bryanpjohnston

A blog by someone with not much to say.

Month: August, 2012

Lazy Patching in WiX 3.6

With the upcoming release of WiX 3.6, I like to share about how I have used Burn to implement patching using a process I like to call lazy patching. Now I’ve never been a big fan of creating patches. I prefer to implement major upgrades and change the version number and product code with every build.  That said, I have a requirement to be able to install a patch and have only a few files get modified. Since I am versioning each dll with every build, I can’t use traditional patching techniques of comparing two .msis because each binary would get modified (even if by only a few bits).

Thanks to Burn, we can easily create a Bundle that includes all of our prereqs and packages to be included in a single product deployment. In my WiX Bootstrapper project, I include a RelatedBundle element and specify the UpgradeCode as its Id. So version 1.0.0.0 of MyProduct will have the following bits in Bundle.wxs:

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Hosting Licensed ActiveX Controls in WPF

Recently we had a need to host some ActiveX controls inside a WPF window. Hosting controls in a .NET Windows Forms app is pretty straight-forward, basically register the control, add it to your toolbox in Visual Studio, then drag-n-drop the control on your form. Hosting the control in a WPF window is possible by the use of a WindowsFormsHost. Here is a walkthrough for hosting an ActiveX control in WPF from MSDN.

However we found that some of our controls gave licensing errors which crashed the application. These were our own custom controls that contained licensed third party controls. Everything seemed to work when the controls were called from a VB executable, but when hosting them in WPF, the controls crashed if the developer license wasn’t installed on the computer.

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