Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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There is a pretty good document published on MSDN that provides a technical overview of various topics related to deploying the .NET Framework 1.1. It provides information related to mass-deployment to a network of computers, and also information related to redistributing the .NET Framework 1.1 as part of another setup package (for managed applications that want to bootstrap the .NET Framework if it is not installed instead of blocking and forcing the user to install it themselves).
You can find this article at this location. Here are a few of the important topics covered in this article:
Now if I can only get all of the setup developers inside of Microsoft who redistribute the .NET Framework to follow these guidelines, I'll be making some progress. I see way too many cases where setup developers choose random registry values or files and start using them to detect the presence or absence of the .NET Framework. Invariably, if someone follows undocumented strategies and relies on behaviors that are observed but not officially supported, it can lead to compatibility issues when later versions of the .NET Framework are released if the behaviors are changed. Microsoft product teams will not scrutinize or question behavior changes as much if they are not publicly documented because they tend to assume that others (inside and outside of Microsoft) will rely on officially documented behaviors when designing their own solutions.
<update date="1/14/2009"> Fixed broken link to the .NET Framework 1.1 deployment guide on MSDN. </update>
Updated URL: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms994339.aspx
Hi Franklesniak - Thanks for the link. I've updated the main text of this blog post to point to the new location for this deployment guide.