Deployment to Windows (Installers)

I am returning to Xojo development.

What is the current flavour of the month when it comes to installing apps on Windows - for user distribution.

Also, is ksign still the best way to sign apps using their certificates ?

Is there anything new that needs to be considered when offering apps to Windows users ?

The most popular is Innosetup. It has a learning curve, though.

KSign is great. Have been using it for years.

For end user software, distribution is the biggest hurdle. Until recently, it was not possible to get in the Windows Store. Now it is possible to convert a Xojo app to the required Appx with the desktop converter (search for that word and you should find all references in the forum).

I also recently uploaded to Amazon Digital, where regular installers are OK, but since it is still in review, I have no opinion yet.

Otherwise, you definitely want to have an evaluation version and have it on every shareware repository. I use to prepare the necessary pad file, and also buy their services to sollicit the 600 or so sites for me.

InstallShield - I have used it forever and just don’t want to switch now. It is very expensive but works good and looks professional.

Since the question was

I abstained to share my own preference, which is not Innosetup. Whenever such a topic shows up, everybody flashes his own. Not sure it does much more than to confirm each one’s favorite.

All input is appreciated Michel, its nice to know whats out there, sometimes people use a little gem that can be tricky to find with a search.

Well, I have been using CreateInstall for years.

The author is an individual like me, and his service is excellent. I see no reason to use anything else at this moment.

I’ve used Innosetup. If that’s still current then that’s probably what I will go with.

I’ve always sold my software on my own websites, however if the trend is to get into the Windows App Store then that’s definitely worth considering. I have always thought that the Mac App store was most important for Mac Apps but the Windows App store is not so important for Windows apps. Maybe my thoughts on that are wrong in current times.

You need everything today IMHO.

Michel, can you sign multiple applications with a single certificate, or do you need to purchase a separate certificate for each application that you want to sign?

A single cert will let you sign multiple apps.
However, they will be attached to your name so if you’re writing software for a client you should have the client buy their own cert.

Innosetup is fairly easy especially if you use the GUI to create the initial config file. It has a wizard that just asks you various questions autobuilding the config file based on your input.

I sign all my apps with a single cert I renew every three years.

Thank you for the clarification Tim & Michel.

[quote=310721:@Michel Bujardet]Well, I have been using CreateInstall for years.

The author is an individual like me, and his service is excellent. I see no reason to use anything else at this moment.[/quote]

Thanks for the tip on Create Install. I checked it out and it was just what I was looking for.

I have a couple of freeware apps, and people can download them from my website or other websites. The apps were prepared with InnoSetup.
But at present there is the problem that once downloaded, a warning pops up saying that such apps are from unknown developer (or something like that).

So I’d like to ask how to prepare my apps in such a way to avoid the warning.
I have a windows-account, and in few days a will create a developer account (the one costing about 20 USD).
Will this developer account be enough? Or are there other certificates needed?
(For Mac, in App Wrapper I use “Developer ID Application” certificate for deployment outside MAS).

As for deployment to the Windows Store, things are clear, thanks to

Thank you.

The message you see is from SmartScreen, the Windows equivalent of Mac’s GateKeeper.

You need to digitally sign the installer. You can get a certificate for some like $84 at

They also provide free ksign, which is sort of an App Wrapper (much lighter) for Windows.

For your single use:

I saw a checkbox (or so) that allow you to not get that reminder at each successive run. (Windows 10 up-to-date)

Since the installer will be digitally signed, in order to deploy the app outside the Windows Store, do I still need buying the Windows Developer Account?
Thank you for the advice and the link.

The Windows Developer Account is for selling your apps on the Windows Store. If you want to then you need to get it. Otherwise, if you selling on your own website and anywhere that is not the Windows Store then you do not need the Windows Developer Account.

Fine. Thank you.