WiX and Votive

WiX Toolset installation

Before we can start you must install the WiX-Toolset, which you can find on wix.codeplex.com. Choose the exe, not the binaries, as the exe will install Votive as well!


Votive is the Visual-Studio integration. It adds the following project-templates to your Visual-Studio.


Setup Project
This is the template we will use most of the time. It creates an initial WiX-xml, from which we can start of. When built, the result will be a .msi-file.

Merge Module Project
If a company has software-parts, which can be used in different products, they can encapsulate them in a merge-module. When built, the result will be a .msm-file, which you can reference from any Setup Project.

Setup Library Project
Large projects often contain hundreds of files, making it difficult to keep the overview. With Setup Library Projects you can split parts of the setup to different .wxs-files. These wxs-files can be produced automatically with the heat-tool, which is especially useful for webprojects, where you add many files and do not want to keep track of them manually.

Bootstrapper Project
The Bootstrapper Project allows you to install any pre-requisites like i.E. .Net-Framework or an SQL-server.

Custom Action Project It
When you need to do very specific tasks, which you can do programmatically only, then you can create a Custom Action Project in your prefered programming-language. It will create a library with one class with a static method, in which you can put your code.

Learn more about the Setup Project XML in the next tutorial!