Failure is inevitable


I have been Mac-inized!

Well, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and bought a MacBook Pro.  My initial impressions are: Wow, this is really nice hardware.  Wow, this thing is tough.  I think it could stop a bullet. Wow, this thing is very light. Wow, it sure is easy to get Vista up and running! Wow, the OS X disc actually has all the bootcamp drivers and what-not built in to it now. Hmm, so they still haven't added a right mouse button? Hmm, how many ways is OS X going to tell me "Welcome" before I can use my computer? Wtf, why are so many people crazy about OS X?... [More]

WiX Snippet: change enable32BitAppOnWin64

As discussed in the last post, you can run both 32-bit and 64-bit app pools side-by-side on Windows Server 2008.  I decided I didn't want to have to remember to change the settings on one of my app pools every time I install my application on x64, so I added a custom action to the installer to do it for me.  Assuming you have already added the correct elements to create your application pool, all you need to do is add a custom action, like so: 1: <InstallExecuteSequence> 2: <RemoveExistingProducts After="InstallFinalize" /> ... [More]

Useful Info: Running x64 and x86 IIS Worker Processes Side-By-Side

On a (somewhat) related note, there's a nice new feature in IIS 7.0 that allows you to run both x86 and x64 worker processes side-by-side.  This wasn't possible with IIS 6/Windows Server 2003.  For details, check out rakkim's post on the subject.  This will be handy for me since one of the apps I maintain has a single web service that is dependent on a 32-bit COM component.  On IIS 6, that meant everything had to run as 32-bit, but with IIS 7, I can segregate that service into its own 32-bit app pool while leaving everything else in 64-bit goodness.

Me - 1, WiX - 0 (issues with WiX and Windows Server 2008)

It looks like "upgrading" our installers to work on Windows Server 2008 wasn't as painful as I expected, at least not once I figured out some of the core issues.  This post summarizes some of the lessons learned. Install IIS 6.0 Management Capability Feature Out of the box, WiX can't talk to IIS 7, so any extensions you use for IIS-related tasks won't work.  You can get around the issue by installing a compatibility layer over IIS 7.  Details here. Built-in Accounts Have Changed In Windows Server 2003, the Internet guest account is "IUSR_[MachineName]".&#... [More]

WiX Snippet: Creating a scheduled task

(Whoa, my goal was to hit three posts by the end of the week, but I've already hit three today!  Now taking bets on how long until I get bored...) A fair bit of my days involve some sort of agonizing over WiX.  That's because I maintain the installers for my employer's product, which is broken up into three separate logical tiers.  Each tier has its own installer, and none of them are simple.  Two of them involve installing web applications, and the third installs/updates SQL Server databases and installs SQL CLR modules.  As I may have hinted at in previous posts, Wi... [More]

WiX PermissionEx problem solved

In my previous post, I discussed how I was having difficulty getting a WiX-built MSI installer to correctly assign permissions for the Internet guest account to a folder on both Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.  The thing about WiX/MSI is that if you keep hammering at it long enough, you can usually find a solution (even if it is ugly and convoluted).  That proved true again today (for better or for worse). My solution uses two properties (one to store the account name, the other the domain), and two sets of custom actions to correctly populate the properties based on th... [More]

Cross-platform WiX installer woes

For the past couple of days, I've been trying to upgrade a "simple" WiX installer to work with Windows Server 2008 (note that the installer works fine on Windows Server 2003).  This has proven to be an exercise in PAIN, and here's why. What's changed? Well, lots.  First, IIS was completely rewritten between Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.  Out of the box, WiX cannot perform any tasks on IIS 7; you have to enable the legacy IIS 6 metabase stuff first.  That's easy enough to do, just follow the steps listed here. That's just the tip of the iceberg th... [More]

... And We're Live!

I think I have things around here more-or-less how I want them.  I'll be spending the next good while trying to get in the habbit of blogging regularly, and I'm sure I'll be tweaking things as I figure out what this BlogEngine.NET thing is all about.  Good times! So my plan right now is to blog at least three days a week, starting tomorrow.  If all goes well, you'll see a (meaningful) post from my on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.  I'll try to stay focused on development-related things.  With something like 5 active projects right now, it sho... [More]

Stay tuned...

This blog is a work-in-progress.  It should be up with some real content soon.