Creating SharePoint Solution Installers

ImportantThe following article uses options that are available starting with the Enterprise edition and project type.

This tutorial will guide you in creating a project for a SharePoint solution. As an example we will create a single EXE installation file that will contain the SharePoint Solution package (WSP) with the possibility to select the deployment server during the installation.

1. Start a SharePoint Solution project

If Advanced Installer is not currently running, it can be launched from its desktop icon or by selecting it from the "Start" menu. When the application starts from the Start Page we will select the SharePoint Solution template.

Starting a SharePoint solution project

This will launch the SharePoint Solution Wizard that will enable you to configure the project.

2. Enter project details

The first three dialogs let you enter the generic information about your project, like product and company name, the distribution type of your installer, project and output folder.

2.1 Product Information

In the edit boxes we will write the name of the application and organization. The name corresponds with the Product Name while the organization name corresponds with the Company Name and they can be later changed if needed, from the Product Details Tab.

2.2 Select the installer type and logic

We will use the default option which will create a single EXE installer containing the SharePoint solution as this is the strongly recommended and safest way to distribute.

2.3 Set Project and Package paths

In the first edit box select the location where the project will be saved. In the second edit box select the location where the EXE installer will be created.

Optionally, in the "Installation package name" edit box we can specify a different name for the EXE installer. By default, the name under which the project was saved (AIP file) is shared with the EXE installer's name.

NoteFor more information about these dialogs please see the Project Information Wizard Dialogs page.

3. Include SharePoint solution files

In this dialog you can browse to the folder that contains your solution files.

3.1 Choose solution resource type

You can choose between adding an unpacked solution folder (Add solution from disk radio button) or importing a packed solution (Import solution from .WSP file radio button). For this example we'll select the first option:

Add sharepoint

3.2 Add solution

Press the [ Add... ] button to browse and select the location where the SharePoint solution's files are stored. Once you do, the Configure Selection dialog will show up:

Configure solution

3.3 Set solution options

The Deployment Options group contains the options that will influence the SharePoint solution deployment behaviour. We will enable the following option:

  • Overwrite files created by other solutions
  • When this option is enabled the files created by other solutions can be overwritten if they share the same name.

Since our package does not contain assemblies nor do we want to use CAS policies, the other options will be left disabled.

3.4 Set deployment target

The Deployment Target group enables us to specify which servers will be used to deploy our solution and the time when the deployment will take place. We will use the following settings:

  • Select target websites during install
  • A dialog will be displayed allowing the end user to select one or more websites where to deploy the SharePoint solution.
  • Deploy to all servers immediately
  • The deployment to the selected websites will start during the installation process.

NoteYou can change these settings later in the SharePoint Solution Options Tab from SharePoint Page.

4. Set deployment options

In this dialog you can set logging deployment options. We will enable the following option:

Deployment options

  • Show deployment log after install
  • Once the deployment operation is ended a dialog containing the installation log will be displayed.

NoteYou can change these settings later from SharePoint General Options in SharePoint Page.

5. Configure Launch Conditions

In this dialog you can configure the requirements that must be met in order to successfully deploy your SharePoint solution. In our example we can deploy on servers with Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0 or higher, the user must have deployment permissions and "Administrator" and "Timer" services should be started.

If these conditions are not met, the installation will show an error message and stop.

Launch conditions

NoteYou can change these settings later from the Launch Conditions Page.

6. Specify License Agreement

This dialog enables you to specify the license agreement file for English (United States):

License agreement

NoteYou can change these settings later from the LicenseAgreementDlg dialog in Dialog Editor Page.

7. Create the SharePoint Solution Installer

Pressing the [ Next ] button will take us to the last page from where we can queue to build the project once the wizard is finished. Pressing the [ Finish ] button will end the wizard so we can view all the actions the wizard made for us or add more custom modifications.

Project buildThe project can be build at any time by using the "Build" button from the toolbar. Once the installer is created test it.

TipIn order to deploy a SharePoint Solution on 64-bits servers the install package type must be set to 64-bits, otherwise the deployment will be unsuccessful. The package type can be changed from the Install Parameters.