Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Download available for a supplemental set of Windows Vista Media Center project templates

Download available for a supplemental set of Windows Vista Media Center project templates

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I have posted an MSI that can be used to install an additional set of Windows Vista Media Center project templates.  You can download the MSI at http://astebner.sts.winisp.net/Tools/mce_project_templates.zip.  These project templates are designed to supplement (but not replace) the project templates included in the Windows Vista Media Center SDK v5.2.

There are several specific scenarios that I was aiming to address by creating these supplemental project templates:

  1. Taking a first step towards integrating Media Center project templates into Visual Studio 2008 now that VS 2008 beta 2 has been released.  This was requested at http://discuss.mediacentersandbox.com/forums/thread/4330.aspx and I have heard from a few other folks privately asking about this.
  2. Adding the WiX setup files to the VB project template since they were only added to the C# project template in the Windows Vista Media Center SDK v5.2.
  3. Fixing the major upgrade issue that I described in more detail in the blog post at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/09/06/4798334.aspx.
  4. Offering a simpler project template that is closer to an empty project but still has some configuration settings in place that are needed for Media Center Markup Language (MCML) applications.  This is to address questions about the new project template in the Windows Vista Media Center SDK v5.2 like the one located at http://discuss.mediacentersandbox.com/forums/thread/4269.aspx.

When you download and install these project templates, they will appear in any of the following products that you have installed on your system:

  • Visual Studio 2005 standard and higher
  • Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 standard and higher
  • Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2008 Express Edition

To distinguish these project templates from the ones that ship in the Media Center SDK, they are named "Windows Media Center application with setup" (whereas the project templates installed by the SDK are named "Windows Media Center Application") in the Visual Studio new project dialog.  In addition, they appear after the project templates installed by the SDK in the sorted list of available project templates.

I created the setup for this MSI in WiX v3.0, and in an upcoming blog post, I plan to enhance these instructions that I posted a while back in order to provide an easy-to-follow example of how to create an installer for Visual Studio project templates.  Hopefully this will encourage Media Center developers to create and share their own project templates for specific types of development scenarios (such as a full-fledged background application project template so that the steps described in this blog post can be simplified).

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