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TI2391C Create your own Install Shield program
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TI2391C.txt   Create your own Install Shield program
Category   :General
Platform    :All
Product    :Borland C++  All

Using InstallShield Express to Create your own

Installation Program.

This document will review the process of creating

an installation program and disks using InstallShield Express

for Borland C++.

An application isn't complete without a installation program,

but the days of using batch files as install programs are gone.

Windows and applications in general have grown with multiple

files, directories, and configuration settings.  Now, besides

installing you have to supply uninstall programs to meet

Microsoft's logo requirements.

You can write your own install program but it's more work than

most realize.  Today there is a program that most applications

use to create installation programs today, InstallShield. Borland

C++ v5.0 now includes InstallShield Express (ISX), a special

version of InstallShield that requires no coding.  With ISX you

fill in a series of dialog boxes and ISX does the rest.

ISX creates install disks, updates the Windows registry, builds

a uninstall program, and creates folders and icons for your

application.  Besides the core installation functionality with

ISX you can add splash screen, billboards, license agreements,

and many other options.

If you require more than ISX offers ISX can be upgraded to

InstallShield Express Pro, InstallShield3 or DemoShield.

Getting Started


To install ISX run the Borland C++ Setup program from the setup

directory. In the Setup dialog click on the InstallShield

Express button. ISX requires approximately four megabytes of disk

space.  Once installed run the ISX Quick Tour to get a

feel for look and feel of ISX.  The Quick Tour is located in the

ISX Help menu.

Installation Rules of Thumb


Your installation program should always present your users with

setup options and status. Your installation program should

always supply defaults.  It should supply a common response to

every option so all the user has to do is press the ENTER key.

Your installation program should never prompt the user to

install a disk more than once and should make the computer beep

when it is time for the user to insert a new disk.

Your installation program should always include a progress

indicator to show users how far along they are in the setup


Installation programs should give the user a chance to cancel

the setup process before it is finished.  Your program should

keep a log of files that have been copied and settings that have

been made so that it can clean up a canceled installation.  If

the installation is canceled, your program should remove any

registry entries it may have made, remove any shortcuts it may

have added to the desktop, and delete any files it may have

copied onto the user's hard disk.

Installation Basics


Redistributable files

If you create an executable module that uses the dynamic version

of the Borland C++ libraries, you will need to supply one or

more of the Borland C++ redistributable .DLL files with your .EXE

or .DLL.  ISX will ensure that your are including the correct

redistributable files.  ISX determines the proper .DLL files to

include with your application according to the type of

application you are building.

Removing an Application

Your installation program can direct the Add/Remove Programs

application in Control Panel to list your application as an

application that can be "automatically removed" by adding the

following entries to the registry.

Note: The next lines are broken in two to fit document format.



DisplayName= product-name UninstallString=full-path-to-program


Add/Remove Programs displays the product name specified by the

DisplayName value in its list of applications that can be

removed.  Windows uses the value specified by the

UninstallString value to start the uninstall program to carry

out the removal of the application.  This string needs to

completely specify the command-line parameters needed to execute

the uninstall program and remove the application.  A full path

is required.  If both the DisplayName and UninstallString values

are not complete, Add/Remove Programs will not list the


Windows needs to know when the removal of the application is

done, so it requires the UninstallString value to specify the

uninstall program that actually carries out the removal.  A

batch file or other program that starts the removal program

should not be specified.

Your installation program should use casual names, including

spaces, for the application-name and DisplayName value.  Casual

names help keep the tree comprehensible for users who browse the

registry.  The registry locations are defined as constants for C

programmers in the REGSTR.H header file.  Descriptions of the

macros follow.

REGSTR_PATH_UNINSTALL   Path to uninstall branch



The uninstall program must display a user interface that informs

the user that the removal process is taking place.  It is

recommended that you use the sample uninstall program in the

InstallShield SE Toolkit as the starting point for your own

uninstall program.  The sample illustrates the appropriate user

interface and application removal tasks. Your uninstall program

should provide a silent option that allows the user to run it

remotely.  The uninstall program should also display clear and

helpful messages for any errors it encounters during the removal

of the application. Windows will only detect and report a failure

to start the uninstall program.

Because computers running Win32s and older versions of Windows NT 

do not provide Add/Remove Programs your installation program 

needs to include an Icon in the Applications program group so 

that the user can launch the uninstall program.

Creating an install program with ISX


1. When you run ISX it will display a dialog asking if you wish

   to create a new Setup Project or open a existing one. We will

   create a Setup Project for the BC++ File Finder example.  So

   click the radio button for Create a new project then the OK


   Now you are in the New Project dialog where we input basic

   information about our project.  First enter "First" as our

   Project Name.  The default Project Type of Borland C++ is

   fine.  Next enter "Setup" in the New Subdirectory entry

   field. This where ISX will create its files.

   There is one last check-box, "Include a custom setup type".

   The Custom Setup allows you to select the components of your

   application which you wish to install.  This is primarily for

   large applications like BC++ where there are many types of

   files that go into numerous directories. You select the files

   to be copied by dragging and dropping them into groups.  You

   add these groups to components, which represent logical

   elements of your application.  Using components, you can

   offer multiple setup types to your user.

   For our small example we do not need a custom setup. Now

   click Create and ISX will create the file for your project.

2. "Set the Visual Design" is the first tabbed dialog to fill-in

   for our project.  On the "App Info" page you enter the

   Application name, path to the executable, a version number,

   and your company name. For our project enter FFind as the

   Application name, leave the default 1.0 for the version, and

   "Big Time Software" as the Company name.  Then enter the path

   to FFIND.EXE in the Application Executable field.


   Now click on the "Main Window" tab. This page gives you the

   option of displaying a bitmap or text title on the main

   window, including your company logo, its position, and

   background color.  For our project let us use a text title of

   "Welcome to My Setup Program". If you would like to display a

   logo click the ellipse button and specify the file to use in

   the Open dialog. The default settings for Position and

   Background Color are fine,

   Now click the last tab "Features". The Features page has

   one option for Automatic Uninstaller. The default for this is

   yes and it is recommended that you always let ISX create an

   uninstaller for you.

3. Next we move to the "Specify Components and Files" tabbed

   dialog.  The first tab is "Groups" and since we only have one

   file only one file for our project all the fields are filled

   with the correct default values.  We will make one change to

   get an idea what this dialog is for.

   In the File Groups window click on the plus-sign next to the

   Program Files folder. This already has the path and name of

   our Ffind executable.  Now click the "Launch Explorer" button.

   From the Windows 95 Explorer open the folder for the FFIND

   example.  Highlight the README.TXT file and drag it to the

   File Groups window. This is all it takes to add a file to

   our project.

   Because we are not creating a Custom Setup there are no

   settings to make in the Components or Setup Types pages.

   Before you create a large setup project be sure to read

   "Planning Your Setup" and "Groups, Components, and Setup

   Types" in the ISX online help.

4. The next dialog is "Select User Interface Components".  Again

   our simple project does not require any changes; the defaults

   are fine.   It is worth looking over all the options

   available. They give your application the extra touches

   that will impress your users.

5. Next is the "Specify InstallShield Objects for Borland C++"

   tabbed dialog. Once again we do not need to make any changes,

   but this is an important dialog for your future projects.

   This is where you tell ISX which Borland redistribute files

   to include.

   ISX knows about the various files requires for using RTL

   DLLs, VDBT, BWCC, and others.  Not only does ISX know which

   files it knows what directories they need to be installed in.

   It even creates a complete BDE installation program.

6. The next dialog "Make Registry Changes" again needs no

   changes. The Windows registry eliminates the need for .INI

   files and creates a central database for system and

   application configuration information.  The Registry is a

   whole topic in itself and is beyond the scope of this

   document. I recommend using the REGEDIT.EXE utility that comes

   with Windows and exploring the Registry and the information

   stored within. There are also 3rd party books that explain the

   details of the Registry.

   The ISX Registry dialog allows you to add keys to the

   registry.  This dialog is dynamically linked with the

   Windows Registry - Values tab, which lets you add/modify the

   values of the highlighted key in the Registry - Keys dialog

   box.  You cannot add to or modify any of the six root keys.

   Each key you create must therefore be a subkey of an existing


7. The "Specify Folders and Icons" dialog allows you to specify

   the icons you want to place in your application's folder in

   Windows 95 or group in Windows NT.  On Windows 95 systems, the

   folder will be placed on the Start|Programs menu.  You can

   place an individual icon on the Start|Programs menu using the

   Advanced icon settings tab.  Once again for our purposes the

   defaults will do.

   ISX lets you run your application upon exit. This dialog has

   an entry field for command line parameter if any are


   In the Advanced page you can set the Working Directory, icon,

   and Short-cut key. The is also a check box to determine if

   you want you application added to the Start Menu in adding to

   the Programs menu.

8. Well, we are nearing the end. The next dialog is "Disk

   Builder". This where all our information is used to create

   the images the our distributions disks.  The Disk Size drop

   down list is where you select the media size you plan to use.

   Once the media size is selected click the Build button.

   As the Disk Builder begins each task, it will display a

   message string in the Feedback window.  It will also display

   warning and error messages as necessary.  The progress bar at

   bottom right will indicate the status of the build.  The

   builder will display a message box letting you know when it is


   If the Disk Builder is unable to locate a file in the

   directory specified, a dialog box will give you the option of

   launching the Open dialog, which you can use to specify the

   location of the file.  If you are unable to find the file

   using the dialog, you will get an error message.  In this

   case, find the path specified for the file in the Groups and

   Files dialog.  You must then either place the file in the

   specified location and re-run the Disk Builder, or delete the

   file altogether from your setup.

9.  Now for the moment of truth. The next item on the checklist,

    "Test Run", does exactly that.  By clicking on Test Run the

    generate project executes so you can see if it is like you

    expected.  If not you can go back through the dialogs making

    changes. Then return to the Disk Builder and then test again.

10. If your Install program works the way you like, you are ready

    to create your distribution media.  In the last dialog "Copy

    To Floppy" you set the drive, path, and insert the proper

    size media that you selected in step 8.  Once set click the

    button labeled "Copy All Disk Images".

That's it, you have now created a full Windows installation

program in a manner of minutes.  As you have seen even with the

Express version of InstallShield you can create a very modern

install program with all the bells and whistles of other

applications you have used before.   Now that you have created a

basic install program time to go back and experiment with adding

other options.


7/2/98 10:40:49 AM

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