Getting certified for Windows Vista - part 1

Posted by Mark Rogers on Oct 5, 2007 | 

PowerMapper

After some hard work we've finally submitted PowerMapper, our site-mapping product, for "Certified for Vista" testing (aka logo testing).

The previous version had gone through the "Designed for XP" test, so we thought it would be easy to get certified for Vista. We were wrong.

The tests themselves are split into three areas:

Supporting the install/uninstall requirements was definitely the biggest headache. We've used InstallShield for nearly 10 years for building setups, but the two latest releases just couldn't produce a setup package that passed all the tests.

We eventually threw in the towel after three man-weeks and buying two upgrades: each of which was supposed to provide Vista compliant setups. The closest we got was passing 17 out 18 tests, so it was frustrating to change horses mid-race.

We evaluated a few different products, but the Vista logo requirements ruled out anything that can't produce MSI setup packages. WiX looked promising, but proved to be hard work to get going.

We eventually chose a product called Advanced Installer which costs less than InstallShield, but produced a compliant setup package after half a days work (remember we'd spent three man-weeks on InstallShield at this point). The user interface is quite similar to other setup authoring tools - though a bit more polished than most.

We only had a couple of minor annoyances with Advanced Installer:

So that's it for today. We'll find out in a few days if we've passed testing and all the hard work has paid off.

Update: The setup.exe (test case 15) and command line builder issues were fixed in the 6.0.0 release in November 2007.

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First posted Oct 2007