Automated Patch Building with WiX and Visual Studio

I’ve said previously that I generally prefer to implement major upgrades with each release and try not to worry about patching. I think it makes for a cleaner installation and is easier to manage. I mentioned in this post a way to update your installation by simply chaining an additional msi to your WiX bootstrapper. While that certainly is possible it feels a bit of a hack, and if you are fortunate enough to have authored your msi correctly from the beginning, you could use more traditional patch creation techniques. Until recently I haven’t had to create patches. While software companies are becoming more agile, there is a greater need to release software more often and deploy those updates online. I feel this creates a bigger need for patches. Furthermore, if you are developing a patch, you need an automated way of incorporating it into your build process so that it can be tested with each build.   After working through this process recently, I thought I would share a method of automatically generating a patch with each build of your installer project. Read the rest of this entry »