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MSI supports a variety of custom actions and InstallShield can assist you in working with those actions.

Types include:

  • Launching executables
  • Calling DLL or script functions
  • Setting property-table properties and directory-table properties
  • Error actions

There are two steps involved for each custom action you want to use:

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  1. Define the action: specify what the action does (launch an executable, call a DLL function, set a property, and so forth) and its other behavior (whether to test the return value, and so forth)
  2. Schedule the action: specify where the action runs relative to other actions, which installation phase (immediate execution, deferred execution, and so forth) the action uses, and under what conditions the action runs

As a best practice, use a custom action only when a standard action does not perform a desired task. Custom actions are not automatically removed when your application is uninstalled or rolled back.

Also, for each custom action that performs system changes, you should create corresponding uninstall and rollback actions.


InstallShield® is the world’s leading Windows installation development solution. InstallShield is designed to enable development teams to be more agile, collaborative and flexible when building reliable InstallScript and Windows Installer MSI installations for desktop, server, Web, virtual and traditional applications. The software installer of choice for today’s sophisticated application producers, InstallShield is the only software installer that can directly convert MSIs to Microsoft App-V virtual packages. Get your free trial of InstallShield today or contact us for more information.

InstallAnywhere is the leading multiplatform development solution for application producers who need to deliver a professional and consistent cross installation experience for physical, virtual and cloud environments. From a single project file and build environment, InstallAnywhere creates reliable installations for on-premises platforms – Windows, Linux, Apple OS X, Solaris, AIX , HP-UX, and IBM iSeries – and enables you to take existing and new software products to a virtual and cloud infrastructure and build Docker containers.  Get your free trial of InstallAnywhere or contact us for more information.