Many custom actions that set properties, feature or component states, target directories or schedule system operations by inserting rows into sequence tables, can in many cases use immediate execution safely.

Other custom actions that require to change the system directly or to call another system service must be deferred to such time when the installation script is executed. The Windows Installer writes these deferred custom actions into the installation script for later execution.

The Execute attribute will specify the deferred status of our custom action. And finally, HideTarget will allow us to disable logging the parameters passed to this custom action if security considerations so dictate.

Because the installation script will be executed outside of the normal installation session, this session may no longer exist during the execution of the deferred action; neither the original session handle nor any property data set during the installation sequence will be available to the deferred action. The very limited amount of information the custom action can obtain consists of three properties:. If we need to pass any other property data to the deferred action, we can use a secondary custom action to set this value beforehand.

The simplest solution is a property assignment custom action. Set it up in a way that the name of the property set will be the same as the Id attribute of the deferred custom action:. The data we wanted to pass will appear in the CustomActionData property.

At a Later Stage

At a Later Stage Many custom actions that set properties, feature or component states, target directories or schedule system operations by inserting rows into sequence tables, can in many cases use immediate execution safely. The very limited amount of information the custom action can obtain consists of three properties: CustomActionData Value at time custom action is processed in sequence table. This property is only available to deferred execution custom actions, immediate ones do not have access to it.Because installation script can be executed outside of the installation session in which it was written, the session may no longer exist during execution of the installation script.

In this case, the original session handle and properties set during the installation sequence are not available to a deferred execution custom action. Any functions that require a session handle are restricted to a few methods that can retrieve context information, or else properties that are needed during script execution must be written into the installation script. For example, deferred custom actions that call dynamic-link libraries DLLs pass a handle which can only be used to obtain a very limited amount of information.

Functions that do not require a session handle can be accessed from a deferred custom action. Deferred execution custom actions are restricted to calling only the following functions requiring a handle. This is of the type Session Object and the installer attaches it to the script with the name "Session". Because the Session object may not exist during an installation rollback, a deferred custom action written in script must use one of the following methods or properties of the Session object to retrieve its context.

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Property values that are set at the time the installation sequence is processed into script may be unavailable at the time of script execution.

Only the following limited set of properties is always accessible to custom actions during script execution. If other property data is required by the deferred execution custom action, then their values must be stored in the installation script. This can be done by using a second custom action. To write the value of a property into the installation script for use during a deferred execution custom action.

Skip to main content. Exit focus mode. Commit custom actions can use the CustomActionData property to obtain the product code. MsiFormatRecord Supports a limited set of properties when used with deferred execution custom actions : the CustomActionData and ProductCode properties. Requests to check any other run mode parameters from a deferred, commit, or rollback custom action returns False.

Commit custom actions cannot use the MsiGetLanguage function. MsiProcessMessage Processes error or progress messages from the custom action.

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Message Method Called to handle errors and progress. Installer Property Returns the parent object, which is used for non-session functions such as registry access and installer configuration management. Property name Description CustomActionData Value at time custom action is processed in sequence table.

The CustomActionData property is only available to deferred execution custom actions. Immediate custom actions do not have access to this property. To write the value of a property into the installation script for use during a deferred execution custom action Insert a small custom action into the installation sequence that sets the property of interest to a property having the same name as the deferred execution custom action.Read here and is a general error code that indicates a problem occurred during the installation.

Read on this article to learn how to sidestep this speed bump. As discussed, The error code is mostly returned when any action fails during an installation on Windowsand most commonly it indicates that one of the custom actions in the MSI failed.

When we encounter a failed setup with return codehere are the steps that we should follow:. Click here to know more ways to generate log. In nearly all cases, this will take us to the section in the verbose log that lists the action that failed that initially caused setup to rollback.

Depending on which action is failing, We will need to proceed to more detailed debugging from here. Get a free trial of Office and excellent support by OCloudExperts. This indicates that short file name creation is enabled. A value of 1 indicates that this functionality is disabled. You should change the value to 0. After modifying this value, the target machine should be rebooted before attempting to launch the setup again. I had also posted this on LinkedIn Discussions and have got some quality responses for the same — I will extract some information from there and post it here so that, you can get all the information at one single place.

Vijay has makes some excellent points about how to troubleshoot these types of issues. Second, know that msiexec.

So Patrick Pepin makes an excellent suggetion to check the msi vendor. I would determine the issue can be reproduced on a clean machine with all pre-requisites installed just to eliminate the possibility false negative caused by testing on an unknown or corrupt pc environment.

If it is a capture msi original source is non-msi I would systematically exclude files and registry keys until I isolated the component causing the issue in my msi.

I built it, so I know best how to fix it. To test my theory, I would comment out only that instruction put a negative sign in the sequence column and rerun the command. If I can reproduce the problem on a clean desktop, I will have good ammunition to contact the vendor.

However, my experience is if you know how to do what I have outlined, you will exhaust the technical support departments of whatever vendor you call. In this article she focuses on the command line arguments and the silent switches that can be used for msi and msp un-installable patches.

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She keeps all the details crisp in this table. I know that, this below chart will be as a printed one. Some of the articles definitely helps to give a better insight into the concepts.

So felt like contributing some article, which would help people like us, the Packaging specialists. If you want to get in touch, her LinkedIn Profile is — Here. PS: Do mention in the LinkedIn request that, you read her article on msigeek. Deferred custom actions have limited access to the installation session. If your deferred custom action requires information about the installation that it cannot obtain through its limited access, then you can provide that information to the deferred custom action through the CustomActionData property.

This method is only available to script and DLL deferred custom actions. An immediate custom action that executes before the deferred custom action sets a property with the same name as the deferred custom action to the value that is needed by the deferred custom action. A type 51 custom action would be an easy way to set this property. Feature names are case-sensitive. The following registry key gives information about the sourcelist for a msi.

Close Menu Enterprise Tech.This article describes the kinds of custom actions that can be used in your Visual Studio setup project. Second in a series on Visual Studio setup. Custom actions are in contrast to the standard actions that Windows Installer performs during an installation. Examples of standard actions include copying files and registering COM servers. You can download the code examples to go with this article using the link to the right of the title.

To pass data into your custom-action code in Visual Studio setup projects, for example, you set the CustomActionData property to the data you want to pass into the custom action, and in your code you retrieve the CustomActionData property that contains the data.

This is a common theme in the examples that follow. This custom-action script will display the value of the CustomActionData property:. The data consists of three Windows Installer properties. Since angle brackets are not allowed in file names, they can serve as separators for parsing the combined properties and separating them out.

So angle brackets are used for passing multiple property values into a custom action.

msi customactiondata

Square brackets indicate that the actual value will be resolved at run time. One caveat: Anti-virus software sometimes intercepts VBScript code and could prevent your custom action from working properly. These function calls must be exported and have a signature like this:. You can do much more than just get properties. There is an MsiSetProperty API, for example, that can set a property you can use later in the install or in another custom action.

If the property name you specify does not exist, Windows Installer will create it for you. Use of an explicit. One of the useful features of these direct call custom actions in which your code is called directly from Windows Installer is the ability to write your own entries to the Windows Installer log.

msi customactiondata

You have to enable it at install time with a command line like this:. The first line is a standard logging entry reporting that the custom action is being called; the second line is the output from the call to LogMessage in the custom action.

This is a useful debugging technique for tracing the path of your custom-action DLL calls. It has an Exclude property value of True. Visual Studio also lets you use an executable as a custom action.

Instead you can use the arguments value shown in Figure 2, the properties window of a custom action, to call the forms program executable in the sample Visual Studio solution. The argument string is surrounded by quotes so that it gets passed as a single string into the main of the receiving program.

msi customactiondata

NET assemblies can contain installer classes, and Visual Studio. NET lets you call methods in these installer classes as custom actions. If you select a. NET project in the Solution Explorer, a right-click lets you add a component, one of which is an installer class. The boilerplate code generated for you includes an attributed class with [RunInstaller true ], which is what makes it an installer class.Post a Comment.

Friday, 22 June how to get MSI property value from within a deferred custom action. Background A Basic MSI installation program does not use an explicit script to drive the installation, but instead uses sequences of actions to determine the dialog boxes and operations the installation program should display and perform.

In this sense, MSI actions are analogous to function calls in a typical programming language. There are two sequences used by a typical installation program: the User Interface sequence and the Execute sequence. The User Interface sequence displays dialog boxes and queries the target system, but does not make any system changes. The Execute sequence performs system changes, but does not display a user interface. Analogous to variables in a programming language are Windows Installer properties.

Windows Installer defines dozens of predefined properties, and an installation author can define custom properties to store any extra data needed at run time. A property can, for example, be set by the user in a dialog box, and then later be written to the registry. Property names are case sensitive. The values of public properties can be set at the command line, and their values are preserved when execution switches from the User Interface sequence to the Execute sequence. Private properties, on the other hand, cannot have their values set at the command line, and are reset to their default values when execution switches from the User Interface sequence to the Execute sequence.

During installation, the Execute sequence runs in two stages, immediate mode and deferred mode. Immediate mode walks through the actions in the Execute sequence, generating an internal, hidden installation script; this script contains, for example, instructions for what files, registry data, shortcuts, and so forth, to install. Immediate mode does not touch the target system.

Note that the User Interface sequence runs only in immediate mode. The second stage of the Execute sequence, deferred mode, carries out the system changes described by this internal installation script. Strictly speaking, deferred mode is performed only for actions between the built-in actions InstallInitialize and InstallFinalize.

During deferred execution, MSI property values are fixed and cannot be changed.

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Moreover, the values of only a handful of MSI properties can explicitly be read during deferred execution. When you need to extend the behavior of an installation program, you can write one or more custom actions. For example:. As mentioned above, however, getting the value of an MSI property during deferred execution is somewhat more difficult, as deferred actions have access to only a very few built-in properties: ProductCode, UserSID, and CustomActionData.

Note that this statement is untrue for built-in types of actions that use property values as arguments. It is only custom actions that explicitly read a property value using Session.

Scheduling a custom action in your MSI

Property or MsiGetProperty that need to use the technique described here. It is this last property, CustomActionData, that is used to read a property value in a script during deferred mode.

Software Deployment Question

The steps involved in populating this property are the following:.All of their carefully worked Custom Action scripts created for earlier IS versions, will need to be re-evaluated after migrating to version Kind of destroys your script coding logic!

Technically a great solution, but hard to implement and a bear in long term maintenance. Use it as a sandbox and stash installation variables gleaned during the UI Sequence and later retrieve them during the Install Execute sequence.

Here is an example of the technique that I use:. Here is a script extract:. Retrieve Registry Values In each InstallScript Custom Action, simply add this script at the beginning to retrieve the values from the registry and store them into variables. After the install has been completed, should the install variables placed in the registry be deleted? Not necessarily, it could have use in the uninstall process.

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But remember to delete them when the uninstall has completed. Hope this helps! Serializing datasets, as confusing as it is, is the MSI way of passing data from the Immediate to the Deferred context. There is also the problem of rolling back the data from the registry. I wrote the helper functions as a way to simplify the data passing. This would allow the deferred side to issue an XPath statement to look up the data elements.

Comment by Christopher Painter — July 17, am. RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Rob Mensching weblog. Christopher Painter's weblog. Open Forum weblog.The module is to be used with an existing commercial product.

Since the custom HTTP module is working with an existing product, the process of installing it would need to make significant changes to the web. Any method that you want to expose to the setup project must be a public static method that is annotated with the CustomAction attribute and has the following method signature.

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The Session parameter passed to the method is the object that controls the installation process. However, after reviewing the on-line content and some examples this proved to be far too cumbersome for my needs. The code snippet shows what could be argued as a standard boilerplate approach for custom actions.

Logging the entry and exit of the custom action, performing the configuration step necessary and handling an unhandled exceptions to make sure they are logged to the output correctly. Compiling the custom action project will generate two DLLs. Configuration syntax. That way, if I build a debug version of the setup project I get a debug version of the custom action and a similar result for a release build.

This should look similar to the following:. In the above example, notice that the BinaryKey attribute matches the Id attribute of the Binary element we previously added. Also note that the DllEntry attribute references the method name that was decorated with the CustomAction attribute in the C code. Adding the Binary and CustomAction elements by themselves however still does not result in the custom action actually being executed.

To include the custom action in the installation process we need to add an entry to the InstallExecuteSequence as shown. In my case I can use a standard RegistrySearch action to read the install path of the existing product from the registry. The web. Since the RegistrySearch action will store the root install path to a property, I need a separate CustomAction to build out the full path to the web. These 3 additions are shown below.

The result of the above is that the web.

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With the Session object discussed earlier, I can now access this path from within my custom action code using syntax similar to the following:. Now within my custom action method I can open the web. Since the web. Skip to main content. Exit focus mode. ToString ; return ActionResult.

With the Session object discussed earlier, I can now access this path from within my custom action code using syntax similar to the following: 1: session.

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