The toolset is written in C# and requires the .NET Framework to run. However, this only applies to the toolset itself. The installation packages you create with the toolset do not require any extra framework or software to be installed on the target computer. Similarly, there might be a few additional utilities required for some special applications (merge modules, patches) but only on your build computer, the client will only need the finished and self-contained installer package, nothing else.
Eric has been writing about tech for over 27 years. He was on the founding staff of Windows Sources, FamilyPC, and Access Internet Magazine (all defunct, and it's not his fault). He's the author of two novels, BETA TEST ("an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale"--Publishers' Weekly) and KALI: THE GHOSTING OF SEPULCHER BAY. He works from his home office in Ithaca, New York. 
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I'd like to express my thanks to Rob Mensching for creating the toolset in the first place, and to Neil Sleightholm, Vadym Stetsyak, Robert Pickering, Marc Borgers, John DeSoi, Markus Karg, Greg Glass, Stefan Krüger, Nobuo Kihara, Phil Wilson, Peter Tewkesbury, Nicholas Muguira, David Adams, Mike Green, Chesong Lee and Christophe Michel for the material contributed to the tutorial.
The developers of the widely used setup tools also embraced the new technology and started to offer new versions of their tools to create setup programs of this nature. However, as the experience of many developers shows, while these tools are perfectly capable of creating simpler installation packages, they often prove too limiting, inflexible when it comes to more complex requirements.
In addition to this integration, providing basically nothing more but developer comfort, WiX offers another level of integration, far more advantageous than the first one: the integration of the setup development process with that of the application. Traditionally, setup programs were only written when the main application had already been finished; often even by different developers. This approach requires a tedious and error prone process of collecting information about all the resources making up the application. While the files themselves are usually obvious, registry entries, services and most forms of inter-resource dependencies are often hard to reconstruct in a later stage: if solid development documentation is lacking, the setup developers have to collect all pieces of information from the original developers or try to extract it from the source code.
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