Can I Replace Wise Installer with Visual Installer?

Wise Installation Studio, Wise Installation Express and Wise Package Studio
Wise Installation Studio, Wise Installation Express and Wise Package Studio were three excellent setup tools from Wise Solutions, Inc, but these products have now been discontinued. So it is not possible to buy these setup tools anymore, and there are no new updates or service packs available anymore either.
This may create some compatibility problems when Microsoft releases new versions of the Windows operating system because these setup tools are not maintained anymore. And for a setup tool maintenance is often critical because operating systems evolves and functionality changes, and a setup tool needs to be updated to stay compatible with new operating system versions.
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The maintenance of Wise ceased in 2011
The selling of Wise Installation Studio and Wise Installation Express ceased in 2010, and the selling of Wise Package Studio ceased some time after that. And the maintenance of all these products ceased in the end of 2011. After that no updates of these products has been released and there are no plans to release any updates in the future either. Symantec, which was the last owner of Wise installation products, declared that the products were end-of-lifed on November 07, 2011.
Wise and Windows 7 compatibility
Microsoft Windows 7 were released before Wise setup products were declared end-of-lifed, and some adaptions to the Windows 7 operating system has been made, but issues has been reported nevertheless. Read this forum thread on Symantec's website for examples of issues. In the forum thread you can also read about new bugs that were introduced with the last update of Wise, and that can not be fixed anymore.
Wise and Windows 8 / 8.1 compatibility
Microsoft Windows 8 was released one year after that the maintenance of Wise installation solutions were discontinued, so there has not been any adaptations to Windows 8 in Wise setup tools at all. So if there are problems in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 (or in a future Windows 8.2), no updates will be available to fix the problems.
Wise and .NET compatibility
Microsoft releases new .NET versions quite often, and a modern installer should always be compatible with the latest .NET versions. And there were no exception with Wise, until the products were discontinued. If you need to distribute software that relies on the latest versions of Microsoft .NET Framework you will have problem, if you use Wise as an installer. For an example of a problem that can appear, read this forum thread on Symantec's website.
Missing functionality can also be a problem
Windows is an operating system that is constantly evolving and changing, and to make use of new functions or to handle new situations an installer must be constantly updated to handle new environments. For example, in Windows Vista/7/8 there are situations when an installed program must be run with administrator privileges (run as administrator), and if you use Wise you will discover that there is no easy way to achieve this. But if you use a modern installation software this can usually be done by only selecting an option. This is an example of when a missing functionality rather than an error also can be a problem.  

In Visual Installer you only need to check an option to make an installed program start with administrator privileges.
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Can Visual Installer replace Wise?
Yes. Visual Installer from SamLogic Software is a good replacement for Wise, and if you have old Wise projects that encounter problems in modern Windows we recommend you to use Visual Installer to solve the problems. Visual Installer is 100% compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and with the latest releases of .NET Framework (for example .NET 4.0 and 4.5). It is also compatible with the latest releases of Microsoft Visual Studio (including Visual Studio 2013). And we are constantly releasing updates of the setup tool, so the latest technology in modern Windows can always be used.
The Visual Installer Editor (1) The Visual Installer Editor (2) The Visual Installer Editor (3)
Another benefit with Visual Installer is that you will get a modern user interface; both in the editor (that you use) and in the setup wizard (that your customers use).
More information about Visual Installer
You can read more about Visual Installer on Visual Installer's product page. You can also watch some videos on YouTube that shows how to use Visual Installer in some situations, for example together with Visual Studio.
Wise installer products were originally developed by the American company Wise Solutions, Inc. In December 2003 Wise Solutions was acquired and became a subsidiary of Altiris, Inc. In April 2007, Altiris was acquired by Symantec Corporation. More details are available on this page on Wikipedia.
See also:
Creating an Installation Program for Windows Vista and Windows 7
How to install a desktop application / desktop app in Windows 8
Related products:
SamLogic Visual Installer
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Article written by: Mika Larramo