So I was assigned a task to create an installer for a specific project I’ve been working on and WiX Toolset was the undisputed suggestion thrown onto the table. WiX allows you to package your application files, install services, create new registry entries and eventually everything anything you could imagine to do with an installer! (Even creating you own WPF User interface for the installation process, remember the Visual Studio 2012 or above setup installers?) If you’re new to WiX and not sure where to get started with it, then here is how you could master it!
Find the latest release of WiX from WiX page for releases and install it. This will also add WiX project templates to the Visual Studio version you have installed.This plugin support is available from above Visual Studio 2005 on wards. You can find a good tutorial at the WiX Site Tutorial Page but you might feel lost in the process of trying to understand the variety of things by following the chain of hyper links!
There is no better way for starting off your journey in WiX than reading the book “WiX 3.6: A Developer’s Guide to Windows Installer XML” by Nick Ramirez. It provides you with the ins and outs of WiX as it claims to do! Now do not get intimidated by the page numbers because you need not to read the whole thing to get started! Just read through Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 and you are ready to go! You could then read the rest of the chapters to get your self introduced to the world of possibilities in Wix! (Even hovering through the content page should be adequate) If you’re in real hurry, just read the rest as you come to face with the new requirements of your installer.
Hope that this has guided you on where to start learning wix and later I’ll be adding stuff on tricky parts for which you might not the solutions that easily from neither the book nor the internet. Happy WiXing!