Master Installer Easy Shortcut

by BuildGeek on March 15, 2011

in InstallShield,tips

If you have an IS master installer, you’re very aware of the many headaches you run into on a daily basis.  One that has been a particular bugger is adding shortcuts via the IS IDE. When you have tens of thousands of files (approaching hundreds of thousands of files), and attempt to add a shortcut via right-click “New Shortcut”, you could be waiting up to 20 mins from my experience (and my hardware doesn’t suck).

During this process, IS is loading every file from your projects File database into memory.  Then, if you have a project like me, you have to do that 10-50 more times for the new project you are adding to your master installer.  This can quickly become an extremely tedious multi-day, shoot-myself-in-the-head, project. So what’s the easiest way around? Here are a list of steps I follow to quickly add in shortcuts to an installer already bursting at the seams:

  1. Navigate to System Configuration\Shortcuts
  2. Add the folder structure you want your shortcuts to fall under (make note of the ‘Key Name’ of the folder(s) you want your shortcut(s) to fall under).  e.g.: newfolder591 in the example below
  3. Navigate to Additional Tools\Direct Editor in your IS IDE
  4. Scroll down until you get to the Shortcut table
  5. In my case, I can simply copy another similar shortcut (right-click ‘Copy Row’ the right-click ‘Paste Row’ ) from a previous component and modify it. You may need to create a new shortcut from scratch by clicking the “click here…” text on the last line of the Shortcut table.
  6. Make sure you update the Directory_ column to the Key Name from step 2.
  7. Save and switch back to ‘System Configuration\Shortcuts’ to see your hard work cut down.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher Painter March 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

When you say “master installer”, do you mean one ISM that is used to build many MSI’s ( via Product Configurations )?

If so, we really need to talk. :-)


BuildGeek March 16, 2011 at 8:40 am

Chris, very similar. Considered doing a bootstrap method (one ring to rule all rings) but upgrade scenarios were a nightmare. Like to hear what you have!


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