How to create an installer for your custom extension

The simplest way to create an installer for your custom SSIS extension is by using a Setup Project in Visual Studio. Here are the steps we take when we’re creating installers for our Codeplex projects.

1. In Visual Studio, create a new Setup Project – File -> New Project…

2. Under Other Project Types | Setup and Deployment, select Setup Project


3. Delete User’s Desktop and User’s Project Menus folders from File System (Setup) screen


4. On Application Folder, set the DefaultLocation property to the root DTS directory:

Ex. [ProgramFilesFolder]Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS

5. Right click on the Application Folder and add the sub folder you need to put your sample in (ie. Tasks, PipelineComponents, Connections)

6. Right click on the new folder, and add “Project Output” to the folder to place binaries from your sample.



7. If you need to place files in the GAC, right click on File System on Target Machine -> Add Special Folder -> Global Assembly Cache Folder


It will now show up as an additional folder, and you can add project output to it.

8. Exclude all dependencies by highlighting all of the files under the Detected Dependencies Folder, and selecting Exclude


9. If you’d like to add a readme .rtf file, place it in the Application Folder.

10. You’ll need to edit the UI pages to display a readme after the install. Right click on the Setup project, View -> User Interface to bring up the UI page.


11. For both the Install and Administrative Install, right click on End and select Add Dialog. Select the Read Me dialog. Drag the “Read Me” page to be above the “Finished” page.


12. Set the ReadmeFile property to your readme file.


Comments (7)

  1. toddmcdermid says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the primer – it will help tons.

    One more favor to ask though – is there any way you could walk over to the Visual Studio Extensibility guys and have them help with the "last mile" of making an installer?  How can an installer place the component into the BIDS toolbox?

    I’ve tried myself by looking at archives of Chetan Chudasama’s blog, and a derivative of that work on CodePlex (the Visual Studio Toolbox Manager) that is so tantalizingly close to working… but doesn’t.


  2. toddmcdermid says:

    If you’d like to know how to add an SSIS custom Task or Component to the VS toolbox with an installer (so you don’t have to Add Items), vote for this Connect issue:

  3. tfreedman says:


    Thanks, this was extremely helpful.  However, I would suggest one change.  As per the MSDN’s advice on deploying custom SSIS objects(, we should check the registry for the proper installation folder.  With tips from KB article 827026 (, I was able to use a Launch Condition to search the registry for the key I needed (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMSDTSSetupDtsPath for SQL Server 2005) and store it in a variable I named DTS_PATH.  Then, in my ApplicationFolder’s DefaultLocation property, I put [DTS_PATH]Tasks (since I was installing a custom task).  Now my installer will work even if SQL Server isn’t installed in the default location.

    Thanks again for the post – it was a huge help!

  4. This is a great point – using the registry keys is definitely a good idea. In 2008, the key was moved from the MSDTS hive to the main Microsoft SQL Server path –

    HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server100SSISSetupDTSPath

    When I have time, I’ll update the blog post with this information, as well as any tips about controlling the Toolbox I can dig up.

  5. Brett says:

    What about 64 bit installs. I want to be able to install to both the Program files and the Program Files (x86) folders (so that the component is available to VS on 64bit machines as VS is 32bit) but there doesn't seem to be a way to do it as if you set Program Files 64 bit in windows installer? Any tips?

  6. Brett says:

    I have answered my own question: The 32 bit path is in this regkey: HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server100SSISSetupDTSPath

    I assume that adding all of these, assigning the installer to target 64bit then doing conditional copies based on if these paths actually exist or not would probably work. Wisk me luck.

  7. SSISJoost says:

    Any suggestion on how to use the registry value (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server100SSISSetupDTSPath) as a Launch Conditions – Registry Search?

    Or will [ProgramFilesFolder]Microsoft SQL Server100DTS work for both 32 and 64bit?

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