In some environments it is not possible to install Dashboard Designer using the normal process (i.e. allow it to install automatically when first opened from SharePoint). Some Citrix environments for example have permissions that prevent ClickOnce apps from being able to install.
In these cases people sometimes look for alternative methods (e.g. using an installer / MSI). Unfortunately, there is no MSI available for download for Dashboard Designer from Microsoft. However, it is possible to put together an alternative method for installation. The approach outlined below is one approach I have used in a couple of customer environments.
The process is in two parts:
Note – This is not an officially supported way of installing Dashboard Designer, but it has worked where I have used it in the past. If thinking of using this, you should thoroughly test it in your environment as your environment may throw up issues I haven't encountered. Also, when updates to Dashboard Designer are released (e.g. in SharePoint Service Packs) it will be necessary to repeat this alternative installation procedure to get the updated versions deployed.
This process does not install the pre-reqs for Dashboard Designer:
You should ensure these are also deployed to the target environment prior to installing Dashboard Designer.
These pre-reqs apply irrespective of whether you are installing using the normal ClickOnce method or an alternative approach (the ClickOnce installation does not install these pre-reqs).
This approach requires a machine* that you can install Dashboard Designer on in the normal way (i.e. download the Click Once app from SharePoint). On this machine, we’ll grab a copy of the Dashboard Designer files, ready to install on another machine (i.e. where the Click Once apps don’t work).
(*This machine also needs Visual Studio or another .NET SDK on to be able to use mage.exe).
We are now in a position to test the install. Note - the files simply need to be copied to the target machine.
On one machine I tested this on, the Designer crashed after the SharePoint URL was first entered. Upon reopening however, the designer was fine (and the URL had been saved correctly). This crash appeared to only happen on the very first time Dashboard Designer was opened – subsequently it always opened without any problem.
Dashboard Designer can be installed to any folder.
For the purposes of this example, assuming that we are installing to c:\Dashboard Designer
So, simply copy the above files to the following paths (no MSI is needed, no DLL registration is needed):
This process does not create the user.config file. This will normally be created automatically the first time Dashboard Designer is run. Again, on some environments this may not be possible and creating it as part of the installation process may be desirable.
When Dashboard Designer is installed using this alternative approach, Dashboard Designer will create this file at the following location (where in my case [username] is xchrisbailiss):
If creating this file manually, you also probably want to set the following settings within this file: