Using Wise for over 10 years now and known as a host for Wise Script Library for last 5, I have wrote dozens installations, created many actions and scripts to accommodate various tasks required during deployment process. Many are still available at my Wise Script Library.

I have been asked on several occasions about my take on future of Wise products and possible migration path. Below are some sample questions.

Q: Can you tell me which product you like better now?  Wise or InstallAware?
Q: I am a long time user of Wise Installation System but I am looking to migrate to another platform. Which product you can suggest?
Q: I am using Wise InstallMaster, but I want to get access to latest technologies. What should I do?
Q: Where can I find feature comparison chart between Wise and InstallAware products?

I have decided to express my opinion in the form of this post for your consideration.

If you are long time user of Wise Installation System or Wise InstallMaster (I am looking at most advanced editions with script support) one of the options for you would be to continue using Wise product line but migrate to Wise Installation Studio (new product which has replaced Wise for Windows Installer).
Yet, you might find it not quite the same as far as script support and convenience.

It is in my opinion that Wise Installation System has become obsolete product and has shrinking support by Altiris and now Symantec. There are no updates or other up-to-date downloads at this point, nor you can expect one since product is retired. To be fair a support forum is still very active. But sooner or later you will have to decide where to go next.

Yes, you can abandon your current scripts all together and switch to InstallShield, InnoSetup or any other product available, but this would be mostly a complete rewrite for your deployment scenario.

There is an alternative to that.

If you like style of Wise script based products but want to be up-to-date on features, I would recommend considering migration to InstallAware product line.

If you would like to see side-by-side comparison between InstallAware, InstallShield, Wise Installation Studio (MSI), Wise Installation System (non-MSI) and InnoSetup please visit page here I have put based on public and prior information and my analysis.

At this point, to start using IA you would need to import your project once using provided automated tool. For most general cases this would be sufficient and you are good to go. In more complex cases, depend on level of customization and number of custom actions you are using, there could be some work required to complete your migration.

After this is done you would get great advantage of accessing latest technologies while keeping your acquired knowledge with Wise products.

If you would choose to follow this path I would suggest downloading trial version to see if it is something you like, then if decision is made we would like to offer you a discount with your purchase of IA products.

1 Comment

Chris Miller · Apr 3, 2008 at 09:30

I made the jump from Wise to InstallAware last summer and the quality and functionality of installers is much better with IA than with Wise. I was tired of the once a year updates from Wise that would fix one thing and break three others.

After a few years of Wise for Windows, it did give me a good understanding of Windows Installer technology works. It’s a much easier process of building installs that can upgrade previous versions.

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