The focus of WiX v3.11 was support for Visual Studio 2017. So it seemed only appropriate that our schedule align with the release of VS 2017. It took some creative brainstorming at FireGiant and some community heroics to get it done. But get it done we did. But what did we get done?
Visual Studio 2017 Integration
Obviously, the most important task in WiX v3.11 was to update Votive to support VS 2017. At the same time, VS 2017 introduced the most disruptive changes to extensibility since VS 2010. It took us a while to get our heads wrapped around the new challenges. After a pretty intensive brainstorming session at FireGiant we put together a proposal that was pretty well received by the active members of the WiX community.
The net result is that you now install Visual Studio integration from the Visual Studio Marketplace or use the Extension Manager when in Visual Studio itself. Simply search for “WiX Toolset Visual Studio YYYY Extension”.
Note: You can use the “WiX Toolset Visual Studio 2017 Extension” with previous versions of the WiX Toolset but there is a forwards compatibility issue when building managed custom actions that is only fixed in the WiX v3.11 RC release. In other words, if you have managed custom actions and you want to use VS 2017 then you must upgrade to WiX v3.11 RC.
WiX v3.11 Build Tools
In the core toolset, we fixed many bugs and generally improved the creation of Windows installation software. But my favorite part is that since the Visual Studio integration is now available from the VS Marketplace, the WiX v3.11 install is very fast.
On my machine, WiX v3.11 installs in 20 seconds.
Call to Action
So, I encourage you to go to the WiX Toolset Downloads page and checkout the new recommended build. Report any issues you see. If feedback is generally positive, I would be happy to see WiX v3.11 released early April.
In the meantime, keep coding. You know I am!