Looking for Setup and Deployment Project Templates? (Mary Lee)

Looking for Setup and Deployment Project Templates? (Mary Lee)

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Let's say that you've developed an application using the free Visual Studio Express Edition. Now, you want to deploy your application to the masses, and you read documentation about How to: Create or Add Deployment Projects.

Here's how the topic starts:

To create a new deployment project

  1. On the File menu, point to Add, then click New Project.

  2. In the resulting Add New Project dialog box, in the Project Types pane, open the Other Project Types node and select Setup and Deployment Projects.

  3. In the Templates pane, choose the type of deployment project you want to create. For more information, see Setup and Deployment Projects.

In this example, I'm using Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition.  However, when I open the New Project dialog box, there isn't an Other Project Types node.


The Other Projects Types node is only available in Standard Edition or higher (such as Professional Edition and Team System Edition).  Also, you cannot download the Setup Project templates and add them to Visual Studio Express Edition.

Here, you discover that Visual Studio Express Edition is free, but limited.  All of the following versions of the Express Editions have the same limited functionality: Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition,Visual C# 2005 Express Edition, Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition,Visual C# 2008 Express Edition, and Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition.

All hope is not lost!  You can use ClickOnce Deployment to easily share your application with the masses. The ClickOnce Publish Wizard can easily generate a setup.exe to check for and install prerequisites such as the .NET Framework or SQL Server Express Edition.  The published files can be copied to a CD, Web site, or network file share where users can download and install your application.  ClickOnce can also easily update your application as you incorporate customer feedback and add features.

I created a Web browser based on Creating Your First Visual Basic Program and Video How to: Creating Your First Visual Basic Program.  Now, I'll show you how to use the Publish Wizard in Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition to deploy this application to a network file share. 

1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the solution name and click Publish.


You'll see the Publish Wizard open.

2. Type the location where you want Visual Studio to copy the files, and click Next. This location is called the Publish Location.


3. Type the location where your end users will install your application from, and click Next.  This location is called the Install Location. These two locations are separate in case you do not have write access to the network file share.  In that case, you would copy the files to your local computer, and an administrator would copy the files to the network file share.


4. Choose where the application is going to be run from, and click Next. If you select "available online or offline," the application is installed onto the end user computer.  If you select "only available online only," the application is run from the Install Location.


5. In the final screen of the Publish Wizard, click Finish.


6. Open the network file folder, and verify that all the files are copied there.  End users can open the Browser.application, publish.htm, or setup.exe files to start the installation.


For step-by-step instructions about how to publish to a Web site or CD, see How to: Publish a ClickOnce Application

OK, let's test the installation. 

7. Open file location where the application installer is located. 


8. In the publish.htm file, click launch or Install.


You'll see the Launching Application dialog box appear momentarily.


9. In the ClickOnce Trust Prompt, click Install.  If you don't want your users to see this prompt, you can sign your solution with a code-signing certificate.


10. Test your application.

In the Visual Basic Browser application that I created, I entered http://www.microsoft.com and clicked Go!!!!!! to see my application work successfully on my test computer.


These instructions apply to the Visual Basic and Visual C# Express Editions.  The Visual C++ Express Edition development environment doesn't have the ClickOnce Publish Wizard, but you can perform the steps in the Visual Studio command prompt. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment for Visual C++ Applications.

Enjoy deploying your applications!

Mary Lee, Programming Writer.

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  • Please add 5 and 8 and type the answer here:
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  • how can we add an image/icon to the setupfile

  • there is a how-to topic about adding and removing icons to setup projects at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/syyw4edd(VS.100).aspx


  • hi, i published a vb 2008 file and when i saw the icon of my published application, i was stated "application manifest". Is this suppose to be correct after anything from vb 2008 is published?

    Thanks in advance!

  • hello,

    that is correct. ClickOnce creates two XML files: an application manifest and a deployment manifest.

    1. the application manifest describes your VB 2008 file and any files that are used (data files, assemblies, etc).

    2. the deployment manifest describes how your VB file is installed and what version your customers should use.

    for more information, see the section titled How ClickOnce Deployment Works at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/t71a733d(VS.100).aspx.


  • installing the application for ALL users, rather than the user who's logged in. Can you publish that information?

  • in windows 2008 installing the vb application for ALL users, rather than the user who's logged in. Can you publish that information?

  • ClickOnce applications are designed to be per-user installations only. This limits access to computer resources and operations. For more information about ClickOnce security, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/76e4d2xw(VS.100).aspx.

    Windows Installer can install to all users, but these project templates are not included in any Express Edition. If you are using Visual Studio Standard, Professional, Enterprise, or some combination thereof, see How to: Specify Per-user or Per-computer Installation at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/445kc47k.aspx


  • I am using ClickOnce deployment and I have made a file association with the extension .wst. When I dbl-click on a .wst file after installing my program, the program launches (good), but there are no command-line arguments that I can use to open the file that was dbl-clicked. I have looked at the registry key, and it is different from what I would expect. Any help?

  • How can I create a setup (using publish) successfully for a VB 2008 program that has a lot of ocx and dll file dependencies and can be instaled on a client machine with Windows 7.

    I can successfully run the VB 2008 program under Windows 7 on the host and can even publish it and install it on the host; however when I run the setup on a client with Windows 7 it doesn't work.

    Please any suggestions.

  • I have a solution that has 9 projects, some application & some class library. When I right-click on Solution name, I don't see 'Publish' option. Now how I can complete publishing? Please let me know.

  • i cannot see creating package in my visual studio 2008

  • When publishing as described how is the config file controlled for eg amending details of users who can access elements displayed in drop-downs? Thanks.

  • Good and most appropriate for vb students and also i would like to mention it has very good study pack as well as well performance studies instruments and meterials. though such proven records in vb 2008 has very good progressive level sugesstions and it may be a instructive guidance plan for all computer favourations

  • well any one tell me how to install a template in c#.net software ???? i m building a software for my final year in IT  .... n want it to look attractive and userfriendly .... so help me.... my email ---- studentparul@gmail.com...

  • This creates a "publish" subdirectory with another subdirectory, and the setup.exe requires those to be present to work.  How can I give those to someone else?  I can't just email the setup.exe file, because it fails without the others.  I can't zip it all up, because the major zip programs don't handle subdirectories well.  I can upload it all to my web site, but someone clicking setup.exe from there only gets setup.exe, which isn't sufficient.

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