Category Archives: microsoft

Web Application installations with Wix…. Awesome

This week I set off with the goal of making one of our web applications alot easier to deploy. The tools I chose were –

  1. Web Application Installer (WAI)
  2. Wix (Windows Installer XML)
  3. WixEdit

I’d played with all three before but never really got past prototype stage. I’ve spent the last day learning wix and all the elements relevant to me. The Web Application Installer is collection of scripts and a template for different types of web applications. Firstly you use WAI to generate a list of files to install and the use WixEdit to edit that list and many other properties of the wix installation. Once happy with the configuration of the installation WixEdit will generate an msi for installation on your target machine. They truly are an excellent collection of tools. I now have an msi installer that sets up a web site in IIS, sets the ASP.NET version to 2, sets all the required permissions, creates a DB in SQL Server Express (specifying where to save the mdf and ldf files too) and changes the connection string in web.config accordingly. Todays quota of job satisfaction has now been achieved – saving about an hour per install (I’ve to install this app 28 times for different clients so the work was definitely worth while).

One huge pit fall which made me silly amounts of angry was that the SQL script you use to generate the tables and initial data for your database MUST be saved in Unicode (UTF-8). If it’s not then wix won’t be able to read it. I lost 3 hours yesterday with this!!!! as SQL server management studio express by default saves to UCS-2 Big Endian. Very little documentation on this fact so hopefully this post will help a little.

Software I’ve paid for

Sparked by a conversation on LugRadio about what software you’ve ever purchased. It got me thinking about what I’ve paid for. It’s been recently that I’ve purchased the most


  • I also bought a copy of Linspire (it might even have been called Lindows then) and a subscription to the CNR

It’s quite alot considering the ammount of Open Source software I use and quite pricey too. These are personal purchases too not related to Karova. Admittedly the Visual Studio version was the academic version bought through my Dad who is still a student.

What have you bought?

Also along the same line – I’ve purchased a new desktop and a couple more monitors. It will be the fastest machine I have ever been on let alone owned – stay tuned 🙂

Visual Studio 2008 upgrade

Visual Studio 2008 review - Team ExplorerWell this will be a short one………………. it’s very disappointing.

  • You can’t CTRL+F or CTRL+SHIFT+F will crash the IDE.
  • Editing any CSS file will crash your IDE….ANY CSS file.
  • Teeam explorer’s ‘Queue New Build’ doesn’t queue them at all. It’s the exact same as it used to be (see screenshot below).
  • It’s slow even on a dual core XEON with 4GB Ram

In conclusion – don’t bother upgrading, even if you do get javascript autocompletion.