Redistributables View

InstallShield 2013 Express Edition

The Redistributables view contains all of the InstallShield prerequisites, merge modules, and objects that are included with InstallShield.

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.

Including InstallShield prerequisites in your project enables you to chain multiple installations together, bypassing the Windows Installer limitation that permits only one Execute sequence to be run at a time. The Setup.exe setup launcher serves as a bootstrap application that manages the chaining.

Edition: InstallShield Premier Edition and InstallShield Professional Edition include the InstallShield Prerequisite Editor, a tool that enables you to define custom InstallShield prerequisites and to edit settings for any existing InstallShield prerequisites.

InstallShield includes support for two types of InstallShield prerequisites:

Setup prerequisite—The installation for this type of prerequisite runs before your installation runs.
Feature prerequisite—This type of prerequisite is associated with one or more features. It is installed if the feature that contains the prerequisite is installed and if the prerequisite is not already installed on the system. Thus, if a feature has a condition that is not met on the target system, or if the end user chooses not to install the feature, the feature is not installed. As a result, none of its associated feature prerequisites are installed, unless the feature prerequisites are also associated with other features that are installed.

Merge Modules

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

Note: 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 DirectX 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.

Working with the Redistributables View

The Redistributables view consists of the following elements:

A row of buttons and other controls
A group box area (below the row of buttons)
A list of redistributables
A details pane, which shows information about the selected redistributables

The following table describes all of the buttons and other controls that are displayed in the Redistributables view.

Controls in the Redistributables View

Name of Control



Expand All Groups

Shows all of the rows in the groups if you are using groups to organize the rows in a hierarchical format.

Collapse All Groups

Hides all of the rows in the groups if you are using groups to organize the rows in a hierarchical format.

Show Details

Shows or hides the right pane in this view, which shows details about the InstallShield prerequisite, merge module, or object that is selected in the list of available redistributables. This details pane provides information such as which files a redistributable installs.

Show Group Box

Shows or hides the group box area below the row of buttons in this view.


Refreshes the list of redistributables.

Type a string to filter by


Dynamically filters the redistributables that are displayed in the Redistributables view according to the string that you specify in this search box. As you type a string in this box, InstallShield hides all of the rows that do not contain it.

Redistributables View Help

Displays the help for the Redistributables view.

Drag a column header here to group that column


Use this group box area to group rows in the view. The view supports multiple levels of grouping simply by dragging the column headings and dropping them onto the group box. InstallShield displays the rows in the view hierarchically according to column arrangement in the group box.

To learn more, see Working with the Group Box Area in Various Views.

The following table describes each of the columns in the Redistributables view.

Columns in the Redistributables View



Check Box

This column shows a check box for each redistributable. To add a redistributable to your project, select its check box.


This column shows an icon that represents the type of redistributable, as well as its status. For details about each icon, see Managing the Redistributables Gallery.


This column shows the name of each redistributable.


This column shows the version number of the redistributable.


This column lists the type of redistributable.


This column indicates whether the redistributable is installed locally on your machine or it needs to be downloaded. For more information, see Downloading Redistributables to Your Computer.

See Also