How best to distribute Flashplayer (via MSI) with my Windows app

Posted on 2008-11-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have been granted a license to distribute the Adobe Flash Player 10 with my windows app.  However, I am looking for the cleanest and most efficient way to distribute it.  The installer is offered in both EXE and MSI formats (and I could also direct them to the web to install).

I've read that one MSI cannot call another MSI and that a bootstrapper is required for VS 2005 setup projects.  That seems like a sloppy end-user experience.  The exe could be launched as a process, but I'm not sure how best to code that into the setup and wait until the process ends.

Does anyone have experience incorporating the Flashplayer distribution with their Windows Apps?  And if so, do you have any suggestions for the best user experience?  
Question by:straubtm
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    by:Vadim Rapp
    The experience of installing installations made by Adobe clearly says that they are so illiterate that for thorough solution they need to be repackaged. That's what I have been doing for Reader since Reader 6. If you read recommendations, you will find that repackaging MSI is not recommended and instead transform should be applied; but these recommendations always assume that the MSI is good, which is not the case more often than it is. Including by the way Microsoft's own packages.

    That said, I don't quite understand your problem. You've got MSI from them, which supposedly would install the product so why "MSI cannot call another MSI"? why the need to call one MSI from another?
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I was hoping to run the msi silently using something like msiexec  and the /qn command line parameter... however, I cannot run that from a CustomAction within another msi.  So, It appears I am stuck using the Bootstrapper Manifest Generator and a package manifest for the flash msi.  This will run, but will not silently.

    Are there any other options?
    LVL 40

    Accepted Solution

    Ah, you want to make this prerequisite for your own package, I see.

    This question had been asked here many times, and most agree on the following: include their installation with your media  either as MSI itself, or as a link to their site; in your installation, do system search, and if you don't find Flash, tell the user that he needs to install it by doing this and that.

    Still, you can try nested installation by creating custom action "install MSI". I'm afraid though you won't get very far, since nested installations are quite shaky. Especially if you are going to deploy to outside users.

    (I don't know what msi authoring tool you have, and whether it supports custom actions and system search).


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