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Including Redistributables in Your Installation

InstallShield 2010

InstallShield includes many commonly used third-party redistributables, making it easy to add support for popular technologies such as Crystal Reports, Microsoft Access, and MDAC to your installation. When you add redistributables to your project, the redistributables, plus all of the associated dependencies, are added to your installation. This simplifies the process of packaging redistributables and helps to facilitate consistency for internal or external use.

The Redistributables view (or in InstallScript and InstallScript Object projects, the Objects view) contains all of the InstallShield objects and third-party merge modules that are included with InstallShield. In Basic MSI and InstallScript MSI projects, this view also contains InstallShield prerequisites that you can add to your installation. In InstallScript projects, you can use the Prerequisites view to add InstallShield prerequisites to your installation.

InstallShield Prerequisites

An InstallShield prerequisite is an installation for a product or technology framework that is required by your product. You can add any of the existing InstallShield prerequisites to your installation projects and configure many of their settings. You can also create your own InstallShield prerequisites, and add them to your projects.

InstallShield includes a base set of InstallShield prerequisites. You can also use the InstallShield Prerequisite Editor in InstallShield to define custom InstallShield prerequisites or to edit settings for any existing InstallShield prerequisites.

InstallShield includes support for two types of InstallShield prerequisites:



Basic MSI projects include support for feature prerequisites.

Merge Modules

A merge module (or .msm file) contains all of the logic and files needed to install distinct pieces of functionality. For example, some applications require Microsoft Visual Basic run-time .dll files. Instead of having to include the file in a component and figure out its installation requirements, you can simply attach the Visual Basic Virtual Machine merge module to one of your project’s features.



Many of the merge modules included in the Redistributables view are authored by Microsoft or another third party. InstallShield distributes these modules as a courtesy to assist you in creating your installation project. However, InstallShield cannot modify or fix any problems that may exist within third party-authored modules. You are encouraged to contact the vendor regarding issues with specific third party-authored modules.


Like merge modules, objects contain logic and files needed to install distinct pieces of functionality. Some objects, such as the Microsoft Access object included with InstallShield, require customization through a wizard. As soon as you add such an object to your installation, its customization wizard opens. You can either customize your object at the time you add it, or cancel the wizard and customize your object later by right-clicking the object and selecting Change Objects Settings.

Live Redistributables Gallery

Because the file size of many of the redistributables is so large, some that are available for use in your projects are not added to your computer when you install InstallShield. However, these redistributables are still available for download from the Internet to your computer. In addition, a newer version of a redistributable that you have on your computer may be available for download.

Configurable Merge Modules

A configurable redistributable is a merge module or an object that has at least one row in the ModuleConfiguration table that is referenced by at least one row in the ModuleSubstitution table. This enables you to change a value in the redistributable. When you select a configurable module in the Redistributables view, the Merge Module Configurable Values dialog box is displayed to enable you to configure the module at the time you add it. To customize the merge module later, right-click it and select Configure merge module.

See Also

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