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Pre-purchase question - comments please

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  • Pre-purchase question - comments please

    I've been using the brain-dead InstallShield product that comes with Visual C++ V6 for several years now.

    I'm absolutely disgusted with the poor documentation and the seeming bugs that continually get in the way of my deployment tasks.

    I'm interested in Setup Factory, but before I spend any time evaluating it, I'd like some opinions from real users of the product (employees of IndigoRose, please do not respond with opinions - facts are welcome, though!)

    One concern I have is that InstallShield and Wise are horrendously expensive yet Setup Factory is sensibly priced. I know that InstallShield's price is ridiculous because because their product sucks, but a colleague of mine uses Wise and loves it.

    Is SF a great product with a realistic price tag? Or am I going to have more nightmares if I buy it?

    I need to deploy VC++ binaries based on MFC to Win95,Win98,WinME,WinNT4,Win2000 platforms (and whatever other multiplicity of incompatible systems Microsoft chooses to produce in the future).

    Author of TTMaker
    Advanced Scheduling Software

  • #2
    Re: Pre-purchase question - comments please

    I switched to IR's SetupFactory about a year ago and have not regretted it.

    I've used many installers over the past 11 yrs ranging from InstallShield, Wise, custom inhouse installers, as well as installers that I wrote using C++. About every 3-4 yrs I re-evaluate the installers available and decide whether the ROI is worth switching to a new one. As I'm a professional software developer, I am constantly annoyed at the limited featured and bug riddled installers with outrageous prices.

    The two installers that I found meeting my wide range of needs with an appropriate price were 'InstallerVise' by and 'SetupFactory' by Indigo Rose. During my evaluation I found both installers to be very flexible and well worth the money. I was able to produce a full featured installation package (spawning 3rd party installers, upgrading system dlls, extensive registry mods, custom bitmaps, and distributing C++ binaries) in under 2 hrs the first time. This same type of installation required me to write custom dlls for InstallShield and took me over 30 hours to get the whole system working correctly because of InstallShield bugs.

    As you know, there are always limitations to installers. One thing to note is as far as I know, neither InstallerVise nor SetupFactory currently support the Microsoft Installer technology. Perhaps they have plans in the future, but obviously this wasn't an important factor for me.

    What I especially like about Setup Factory is the overall philosophy for the program. It is a very pure way of thinking (unlike their competition) which makes it an extremely powerful installer. I've ran into what I thought were limitations with with SF, but, after resetting my thought process I've always been able to find some other way that they do provide in getting the job done. When I did find a show stopper defect, I wrote to Indigo Rose's tech support and within 48 hrs they sent me a special build to fix my problem. I was able to use the special build for production until they updated their shipping version. You won't find that type of response from many companies.

    I believe most Installers really bite, but I've been very pleased with IR's SF and would encourage yourself and others to evaluate it personally and see if it meets your specific requirements. It's so easy to use, this should take very little time.

    Feel free to email me if you have any other questions that may not be appropriate for this forum.

    Good luck in your search!

    John L. Schacher
    [email protected]


    • #3
      Re: Pre-purchase question - comments please

      I graduated to SUF from its previous differently-named incarnation. My interest is to spend the minimum time messing about with installation procedures, and SUF does this, and looks nice. My users like the fast "click-click-click" no-decisions installation.

      I also want to minimize the size of my distributed packages. With SUF my most frequently distributed Windows program setup still fits on a diskette. (SUF's earlier incarnation did even better, but other users wanted more features.)

      The "password"/security feature is still primitive. (Or, at least, I've not yet managed to automate a simple process whereby every copy gets a unique, only-for-that-copy, password.)