Building an Installer with Third-Party Tools

TestStand 2019 Help

Edition Date: May 2019

Part Number: 370052AA-01

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The TestStand Deployment Utility does not expose the full set of Microsoft Windows Installer technology features. You must use third-party tools to build a more customized installer that incorporates these features.

Building an installer using third-party tools requires specific knowledge of Windows Installer technology and typically requires a longer development process than using the deployment utility installer, which does not require specific knowledge of Windows Installer technology.


Using an installer you build with third-party tools offers the following advantages:

  • The installer can repair a damaged installation.
  • You can build a patch installer that installs only an updated subset of the files from a previous deployment.
  • The installer has a small overhead size.
  • You can customize the appearance and functionality of the installer user interface to include more advanced features so users can choose which components to include at install time.
  • You can add logic to decide which features to install based on what software already exists on a particular computer
  • The installer can remove files it installed on the computer.
  • The installer does not require test station computers to rely on a network infrastructure.


Using an installer you build with third-party tools presents the following disadvantages:

  • You must have specific knowledge of Windows Installer technology.
  • The development process to design, build, and test the installer usually requires more time.
  • You must use the deployment utility to build an installer to redistribute National Instruments components or you must separately run the installer from the appropriate National Instruments distribution media to install the TestStand Runtime and National Instruments run-time engines, drivers, and components.
  • You must run the installer on each test system computer, which might not scale well if you use a large number of test station computers.


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