Windows Installer Components Introduction.

It's late but C89.5's Electrobox is still kicking so I thought I'd sit down and write about one of the topics at the root of my blog "thought tree". This thought tree is a text file I've been editing with notepad that captures random questions that I see go by (usually through email at work) whose answers deserve to be written down. The interesting thing is that many answers to seemingly innocuous questions require a bit of depth of understanding. For example, Siew Moi (pronounced "Sue May" in American and Australian English for those of you who haven't been formally introduced) asked for more detail about Merge Modules. I thought, sure Merge Modules are a great thing to talk about (and I happen to know a little bit about them) but the first thing I'd want to explain is why Merge Modules were created. To understand why Merge Modules were created you need to know about the Component Rules. To understand the Component Rules, I probably need to explain what Components are with respect to the Windows Installer. Fortunately, Components are one of the "root thoughts" of my tree so let's go dig into those and we'll take another step down the path to more advanced topics.

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pattern recognition

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Where in the world is Rob?

It's been over two weeks since I dropped an entry in here. I've actually had a blog entry sitting around waiting for me to finish that tries to define a bunch of terms that I use to describe things in the setup domain. Unfortunately, for the last couple weeks I've been working on blog entries of sorts for my PM at work describing all the code that I'm writing so that he can convert it into a document about the APIs our Testers should be testing. It's hard to come home and continue writing even more English about code or other technical details. So my blogging has languished. Honestly, I'd rather post all of the email I've been sending around internal here but that isn't really an option until Microsoft goes public on all this Dynamic Systems Initiative stuff.

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Setup is...

Setup is, in its simplest form, the process of getting the resources (such as files and registry keys) that make up a software program transferred from a source (such as a CD or web server) and configured on a target machine. Setup technologies are made up of software that falls into categories like installation engines (such as the Windows Installer), agents (such as the Automatic Update agent), and bootstrappers (just about every setup.exe today is a bootstrapper). Finally, acts such as patching, migration, and repair also typically fall into the domain of setup.

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