So we did an installer…

But why?

We believe it’s a better experience for most of our users. It also give us a way to uninstall much more cleanly ,which is something which gets queried a whole lot on the forums:

Let’s jump into what to expect…

The walkthrough

First things first.

We strongly advise you to uninstall all previous versions of .NET Reflector before you install v7.6. This will ensure a clean installation process as you move from the old zip system to the new installer.

Next up, bear in mind that we’re elevating the installation process, so you’ll get this elevation prompt after you’ve double -clicked on the installer.

If you’re not a local administrator on the machine you’re trying to install onto, you’ll be prompted for an admin password. If this is a problem, you should still be able to get hold of a zipped version:

We’ve now separated the Visual Studio package from the stand-alone tool. Some people we’ve spoken to only want one or the other, while some want both. If you choose to only install one, you can re-run the installer later to install the other part:

Following this, there is the license agreement and, after that, choosing where to install:

The default location is set to Program Files. We put the Visual Studio extension installer (.vsix) into the current user’s app data folder during installation, but we clear it up if you choose to uninstall later. The next screen should show you the installation progress:

Once that’s done, you should get a confirmation screen. If you’ve installed Reflector Desktop, you should see it in your start menu (or on the metro screen if you’re running windows 8):

If you’ve installed the Visual Studio extension, it should appear in Visual Studio 2010 / 2012 when you next fire it up:

If anything goes wrong, there is a log file, found by left-clicking in the top left hand corner of the installer dialog, which you can inspect and send to us if you need a hand getting anything working:

And if you don’t feel you need Reflector any more you can now find us in the control panel:

Don’t worry, .NET Reflector is still portable! If you don’t want to use the installer to create a “portable” version of the tool, install the tool to your desktop as normal, and then go to your installation folder…

If you want the desktop tool, you can copy the files in “Desktop 7.6” to wherever you want them and run reflector.exe from there. For the Visual Studio package, you can copy the .vsix file from the “Visual Studio Extension Install” folder to another machine, and then run it to install into that machine’s Visual Studio instances.

(Or you could just copy the installer across and run it on your next machine)

But Nick, I want a zipped version!

If you really really hate the idea of an installer, you can still download a zipped copy of Reflector.

On the other hand, iF you’d like to try our shiny new installer, you can download Reflector 7.6 and take it for a spin.

4 thoughts on “So we did an installer…

  1. Patrick Smacchia

    We had the exact same issue for our tool NDepend. We provide a zip file redistributable. XCopy deployment eliminates a lot of burden and makes things very flexible. But some developers are so used to MSI that they don’t see the benefits and complains.

    I write a blog post detailing the pro and cons of XCopy vs. MSI deployment. http://codebetter.com/patricksmacchia/2009/08/10/the-benefits-of-xcopy-deployment/

    It is still a sensitive topic and we might end up like you guys, doing a MSI?!

    Reply
  2. James Chaldecott

    Could you modify the next version to put the vsix file somewhere a bit easier to find?

    Our standard setup here is that our domain accounts are not administrators, but we have local accounts that are. We use the OTS UAC prompts to install software, as you describe above:

    “If you’re not a local administrator on the machine you’re trying to install onto, you’ll be prompted for an admin password.”

    Unfortunately doing that only registers the extension in Visual Studio for the admin user, and not our “real” account. To make things worse: the vsix file that we need to install the extension is left on a path that only the admin user has access to, which makes it a PITA to run it from the standard user account.

    Perhaps you could put the vsix file in the Program Files folder? Alternatively, what about C:\ProgramData\Red Gate\…?

    Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Gustav Brock

    This doesn’t work for Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8.
    No .NET REFLECTOR is added.

    Instead, in VS go to menu Tools, Extensions and Updates and from Online, Visual Studio Gallery, Tools, Code locate the .NET Reflector Visual Studio Extension.

    Install and restart VS. Bingo.

    Reply
  4. Richard

    I’ve just seen the installer for the first time for the upgrade to 7.6.1, and I think there’s a slight error. The EULA starts with “THIS BETA/TRIAL SOFTWARE …”, but it’s not a beta, and it’s not a trial version!

    Reply

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