Microsoft’s SDKs (Software Development Kits) are shipped with many tools that target various areas. These tools bring additional value to the developers. Many of these tools are unfortunately not known by developers and it’s more of coincidences that we discover them via forums and blogposts.
I recently spent time to investigate how we can identify the ComponentIDs for prerequisites like the PIAs and VSTO runtime for Excel 2007 VSTO’s solutions.
The reason for it is that Microsoft has not yet updated their article “Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Solutions Using Windows Installer: Walkthroughs (Part 2 of 2)” for Office 2007.
I finally managed to locate the tool Orca, which is defined as:
“… is a database table editor for creating and editing Windows Installer packages and merge modules. The tool provides a graphical interface for validation, highlighting the particular entries where validation errors or warnings occur – Source.”
It’s part of the Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers but since this SDK is rather large to download and install You can download only the Orca Tool from here.
Just to make sure that I was on the right track I viewed the Office 2003 PIA’s MSI file, the VSTO’s MSI file and compared the ComponentIDs with the ones in Microsoft’s article. The output was the following:
The above confirmed that the Orca tool views the correct ComponentIDs in the prerequisites’s MSI files.
In order to retrieve the ComponentID for Excel 2007 PIA I did the following:
- Downloaded Office 2007 redistributable PIA.
- Extracted the MSI file (and also the other files part of the exe file) with Winzip.
- Opened the MSI file in Orca.
- Located the Component Table “Component” and the entry “Global_Pia_Excel”.
- And finally I got hold on the wanted value:
The mentioned VSTO ComponentID in the above table is also valid for the latest version included in the VSTO 2005 SE runtime.
Equipped with the Orca Tool we can create correct launch conditions and get a better understanding about how MSI files are created and maintained.
In my next coming blogpost I will continue the series for Creating and Deploying VSTO COM Add-ins.
The following blogpost gives access to the latest available version of Orca – UACL Compliant.
You can also read Microsoft’s knowledge base : How to use the Orca database editor to edit Windows Installer files.