Wix: Microsoft trying open source

In a first for the big tyke, Microsoft has donated its Win­dows Installer XML (WiX) to SourceForge.net, the open source devel­oper net­work! WiX is a toolset that uses XML code to build Win­dows instal­la­tion packages.

In a first for the indus­try behe­moth, Microsoft has donated its Win­dows Installer XML (WiX) to SourceForge.net, the open source devel­oper network.

WiX is a toolset that uses XML code to build Win­dows instal­la­tion pack­ages. The toolset sup­ports a com­mand line envi­ron­ment that devel­op­ers may inte­grate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup pack­ages. It includes a com­piler, a lib tool, a linker and a decompiler.

Accord­ing to a blog post­ing by Microsoft employee Rob Men­sching, "The WiX toolset and all of its source code has been released so that you can build Win­dows Installer data­bases (MSI and MSM files) the same way most groups inside Microsoft do.

How­ever, a funny thing hap­pened on the way to the forum. WiX became the first project from Microsoft to be released under an OSS approved license, namely the Com­mon Pub­lic License."

Explain­ing the rea­son for the cur­rent release of WiX, Men­sh­ing said, "Back in 1999 and 2000, I did not feel that many peo­ple inside Microsoft under­stood what the Open Source com­mu­nity was really about and I wanted to improve that under­stand­ing by pro­vid­ing an example.…Via WiX on Source­Forge, you get to see the results of many people's efforts to improve Microsoft from the inside out. I'm not exactly sure what is going to hap­pen next but I'm sure there are quite a few peo­ple who are inter­ested to see where this leads. Per­son­ally, all I hope is that if you find the WiX toolset use­ful then you'll join the com­mu­nity and help us improve the toolset."

More infor­ma­tion about the toolset and its OSS release can be found at: