Announcing HeatWave and WiX Toolset v4-preview.1

On Friday, we announced not just one but two significant releases: WiX v4-preview.1 and HeatWave! I'm so excited to talk about both that I honestly don't know where to start. How about we start with the new kid on the block, HeatWave, before we talk about the end game for WiX v4?

HeatWave Community Edition

HeatWave provides the Visual Studio integration you expect for the WiX Toolset v4. Create new projects with the New Project dialog. Configure your project’s build with property pages. Navigate your .wxs source code in solution explorer. Monitor the build output and jump to the source of warnings and errors with a double click.

HeatWave also provides a couple of things you may not expect. The most useful for WiX v3 users is the project conversion feature. With HeatWave installed in Visual Studio, right-click on your WiX v3 project, select “Upgrade to WiX v4…” and your project with all its source code is converted to WiX v4. It works amazingly well, and I expect the feature to improve as HeatWave gets more use in the real world.

The second thing I love about HeatWave is its aesthetic. At FireGiant, we studied every project system in Visual Studio we could find and poured over the VS iconography to define the HeatWave look. Then our designer turned out logo after logo and icon after icon until we had a product that integrated into VS perfectly but stood out as an independent peer. I hope you enjoy having HeatWave projects in your solution as much as I do now.

Finally, I want to point out that what you can install today is a preview of HeatWave Community Edition. We are fixing bugs as they are reported and will release updates regularly. But this is just the beginning for HeatWave. When I first announced my adventure starting FireGiant, HeatWave was but a dream. There is still a lot of work to do, but we’ve taken our first step by making HeatWave a reality for all of you.

WiX v4-preview.1

WiX v4-preview.1 is feature complete for WiX v4. That means we are done except for the bugs. Which also means it’s your turn now. Try upgrading your WiX v3 projects to v4 (HeatWave can help) and get your code building using WiX v4.

Why upgrade to WiX v4? I’m not going to enumerate all the cool new features of WiX v4 here; Bob did a great job of that in the release notes.

No, you need to upgrade because now is the time for us to find and fix the bugs that affect your project. If we don’t find and fix it now, we probably won’t fix it until WiX v5 (unless you have a support contract).

So, go install HeatWave, upgrade to WiX v4, and report the issues you hit. Some of you already got started this weekend, thank you. For everyone else, get upgrading. You know I did.