There are few things that make as little sense as the help technologies under Windows and especially the help collections that are required to integrate into Visual Studio. In typical Microsoft fashion, the help topics and samples related to building a help collection don't provide any guidance on more advanced scenarios like registering a help collection with both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 from a single installer.
It's even more fun when the MSI based installer fails to do what it is supposed to do and lets you know that it failed only it provides no other information.
It's times like these I think MS intentionally develops products the way they do just to create a third party market to fix their mistakes. ;)
One such "fix" is the Helpware guys and their wonderful line of products. I would specifically like to call out their H2REG product that takes a simple .ini file listing the files in your help collection and registers it with Windows. It can also perform a namespace merge before exiting.
Normally they ask a small fee to distribute h2reg with your product commercially but Rob was kind enough to grant MySQL a license to distribute h2reg with our open source products. His products are great and it's great to see his willingness to help out the open source community.
Rob, thank you!