Writing managed custom actions in an easy way

In my last post, I talked about hosting the CRL within a native custom action.
This week I found an easier way to execute a managed custom action, it is based on a hack and not extra C++ code is required.
Actually, you can't write a C# custom action because the compiler doesn't allow you to create a __stdcall function to be 
called from the outside.
Well, take a look to this article, it shows how to overcome that problem.

Let's use this article to write our managed custom action, I'll start writing the custom action's skeleton:

using System;

namespace CustomActions
    public class MyCustomAction
        public static int Execute( long handle )
            System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show( String.Format( "Hello World {0}", handle ) );

            return 0;


When the installer calls to this custom action, it will show a message box with the current msi handler number.
As next step, you will have to read that article and do the same things, but changing the "SayHello" method by "Execute".
After finishing the last article step, you will have a managed assembly, which exports an "Execute" method.
You will able to use that method as "DllEntry" when you define the custom action in the custom actions table.

Using wix, the custom action definition should look like this:

<CustomAction Id="CustomActions" BinaryKey="CustomActions" DllEntry="Execute" />

I hope this can help you to develop more custom actions in an easy way :)

Published Thursday, April 14, 2005 12:19 PM by cibrax
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