strictly in terms of the complexity of the ultimate configuration to be deployed. For example, specific APIs aside, I would tend to regard installing a server certificate as a more complex activity than, say, copying a file or adding a Registry entry.My ......

I was recently investigating a bottleneck in one of my applications, which read a CSV file from disk using a TextReader a line at a time, split the tokens, called Double.Parse on each one, then shunted the results into an object list. I was surprised to find it was actually the Double.Parse which seemed to be taking up most of the time.Googling turned ......

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