I've had a number of people ask me lately if there were any editors for the WiX toolset. This question surprised me because I thought the common WiX editors were easily found in one search query. Turns out neither query really covered the list of WiX editors that I often heard bandied about so I thought I'd write them down here.
I would like to note that this list isn't really meant to be the authoritative list of all editors for the WiX toolset. These are just the list that I've heard people talk about most. Of course, since there are differences between WiX v2 and WiX v3, I've split the list of editors in by version.
WiX v2 editors
- SharpDevelop 2.1 (open source) - is something of an Open Source Visual Studio clone. However, rather than build a clone of the limited Visual Studio Setup Projects SharpDevelop chose to integrate WiX v2.
- Votive (open source) - is released as part of the WiX toolset to provide project integration into Visual Studio. Votive that shipped in WiX v2 is not very feature rich and has stability issues.
- WixAware (commercial) - was the first commercial editor built on the WiX toolset. WixAware tightly integrated their visual designers and text editor so edits in one display in the other.
- WixEdit (open source) - was the first open source editor built on WiX v2 to have a visual designer. WixEdit is unique in that it adapted to the monthly releases of the WiX toolset.
WiX v3 editors
- Setup Factory for Windows Installer (commercial) - was the first commercial editor built on the WiX v3 toolset. The lead developer for Setup Factory participated in the WiX community (by answer other's questions) months before announcing their product demonstrating (IMHO) some appreciation for the community.
- Votive (open source) - is a much improved version of the Visual Studio package provided with the WiX toolset. Votive is far more stable and integrates deeper with Visual Studio, Team System and MSBuild.
- WixEdit (open source) - continues to adapt to the changes in the WiX toolset. The latest version of WixEdit supports the latest versions of both WiX v2 and WiX v3.
- WixPie (free) - a tool that started development in 2015 making it the youngest tool on this list./li>
I'm sure there are plenty of WiX editors out there that I've missed so feel free to leave a comment down below with links to other quality tools. Finally, in case you're wondering what tool I use to edit my .wxs files, I typically use Votive for large projects or demos and Notepad2 for my day to day tweaks and bug fixes. The same goes for my .cs file editing (Visual Studio for large projects and Notepad2 for tweaks).